University of Colorado professor Ward Churchill's conduct "falls below minimum standards of professional integrity," but he should not be dismissed, a confidential report says.
The report, obtained Wednesday by The Denver Post, says that Churchill engaged in research misconduct. But it recommends that Churchill be suspended without pay for one year and his rank reduced to associate professor, a move that could reduce his annual salary by more than $20,000. . . .
The proceedings "were specifically triggered by his exercise of his First Amendment rights," the report says.
Churchill's attorney, David Lane, said he agreed with that finding but would favor no punishment. "Any action they take against him, we end up in federal court," Lane said.
The AP reports how the Privilege and Tenure Committee's vote broke down:
"Multiple acts of plagiarism, fabrication and falsification," but, hey, nobody died, so let's not fire him. Lively commenting, as you might expect, over at PB, via whom and etc.
Three of the committee's five members recommended suspension, according to a copy of the committee report provided to The Associated Press on Wednesday. The other two members said he should be fired.
Churchill's work was "below minimum standards of professional integrity and ... requires severe sanctions," the committee concluded. It said Churchill "committed multiple acts of plagiarism, fabrication and falsification."
In a list of arguments against dismissal, it said his case "shows misbehavior, but not the worst possible misbehavior."
The committee said he did not fabricate data to obtain grant money, did not endanger people's lives by ignoring research standards and did not damage the progress of important research.