Churchill won’t return to CU

Coloradans may not have heard the last of former University of Colorado professor Ward Churchill, but at least they no longer have to worry about him returning to the classroom at the state’s flagship university.

On Monday the Colorado Supreme Court rejected Churchill’s plea to be reinstated as a CU professor. The high court upheld two lower-court rulings that determined the CU Board of Regents had acted properly as a quasi-judicial agency when it fired him for academic misconduct in 2007, and the board was therefore legally immune from Churchill’s efforts to get his job back.

Three cheers for the Supreme Court.

Churchill became infamous for an essay he published shortly after 9/11, in which he referred to many of the victims of the terrorist atacks as “Little Eichmanns,” thereby comparing them to Nazi Holocaust leader Adolf Eichmann.

After that essay came to light, other academics around the country began questioning some of Churchill’s earlier academic works, accusing him of plagiarism and intentionally misrepresenting historical information.

It was that conduct which was investigated by CU administrators and a faculty investigative team. They both reached the conclusion that Churchill had violated CU’s academic standards, and that’s why the regents fired him.

Churchill has repeatedly argued that he was fired for his essay about 9/11, and that his firing was a violation of his First Amendment rights.

As repugnant as that 9/11 essay was, CU would have had no grounds to dismiss him just for that. But, as the report by former CU President Hank Brown to the Board of Regents demonstrated, there was ample and convincing evidence that Churchill willfully violated academic standards.

The CU Regents would have been derelict in their duty if they hadn’t fired him.

We’re glad the state Supreme Court didn’t reverse that decision and allow Churchill back on the CU payroll.


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