Chancellor of CU-Boulder Sends Message to Students Regarding Ward Churchill’s Dismissal

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Earlier today, [July 24, 2007] the University of Colorado Board of Regents, acting on the
recommendation of University of Colorado President Hank Brown, voted to dismiss
Professor Ward Churchill from the faculty at the University of Colorado at
Boulder. I want each of you to know that I have carefully reviewed the
documentation and reports prepared by the various committees and by Professor
Churchill, and I fully endorse this decision. It is my hope and expectation
that this action will bring to close an unpleasant chapter in our history, and
allow us to move forward to a future that more appropriately befits the many
outstanding contributions the faculty, staff and students of the University of
Colorado at Boulder makes to the state, the nation, and the world.

The University followed due process in the dismissal proceedings against
Professor Churchill, according him all the rights and privileges due a full
professor in such a case. I further believe the institution upheld the long
tradition of academic freedom by standing firm on the issue of academic
integrity. Finally, I want to reaffirm that the University’s decision was not
based on Professor Churchill’s writings, politics or expressed personal views,
but rather upon his scholarship and its quality. That scholarship was examined
by three separate panels and more than 20 tenured faculty members who conducted
a thorough review, and who found that it fell beneath the acceptable standards
of our profession and the expectations of faculty here at the University of
Colorado at Boulder. Academic freedom caries with it a high level of
responsibility that we as an academic community cannot allow to be compromised. When these issues are raised, we have a responsibility – in fact, the
obligation – to act accordingly.


Perhaps the most important lesson for our community in the painful ordeal
surrounding Professor Churchill’s case is rooted in the values we must uphold
and convey to our students. The young people who come to us are transformed by
this institution, and they in turn, transform it with their energy, idealism
and hard work. They deserve to be taught by faculty who embody high academic
and personal standards. In a time such as ours, in which the very concept of
“truth” is often bracketed by relativism, battered with cynicism and reduced by
manipulation and “spin,” our students must know that when they enter our
classrooms, they occupy sacred territory where truth is always pursued on a
foundation of ethics, honor, and integrity.

We must now reaffirm our core values and not be deterred in our quest to
provide the very best environment for our faculty, staff and students and to
promote high ideals. Far from those who have said this case represents a
“chilling” of academic freedom, I believe it forms an important annunciation of
academic freedom, which time and practice have shown must be rooted in academic
integrity to prevail.

So, as we continue our pursuit of excellence in research, scholarship and
education, I believe we now do so with a stronger academic community, one ready
to face a new and challenging time in American higher education. Our students
are facing the challenges of a new century, a new global economy and a new era
of global conflict and uncertainty. We have an important role to play in
preparing them to enter that world, and in preparing that world to receive
them. We must now return our full, undivided attention to that urgent cause,
and I know we will.


G.P “Bud” Peterson

”’To read the letter from the President of the University of Colorado at Boulder, go to:”’ “Colorado University Fires Controversial Professor Ward Churchill”

”’G.P “Bud” Peterson is the Chancellor of the University of Colorado at Boulder.”’

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