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February 28, 2005

CU Exit Strategy

I laid off the Ward Churchill blogging last week, mostly because it looked like the week's big story, the Great Hawaiian I'm Not an Indian Admission, blew over the day after. Then, of course, it turns out he forged a painting and took a swing at a reporter who asked him about it.

This week, it's the return of the inmates, as CU professors demand an end to the investigation, and the administration begins making noises about a settlement. This is what an "exit strategy" brings you, and it ain't pretty.

Meanwhile Jim "Strawman" Spencer is hard at work turning Churchill into a mildly outspoken martyr who just got in over his head. Sure, the department's tenuring of someone as blatantly unqualified as Churchill is rare. But it could only have happened in a series of departments so beset by groupthink that nobody bothered to challenge what was happening.

Spencer also joins the profs in trying to limit the issue to free speech. I don't care even for that case in this event, but the fact is that Churchill now stands accused of offending academia even on its own, more insular, terms. He has, evidently, deliberately distorted the plain meaning of texts, made stuff up, stolen other stuff, lied about himself, his past, his ethnicity, bullied students and newspapers who dared to ask questions.

The professors call this a "distraction." I'm sure it is.

Last word goes to reader Merlin Klotz:

The position of academics who suggest that "it is going to be extremely difficult, if academic freedom is on the block, for us to hire and keep good faculty members" rings hollow if good faculty members are reduced to only those that support multiple forms of academic fraud. On the contrary, the very best in faculty candidates would be embarrassed to be associated with an institution that supports in its very principles the standards of ethics and truth set by Mr. Churchill.

Posted by joshuasharf at February 28, 2005 11:14 AM | TrackBack

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