PointofLaw.com
 Subscribe Subscribe   Find us on Twitter Follow POL on Twitter  
   
 
   

 

 

Ward Churchill Wins, Sort Of...



Let's say you hire a man for a job for which he's unqualified, in no small part because of his race (except that you get his race wrong -- he represented himself as an American Indian, but the Tribe he said he belongs to says he is a Caucasian). Then you reap what you sow, when he produces shoddy scholarship and disgraces his university by denigrating 9/11 victims as "little Eichmanns." Can you fire him for the shoddy scholarship? A Colorado jury said that motive was a pretext, and that he was fired for his disgraceful language, a violation of his tenure and First Amendment rights at a state university. Ward Churchill was awarded only $1 in damages, however, possibly an eloquent testimony to the jury's appreciation of him as a scholar. In so doing, the jury both vindicated tenure rights for state university professors and informed Churchill of what they thought of him.

A judge must now decide whether Churchill gets his job back (an equitable remedy not in the purview of the jury).

A sadder indictment of affirmative action in higher education is hard to imagine. Churchill stated, "CU has been exposed for what it is. It was found by a jury that I was wrongly fired." Yes, except if you were also wrongly hired -- therein lies, hopefully, a lesson for all universities.

Here's the Denver Post report on the case.

 

 


Rafael Mangual
Project Manager,
Legal Policy
rmangual@manhattan-institute.org

Katherine Lazarski
Manhattan Institute
klazarski@manhattan-institute.org

 

Published by the Manhattan Institute

The Manhattan Insitute's Center for Legal Policy.