Tuesday, June 27, 2006

University of Colorado Chancellor Advises Firing Author of Sept. 11 Essay

DENVER, June 26 — The interim chancellor at the University of Colorado said on Monday that Prof. Ward L. Churchill, whose comments about the victims of Sept. 11 prompted a national debate about the limits of free speech, should be fired for academic misconduct.

Professor Churchill, 58, was immediately relieved of his academic and research duties as a result of the chancellor's recommendation, but will continue as a paid professor pending a decision by the Board of Regents.

The chancellor, Phil DiStefano, emphasized in a news conference at the university's Boulder campus that Professor Churchill's essay about Sept. 11, in which he compared some World Trade Center victims to the Nazi henchman Adolf Eichmann, had nothing to do with the recommendation to dismiss him.

Mr. DiStefano said two committees had found evidence of serious misconduct in the professor's record, including plagiarism, misrepresentation of facts and fabrication of scholarly work.

Professor Churchill's lawyer, David Lane, said that the professor's ultimate dismissal was now inevitable, and that retribution for politically unpopular speech was the real reason. A lawsuit against the university alleging violations of the professor's First Amendment rights is also inevitable, Mr. Lane said.