Judgment Day For Ward Churchill Today
By Berny Morson
University of Colorado ethnic- studies professor Ward Churchill faces dismissal today at the hands of the school's Board of Regents after 2 1/2 years of national controversy and investigations.
Protesters backing Churchill have vowed to hold demonstrations at the Boulder campus. CU officials say police will be present.
Churchill has told Boulder's Daily Camera he expects to be fired today.
He is charged with academic misconduct, ranging from plagiarism to inventing facts and even entire historical episodes. Among the more unusual charges is that Churchill published essays under the names of other people then cited them in his footnotes as independent sources supporting his views.
A faculty investigative committee upheld the charges one year ago. The matter then crawled through an extensive appeals process, with CU President Hank Brown recommending dismissal in May.
The regents will meet today in closed session to hear the charges and Churchill's response. They will then deliberate in private but vote in public on whether to fire him.
If Churchill is dismissed, his severance pay will be one year's salary, currently $96,392. It was not immediately clear if he will continue to receive benefits such as health insurance or employer's contributions to his retirement plan, said CU Vice President Ken McConnellogue.