Open Letter to the University of Colorado Board of Regents Concerning the Firing of Professor Ward Churchill:
As scholars, activists, and concerned citizens, we protest your decision of July 24, 2007, to fire tenured American Indian Studies Professor Ward Churchill. To us, it is clear that:
* Ward Churchill was fired in retaliation for the exercise of his First Amendment-protected speech and in violation of the doctrine of Academic Freedom.
* The investigation into Professor Churchill\'s scholarship was initiated and pursued in response to the political outcry over his statements linking U.S. policy to the attacks of September 11, 2001.
* The pretextual nature of the investigation is illustrated by the University\'s refusal to investigate charges of misrepresentation and falsification of evidence, as well as plagiarism, which have been brought against the Investigative Report on which you have relied to dismiss Ward Churchill.
* Disciplines such as ethnic and gender studies were created in response to the failure of the \"mainstream\" academy to accurately portray our collective histories and realities, and professors like Ward Churchill brought in to ensure that students are exposed to a diversity of perspectives.
* The investigation and firing of Ward Churchill has had, and will continue to have, a chilling effect on all scholars and teachers who challenge the status quo, present alternative historical interpretations, or encourage critical thinking.
We realize that you are elected officials and have been under tremendous political and financial pressure to fire Professor Churchill. However, we urge you to take your responsibilities to the Constitution and to the education of future generations seriously, and to reinstate Ward Churchill.
The Ward Churchill Solidarity Network
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