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March 14, 2005

The continuing CU saga

From Rocky Mountain News:

University of Colorado regents want to know how ethnic studies professor Ward Churchill was granted tenure without going through the usual process. ...

But administrators who paved the way for Churchill's tenure, apparently without a full review of his scholarly work, are beyond discipline. They either have gone to other universities or are dead. 

"There is no one we could actually string up for this at this point," Hayes said. 

Churchill was offered a tenured position in Native American studies in February 1991. He had been working for more than a decade in a program that helps minority students, a position that doesn't normally lead to tenure. 

Professors usually get tenure only after spending six years in a teaching or research position, during which their work is carefully evaluated by scholars in their field. 

Administrators may have seen the addition of Churchill - who claims to be of American Indian heritage - as a way to increase the number of minorities on the faculty, according to records released by CU and interviews with faculty members.

...meanwhile...AgapePress reports...

[CU history professor Phil] Mitchell was recently told his contract would not be renewed after this school year because his teaching did not meet department standards and because he was proselytizing students in the classroom. The instructor says he was informed by department head Dr. William Wei, who Mitchell describes as a "wonderful man and a strong supporter."

"It was not his decision," the ousted teacher explains. "It was a decision handed down by 'unnamed persons' in the history department -- [but] I've never learned who they were."

According to Mitchell, a CU administrator was offended that he had students read Charles Sheldon's book In His Steps. Mitchell makes no apologies for using the Christian book.

"Quite frankly, the person who confronted me is a specialist in Eastern Europe [studies] and knows nothing about American Protestantism, and really didn't know what he was talking about," he says. But ... he was in a position of authority in the department and he criticized my use of that book. I took it quietly, but I filed away in my own mind that he did not know what he was talking about. It's an excellent book."

How dare Mitchell use books about American Protestantism to teach about American Protestantism!! The gall!!

coverage: PoliBlog (and here)

Posted by Danny Carlton at March 14, 2005 11:42 AM

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