July 24, 2007

Chickens Roosting Or Chicken Regents?

**This is a sticky post, continuously updated throughout the day. Scroll for pictures and video--

Verdict is in, Ward is out!
--8-to-1, lone dissenting vote Cindy Carlisle, a Democrat

"We will remain accountable to those who have high expectations of Colorado’s flagship university. And our faculty will remain true to high professional standards to ensure our reputation for academic integrity remains intact."
--CU President Hank Brown, in a letter to the CU community, CU Boulder Chancellor "Bud" Peterson's statement

Blog reax: Michelle Malkin, Hot Air, memeorandum, PirateBallerina, Drunkablog

MSM, 10 PM edition:
--AP just doesn't get it

Local MSM reports:
--RMN, Denver Post, 9NEWS, CBS4 (video of press conference, CU Pres Hank Brown speaks; David Lane talks lawsuit), KMGH7

The moment of truth . . . booing, catcalls

A post-dismissal jam session

Ward Churchill tries to drum up support . . . too late!

A Wardophile greets the "jackbooted thugs": "I've never seen so many people missing three fingers from their hand" (Drunkablog)

"I will not call Little Eichmanns Little Eichmanns"

Members of Churchill's vast pathetic Dune Buggy Attack Battalion (Drunkablog)

Glenn Spagnuolo and his mentor (Drunkablog)

AIM activist Russell Means lends Churchill moral support (Drunkablog)

**Update--PirateBallerina's afternoon/evening updates; PirateBallerina has a roundup of blog reax so far and is also following Dismissalooza, PB offers his farewell to the professor unemployed wackademic

*5:45 PM Verdict is in, Ward is out!

*12:30 PM--Morning update in from the Drunkablog--complete with pics/commentary and obligatory moonbat death threats:
In front of about 30 people, many of them with cameras and tape recorders, former AIM leadership council member Dillabaugh (who said he'd been in jail and didn't care if he had to go back) threatened to kill me. PB and Drunkablog friend Laurie was a witness, as was Ken Bonetti, who said something like "now, none of that."
Yep, those "peaceful" moonbats.

--Untenured CU English instructor calls Churchill process "tainted"

--Better late than never--The Denver Post finally calls for Churchill to be fired

--Regents continue to meet in closed session for Churchill's private hearing

*11:30 AM--Churchill's attorney blasts the CU Regents and the closed-door session (video), video of Churchill's arrival:
"The more the public sees, the more the public knows, the more they will realize that this is political maneuver and that Ward Churchill's termination is based solely on his free speech," he said.
Not everyone is a Churchill fan, however:
Laurie McClure, 56, of Firestone, whose daughter Bonnie graduated in May with a history degree, was passing out fliers this morning on the topic of research misconduct.

She said her daughter's degree has been diminished because of the negative publicity surrounding the Churchill case and his ties to the campus.

She said the case isn't about his political views.

"This is about a tenured professor who doesn't know how to do proper research," McClure said. "And it's about a tenured professor who doesn't have a Ph.D."
Academic freedom DOES NOT mean academic fraud. Those aren't my words (though I wholeheartedly endorse the sentiment). That was a comment on Churchill from the moonbats at DailyKos.

CU's streaming audio experienced "technical difficulties" this morning. They promise to have things running this afternoon, but Slapstick Politics will be there in person to provide backup.

*9:15 AM--Ward Churchill arrives, almost as many reporters/photographers as supporters attend:
Ward Churchill entered the University Memorial Center at 7:45 today — the day he'll learn his fate as a CU professor.

About 20 supporters accompanied Churchill and his attorney, David Lane, into a morning meeting in UMC room 235 with the CU Board of Regents.

At least a dozen reporters and photographers were on hand to chronicle a pivotal chapter in the 21/2-year controversy.
Lane attacked the Regents for their closed meeting in the last chapter of the Churchill affair--"When you shine light on the cockroaches, they scramble for cover"--(for a moment I thought he was referring to his own client!).


Ward Churchill smiles in happier days, but his contempt for academic standards and the disdain displayed by his most ardent supporters will be tested today. (courtesy CU College Republicans)

CU has already increased security in anticipation of protests from Churchill's supporters:
Hilliard said that as a matter of security, he couldn't discuss the measures university officials will put in place today, nor could he comment on any changes in the levels of police and security guard staffing.

"We feel good about the level of security that we have," Hilliard said. "What we have to do is provide safety for the public to express their opinions, and safety for the board to get their business done."

CU Regent Pat Hayes, chairwoman of the board, said she hopes the day goes smoothly.

"We are hoping for the best and preparing for the worst," she said.
Ward's followers "promise" to be peaceful. We remain skeptical.

As for the dismissal vote, according to Ward Churchill's legal mouthpiece David Lane, Churchill's firing is guaranteed:
All it takes is a vote of the regents and a tenured professor is gone. They're making quite a show of trying to be fair and impartial. This has been scripted. This has been in the works for months and months.

I have no doubt they're going to fire him. And it's based — in fact if you read all the reports generated by all the investigators, you will acknowledge that each report has said this is all motivated by his 9/11 comments. There would have been no investigations. There would have been no action. There would have been nothing but for his 9/11 comments. That's why I'm so eager to take this into court.
Try two-and-a-half years Mr. Lane. This is quite the political theater to "take down" a tenured professor--a process lasting over 30 months. A process so interminable, bureaucratized, and politicized that CU's Regents vowed to expedite the tenure removal process, limited to a mere 100 days to "reduce the human misery involved".

Consequently and perhaps more appropriately, the process for receiving tenure has allegedly been tightened as well:
Rules on how professors are granted tenure - and how they can lose it - have been tightened at the University of Colorado since Ward Churchill was given the job guarantee in 1991.

Churchill was granted tenure without the usual six years of review because administrators saw him as bringing ethnic diversity to the faculty, several professors have said. As it turned out, Churchill is not an American Indian, as he claimed.

New rules require strict review by administrators to be sure a tenure candidate has cleared all the hurdles - including vetting of his or her published works by outside experts.

Pat Hayes, who chairs CU's Board of Regents, said the board then reviews the process.

"We get their paperwork and we go through it and we look at how each one of those committees looked at that particular person in relationship to tenure. We go through the whole thing," Hayes said.

If one or more faculty members on a review committee opposes tenure for a candidate, the regents ask questions, Hayes said.

Churchill was given tenure in the communications department over the objections of several faculty members. Two other departments rejected him.

The review of tenured professors at five-year intervals - a perfunctory exercise in some departments - has been tightened, and the procedure to dismiss faculty members has been streamlined.
Let us hope that CU can avoid future debacles by refusing to grant the Holy Grail of academia--tenure--to crackpots whose political views happen to be fashionable and are indeed encouraged in a climate devoted to multiculturalism and diversity at the cost of academic integrity.

And even though Churchill faces possible dismissal today, he continues to draw a rather hefty compensation package:
If Churchill is dismissed, his severance pay will be one year's salary, currently $96,392. It was not immediately clear if he will continue to receive benefits such as health insurance or employer's contributions to his retirement plan, said CU Vice President Ken McConnellogue.

The money already in his retirement fund won't be affected.

He has continued to receive his salary, although he has not taught since the fall 2005 semester. Part of the time, he was on sabbatical, and he also used compensatory time off he'd accumulated for teaching extra courses in previous semesters. More recently, he has been on paid leave.
He has received the due process from the CU system (innocent until proven guilty, something he denied to the targets of his political diatribes), and will likely find his legal arguments for a lawsuit fall on deaf ears (Churchill timeline):
Churchill has vowed to sue if he is fired. Legal scholars have given him little chance of prevailing in court: Judges usually defer to governing boards on personnel matters, particularly when due process has been followed.

The regents and Brown have done precisely that, said RL Widmann, an English professor who leads CU's faculty council.

About 25 faculty members have been involved in reviewing the charges against Churchill during the various stages of the investigation, Widmann said.

The regents will be closeted with a special counsel assigned by the state attorney general's office as they discuss possible actions.
Churchill has been found guilty of manufacturing historical events, plagiarism, and falsifying sources. Those aren't good arguments for an appeal.

Monday's local media coverage (9NEWS (video), The Denver Post)

Background on Churchill:
The Rocky Mountain News led the investigation into Churchill's misconduct and collects their investigative reports, documentation, and other news coverage.

You can search this blog's archives on the professor. For dedicated 24/7 Wardo coverage,
blogger PirateBallerina's enormous body of work on Ward Churchill can't be found (or duplicated) anywhere else. If one were so inclined, weeks could be spent scouring his archives on the infamous professor. Props also go to the Drunkablog, who has spent his fair share of time in the trenches against Churchill and his minions.

CU has posted its own comprehensive review of the Churchill affair--The Research Misconduct Inquiry, including press releases, official school statements, and the infamous Churchill essay--"Some People Push Back: On the Justice of Roosting Chickens"--that brought the research misconduct to light.

You can also hear Churchill himself in the scores of videos posted at YouTube or Google Video.

In the interest of fairness, one can also peruse the scribblings of Churchill's most ardent defenders--the Dune Buggy Attack Battalion and Ward's own "Solidarity Network".

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