Skip to comments.A CU prof deserving of sympathy (Not Churchill!)
Posted on 03/07/2005 6:14:02 AM PST by aynrandy
Betsy Hoffman's self-serving and phony warning about "McCarthyism" at CU - in the middle of what should be an impartial investigation of Ward Churchill - was disgraceful.
But if the University of Colorado president needs a genuine case of discrimination at her school, here's one:
CU professor Phil Mitchell's class certainly isn't as melodramatic as our man Ward Churchill's. How could it be?
Surely, it's a complete riot taking one of Churchill's classes.
Deciphering the feckless professor's swirling quasi-intellectual gibberish is entertaining enough as a citizen; I can't imagine how a student feels.
Mitchell never refers to "actions" or "trigger fingers" and seldom calls anyone a Nazi.
As an alternative, Mitchell likes to employ facts in his history courses.
He teaches. He doesn't preach.
His reward? After more than 20 years, Mitchell may be out at CU.
Mitchell isn't as alluring as Churchill. He doesn't hold tenure - or a plastic AK-47. Only bachelor's and master's degrees in education, as well as a doctorate in American social history from CU.
He began teaching history in 1984, and in 1998, Mitchell won the prestigious SOAR Award for teacher of the year.
Recently, William Wei, director of the Sewall Academic Program, let Mitchell know that CU would not be renewing his contract after this year because "his teaching was not up to the department standards."
(While Wei confirmed this to me, Joyce Nielsen, associate dean for Social Sciences, denies she gave that reasoning for Mitchell's deal.)
As a conservative, and even worse, a ghastly evangelical Christian, Mitchell wondered how he lasted this long.
"I've had enough. I am clearly being closed out for political or religious reasons," Mitchell says. "I am one of the top-rated professors in the history of the department."
Wei, hardly a conservative, says that in his perspective, "Phil is a great person, a good teacher and highly regarded by his students."
Faculty course questionnaires confirm what students think of him. You'll be hard-pressed to find anything but an A+.
But it's never been easy.
Mitchell taught at the Hallett Diversity Program for 24 straight semesters. That is, until he made the colossal error of actually presenting a (gasp!) diverse opinion, quoting respected conservative black intellectual Thomas Sowell in a discussion about affirmative action.
Sitting 5 feet from a pink triangle that read "Hate-Free Zone," the progressive head of the department berated Mitchell, calling him a racist.
"That would have come as a surprise to my black children," explains Mitchell, who has nine kids, as of last count, two of them adopted African-Americans.
Then, Mitchell had the audacity to use a book on liberal Protestantism in the late 19th century. So repulsed by the word "god" was one student, she complained, and the department chair fired him without a meeting, he said.
Was there a protest for academic freedom? Bullhorns? Power to the people?
Conceivably, if Mitchell would have used a less-offensive book - say the Churchill classic "Perversions of Justice" (Ward's hobby?) - he could have rallied the Kool-Aid brigade lickety split.
In time, Mitchell was reinstated but was never able to teach in the history department again.
"People say liberals run the university. I wish they did," Mitchell says. "Most liberals understand the need for intellectual diversity. It's the radical left that kills you."
So Churchill may play the part, but Mitchell is the true dissenter at CU.
Why did he stay this long?
"I stay to create enthusiasm and love for history," Mitchell says. " And I am successful at that. I love the classroom, and I love my students."
Once, president Hoffman promised increased intellectual diversity at CU - not a purge of conservatives.
Another promise broken.
David Harsanyi's column appears Monday and Thursday. He can be reached at 303-820-1255 or email@example.com.
from a pink triangle that read "Hate-Free Zone,"
Ah.....the pink triangles
There is some truth to this...
An eagle sacrificed to the quackery of ducks.
Your tax dollars at work, at Diversity University.
It just gets richer. This proves what I've been positing all along about liberal academia's real attitude toward academic freedom. In that Marxist wonderland the only people who're "free" to speak their thoughts are those who speak Marxist thoughts. Everybody else gets silenced and fired. This is why the CU regents and the Colorado legislature need to investigate the whole stinking mess. In that sense Churchill has done academic freedom a real service because the scandal surrounding him has outed the whole scam liberal academia is pulling.
The University of Colorado is starting to sound like a steaming, stinking pile of cow poo.
Oh wait, not starting to.
Communists in China and leftists in the United States behave similarly. If the leftists in the United States had the authority and power to put people in prison for "wrong opinions," they wouldn't hesitate to do so.
The only thing Universities tolerate from conservatives / christians is their tax revenues.
I was hoping someone would!!!
This needs attention!!!!
This needs as much broadscale attention & tie it in with Churchill....
..The public needs to know that CU is actively pursuing means to keep Churchill....
..but quietly pursuing means to stop the voice of Phil Mitchell!!!!!!!!!!
This is a travesty!!!!
not sure how we could
I'm not either, but I bet some Freepers who are more experienced than I am would know.
UNLESS I AM MISTAKEN AND I APOLOGIZE IF SO BECAUSE I REALLY DON'T LEND INTEREST TO PROFESSORS OVER LEADERS, THIS CHURCHILL guy IS A CRACK-POT. IN FACT, HE SEEMS TO BE SMOKING CRACK. MAKE THAT IRAQI HASHISH. PERHAPS SOME NATIVE AMERICANS CAN GET A PARDON FROM THE PRESIDENT TO SCALP HIS UGLY HAIR OFF.
THERE ARE A LOT OF POLITICIANS AND A GOOD LAW WRITER IN MY FAMILY AND I AM FURIOUS AT HIM.
PLEASE, GOOD PERSONS, IGNORE HIM, AND LET'T REDUCE THIS GOOF-OFF, JACK-OF NO TRADE TO PENURY.
WHAT'S WORSE, I BET HE PRETENDS HE'S RELATED TO THE RT. HON. WINSTON OR SOMETHING FOR A FEW EXTRA NICKELS, THAT SLIME-BAG. IMAGINE, JANITORS IN 911 DESERVING TO DIE. HE DESERVES TO DIE.
Just fresh off the Rocky Mountain News press:
UC president Betsy Hoffman resigns.
Betsy Hoffman's photo shows a likeness to my favorite transvestite or transgendered person. (?)
Look at what's happened to Larry Summers, a highly qualified member of the liberal establishment and Clinton's former Secretary of the Treasury. In an academic setting and at a meeting called to discuss why there are relatively few women at the higher levels of hard science, he speculates, on a substantial academic basis, that it might be due to innate differences between men and women. He's immediately subjected to a hysterical, screeching Maoist denunciation and forced to undergo humiliating self-criticism, just as he would have been in Communist China. "Academic freedom" is for the Marxists as long as they sprout Marxism, nobody else.
Since talk of multi-million dollar Churchill and/or Barnett buyouts is in the air, here's the same prof on a county commissioner who was offered a buyout for on-the-job indiscretions:
Others say that buyout offers effectively reward officials for bad behavior. "I'll go have an illicit affair and send all kinds of wacko e-mails if they pay me $300,000," said Thad Tecza, political science instructor at the University of Colorado at Boulder.(source)