Sunday, July 12, 2009

Ward Churchill gets "zip" - Judge throws out jury verdict

In the event you haven't already heard, in a case we've been following for months that arguably tested the limits of academic freedom (at least according to the plaintiff), the Colorado trial judge that presided over the Ward Churchill case has thrown out the $1.00 jury verdict in Churchill's favor on the grounds that the defendants were immune from suit.  It follows that the judge also rejected Churchill's request to be reinstated as a tenured professor in CU's ethnic studies department.

'I conclude that reinstating Professor Churchill would entangle the judiciary excessively in matters that are more appropriate for academic professionals,' Judge Naves wrote.

In briefs and hearings leading up to his decision, Judge Naves said, he received credible evidence that Mr. Churchill's reinstatement would 'create the perception in the broader academic community that the Department of Ethnic Studies tolerates research misconduct.' Such a perception, the judge said, will very likely make it harder for the department to attract and retain new faculty members. 'In addition,' he wrote, 'this negative perception has great potential to hinder students graduating from the Department of Ethnic Studies in their efforts to obtain placement in graduate programs.'

Churchill's attorney said he will appeal.

I am the scholarship dude.

(jbl)

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