Thursday, September 06, 2007

Another despised professor

The Silver and Gold Record has a letter from CU professor Tom Mayer--Stasi interrogator, coprophage--and now, poet:

Editor's note: The following is an open poem to the CU community.

The Firing

The august board of nine

that governs the esteemed institution

and righteously defends its good name and scholarly probity

reconvened ninety minutes late.

The audience of hundreds,

motley in attire and demeanor,

hushed quickly.

The outcome was never in doubt

but the unfolding spectacle and prolonged clash of wills

exuded drama.

Eight to one the august board

fired the despised professor

with C.C. [unCommon Courage] the sole dissenter.

Already the despised professor was a marked man

branded "DESPICABLE" by

ten million irate citizens

one thousand scribes of our populist -- and corporatized -- media

fifty democratically elected legislators

five supposedly expert investigators

two state governors

and one university president.

The despised professor's

spoken, written, and electronic rhetoric

severely embarrassed

his less articulate colleagues.

But being despicable

is not a suitable cause for firing

at any esteemed institution

that values its good name and scholarly probity.

As luck would have it

a more actionable cause appeared:

an astounding congruence of politics and procedural rigor.

Fortune favors the powerful.

The august board,

which voted eight to one to fire the despised professor,

did not deny he had:

inspired students,

written books,

provided footnotes,

attracted readers,

received citations,

garnered awards,

adumbrated ideas,

promulgated systematic interpretations,

stimulated numberless discussions,

inspired social change.

Nevertheless the august board

had weighty reasons

to fire the man.

According to the unquestionable conclusions of unimpeachable authorities

the despised professor:

falsified history,

fabricated sources,

plagiarized authors,

not to mention other

rumored but undocumented,

sins of omission and commission.

Ample -- if fortuitous -- cause to fire

a deeply despised professor.

On that day the august board

cast its eight to one vote

before beating

a hasty, nervous, monosyllabic retreat.

What reasonable soul could doubt

the unquestionable conclusions of unimpeachable authorities?

What moral person could challenge

the considered decision of the august board?

Those who witness hypocrisy,

experience injustice,

see truth negated,

who comprehend the totalitarian persuasiveness of power

come by doubt honestly.

If not fearful or beholden,

if not vengeful or nursing a prior grudge,

if not starved of status or spoon-feeding a career,

if not complacent or drowned within private life,

if still able to locate merit in a bitter foe


no rocket science is needed to find

evidence flawed and incomplete,

conclusions questionable,

authorities impeachable,

august boards fallible,

the prosecution a house of stacked cards,

the firing a systematic framing,

the victim the commonweal.

And yet the professoriate,

leaving aside incorrigible malcontents,

greet the termination of their erstwhile colleague

with deafening quietude

and ferocious passivity.

The good doctors take care

never to offend Caesar,

never to think a thought

for which they might be terminated,


or even shot a second glance.

A crucifixion in the neighborhood?

No concern of theirs ...

let alone a mere firing.

Perhaps these voiceless inert instructors of the young

even thank the august board

for exorcising

a public embarrassment.

July 24, 2007.

On that date the august board

dispatched the despised professor,

preserving the good name

of the esteemed institution.

June 22, 1633.

On that date occurred another exorcism.

Another august board


another despised professor,

preserving the good name

of another esteemed institution.

Or, to be more precise,

a prior and more authoritative august board

inscribed a despised professor as antichrist,

condemning a man of the planets

to perpetual house arrest.

Galileo Galilei.

"And yet it does move."

What goes around will come around.
If blood makes you squeamish, please close your eyes while I slit my throat.

An even more bizarre letter from one R. Igor Gamow disputes what CU claims to have spent thus far to fire Ward:
A few weeks back, on Aug. 10, the Boulder Camera ran an article stating that the [Ward] Churchill case had cost CU $352,000! That number is simply ridiculous, and demonstrates how disingenuous CU really is with dispersing information to the public. I thought -- silly me -- that a ton of people would complain, citing the obvious omissions of CU continuing to pay a full professor's salary to Professor Churchill for nearly four years, while paying another professor to replace Professor Churchill, since he was not allowed to teach his classes. Also CU had to pay someone to do his committee work for three straight years. I am sure I could dredge up more costs, like who paid for the cost of maintaining his CU office for three years?
Turns out Gamow knows what he's talking about:
It cost CU some $1 million to have me fired and the game is still not over, and I was just a small fry compared to Professor Churchill! Part of this $1 million was $280,000 that CU had to pay to Dr. Dana Ruehlman, as a result of losing their case in a 2006 jury trial, Ruehlman v. CU.
Ruehlman v. CU? From the Chronicle of Higher Education:
A federal jury on Thursday ordered the University of Colorado to pay $285,000 to an instructor in the Boulder campus's physiology department after concluding that she had been sexually harassed by R. Igor Gamow, a prominent inventor and chemical engineer who was fired by the university in 2004 for "moral turpitude."
See? Bizarre.

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