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Saturday, February 26, 2005

University of Colorado Blinks, Readies Churchill Buyout

Little Green Footballs links to a Denver Post story reporting University of Colorado officials are preparing to offer Professor Ward Churchhill a pay-off to go away, uh, excuse me, an early retirement package to go away. Churchill has become a cause celebre among radical Leftists in the wake of controversy surrounding his calling the victims of 9/11 "little Eichman" because they worked on Wall Street.

The Post cites two unnamed sources describing university officials' desire to avoid a costly legal battle they believe would certainly result from their firing of Churchill. March 7 is the apparent deadline for making the deal because that is the due date for a report by an academic panel appointed by the university's regents to investigate Churchill's writings and speeches:

"Depending on the panel's findings, due the week of March 7, CU president Betsy Hoffman could inform Churchill of the university's desire to terminate his employment. Churchill would then have the right to appeal through a faculty committee.
"Typically such dismissals - even if done by the book - result in years of expensive lawsuits that Hoffman told legislators last week the university would like to avoid,"
according to the Post.

This news comes as no surprise here, as we said two weeks ago officials would find a way to make the Churchill problem go away without firing him. The typical academic administrator has no guts in disciplinary matters unless the problem individual happens to be a known political conservative or a professing evangelical or fundamentalist Christian. Be on the Left, however, and, as LGF observes:

"Hey! Sounds like a great deal. Libel 9/11 victims, lie about your ancestry, forge artwork, teach anarchists how to commit terrorism, assault reporters—and end up with 10 million bucks and a quick easy retirement! Who knew the halls of academe could be so lucrative?"

UPDATE: Belmont Club has further information from The Rocky Mountain News, including this quote from University of Colorado president Betsy Hoffman:

"The more talk there is about the need to fire him, the more difficult it becomes for us to do that, if that's what we decide to do," she told Republican lawmakers, urging them not to join calls for action.
"If we approach this issue wrong," she said, "not only will every regent be sued personally, but every administrator will be sued personally and professor Churchill will win his lawsuit with triple damages and be back on the faculty, a very wealthy man at our expense."

In other words, what we are witnessing in Colorado is a public demonstration of the as-of-now unchallenged oppressive power of the Left's Political Correctness ideology.

Belmont Club's Wretchard puts it this way:

"This fear, whether real or pretended, is an impressive demonstration of the power of Political Correctness, a compound of legal menace, the threat of extralegal action and of retaliatory vilification that is not some figure of speech but an actual, material force.
"Even if Churchill is 'bought out' at $10 million -- should he stoop to accept such a beggarly sum -- he will have unambiguously demonstrated the value of leftist protection. That he could have survived repeated exposure as an ethnic identity thief, academic fraud and art forger; that he could have assaulted a newsman on television and withstood the personal opprobrium of the Colorado Governor, only to receive a fortune in compensation, can only add to his fame."

Stalin would be impressed.