Does the Churchill firing signal the end of academic freedom?

United States
July 24, 2007 11:11pm CST
As you may have heard: it is official--Ward Churchill has been fired by the University of Colorado. Not over his 9/11 essay (which was protected by the First Amendment), but for academic misconduct, plagiarism and falsification. Now, there are some that consider this a signal that academic freedom is a thing of the past at CU. I don't consider that to be the case. I consider this to be CU holding their professors to the same standards that they hold their students to. Now, I am a student of the Communtity College of Denver, and someday hope to pursue a Masters degree at CU of Denver. If I commit academic fraud, not citing my sources and making stuff up, CCD would expell me and end my academic career. It is just that simple. CCD is mighty touchy about the whole issue; a day in each one of your classes that require the writing of a research paper is spent on "Do not commit plagiarism" speech. In my Macroeconomics class, Martin "Marty" Sabo had us cite every sentence and every thought that we used from another person's work. Every sentence, every thought. Period. If I have to do it, then I wnat the professors held up to the same high standard. So what do you think? Is the firing of Professor Ward Churchill a good thing, or a sign of bad things to come for those of us pursuing an academic career (whether it is a simple degree or higher rung on the academic ladder)?
1 response
• United States
29 Jul 07
well to be honest i can understand both sides of the fence. i dont know if firing was the right choice if he was a good teacher. it is hard to find good ones now days. i mean we all make mistakes so therefore it depends on his past i guess. the question is has he ever been in trouble for anythign else. has he over stepped before etc. if this is his first offese then i think they should of found other means to show him authority really. i mean even when you go to court sometimes the judge looks at all stuff and consdiers to make punishment diffent due to that. like the one that made the guys wear the chicken suit lol.
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