Skip to comments.Expert: CU should be held to high standard in plagiarism case against professor ( Ward Churchill )
Posted on 10/07/2006 12:51:02 PM PDT by george76
An expert on academic freedom said Tuesday the University of Colorado should be held to a high standard of proof if it tries to punish an embattled professor on allegations of plagiarism.
A faculty committee is investigating research misconduct charges against Ward Churchill, a tenured professor of ethnic studies who first came under fire for likening Sept. 11 victims to an infamous Nazi.
"The burden of proof should be a very high standard," said Jonathan Knight, director of academic freedom and tenure programs for the American Association of University Professors.
Churchill has confirmed that a subcommittee of the university's Standing Committee on Research Misconduct has recommended that the full panel press ahead with its inquiry into seven plagiarism allegations against him.
But the subcommittee recommended dropping an investigation into allegations that Churchill falsely claimed to be an American Indian to give his research more credibility. The subcommittee also advised dropping the inquiry into a charge of copyright infringement.
Churchill has denied the allegations.
He came under fire this year over an essay comparing some World Trade Center victims to Adolf Eichmann, who helped orchestrate the Holocaust.
The essay was written shortly after the Sept. 11 attacks but attracted little attention until this year, after Churchill was invited to speak at a small college in New York state.
He has refused to retract the statement but said he wishes he had phrased it differently.
(Excerpt) Read more at summitdaily.com ...
I did several searches, thus I believe ( and hope ) that this is the first thread.
I don't have any problem with that approach. From what I have seen, Churchill's plagarism will pass any legal standard of proof.
I think intent comes into the definition of plagiarism. He should take a fall over that, but intent is difficult to prove.
He should get a job there he is qualified for - changing the perfume in the bathroom dispensers.
He's done it enough, in both print and his own artwork, to show it wasn't just a one-time accident. When you rip off someone's art, that is pretty hard to claim that you simply came up with a similar concept with similar wording.
The University of Colorado's report on the investigation of Ward Churchill's alleged scholarly misconduct has just been released.
Churchill was found guilty of deliberate false assertions, misrepresentation of sources, and plagiarism.
Among other things, Churchill was found guilty of passing off others' work as his own (plagiarism), but also of passing off his own work as others'.
This "permits the author to create the false appearance that his claims are supported by other scholars when, in fact, he is the only source for such claims"...
"...Ward Churchill would do himself some good to express a profound apology to people he has offended and misled.
He should also come clean about his appropriated American Indian identity. "
Sometimes it is. Sometimes it isn't.
Churchill sold artwork depicting a line of Indians riding over a hill. This is a mirrored image in virtually every detail of another person's work. Much as fingerprints are identified by matching a minimum number of points of agreement, this artwork lends itself to the same process.
There are no points of disagreement between the two pieces of art, and many, many dozens of points of agreement. This did not happen by accident. No reasonable person would find that a claim of originality on Churchill's part could in any way be justified. The man is clearly a fraud and those who support him are parties to the fraud.
Discerning indigenous identity is not an exact science, but it has its rules. It would not be a primary issue relative to research and writing of producers from any quarter, except Churchill represents himself as a major spokesman for Indian people through his participation in a branch of AIM and his claim to Cherokee origins. So far, nothing whatsoever has surfaced that gives evidence to Churchill's claims to having Cherokee Indian origins.
So Indian Country calls Churchill the Not-So-Great White Buffalo. That removed his last possible protection - that of playing the race card.
Ward also copied this :
and then sold copies on ebay. Ebay has since removed their links.
Ward Churchill said to the RMNews : "The fact that the purchaser was ignorant...is not my responsibility."
He never got the boot, eh?
Ward lawyered up .
He loves getting the taxpayers money.
He might work 6 hours per week...
I agree with you.
However, the author of Divinci Code got away with it.
Prof. Knight is correct, regarding standards of proof.
On the otherhand, from what is available on the Ward Chruchill case, it should be possible to prove academic misconduct warranting dismissal from a tenured post beyond a reasonable doubt.
I say this as the author of my own department's post-tenure review procedures, which make dismissal of a tenured professor comparable in difficulty to the removal of a Federal judge: as it should be, if the first God-given freedom of expression to be given formal protection by our civilization, academic freedom, is to be preserved.
Give him a raise and the next annual professor of the year award?
Ward Churchill, the let's-pretend Indian who rode political-correctness to a departmental chairmanship at one university, will soon be spouting his anti-American, murderer-friendly hatred at another university, one where they brand you a racist and shut you up if you don't toe the politically correct party line.
It's the stuff of unbelievable satire...
Let's start with Churchill, who gained tenure at the University of Colorado and was elevated to department head despite lacking a Ph.D. and having a record worse than undistinguished. His primary qualification, it seems, is that he was part Indian, only he isn't.
This same man has spoken approvingly of violence against U.S. military officers and others and has said he wants the United States "out of existence altogether."
DePaul University, which quit affording teaching duties to an untenured professor without the hearing its rules require after he got into an argument with students some of them Muslims at an activities fair.
Thomas Klocek, who had taught at the university for 14 years, defended Israel against students attacking the country for its treatment of Palestinians.
According to a dean's statement, Klocek had attacked the "religious beliefs and ethnicity" of the students, which seems far from the case.
Here's the kicker. Churchill, who received support from 199 fellow faculty members saying in a petition that he should escape investigation for anything, will be speaking on the DePaul campus this month, while Klocek, who received support from only a few of his fellow teachers, is seeking redress through a slander suit.
My guess is he will win it, but my guess is also that leftists with little true respect for freedom are winning the heart and soul of our universities.
Very interesting - if not somewhat nauseating - reading.
February 8, 2005
Academic freedom must be protected, which is why I'm continuing to write about this matter. A version of academic freedom that protects Churchill from appropriate sanctions isn't sustainable either as a political or an ethical matter. Consider: Churchill has constructed his entire academic career around the claim that he is a Native American, yet it turns out there is no evidence, other than his own statements, that this is the case.
Churchill has said at various times that he is either one-sixteenth or three-sixteenths Cherokee, yet genealogical reporting by the Rocky Mountain News and others has failed to turn up any Cherokee ancestors - or any other Native Americans - in Churchill's family tree.
Why should we care one way or another? We should care because Churchill has used his supposed Indian heritage to bully his way into academia. Indeed Churchill lacks what are normally considered the minimum requirements for a tenure-track job at a research university: he never earned a doctorate, and his only degrees are a bachelor's and a master's from a then-obscure Illinois college.
Churchill's lack of conventional academic credentials was apparently compensated for, at least in part in the eyes of those who hired him at the University of Colorado, by the "fact" that he contributed to the ethnic diversity of the school's tenure-track faculty.
To the extent that Churchill was hired because he claimed to be a Native American, he would seem to be guilty of academic fraud. But the situation is worse than this.
Thomas Brown, a professor of sociology at Lamar University, has written a paper that outlines what looks like a more conventional form of academic fraud on Churchill's part. According to Brown, Churchill fabricated a story about the U.S. Army intentionally creating a smallpox epidemic among the Mandan tribe in 1837, by simply inventing almost all of the story's most crucial facts, and then attributing these "facts" to sources that say nothing of the kind.
"One has only to read the sources that Churchill cites to realize the magnitude of his fraudulent claims for them," Brown writes. "We are not dealing with a few minor errors here. We are dealing with a story that Churchill has fabricated almost entirely from scratch. The lack of rationality on Churchill's part is mind-boggling." (Brown's essay can be read here: http://hal.lamar.edu/~browntf/Churchill1.htm.)
Similar charges have been leveled against Churchill by University of New Mexico law professor John Lavelle, a Native American scholar who has documented what appear to be equally fraudulent claims on Churchill's part regarding the General Allotment Act, one of the most important federal laws dealing with Indian lands. (Lavelle also accuses Churchill of plagiarism).
The saddest aspect of Churchill's case is that, in regard to his identity, he might not be guilty of fraud in the narrowest legal sense. According to the News, Churchill has been claiming to be a Native American since his high school days in Illinois. It may well be that by this point he has genuinely convinced himself that he actually is an Indian.
Of course some people believe they're Napoleon. But that's not a good reason for giving them professorships in French history.
Paul Campos is a professor of law at the University of Colorado.
---- Sorry for the length, but the link is gone from RMNews. I wanted you and others to have the chance to read it all. I found this useful.
Sorry that the piece was so long.
I was not sure how to edited it well.
And thank you.
Please also read the Paul Campos piece.