Thursday, May 17, 2007

"7 + 2" profs' charges referred to Health Sciences Center

Forgotten in the leak of the Privilege and Tenure Committee's recommendation of suspension and demotion for Ward Churchill is the "7 + 2" professors' charges of research misconduct against the committee that issued the report on Churchill's scholarship. According to CU's Silver and Gold Record:

UCB Provost Phil DiStefano told S&GR this week that instead of referring the claims to the Standing Committee on Research Misconduct, which appointed the investigative committee, campus officials are sending the allegations to a similar group at the Health Sciences Center.

"What we're going to do is refer the claim to another campus, to prevent a conflict of interest or the appearance of one," he said. The faculty's document states that [Vice President for Academic Affairs and Research Michael Poliakoff, who denied the faculty's demand that the report be retracted] has a conflict of interest in dealing with the Churchill case because of his involvement with the American Council of Trustees and Alumni (ACTA). "Since ACTA has a long and well-documented history of animosity toward Ward Churchill, no one with ACTA affiliations, including a co-founder like President Hank Brown and a named proponent like Poliakoff is in any position to make an unbiased decision in this case," the faculty wrote.
The S & G R also notes that yet another ad hoc faculty committee weighed in on the supposed ACTA connection with a "large" ad in the Boulder Daily Camera:
A group of faculty identifying themselves as the "Boulder and Denver Faculty Ad Hoc Committee to Defend Academic Freedom" placed a large advertisement in the Boulder Camera newspaper on May 13, decrying the Churchill investigation and alleging that ACTA is financed by "right-wing foundations" and "enlists trustees (regents), alumni, governors and legislators to bring political and financial pressure on universities." The ad, which lists the Web site address of the CU-Boulder chapter of the American Association of University Professors, also claims that Colorado is an "ACTA stronghold," with ties to Brown, Poliakoff, Regent Tom Lucero and former Gov. Bill Owens.
Missed that one.

Churchill told S&GR last week that he has formally requested that Brown recuse himself from the dismissal case due to Brown's involvement with ACTA. . . .

In response,

CU spokesperson Michele McKinney told S&GR that Poliakoff is "not involved whatsoever" in the dismissal process for Churchill, and that Brown has not been affiliated with ACTA for almost a decade. She provided a document sent by Martin to Brown dated Dec. 11, 1997, acknowledging Brown's resignation from the National Council of the National Alumni Forum (ACTA's former name), due to his need to reduce his commitments in preparation for becoming president of the University of Northern Colorado. . . . McKinney also said that [Brown's former] position was unpaid, Brown has not been involved with ACTA since he came to CU, Brown had no role in the "How Many Ward Churchills?" report, and Brown has not even read that report.

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