Press Releases | Freedom of Expression

ACTA Responds to Allegations at Ward Churchill Trial

March 16, 2009

WASHINGTON, DC—Anne D. Neal, president of the American Council of Trustees and Alumni and a First Amendment attorney, released today the following statement in response to recent allegations made at the Ward Churchill trial in Denver:

In recent days, it has been alleged that the American Council of Trustees and Alumni demanded Ward Churchill be fired because he compared the victims of September 11 to Nazis. These irresponsible accusations have been repeated by respected media outlets including The Denver Post and the Associated Press. These charges are categorically false.

On February 11, 2005, ACTA publicly urged, in a news release, that the University of Colorado not punish Churchill for his statement on the victims of the World Trade Center attacks and that CU grant him due process.

Churchill did receive academic due process. After numerous committees of his peers probed his scholarship, culminating in a finding of “multiple acts of plagiarism, fabrication and falsification,” then-President Hank Brown reviewed the findings and recommended that the Board of Regents fire Churchill due to his clear dereliction of academic standards. ACTA supported this decision.

It is indisputable: ACTA insisted from the beginning that Churchill be granted due process, not that he be fired because of his views, objectionable as they may have been.

It is disappointing that journalists covering the Churchill trial have not made any efforts to contact ACTA regarding allegations made.

The American Council of Trustees and Alumni is an independent non-profit dedicated to academic freedom, academic quality and accountability.


Launched in 1995, we are the only organization that works with alumni, donors, trustees, and education leaders across the United States to support liberal arts education, uphold high academic standards, safeguard the free exchange of ideas on campus, and ensure that the next generation receives an intellectually rich, high-quality college education at an affordable price.

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