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It’s not clear whether Ward Churchill has received his $1 check yet, but he should soon be receiving a bill from the University of Colorado for the more than $10,000 in legal fees incurred during his wrongful termination suit. The announcement follows a ruling earlier this week by Denver District Judge Larry Naves, who vacated a jury’s findings that the university’s Board of Regents were wrong to fire Churchill from his position as an ethnic studies professor and award him $1.
Churchill plans to appeal the case, according to The Denver Post, and that could mean a delay in payment for the public university, funded in part by taxpayers. Westword points out that “Shouting Fire: Stories From the Edge of Free Speech,” a recent HBO documentary, implies that the case against Churchill was about his controversial political views rather than academic misconduct.
But the blog for the American Council of Trustees and Alumni, an organization founded by Jerry L. Martin, the former chairman of the philosophy department at CU-Boulder, argues that the court decision means universities now need to “ensure their institutions have rigorous post-tenure review policies that combine ‘carrots’ and ‘sticks,’ conduct regular assessments of whether the process is working, make any necessary improvements, and publish both their policies and their assessments.”