Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Ward Churchill Responds

In A Travesty of an "Investigation" Ward Churchill responds to the UC Boulder report of his misconduct.

As a result, it was necessary to devote much of the 120-day investigative period, not to examining "the facts" at issue in my case, but to acquainting the committee with some of the most rudimentary procedures employed in American Indian Studies. Had qualified individuals been included on the panel, this preemption of my ability to respond to substantive matters would not have occurred.

In other words, they were too stupid to understand my work.

This complaint was, I believe, addressed in the report itself (page 68):

During the course of our investigation, Professor Churchill was unable to present any evidence that demonstrates that at the time he wrote those essays he was basing his account upon knowledge of the oral traditions of the tribes that were at or near Fort Clark in 1837. Instead he disrespectfully introduced Indian sources only belatedly, as a defense against this allegation.

What can be reasonably inferred is that the "rudimentary procedures" Churchill cited were really an attempt to justify what he himself had simply fabricated. His bitterness at being unable to fool the committee as easily as the radicals who flock to his speeches seems the obvious source of his rage.

The committees contempt for his ploy of claiming some specially methodology for himself is more evident later in the report (page 94).

He did not mention native oral sources in his published essays but adduced them only retrospectively and disingenuously in an attempt to defend himself against charges of academic wrongdoing....

They also anticipated the vitriol of his response in their own findings:

We note, however, that [Churchill's] habit of responding to an accusation by disparaging the accuser rather than addressing the question serves as a way to evade genuine confrontation with the charges.

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