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Three allegations dropped by Churchill committee

BOULDER ” Three allegations sent to a committee investigating the academic work of a professor who likened Sept. 11 victims to an infamous Nazi do not represent research misconduct, even if true, a newspaper reported Wednesday.

The allegations were brought to the attention of the university by the family of Ward Churchill’s deceased wife, Leah Kelly. They alleged Churchill got three facts wrong in a preface to a book of Kelly’s work.

“I have concluded that these allegations, even if true, do not represent research misconduct,” Joseph Rosse, chair of the Standing Committee on Research Misconduct, said in an Aug. 30 letter to Interim Chancellor Phil DiStefano, according to The Denver Post. “It is not the function of the committee to address any inaccuracies that may exist in a faculty member’s writings.”



Churchill’s attorney, David Lane, confirmed the newspaper’s report but refused to release the letter.

The committee last month informed Churchill it was dropping its investigation into whether he lied about his American Indian ethnicity to give his work more credibility. The committee continues to investigate plagiarism and other research misconduct allegations, which Churchill has repeatedly denied.

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“My own reading is that they’re getting sick of this,” Churchill said. “Five of the allegations have been bounced ” these three, plus the ethnic fraud allegation, plus the copyright issue. Meanwhile, punitive measures continue against me ” the withholding of my teaching award and my sabbatical.”

The university has yet to approve Churchill’s request for a sabbatical next year to write a book on the Black Panther Party.

CU-Boulder spokeswoman Pauline Hale said she could not comment on the dropped allegations because they related to a personnel matter.

Churchill touched off a firestorm when he wrote an essay comparing some World Trade Center victims to Adolf Eichmann, one of the Nazis who orchestrated the Holocaust. CU leaders said he couldn’t be fired over the statements because of First Amendment protections, but they ordered the faculty panel to review the allegations of plagiarism and that he falsely claimed to be an American Indian.


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