Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

A CU prof deserving of sympathy (Not Churchill!)
Denver Post ^ | March 07, 2005 | David Harsanyi

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.

Boring stuff.

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 dharsanyi@denverpost.com.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; News/Current Events; US: Colorado
KEYWORDS: academia; academicfreedom; conservative; cu; wardchurchill

1 posted on 03/07/2005 6:14:03 AM PST by aynrandy
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: aynrandy

from a pink triangle that read "Hate-Free Zone,"

Ah.....the pink triangles


2 posted on 03/07/2005 6:18:23 AM PST by PeterPrinciple (seeking the truth here folks.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: aynrandy
"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."

There is some truth to this...

3 posted on 03/07/2005 6:19:50 AM PST by 2banana (My common ground with terrorists - They want to die for Islam, and we want to kill them.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: aynrandy

An eagle sacrificed to the quackery of ducks.


4 posted on 03/07/2005 6:20:47 AM PST by PzLdr (Liberals are like slugs-they leave a trail of slime wherever they go.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: aynrandy

Your tax dollars at work, at Diversity University.


5 posted on 03/07/2005 6:22:07 AM PST by RazzPutin ("You have told us more than you can possibly know." -- Niels Bohr)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: aynrandy

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.


6 posted on 03/07/2005 6:24:38 AM PST by libstripper
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: libstripper

The University of Colorado is starting to sound like a steaming, stinking pile of cow poo.

Oh wait, not starting to.


7 posted on 03/07/2005 6:39:23 AM PST by JustaCowgirl (You have seen that life is fragile, and evil is real, and courage triumphs -- George W Bush)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

Comment #8 Removed by Moderator

Comment #9 Removed by Moderator

To: A_Conservative_Chinese

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.


10 posted on 03/07/2005 7:18:01 AM PST by Enterprise (President George W. Bush - the leading insurgent detergent.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: PeterPrinciple

The only thing Universities tolerate from conservatives / christians is their tax revenues.


11 posted on 03/07/2005 7:21:31 AM PST by Swanks
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: aynrandy; kayak; Pylot; Two Thirds Vote Aye; coloradan
Thank-you, thank-you, thank-you for posting this!

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!!!!

12 posted on 03/07/2005 7:22:49 AM PST by Guenevere (Sola Gratia)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: aynrandy
Any chance of getting this article to O'Reilly. I think he would love to do a story of the different treatment of the two professors at CU.
13 posted on 03/07/2005 7:34:41 AM PST by Barb4Bush
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Barb4Bush

not sure how we could


14 posted on 03/07/2005 7:36:36 AM PST by aynrandy
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: aynrandy

I'm not either, but I bet some Freepers who are more experienced than I am would know.


15 posted on 03/07/2005 7:38:37 AM PST by Barb4Bush
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: Barb4Bush

bttt


16 posted on 03/07/2005 8:57:27 AM PST by Guenevere (Sola Gratia)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

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.


17 posted on 03/07/2005 9:23:58 AM PST by greatsquire (PROFESSOR crackHEAD)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: aynrandy

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. (?)


18 posted on 03/07/2005 9:50:43 AM PST by purpleland (The price of freedom is vigilance.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

Comment #19 Removed by Moderator

Comment #20 Removed by Moderator

Comment #21 Removed by Moderator

Comment #22 Removed by Moderator

Comment #23 Removed by Moderator

To: A_Conservative_Chinese

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.


24 posted on 03/08/2005 5:28:15 AM PST by libstripper
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: aynrandy
Too bad I never heard of this guy while I was at CU-Boulder. It's still possible for a professor to criticize affirmative action, so long as it's really funny. One of my (tenured) professors opined:

“(Affirmative action) is just masturbation. It will make you feel good, but it won’t solve sh*t.”

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)

25 posted on 03/08/2005 9:29:44 AM PST by Dumb_Ox (All is Whiggery now.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

Comment #26 Removed by Moderator

To: aynrandy

bttt


27 posted on 03/08/2005 10:20:46 PM PST by Balata
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson