A major step along the way toward firing University of Colorado professor Ward Churchill occurred today as Interim Chancellor Phil DiStefano delivered a notice of recommended termination. It’s about time. But Churchill’s firing is not a done deal yet, as the Board of Regents have the final say.
I do hope that he is removed. I don’t want to see him go because of his liberal politics, or his hateful article calling victims of the 9/11 attacks “little Eichmanns.” I want to see him go because he is a poor excuse for a professor. He has regularly described himself as a “Native American” professor, although he is no more Indian than I am. He claims to have a card that identifies him as such, but the card in question merely awards him the status of honorary membership in a tribe; it does not identify him as an actual Native American. The honor no more makes him a real Indian than my brother’s babysitting certificate makes him a mother just because it says “completing this course will help make you a good mother.” It’s like a celebrity with an honorary doctorate degree trying to pass himself off as a brain surgeon.
But Churchill’s bogus claims of Native American status are insufficient to make me call for his firing. Although his lying is indicative of a flawed character, it is his obvious plagiarism and scholarly misconduct that truly warrant his firing. After all, if he isn’t a good teacher, why keep him around? It appears that the University of Colorado shares this opinion with me.
So as we wait for news that Churchill is officially and completely fired, I don’t think it’s inappropriate to sing a little song.
“Na na na na, na na na na, hey hey-ey, goodbye” – Steam