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.

The Media as Academic Watchdog

June 20, 2005 by ACTA

Two weeks ago, the Rocky Mountain News ran a four-part series on Ward Churchill, the University of Colorado ethnic studies professor whose academic integrity has come into question since his comment about the "little Eichmanns" who died on 9/11 became nationally known. Each part investigated one aspect of the charges that the University of Colorado is itself presently investigating: there was a segment on whether Churchill fabricated historical events to make the U.S. treatment of native Americans look worse than it was; there was the segment on whether Churchill plagiarized others' work; there was the segment on whether Churchill had mischaracterized two federal Indian laws; and there was the segment on whether Churchill had misrepresented himself when he claimed to be of native American ancestry. The News found Churchill guilty as charged; it also unearthed new information about the extent of Churchill's falsification of fact as well as the number of times he presented others' work as his own. Now the paper's report--which displays remarkable thoroughness as well as commendable efficiency--could become an integral part of the University of Colorado's investigation. UC interim chancellor Paul diStefano has asked the Standing Committee on Research Misconduct to include the articles in its assessment of whether the charges against Churchill have enough merit to warrant further investigation. The Committee was supposed to announce its decision this month, but will now how an additional sixty days in which to consider the case.

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