Patterico's Pontifications

7/8/2009

Ward Churchill Update

Filed under: Civil Liberties,Education — DRJ @ 5:21 pm



[Guest post by DRJ]

As a professor at the University of Colorado following 9/11, Ward Churchill penned a shocking essay about the 9/11 terror attacks and the deaths of the 9/11 victims:

“In a rambling, acidic commentary he says he dashed off within hours of the attacks, the 57-year-old professor of ethnic studies described the bankers and stock traders who died in the World Trade Center as “little Eichmanns.” He called their deaths a “penalty befitting their participation in . . . the ‘mighty engine of profit’ to which the military dimension of U.S. policy has always been enslaved.”

But you know that. You also know that in 2007, CU fired Churchill for “engaging in a pattern of academic misconduct, including plagiarism, fabrication and falsification in his scholarship.” Churchill claimed he was fired for the political beliefs expressed in his 9/11 essay, and a Colorado jury agreed but awarded him just $1 in damages. On Tuesday, the judge ruled the CU Regents had absolute immunity and that Churchill was not entitled to get his job back.

Churchill also asked for lost front (future) pay of $1M and legal fees if he was not reinstated but the judge “refused to order CU to provide front pay, saying there were no actual damages that the money would remedy” and because Churchill did not mitigate his damages by seeking another job:

“Professor Churchill’s own statements during the trial established that he has not seriously pursued any efforts to gain comparable employment but has, instead, chosen to give lectures and other presentations as a means of supplementing his income. Reportedly, he even ‘received a few job offers’ that he declined to pursue,” [Judge Larry] Naves said. “Under these circumstances, I do not believe an award of front pay is appropriate.”

But what you may not know is that the University of Colorado plans to bill Churchill “for more than $10,000 in out-of-pocket costs the school incurred while defending against his wrongful termination suit.” CU will likely have to win on appeal to collect these funds, and if Churchill prevails he can seek reimbursement of his legal fees that currently total $1.2M. (The law does not allow CU to recover its legal fees.)

The good news for Churchill is that his lawyer will only be paid if Churchill wins on appeal, in which case CU will have to pay his $1.2M-plus in legal fees. Ironically, if Churchill loses on appeal, the biggest loser may be his lawyer.

— DRJ

23 Responses to “Ward Churchill Update”

  1. Unfortunately, the biggest losers in all of this kerfuffle have been the citizens and taxpayers of Colorado, who have somewhat belatedly realized that their University has a real personnel selection problem that they have paid for, and will be paying for for the indeterminate future.
    Ward Chruchill is not the disease, but only a symptom of an illness that infects Academia, and there are more where he came from.

    AD - RtR/OS! (685f75)

  2. Ironically, if Churchill loses on appeal, the biggest loser may be his lawyer.

    No, I’m pretty sure it’ll still be Ward…

    Scott Jacobs (d027b8)

  3. Interesting conflict of interest question. Ward has a lot less to gain than the lawyer at this point. And more to lose than the lawyer, obviously.

    Though I realize the action is made by the school, I wonder what a disinterested party would advise Ward to do.

    Juan (bd4b30)

  4. Ward Churchill is just someone using the viral marketing of web 2.0 to spread his own agenda I think.

    happyfeet (e8d590)

  5. Juan wrote:

    Though I realize the action is made by the school, I wonder what a disinterested party would advise Ward to do.

    A truly disinterested third party would suggest to Dr Mr Churchill that he needs to get a life and do something actually useful. Of course, I am a somewhat less than objective commenter

    The helpful Dana (474dfc)

  6. If Churchill needs work he could always apply at Duke University. He’d fit right in with the faculty there.

    Ropelight (bb3af5)

  7. I’d rather the American Indian Association sue his pants off for his fraudulent claims of lineage.

    Dmac (e6d1c2)

  8. I’d love to see Ward’s lawyer screwed out of any fees. He’s a clown and an incompetent.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  9. I love the idea that membership in a race is some kind of club that gives you all kinds of benefits. Like AAA or something. And that people lie about being eligible. And those people are democrats who are blame republicans for race relations.

    I don’t know the name of the lawyer in this case, which means he failed to get what I assume he was after.

    Juan (bd4b30)

  10. Ironically, if Churchill loses on appeal, the biggest loser may be his lawyer.

    The sweet irony of it all. A scum sucking lawyer not getting paid. See the world is getting better.

    There was some sarcasm in that BTW.

    PatriotRider (37b91c)

  11. It doesn’t matter which political spectrum they fall in. Self-important jerks are self-important jerks.

    I hope we never hear from him again.

    If there was any justice in the world, Churchill and that jerk governor from South Carolina could start a self-help group that would encounter the Bermuda Triangle while on a realization cruise with Keith Olbermann.

    Ag80 (3acbfd)

  12. It’s true that CU deserves a great deal of the blame for hiring a clown like Churchill in the first place, and this case exposed the ease with which politically-favored flakes and frauds can land positions in academia. A part of this story that doesn’t get told often is that CU originally wanted to settle with Churchill and buy out his contract. It was only an uproar from alumni and the taxpayers of Colorado that forced CU to steel its spine and see this through court. Even though they will probably spend more money on this case than they would have paid for a settlement, it’s nice to see a notoriously p.c. school like CU stand on principle for once.

    JVW (a8c610)

  13. Unfortunately, a friend of mine from college (Haven’t seen him since) was president of CU about the time they hired Churchill. I really hope he wasn’t the culprit.

    Mike K (2cf494)

  14. Interesting, Mike K (9:06 pm). Do you happen to know if it was when Churchill was hired in administration, when he was given his controversial faculty appointment, or both? My understanding of the case is that Churchill was just serving as a flunky in CU’s office of Indian Affairs (or some such posting) when he conned the Chairman of (I think) the Sociology Department and the Dean of the Humanities School into appointing him as a faculty member. Your friend probably didn’t have much to do with a low-level appointment like that.

    JVW (a8c610)

  15. Ag80 – That was beautiful. Make sure MadCow is on that cruise too.

    JD (4ee77c)

  16. One wonders how any university could have hired such an individual. Why should tenure protect anyone against such behavior. Does any other field of endeavor offer such protections?

    Academia seems to feel they can act any way they wish without accountability.

    Thomas Jackson (8ffd46)

  17. What worries me is the claim that Churchill had a couple of job offers. Who the hell is offering this clown a job now?

    Darkmage (9fff7c)

  18. #17, TJ asked, “Does any other field of endeavor offer such protections?”

    Government employment of all sorts comes immediately to mind, except if you’re the wrong color and work in Albany NY. They recently fired 200 white legislative staffers and replaced them with members of approved races. MSM doesn’t consider it newsworthy. Instapundit has the link.

    Ropelight (bb3af5)

  19. Who the hell is offering this clown a job now?

    Answer – Duke.

    Dmac (e6d1c2)

  20. He wasn’t president but was Chancellor from 1997 on. Churchill was there long before, I believe. The funny part is that he was a wild guy in college and got into medical school by the skin of his teeth. There is just no predicting how people will turn out.

    Mike K (2cf494)

  21. […] or better grades.  A lot of parents are tired of paying top dollar to give leftist, race baiting, anti-American, plagiarizing nut jobs the privilege of indoctrinating their […]

    College Students Protest For Their Right To Spend Other People’s Money — Pursuing Holiness (e3cf16)

  22. […] C or better grades. A lot of parents are tired of paying top dollar to give leftist, race baiting, anti-American, plagiarizing nut jobs the privilege of indoctrinating their […]

    The Greenroom » Forum Archive » College Students Protest For Their Right To Spend Other People’s Money (e2f069)


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