Friday, July 27, 2007

Roasted Chickens Roosting

Mike Littwin at the Rocky Mountain News argues that in case anyone thinks the Ward Churchill saga has ended, in fact it has only just begun. Churchill plans to sue CU for firing him, arguing that his dismissal on grounds of academic misconduct were simply a pretext for firing him for his political views. Rocky Mountain News summarizes Churchill's suit:

In his suit, Ward Churchill claims he has been hounded by the media and politicians since January 2005, when his controversial essay about the 9/11 attacks was widely circulated. In response to the "outcry," CU pored over his published works in search of "some excuse for terminating his employment." That process violates his rights under the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. CU should pay his legal bills.



As matters stand, Churchill is still entitled to a pension and separation pay. But that would be slim pickings for a man used to rock-star status and national attention.

Former CU professor Ward Churchill will get a state pension of about $70,000 if he chooses to take his retirement benefits. ... Under CU rules, Churchill also is entitled to one year’s salary as severance pay.

Littwin argues that Churchill's lawyers will argue that 'Everything happening here is in retaliation for his First Amendment protected speech. I don't have to prove it as the main reason. I just have to prove that it was a motivating factor.' They will maintain that politics is the real reason why Churchill was dismissed. There is of course, his academic misconduct. And while I disagree with Littwin's belief that the misconduct will be viewed only as a pretext -- Churchill's violations are so large and glaring -- that it's a wonder he could style himself a "professor" at all, Littwin is probably right in asserting it wasn't academic fraud that drove CU into ditching Churchill. It was politics. The kind that wants to cover up how such creatures could get into academia in the first place. The American Council of Trustees and Alumni recently wrote a report which asked, "How Many Ward Churchills?" The answer? Too many. And it asserts that Ward Churchill, rather than being an isolated instance of a rogue academic, is actually representative of a large number of faculty members in colleges and universities today. The report said:

But to understand Churchill as a one-of-a-kind phenomenon is to miss the lesson that he has to teach us about higher education today. Recruited into a tenured position with only a master’s degree in communication, Churchill has followed an exceptional path to academic prominence; even so, he is not at all unusual, and as an example of academe’s increasingly unapologetic ideological tilt, he is far from alone. In recent years, studies of faculty across America have shown that diverse and competing academic viewpoints are largely absent. And a student survey commissioned by the American Council of Trustees and Alumni in 2004 found that nearly half of college students at America’s top colleges feel their professors use their classes to preach politics rather than teach, while fully a quarter believe they must parrot their professors’ views in order to get a good grade.

By ridding themselves of this Jonah, academia might stand a chance of picking up where they left off. But they never reckoned with Wardo. Good old Wardo. Churchill's lawsuit against CU, fueled by his unlimited egocentrism, will not only threaten CU with large financial losses but keep the light shining where many would rather it not.

Maybe the chickens do come home to roost.

19 Comments:

Blogger Cosmo said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

7/27/2007 07:28:00 AM  
Blogger Cosmo said...

Maybe the exposure of Churchill's fraudulent career, the embarrassing performance of Duke's Group of 88 and the attention of watchdog groups like F.I.R.E. on campus speech muzzling will slow, or maybe reverse, the reliance upon college professors -- another of the Left's unelected and unaccountable clerical orders -- as sources of profundity and objectivity.

No news story today seems complete without a quote from some sheltered academic whose primary life experience is browbeating impressionable 19-year olds.

7/27/2007 07:33:00 AM  
Blogger Mojo said...

So WC's attorneys would have the courts rule that despite the blatant academic fraud that their client perpetrated over the years, he is immune to discipline because such actions would "obviously" have political overtones, given their client's history....

Ahem.

"Hillary Clinton is a slimy conniving liar. Barrack Obama couldn't lead a hungry man to a buffet. Rudy Giuliani is a two-timing adulterer. Fred Thompson sucks eggs. All Democrats are thieves. All Republicans are thugs."

Good. Now if WC wins his case, I've guaranteed myself lifetime employment no matter who wins the upcoming election cycle.

Like a gangrenous wound, Ward Churchill's continued presence in any form whatsoever in the public's eye threatens to poison the entire system. It's not sufficient that he expose the academy to (further) ridicule and contumely. Now he must involve the courts.

And Sweet Mary McGillicudy, what if he DOES win? Can anyone imagine the blowback against the entire tenure system? I'm not sure his most ardent supporters realize what they might get. (HEH!)

7/27/2007 08:34:00 AM  
Blogger hdgreene said...

There use to be two sorts of people who would seek employment in an institution.

1. Time servers who saw it as a way to make a living and achieve a comfortable retirement.

2. Those who wanted to dedicate themselves to furthering the goals of the institution even if that would put their careers at risk. The original "whistle blowers" came from this group-- who would reveal the abuse of a institution by its leaders. And, of course, many good workers would blend numbers the motivations of "one" and "two."

Ironically the advent of "whistle blower" protections and "the right" to keep a job regardless of almost anything have made room for:

3. Those who want to undermine an institution, capture it, and redirect its goals. Hence, a CIA that seems focused on spying on the White House for the New York Times, rather than spying on our nation's enemies for the American People. And a New York Times that thinks this a good thing.

7/27/2007 08:46:00 AM  
Blogger Elmondohummus said...

Yeah, Churchill can do what he wants, but he'd have to controll the narrative and steer it away from the board's stated reasons for his termination to have any chance of winning. And if the CU regents are smart, they'll hold tight to the academic fraud argument and not let him derail everyone from that.

Yes, fraud. Misconduct is too effete a word for what he did (lie and steal, literally).

Regardless of any speech issue WC raises, the question really is whether academic fraud is a terminable offense or not. He might win an argument that being fired for fraud like what he committed is too strong a punishment, but if he makes the mistake of trying to say he was fired for his speech, he'll leave his a** wide open to the charge that he lied in his work.

In short, he'll need to confront and admit the fact that he committed academic fraud, then go on to say that he was punished too severely because of his views to give his suit any chance at success. If he doesn't, he'll have screwed himself.

What do you want to bet that he won't be that smart? He'd rather call this a free speech issue than an academic fraud one. That is completely the road to losing his case.

7/27/2007 08:55:00 AM  
Blogger whiskey_199 said...

Very likely Churchill will win his case.

Judges are highly politicized also, and probably most share Churchill's politics. I have no doubt that CU will end up having to take Churchill back, and paying him gobs of money as well.

What will this mean? Perhaps a voter-led initiative to abolish CU.

7/27/2007 10:03:00 AM  
Blogger Pascal Fervor said...

Roasted chickens in the roost, eh? This would be one heluva poltergeist with the aid of lawyers and spineless academes.

For
those who feel they are beyond embarrassment
, suitable punishment is urgently needed. Really.

7/27/2007 10:07:00 AM  
Blogger eggplant said...

The University of Colorado (CU) has played in shrewdly. If CU had simply fired Churchill for his egregious 9-11/little Eichman comments then Churchill would now be a wealthy man from the proceeds of wrongful termination litigation. A positive judgement for Churchill would have been a slam-dunk though a First Amendment defense. However by terminating Churchill for reasons of academic misconduct, CU is rid of him without the additional expense of lawsuit extortion. It's a shame they couldn't have fired him simply because he's an evil bastard. However our legal system wouldn't allow it.

7/27/2007 11:25:00 AM  
Blogger ForNow said...

Quoth I at L.com, the First Ward Churchill Era of U.S. academia has ended, and now the Second Ward Churchill Era of U.S. academia has begun.

Considering that colleges and universities in the U.S.A. are increasingly characterized and even defined by pushy and punishment-and-reward styles of political and ideological advocacy, maybe it's time to revoke their tax exemptions, exemptions premissed on their dedication to objective scholarship. (See "Will Taxing Colleges Save Them?" at FrontPage Magazine).

7/27/2007 12:18:00 PM  
Blogger RWE said...

It would appear that public employees have hit upon a sure fire strategy to protect you against your own incompetance: your own political views.

Consider not only good old WC (good monogram, especially if you are in England) but a certain Federal prosecutor named Fitzgerald.

His name was on the list of Federal prosecutors to be fired for poor performance. But the list ended up as 7 instead of 8 because he was pursuing Scooter Libby over non-divulgance of non-classified information associated with a non-crime. (Remember that charge of poor performance? Well...)

And by pursuing poor Scooter in the time-honored Nifong fashion, he insulated himself against ever being fired. They would never risk firing him while the trial was underway and certainly not now that it is over. Now, he could shoot someone on the White House lawn at high noon with ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN and FNC showing it live and not even be docked as much as a day's pay. The man is bulletproof!

Brilliant!

Simply Brilliant!

7/27/2007 12:52:00 PM  
Blogger Charles said...

Hawaii Moves Toward Second ‘Ethnic' Government

The Akaka bill that never dies. trouble is if it gets through congress and is signed into law--it spells the death knell of the union.

7/27/2007 01:24:00 PM  
Blogger Charles said...

and churchill has the last laugh

7/27/2007 01:25:00 PM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

Somehow I rather think that Mr. Churchill is laughing just as loudly as Cindy Sheehan and OJ Simpson are laughing. There's something about being ostracized and knowing that you're not considered to be good enough for decent company that does tend to eat at the soul.

7/27/2007 05:59:00 PM  
Blogger 3Case said...

Could a DNA swab of Churchill be taken as discovery in his suit with CU? That might result in some useful info.

7/27/2007 07:43:00 PM  
Blogger Norman said...

Hawaii Moves Toward Second ‘Ethnic' Government

The Akaka bill that never dies. trouble is if it gets through congress and is signed into law--it spells the death knell of the union.

7/27/2007 01:24:00 PM

I wonder what Akaka's religion might be if any, possibly islam?

7/27/2007 08:37:00 PM  
Blogger R said...

Ugly and arrogant. What I find amusing is the reality that this person is working within such an institution. Clowns to the left of me, clowns to the right of me...but are there any real teachers?

What is a teacher? Does Churchill use such a job description to feed his narcissistic needs? Note his appearance: Is this a person who seeks to enlighten his students?

Or does he wish to make "little soldiers" of his students? Projection is a wonderful concept, at times. It helps one understand those energies that come into play when seeking knowledge about another's behaviors, etc.

Churchill is a magna cum "loser" and I only wonder why this University ever allowed such an asshole to be part of its faculty.

This school, especially in taking over two years to make the decision to remove Churchill, by its actions, tells me more about its academia than perhaps it ever intended.

Clowns. Dangerous clowns at that!

Where is Cleminius?

7/28/2007 03:40:00 AM  
Blogger pst314 said...

"As matters stand, Churchill is still entitled to a pension and separation pay"

Just what more would he have to do in order to lose those benefits???

7/28/2007 05:39:00 AM  
Blogger Yashmak said...

"and churchill has the last laugh"

Time hasn't come for that laugh yet. If I understand the statutes correctly, the onus is on Churchill to prove the firing was 'retaliatory'. That's going to be a tough one. CU was very diligent about documenting the evidence against Churchill, and leaving any mention of his 9/11 related statements out of that record.

At this point, I don't think either party is laughing yet.

7/30/2007 07:34:00 AM  
Blogger USpace said...

Great one! Churchill is still total garbage.

As we know, Ward Churchill wasn't fired for his insane moonbat 9/11 comment. This only put the spotlight on him and people had to investigate, and some extreme things were found which warranted his sacking. Ward Churchill is a fraud, and his upcoming lawsuit against his former employer should serve to educate even more of the public about his insanity and rampant lies and fakery.

Some people said that Churchill just meant that Eichmann was just a 'middle manager' in an evil system trying to get ahead just like people in the towers were just trying to do their job in an evil and terrorist creating system like global capitalism.

Of course then, if terrorists struck an office tower in Beijing Churchill wouldn't call those workers "Little Eichmanns" because they are just trying to get ahead in a just and humane system like communism.

Sure, communism has only killed 100 million people, let's give it another chance.

If a university professor in one of the psychotic regimes he defends had said something against the government, he would be whisked away in the middle of the night, beaten and tortured and possibly never seen again.

That would be a lack of free speech. Ward Churchill is lucky to live in a civilized society instead of one of the despotic or barbaric ones he champions and defends.

absurd thought -
God of the Universe says
waste citizen's taxes

hire hateful phony teachers
feed them BIG bucks and pensions


absurd thought -
God of the Universe hates
nine-eleven victims

much worse than Bush
and Hitler combined
.

7/30/2007 09:44:00 PM  

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