There are rumors that the University of Colorado are contemplating a buyout. By paying a controversial professor to retire they can sweep the scandal under the rug. At least this is the speculation. There are a lot of professors who seem to support this idea.
The Volokh Conspiracy (28fb05) detailed the components of the scandal.
One hundred and ninety-nine faculty members at the University of Colorado at Boulder disgraced themselves today by signing an advertisement in the Boulder Daily Camera in support of Professor Ward Churchill. Although the University of Colorado has many distinguished professors, the advertisement makes it clear that the University also has many professors who don’t know or don’t care about academic and personal integrity. The Denver Post article on the ad is here;
Churchill called for the murder of anarchist writer Bob Black. He called for the death of a student newspaper cartoonist who had criticized a racist professor in Hawaii who wrote about her fantasy of mutilating and killing a white woman.
Although CU professors are required by state law to sign an oath to support the Constitution of the United States and the Colorado Constitution, Churchill has repeatedly called for the violent overthrow of the U.S. government, and has urged his audiences to perpetrate 9/11 type terrorist attacks in the United States. In doing so, he has provided explicit instructions about where the attacks should take place, and how the attacker should dress so as to be able to get to the target.
Now perhaps Churchill has credible defenses to the above charges, but if so, we have not yet heard them.
The issue of free speech is a red herring in regards to these problems. Another web log cited Mencken in regard to the scopes trial as saying that, when a teacher or plumber or anyone else signs on to their job, they agree to certain standards and points of view. There are always responsibilities that accompany freedoms.
The question is whether or not a nice nest egg and golden parachute is the proper reward when substantive allegations such as this have been put on the table.