- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 16, 2006

BOULDER, Colo. — Professor Ward Churchill engaged in serious and deliberate research misconduct in his scholarly writings by plagiarizing, fabricating facts and misrepresenting research to support his political views, a University of Colorado faculty committee announced yesterday.

But the Standing Committee on Research Misconduct, which spent four months investigating Mr. Churchill’s scholarship, split on whether the embattled ethnic-studies professor should be fired.

Three of the committee’s five members said Mr. Churchill’s misconduct “is so serious that it satisfies the criteria for revocation of tenure and dismissal,” the 125-page report said.

But only one panel member recommended dismissing Mr. Churchill. Two members said the appropriate sanction would be suspension without pay for five years, while the other two recommended suspending him without pay for two years.

Mr. Churchill and his attorney, David Lane, could not be reached for comment. The professor, who has denied academic fraud charges in the past, will be allowed to respond to the report.

Colorado Gov. Bill Owens, a Republican, yesterday called on Mr. Churchill to resign, saying he had “tarnished the title of professor.”

Mr. Churchill drew national attention last year for an essay that compared victims of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks to a notorious Nazi. In January, however, the university ruled that the comments were protected speech and would be exempt from the panel probe.

The committee will review Mr. Churchill’s response before making a final recommendation to Chancellor Phil DeStefano, who will decide, probably in mid-June, any action to take.

Mr. Churchill has distanced himself from the university: He took paid leave from teaching last semester and isn’t scheduled to teach any ethnic-studies classes in the fall.

The committee, led by University of Colorado law professor Marianne Wesson, examined seven claims of research misconduct and found Mr. Churchill guilty of six of them. In one example, Mr. Churchill says in a 2003 essay that Capt. John Smith of Pocahontas fame deliberately introduced smallpox to the Wampanoag Indians in 1616 “as a means of clearing the way for the invaders.”

Mr. Churchill’s sources failed to back his claims, the panel said, and there is no proof that smallpox caused the 1616-18 epidemic.

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