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February 28, 2005

The Real Ward Churchill Scandal

So now there are reports the CU is going to buy-out Ward Churchill's contract in hopes that he'll just go away. Typical. Spend several million dollars of taxpayer money to get out of the mess that the faculty at CU created instead of addressing the real problem here. No, it's not what he said about September 11th that's the problem. No, it's not that it seems he may have lied about his Vietnam experience, evidently claiming to have been a paratrooper in the 101st Airborne when he may have in fact been a truck driver...and what the hell is it with all these guys of his generation who feel this need to claim they were John Wayne? Geesh. (And I'll ignore the fact that several other tenured faculty members of late who have embellished their war-time resumes have resigned) No, it's not even that he may very well have lied about his ethnicity (though if this fraud is true than it should be enough to get him fired).

No, the real scandal for CU, and for Academe in general, is that he was rushed through the tenure process, a guy who doesn't even have a Phd for God's sake, solely because of his claimed ethnicity, with little to no peer review of his scholarship or teaching. Some committee at CU said "Oh, we need a Native American" as opposed to "We need a teacher and/or scholar". Every tenure-track position that opens up at any college or university is flooded with hundreds of cvs from people with Phds and years of teaching experience; hell, even any instructorship at these schools attracts a boat load of Phds because the jobs simply are not there for the thousands of Phds that get churned out every year. And CU saw fit to rush this guy with only a MA from some whacko 'alternative' university ("Sangamon", whose name he misspells as "Sangaman" on his own CU faculty page, for crying out loud) through because he fit a racial category that they wanted.

CU's reputation is in tatters, as it should be (and I'm not even considering the problems in their Athletic Department). The question is how will they respond.

And how many other Ward Churchills are out there at other universities?

*update: I see VodkaPundit had a post up on this yesterday. That'll teach me to spend the day using the scanner and not surfing...

Posted by Mr. Bingley at February 28, 2005 08:30 AM


Yes, but some of us truly thank you for the scanning that you did do!

Posted by: Crusader at February 28, 2005 09:37 AM

you like those? heh. some good old stuff.

Posted by: Mr. Bingley at February 28, 2005 09:43 AM

The ethnic grievance industry has its last great stronghold in the universities. Ward Churchill is a symptom of the utter corruption of scholarship by identity politics. Who you are (or claim to be) has become far more important than what you actually do for your salary. Remember when Lawrence Summers at Harvard had the gall to expect Cornell West to teach classes and write articles on American literature instead of putting out rap CDs and appearing in The Matrix?

Posted by: NJ Sue at February 28, 2005 11:21 AM

I'm not sure that I'd agree it's the last great stronghold; I think it also is found in strength in politics and, running through all of these, lawyers.

Posted by: Mr. Bingley at February 28, 2005 11:28 AM

(running through all of these, lawyers...

I noticed Hilary Swank thanked her lawyers last night during her Oscar acceptance speech. Scary state of affairs when it's come to that.)

Posted by: tree hugging sister at February 28, 2005 12:22 PM

Just what are the two of you insinuating? ;-)

Posted by: Dave J at February 28, 2005 11:14 PM

(If the jurisprudential curly wig fits, Dave...{;^P )

Judge Well, I mean, your witness is dead.
Counsel Yes, m'lud. Er, well, er, virtually, m'lud.
Judge He's not completely dead?
Counsel No he's not completely dead m'lud. No. But he's not at all well.
Judge But if he's not dead, what's he doing in a coffin?
Counsel Oh, it's purely a precaution m'lud - if I may continue? Mr Aldridge, you were a... you are a stockbroker of 10 Savundra Close, Wimbledon.
(from the coffin comes a bang) Mr Aldridge...
Judge What was that knock?
Counsel It means 'yes' m'lud. One knock for 'yes', and two knocks for 'no'. If I may continue? Mr Aldridge, would it be fair to say that you are not at all well?
(from the coffin comes a bang) In fact Mr Aldridge, not to put too fine a point on it, would you be prepared to say that you are, as it were, what is generally known as, in a manner of speaking, 'dead'? (silence, counsel listens;) Mr Aldridge I put it to you that you are dead. (silence) Ah ha!
Judge Where is all this leading us?
Counsel That will become apparent in one moment m'lud.
(walking over to coffin) Mr Aldridge are you considering the question or are you just dead? (silence) I think I'd better take a look m'lud. (he opens the coffin and looks inside for some time; then he closes the coffin) No further questions m'lud.

Posted by: tree hugging sister at March 1, 2005 09:00 AM