In an exclusive interview with 9 News, CU Professor Ward Churchill said he will fight to keep his job.
In an exclusive interview with 9NEWS Churchill said of the panel, “These were not my peers in any direct sense at all. There was not a single person competent in my field, competent in American Indian oral history, competent in any of the areas that are at issue here, with the exception of law.”
Churchill said the committee’s findings were false. “They’re proceeding on the basis of incomplete data. If you look at the report it’s internally self-contradictory. They say one thing on one page and accuse me of the opposite on the next,” said Churchill.
When asked why the committee members would not be truthful, Churchill said, “You’ve got an inordinate amount of pressure being placed on academic institutions on a national basis with this, perhaps, being ground zero.” “Livelihood, enterprise, status, stature, all sorts of things play into this. You can sacrifice one to save many. These are dynamics that are not mysterious,” he said.
CU released a 125 page report on the allegations against Churchill. It sustained several of the research misconduct charges against him, including plagiarism and misrepresentation of facts. (Summary of findings here (pdf)). Governor Owens told 9 News that Churchill should resign.
“I think the university is dealing with it appropriately. I think the committee has found unanimously that Ward Churchill has lied and cheated, in essence stolen and on a spilt vote has voted to remove him from office. I think it’s appropriate and the sooner the better.”
Churchill had this reaction:
I will return the compliment. I will accept Bill Owens’ resignation anytime he wishes to tender it.”
Some interesting reactions to the Churchill report are contained on the site Inside Higher Ed, where education professionals weigh in. Many condemn Churchill in the harshest of terms. A few defend him, including the comment by “Unapologetically Tenured” who writes “If Your Witch Hunt Bags a Witch, It’s Still a Witch Hunt.”
As to recommended consequences for Churchill, the Denver Post reports:
Four of the five scholars who examined Churchill’s work for four months thought CU should suspend him without pay – two suggested two years and two suggested five years. The fifth committee member said the university should fire him. Two of the committee members who recommended suspension agreed the misconduct was severe enough that CU could fire Churchill.
Churchill has two weeks to respond to the report. His lawyer, David Lane, plans to file a lawsuit against C.U. if he is fired.