Academic sacked for misconduct

August 3, 2007

A professor who referred to some of the victims of the World Trade Center terrorist attacks as "little Eichmanns" has been sacked for academic misconduct. Ward Churchill, professor of ethnic studies, was fired from the University of Colorado at Boulder after a vote by the university's board of regents. The vote followed a report by a committee of professors in law, Mexican-American studies, history and sociology from three universities that accused Professor Churchill of having plagiarised and misrepresented the findings of other scholars, although it found him innocent of other charges.

The committee was divided on the issue of whether Professor Churchill should be fired; some pressed for a two-year suspension without pay. The committee said the university "was aware that he was a controversial public intellectual" when they hired him.

Professor Churchill said he had been sacked because of his political views and vowed to fight the decision. He had argued that the financiers killed in the World Trade Center were the equivalent of "little Eichmanns" because, like Adolf Eichmann in Nazi Germany, they were not charged directly with killing but ensured "the smooth running of the infrastructure" that enabled "genocide" elsewhere in the world.

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