July 27, 2007

Hank Brown--Upholding CU's Integrity; Vincent Carroll On The Nature Of Adolf Eichmann

In an op-ed, Hank Brown explains the need for academic integrity, and the importance of the recent decision to dismiss Ward Churchill:
Faculty integrity is the cornerstone of every great university. The University of Colorado is no exception.
. . .
While the academic misconduct of one person should not tarnish the reputation for integrity CU faculty have worked so hard to build and maintain, his case is troubling. Charges of research misconduct led more than 20 faculty members (from CU and other universities) on three separate panels to review his work.

The faculty found a pattern of serious, repeated and deliberate research misconduct that included fabrication, falsification, improper citation and plagiarism.

Faculty reviewers unanimously agreed that the evidence showed professor Churchill engaged in research misconduct and that it required serious sanction.

That sanction was carried out Tuesday when the CU Board of Regents approved my recommendation to dismiss professor Churchill from the Boulder campus faculty.
. . .
Coloradans give us almost $200 million a year, federal taxpayers fund some $640 million in research annually, all to support quality education and research.

Our alumni expect us to maintain the value of their degrees, and students and their families trust that faculty who teach them adhere to the standards of the university and the profession. Failure to maintain academic integrity would cause irreparable harm.

. . .
By any measure, we have an outstanding faculty. Among them are Nobel Prize winners, recipients of the MacArthur Foundation "genius" awards, researchers at the forefront of scientific discovery and teachers whose work is guided by those who came before. The common thread is that they take pride in their work and understand their obligation to live up to the high standards of their profession and of CU.

In the end, CU will not be judged by the shoddy work of one faculty member but by the excellence the rest of the faculty demonstrate every day in classrooms and research laboratories.

The reputation for academic integrity and excellence built by generations of CU faculty, students and alumni will remain intact because the university's Board of Regents acted to protect it.
Rebuilding that reputation took a small step forward Tuesday. Brown clearly recognized the true obligation of a university, whose customers are neither the faculty nor the bureaucracy--but taxpayers who underwrite the institution and parents and students who pay for world-class educations. CU's first priority should be to these constituencies, not the petulant academics whose responsibility it must be to maintain the academic integrity and professional standards they claim provides the basis for awarding the Holy Grail of academia: tenure.

The RMN's Vincent Carroll explains to the Denver Post, and anyone else fooled by the notion that Churchill's "little Eichmanns" was a mere turn of phrase, the true nature of SS Obersturmbannführer (lieutenant colonel) Adolf Eichmann:
Eichmann was no mere foot soldier, mindless bureaucrat or technocrat . . . Why such a big deal about these distinctions? So that we remain faithful to history, of course. But also so that we understand the meaning of “little Eichmanns.” If someone calls you that, he’s not equating you to a mindless foot soldier in an ugly cause. He’s comparing you to an architect of genocide.
Which is why Churchill's commentary on the 9/11 victims continues to be an outrageous defamation, and illustrates the anti-American nature of Churchill's quackery.

**Bonus audio/transcript of Churchill and student-acolyte, lamenting his dismissal. Excerpt:
ANN ERIKA WHITEBIRD: And the decision to fire Ward Churchill is really sad for me. He's the only professor that I’ve taken a class, where I really felt empowered as an Indigenous person. And our history, the history of genocide against our people, the history, the policy, the US policy of extermination against our people, the forced sterilization of our women -- that was found out as early as the ’70s -- it was all something that Ward talks about in his books. So I’m not just talking about the class that he’s offered, the FBI at Pine Ridge, but, you know, other classes that he teaches and then the books that he's written is really affirming as a Native person.

The history that we hear growing up about the smallpox blankets, it's not something that you question. It's something that is part of our oral history. And it's part of the history of other indigenous peoples. So when I’m here at CU Boulder and I talk to other students who are Dene or from other nations, it's a common understanding.
It's not about scholarship, it's about making people feel "empowered"--not by the truth, mind you, but by whatever version of history suits your agenda.

9NEWS has a lengthy video
of the moonbat presser following the CU Regents' vote. Emma Perez, Ethnic Studies associate professor, believes this is a veiled attack on tenure granted to women and people of color . . . Margaret Lecompte, professor of Education, attacks the "right-wing", CU "not a safe place" for academics . . . Tom Mayer, professor of sociology and Ward Churchill advocate is "distressed" . . . Hadley Brown, CU Tri-Exec, believes it is an attack on minority points of view . . . Ann Erika Whitebird, student and Churchill acolyte, sees the firing as "racist" and a continuation of racism she sees everyday on campus from "conservative, white Christians".

The Churchill saga, by the numbers

Academics fear "chilling effect", Churchill's pension will be around $70k/year
CU likely to try to move Churchill's lawsuit to federal court
Churchill firing pleases alumni, donors

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