ACTA is an independent, non-profit organization committed to academic freedom, excellence, and accountability at America's colleges and universities.

ACTA is an independent, non-profit organization committed to academic freedom, excellence, and accountability at America's colleges and universities.

ACTA is an independent, non-profit organization committed to academic freedom, excellence, and accountability at America's colleges and universities.

Small Victory for Churchill

September 8, 2005 by ACTA

Last month, the University of Colorado committee investigating Ward Churchill's academic conduct dropped one of the more damning charges against him: that he falsified his ancestry in order to present himself as Native American when he is nothing of the kind. Now the committee has dropped another charge alleging that Churchill tampered with the facts in the preface he wrote to a book by a former wife. As with the first dropped charge, it was not so much that the committee had absolved Churchill of wrongdoing, but that it had decided that adjudicating this particular accusation was beyond its investigative purview. Reportedly, the chair of the investigative committee wrote to Churchill that "these allegations, even if true, do not represent research misconduct. It is not the function of the committee to address any inaccuracies that may exist in a faculty member's writings." Though this most recent decision marks a minor reprieve for Churchill, he still faces six more charges of research conduct. The remaining charges are the most serious ones; they are also the most purely academic ones. Backed by credible scholars who share Churchill's basic perspective on how the U.S. has historically treated Native Americans, and involving accusations of plagiarism and misrepresentation of facts, the six remaining charges form the meat of the Churchill case. It is unlikely that the Colorado committee will refrain from adjudicating on them.

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