Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Carroll: Wart's charming personality helped do him in

Vinnie of the Post (still weird to write that):
In the end, it was not only Ward Churchill's professional deceit, fraud and lies that doomed his career at the University of Colorado, but also his incurable personal nastiness, a nastiness that has been on display for decades in his writings, public discourse and interaction with many of those who crossed
him. . . .
No one who reads this blog or PB would disagree with that.

Predictably, Kevin O'Brien at Race to the Bottom doesn't like Naves' ruling one bit:
What is remarkable about the judge’s decision is that it adopted almost every argument proffered by CU’s legal briefs. Reading today’s trial decision felt like I was re-reading the CU briefs. For example, by not awarding even front pay in lieu of reinstatement, Judge Naves effectively blocked an award of attorney fees to Churchill on the basis that the $1 award represents a Pyhrric victory invalidating the award of attoreny fees under existing case law (in the event his quasi-judicial immunity ruling in favor of CU is overturned and the reinstatement and front-pay issues are no longer moot).
O'Brien also apparently believes Naves should have ruled on CU's "quasi-judicial immunity" before trial, even though both sides agreed to wait on that till the end; and that Naves' ruling will be questioned because he graduated from CU's law school, an idea I hadn't heard before and that O'Brien, though he raises it, doesn't think will fly.

The Chronicle of Higher Ed singles out Naves' opinion that reinstating Wart would leave the impression that CU's Effnic Studies department "tolerates research misconduct."

"The evidence was also credible that this perception will make it more difficult for the Department of Ethnic Studies to attract and retain new faculty members. In addition, this negative perception has great potential to hinder students graduating from the Department of Ethnic Studies in their efforts to obtain placement in graduate programs," Naves wrote.
Bwaahahahahahack. Eagle feather stuck in my windpipe.

Update: Lib-lawyer-about-town Scott Robinson thinks it's far from over. Nah, stick a fork (one of those big suckers you use to get a turkey out of the oven) in Wart; he's done.

Update II: Who the hell, by the way, is going to pay for Chutch's appeal, which Lane said somewhere would take maybe a(nother) year?

Update III: The pusillanimous Michael Roberts at Westword doesn't like Naves' decision either. He approvingly quotes (and links to) Benjie ("among Churchill's most vocal supporters") and Ratsu, while getting another rip or two in at Dan Caplis.

Update IV: JWP and his investigative parrot hear from CU attorney Patrick O'Rourke that he intends to bill Churchill for out-of-pocket legal expenses (transcripts, etc.) but not, for legal reasons, attorney's fees. The pirate with the atomic peg leg also links to longtime Chutch critic (and real Indian) Jodi Rave's post on the ruling against Churchill.

Update V: The American Council of Trustees and Alumni's Anne Neal, while wholeheartedly behind Churchill's firing (of course) has some reservations about Naves' ruling:
The judge's decision? It gets some things right, but is also problematic. Yes, peer review is critical to shared governance, academic autonomy, and professional standards. Yes, to reinstate Churchill would send an awful message to students -- that academic standards don't matter. But is the authority of trustees in fact comparable to that of judges here, as the opinion says? I am not so sure.

The case has, regrettably, offered a venue for unending bombast (and falsehoods) by Churchill and his lawyer. So it's surely no surprise that both lay people and lawyers are mighty confused as to the legal matters under review and the import of the various findings by judge and jury. With this in mind, we will wait and watch for further developments.
(via Roberts)

Update VI: The Post: CU bill for Churchill to top $10,000. The Gamera says the bill may be close to $50,000.

Update VII: Caplis and Silverman will have Chutch nemesis Thomas Brown and Vincent Carroll on today.

Update VIII: America's dumbest professor, Peter ("Pip, pip!") Kirstein, weighs in:
The issue is not one of equipoise but justice; the issue is not whether to tolerate only consensus academicians who teach without controversy but to permit critical thinking and even controversial pedagogy in the classroom; the issue IS whether a democratic society can abide a tenured faculty member at professor rank being fired for an article which attempted to balance the 9/11 fury at Al Qaeda with a call for introspection.

When I was supended [update: late sic] for an anti-infanticide email, I could have cared less [update: another late sic--is English foreign to this moron?] whether the university wanted me to return or not or whether my return would be disruptive. My job was and is to teach history and do it well without apologies or coercion in a nation that proclaims its love of democracy and free speech–when it suits its antidemocratic, war criminal ends.
Anti-infanticide e-mail? If you remember, the e-mail was in reply to an Air Force Academy cadet who asked for help with a school project:
You are a disgrace to this country and I am furious you would even think I would support you and your aggressive baby killing tactics of collateral damage. Help you recruit. Who, top guns to reign [my sic] death and destruction upon nonwhite peoples throughout the world? Are you serious sir? Resign your commission and serve your country with honour [sic].
Pip fucking pip.

Update IX: The, er, irrepressible Marc Bousquet at the Chronicle of Higher Ed's Brainstorm blog starts this way:
In my last column, I pointed out that the nationalist and “cultural capital” function of literature classes are in decline. With their tenure lines evaporating, many literature faculty are grasping at the claim that they teach “reading” and “thinking.”

By this they generally mean the training of managers and professionals in a degraded version of New Critical reading practices—spotting (or producing) ambiguity, complexity, and irony. For those who care about this sort of thing, this is really a version of a much older claim, that they teach rhetoric.

Combined with the right higher-ed brand names, the capacity to produce ambiguity and complexity in the tax code or the National Labor-Relations Act can get sold to a corporate law firm for a million dollars a year.

Of course that requires further training in the ability to live with oneself while eating meals that cost more than a retail worker’s monthly pay. That’s where a corresponding ethical agility—learned in, say, philosophy or theology classes—comes in handy.
He does eventually get around to Wart. Read the comments.

Update X: Oh, this is rich. Pravda lumbers in: "Ward Churchill and the death of academic freedom."

Update XI: Maximilian Forte thinks long thoughts about the case--long, stupid thoughts.

(via JWP, who appears to be enjoying himself--always a danger sign)

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