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Ward Churchill � Academic Freedom

A Professor, Ward Churchill, at the University of Colorado at Boulder was FIRED for criticizing the Bush administration's handling of 9/11:

Check out this great blog.

Ward Churchill � Academic Freedom

Professor Eric Cheyfitz of Cornell:

On January 12, 2007, Professor Cheyfitz of the English Department and the American Indian Program delivered three hours of expert testimony on Churchill’s behalf at the held by the Committee on Privilege and Tenure of the University of Colorado System, which is the final stage of the University's aim to dismiss Churchill from its faculty. In addition to leading the seminar, Professor Cheyfitz will speak both about his experience at the hearing and the present state of the case.

On September 12, 2001, American Indian studies professor and activist Ward Churchill published what became a highly controversial essay, “Some People Push Back,” on the events of 9/11, which understood them as a response to a violent U.S. neo-colonialist foreign policy in the Middle East. The essay appears not to have been widely noticed, until four years later, when rightwing radio talk show host Bill O’Reilly got wind of it and began attacking Churchill. At the same time, the then Republican Governor of Colorado, Bill Owens, called for Churchill to resign from his tenured teaching post at the University of Colorado at Boulder and the Colorado House of Representatives passed a resolution condemning Churchill. While a university committee upheld Churchill’s right to academic freedom in this instance, the university immediately thereafter filed charges of “research misconduct” against Churchill based on his published work and ultimately formed an “Investigative Committee” that in May of 2006 published a 124 page report validating the charges. Based on the report, the then interim Chancellor Phil DiStefano, who had brought the charges in the first place, recommended that Churchill be fired. A hearing on these charges and the recommended sanction is currently being held before the Committee on Privilege and Tenure of the Colorado System, the academic court of last resort for Churchill. As a significant number of academics around the country understand it, the attack on Churchill is not an isolated incident but is part of a partisan cultural mobilization, both within and outside universities, to contain, indeed to erase, speech critical of U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East, specifically of the so-called “war on terror.”