University Panel Recommends Full Investigation of Embattled Professor
P. Solomon Banda
Associated Press Writer
Sep 9, 2005
DENVER (AP) - A University of Colorado panel recommended a full investigation Friday into allegations of research misconduct involving a professor who triggered a national outcry for comparing some Sept. 11 victims to a Nazi.
The faculty committee called for investigating Ward Churchill on seven allegations involving plagiarism, misuse of others' work and falsification and fabrication, interim provost Susan Avery said. The charges could lead to his dismissal.
Churchill wrote an essay comparing some World Trade Center victims to Adolf Eichmann, one of the Nazis who orchestrated the Holocaust. He has refused to retract the statement but has said he wishes he had phrased it differently.
University officials ordered the investigation after they decided that Churchill, a tenured professor of ethnic studies, could not be fired for the remark.
The committee on Friday recommended dropping two other allegations, that Churchill falsely claimed to be an American Indian and that he infringed on a copyright.
Churchill said the remaining allegations before the committee might be grounds for a reprimand, but only if the university can show his actions were not common practice.
"I believe I can show it is common practice, and common practice among the professors at the University of Colorado," he said.
The faculty panel, known as the Standing Committee on Research Misconduct, has 30 days to choose three to five members to investigate the charges more fully. That group will have 120 days to complete its inquiry and make recommendations to university officials.
The university's governing Board of Regents will make the final decision on whether Churchill should be fired.