Colorado University professor Ward Churchill was fired in 2007 for plagiarism and "other research misconduct allegations." Of course, Churchill took it to the courts claiming wrongful termination.
A motorist who is stopped and ticketed for speeding because the police officer was offended by the contents of her bumper sticker, and who otherwise would have been sent away with a warning, is still guilty of speeding, even if the officer's motive for punishing the speeder was the offense taken to the speeder's exercise of her right to free speech.It is clear that the University's focus is not free speech but, maybe, outlandish and unfounded claims made in Churchill's published work. It gets complicated but it if you care to read it you will be able to understand it. Find in the link below to Ross Kamisky. Kaminsky reports that Colorado University's former president, Hank Brown, said that public support was "absolutely critical in keeping the university from caving in. " I found it shocking that a University won on a point that would keep a tenured professor out of the classroom, because you know how difficult it is to keep an academic from abusing a classroom. The good people of Colorado offered their support and gave the University the cover and courage to do what was right.
Beyond the great news that a violence-promoting fraud will no longer be warping the minds of University of Colorado students, this episode has had an important longer-term positive impact: a much-needed overhaul of the University’s system of tenure for professors. As Caplis said in a note of triumph, “Churchill’s fraud was so blatant and so contrary to the fundamental credibility of the institution that it forced people across ideological lines to recognize that something needed to be done.”You can read Kamisky's commentary and view the pdfs here. This is a comprehensive piece on Churchill and all that has happened since his firing.