Alumni group holds back Churchill award

Students Vote Churchill as Favorite Teacher, Alumni Group withholds Award
May 26, 2005

Ward ChurchillThe University of Colorado Alumni Association is withholding an award that students voted to give embattled professor Ward Churchill for teaching in 2005.

Officials say they are holding back the award, which comes with $500, pending the outcome of a CU investigation into Churchill for allegations of academic fraud.

Churchill said the Alumni Association is penalizing his exercise of free speech and does not have the authority to withhold an award granted by students. He said the act is like a professor withholding a grade "because a student has been accused of bouncing a check at Walgreen's."

"The fact is that I've won the award, and (Alumni Association President Kent) Zimmerman is withholding it for reasons having nothing at all to do with the criteria of the award itself," Churchill said.

Churchill queried on class time
Administrator asks department chair about 'Maymester' allegations

By Elizabeth Mattern Clark, Camera Staff Writer
May 20, 2005

A University of Colorado official was considering discipline against professor Ward Churchill after receiving a complaint that he canceled too much class time, according to documents obtained by a radio station.

Churchill, a tenured ethnic studies professor, is teaching an American Indian studies course in the condensed 14-day "Maymester" period, which began last week. Each day is equivalent to a week's curriculum.

"It is unclear how much classroom time was held last week," Joyce Nielsen, associate dean for social sciences in the College of Arts and Sciences, wrote Tuesday to Emma Perez, chairwoman of the ethnic studies department.

The e-mail was posted on the Web by KHOW talk-show hosts Dan Caplis and Craig Silverman. The broadcasters have been calling for Churchill to be fired since controversy erupted earlier this year over an essay he authored that appeared to sympathize with terrorists.

Nielsen first wrote to Perez a week ago, saying she received a report that Churchill only handed out a syllabus the first day of class and made reading assignments the second day of class before dismissing his students.

She asked Perez to investigate and recommend discipline if the complaint was true.

On Saturday, Perez forwarded a response from Churchill, which said that he scheduled "reading days" at the beginning of the term, allowing for better discussion in subsequent classes.

"I call that success (assuming the object is to have students actually absorbing the content we're supposedly imparting rather than merely counting beans)," Churchill wrote.

He said the first class included a lengthy discussion about the course structure and student expectations, and the second was a reading day that did not constitute a "dismissed" class.

"The implication of the 'report' seems to be that I simply blew off my class and attendant obligations to the institution to do something else — like leave town for an honorarium lecture on another campus — this past week," he wrote. "This is categorically untrue."

On Tuesday, Nielsen wrote that there were still some unresolved questions about "too many canceled classroom days even if there was outside reading assigned for those days." She asked Perez to document last week's teaching time.

The outcome of the discussion was not clear from the e-mails.

Churchill said his class time has been documented and the "internal university matter" resolved.

"There is no issue," he said Thursday. "I'm not going to respond to Dan Caplis on how classes should be taught at the University of Colorado."

Contact Camera Staff Writer Elizabeth Mattern Clark at (303) 473-1351 or
Copyright 2005, The Daily Camera. All Rights Reserved.

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