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ERIC Number: EJ838399
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Mar-20
Pages: 1
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0009-5982
As His Day in Court Arrives, Ward Churchill Is Depicted in Sharply Different Lights
Schmidt, Peter
Chronicle of Higher Education, v55 n28 pA14 Mar 2009
The trial in Ward Churchill's lawsuit against the University of Colorado got under way here last week with lawyers for the opposing sides painting starkly different pictures of both the controversial ethnic-studies professor and the circumstances surrounding his dismissal by the university in 2007. In delivering their opening remarks in a crowded courtroom, the two sides agreed that the university had been under intense outside pressure to fire Mr. Churchill as a result of the media uproar provoked by one of his essays, in which he compared many of those killed in the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks to a famous Nazi bureaucrat. But, as they framed the arguments they intended to make during the planned three-week civil trial in a state district court, the lawyers made clear that they would concede nothing regarding their central point of contention: whether the university's decision to investigate, and subsequently fire, Mr. Churchill was motivated by a desire to quell the controversy over his essay--in violation of his First Amendment speech rights--or whether it represented a justified response to alleged academic misconduct on his part. Standing near a three-foot-high stack of books representing Mr. Churchill's academic career, his chief lawyer, David A. Lane, told the jury that the university's findings of academic misconduct were a mere pretense for sacrificing the professor to appease "the howling mob calling for Ward Churchill's head." A lawyer for the university, Patrick T. O'Rourke, told the jurors he planned to demonstrate that a succession of university committees had given Mr. Churchill a fair hearing, with the controversy over his essay playing no role in their conclusions that he had engaged in fabrication, falsification, improper citation, and plagiarism.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: First Amendment