... fully tenured professor Ward Churchill, an extremely important influence on Derrick Jensen, who has of course himself been much discussed lately in these pages, was fired today from his position in Ethnic Studies at Colorado University at Boulder. The charges? Let's hear it stright from CU's press release: "a pattern of serious, repeated and deliberate research misconduct that fell below the minimum stand of professional integrity, involving fabrication, falsification, improper citation and plagiarism."
My professorial self is fascinated with all this, and I've already read the entire 124-page report of the university's investigative committee. They've done a thorough, valuable job of this painful, thankless task. As an example of how real academics approach scholarship, this investigative report is both transparent and astonishingly good!
Churchill, you might recall, described some of those who died in the World Trade Center as "little Eichmanns," meaning that they were part of the US military-industrial complex that was killing innocent Iraqi civilians, especially children, through the sanctions in place up to 2001. That's not what he was charged with or investigated for, because his university declared that the essay including this phrase was a constitutionally protected example of free speech, but it made the committee's job that much more difficult because of the inevitable scrutiny applied to every step of their work.
But this news complicates rather my emotional and intellectual response to Jensen's Endgame II, which response was complex enough even before my recent and ongoing debate with Keith Talent around here. I'm tempted just to say that I'll shut up now, but it's more my style to drop into a flurry of despair, interspersed with good old-fashioned self-doubt.
Nice content for my 100th post, I'd say.