Ward Churchill, a controversial activist for academic freedom, at a speech at Trinity University on Tuesday accused the university's president, Dennis Ahlburg, of a smear campaign against him some years ago in Colorado.True, true.
He also invoked the Hitler salute of “Sieg Heil” to Ahlburg's wife, Penelope Harley, as she stormed out of the auditorium after defending her husband in front of the audience of students and faculty.
“This personal vindictiveness in an institution that has welcomed you ... I find very, very hard to listen to. And quite frankly, pretty darn insulting,” said Harley, before leaving for her son's soccer match.
Ahlburg was in New York, but was reached by phone later.
“He comes in and insults me in my absence... and screams ‘Sieg Heil' at my wife?” Ahlburg said. “This is a champion for free speech that America does not need. The only speech he wants to hear is his own voice.”
Ahlburg became dean of the UC Leeds School of Business in 2005. Though the two never met, Churchill said some faculty and alumni told him Ahlburg was “bad rapping” him to potential donors, using Churchill's notoriety to convince them to give to the business school instead of the arts and sciences.Goodness gracious. Civility is dead in this country.
“He quietly, back-channel, through personal communications conducted about as vicious a smear campaign against me personally as it was possible to engage in,” Churchill told the audience.
Ahlburg called the accusations “absolutely false.”
“The last thing I would do to try and raise money is mention his name, goodness gracious.”
To be honest, btw, I don't remember this little incident a'tall. Wonder if it even made the papers back then. I'll look when I has the chancet, or maybe JWP knows.
Update: And by the way, Express-News, it's "CU," not "UC."