Opinion: Ward Churchill too tough one to defend
""As a teacher, your responsibility is to challenge dogma and orthodoxy, not to just accept it." Really? Says who?

In this case, it's remorseless left-wing terrorist Bill Ayers. The co- founder of the murderous Weather Underground was in Boulder last week at a rally to defend his soulmate, Ward Churchill, in advance of Churchill's court date to overturn his firing from the University of Colorado.

It should be recalled that Churchill wasn't fired for challenging dogma, nor was he fired for his defamatory ravings against this country and the victims of 9/11. He was fired for academic fraud after an 8-1 vote by the University of Colorado regents, following a thorough investigation by his peers — two dozen faculty members serving on three separate committees — judged that he was guilty and should be held accountable for "repeated and deliberate" plagiarism, fabricated research, willful misstatement of facts, and violations of "bedrock principles of scholarship."

Churchill's lawyer, David Lane, has forsaken any hope of winning his case by defending Churchill's indefensible scholarship. Instead, he will seek to occupy the high ground of "academic freedom," arguing that his client was really fired for his public statements which, outrageous as they may be, are protected as free speech.

Personally, I've never believed that the principle of academic freedom is absolute, that it automatically makes any tenured instructor bulletproof for everything he or she might say or advocate in or out of the classroom. What would be the fate of an astronomy instructor who routinely insisted to his students that the world is flat? Or a women's studies professor who preached that women should be kept barefoot and pregnant? "

Get the Story:
Mike Rosen: It's tough to defend Churchill (The Denver Post 3/13)

Another Story:
Brown: Plagiarism "deliberate" (9News 3/13)

Related Stories:
Opinion: Ward Churchill murdered scholarship (3/11)