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Sunday, March 06, 2005

Ward Churchill - an academic freedom expert weighs in

   By Marion Delgado at 11:23 PM

Table Talk | Ward Churchill and the First Amendment: "popinque - 08:04 pm Pacific Time - Mar 6, 2005 - #28 of 28
Life wins!

As a longtime student of academic freedom (faculty member, AAUP member and officer, principal author of one university's faculty personnel rules) I would like to comment on the academic freedom issue re: Ward Churchill.

I speak here of the recognized standards of action against a faculty member established by the AAUP and by scholars in general, as well as by the courts.

1. What he says or writes as a citizen and not in his capacity as a faculty member at U of Colo has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with his employment there. Unlike the poor devils who work for the U. S. government, most business corporations, or -- worst of all -- any part of the media, a scholar is protected from his employer's intrusion into his private life, as we ALL ought to be.

(Just check out the so-called scholars, Harry Elmer Barnes et al, that Churchill named in his piece on Holocaust deniers, and see how many of them got fired.)

2. IF he wrote or spoke within the scope of his scholarly discipline, what he wrote or said is relevant to his employment. BUT there must be testimony of experts in that field of scholarship that his writings/statements show professional incompetence before his employer can act against him -- and that testimony must be judged by his faculty peers.

(Repeat the third paragraph above, in parentheses, which begins: 'Just check out . . .')"


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