Thursday, May 31, 2007

Churchill on the cusp

Sadly, it looks like the lynching of Ward Churchill is nearly complete.

This whole episode is easily one of the worst infringements on academic freedom in memory. Even the Dershowitz-inspired clown show at DePaul pales in comparison. It's beyond despicable to sic an investigative committee on a professor directly in response to unpopular comments he made -- something that, amazingly, nobody disputes.

Even worse, after a lengthy probe, the committee only could cite relatively minor transgressions, a particularly notable point when you consider the amount of effort and the resources that were marshaled against Churchill. I doubt any academic could withstand such scrutiny and come off scot-free.

Even if Churchill doesn't lose his job, CU-Boulder has already sacrificed its integrity and commitment to free inquiry in its launching of an obvious witch hunt. The administrators at that institution have opened a door where any number of political charlatans are no doubt soon to come knocking.