Wednesday, April 22, 2009

"Black Ward Churchill" sues Columbia

Madonna Constantine, the Teachers College professor at Columbia who plagiarized from her own students--and who just happened to find a noose hanging from her office door as the report on her malfeasance was to come out--is suing the school for firing her. The New York Post:
The strongly worded, 92-page claim -- which veers into spy-time territory with its allegations of coverups, evidence destruction and conspiratorial "schemes" -- was filed in Manhattan Supreme Court yesterday.

"It was a prosecution, it wasn't an investigation," Constantine's lawyer, Paul Giacomo Jr., said of the school probe that led to her firing. "They basically set her up."

The complaint says that the allegations against Constantine were fueled by "academic rivalry and political intrigue" and grew into a "complex and calculated scheme to use false information to discredit" her.

"The manner in which the scheme was hatched and carried out is tantamount to an academic lynching," the complaint concludes.
The "Black Ward Churchill" line is from one of the comments to the piece, but the parallels--the charges, the countercharges, the school's incompetence and hypocrisy (though they did have the sense to hire an outside law firm to vet her work), and Constantine's amazing arrogance, among others--are instructive. The 1115 blog and this two-part Village Voice series last year have the good stuff.

Update: And don't forget Professor Constantine's immortal series of papers on racial microagression.

Update II: Is this a CV, or what?

Update III: The books. Pathetic.

Update IV: On consideration maybe it wasn't a good idea to have an outside firm examine Constantine's work. Can't find it right now, but I read somewhere that the report was actually done by a single lawyer at this firm, or mostly. A (probably) white, definitely male lawyer. Think what David Lane would do with that. But while the report apparently hasn't been made public (I sure can't find it), Madonna's defugalties do sound worse (and less easily obfuscated) than Wart's, not to diminish his accomplishments in the line.

Update V: Second-best Constantine phrase: "harmony control."

Update VI: The Columbia Spectator has a good piece. Fave quote:
The introduction to the 92-page complaint is titled “the academic lynching of Professor Madonna Constantine,” and states that these allegations were part of an “invidious scheme to ruin the scholarly reputation of the Plaintiff through a conspiracy to drum up and eventually publish false claims against the Plaintiff.”
The story says Constantine has already had one suit, in which she challenged the process Columbia used to fire her, tossed. Don't know if that means her lawyers can't bring up the lack of diversity of the lone white (probably) male author of the report, though.

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