- Nov 22, 2003
Recommendation of Interim Chancellor Phil DiStefano with Regard to Investigation of Research Misconduct
June 26, 2006
Fifteen months ago, I met with you to discuss the findings of specific allegations concerning the scholarship and conduct of Professor Ward Churchill. My Committee sought to answer two primary questions raised in various allegations. First, did certain statements by Professor Churchill exceed the boundaries of protected speech? Second, was there evidence that Professor Churchill engaged in other conduct that warranted further action by the Universitysuch as research misconduct, teaching misconduct, or fraudulent misrepresentation in performing his duties?
The key findings of this review were the following:
* The content and rhetoric of Professor Churchills essay on 9/11 and other works that we examined were protected by the First Amendment.
* Allegations regarding research misconduct, including plagiarism, fabrication and misuse of others work, had sufficient merit to warrant further inquiry, and they were referred to the Standing Committee on Research Misconduct.
* Questions raised about Professor Churchills possible misrepresentation of his ethnicity in order to gain employment advantage were reviewed, resulting in a finding of no action warranted. However, questions raised in regard to the allegation of misrepresentation of ethnicity to gain credibility and an audience for scholarship were also reviewed, and the Committee felt that such misrepresentation might constitute research misconduct and failure to meet the standards of professional integrity.
Nine allegations of research misconduct were sent to the Standing Committee on Research Misconduct. The nine allegations were reviewed by an Inquiry Subcommittee, which dismissed two of the allegations because they did not fall within the definition of research misconduct. The Inquiry Committee referred the remaining seven allegations to an Investigative Committee to explore them in more detail.
Membership of the Investigative Committee included three distinguished professors from the Boulder campus and two distinguished professors from other universities. I want to publicly thank these outstanding faculty members for their time and commitment to this difficult and onerous task. The investigative Committee concluded that Professor Churchill committed research misconduct. You all have seen a copy of that previous report and can refer to it for additional detail. It is also posted on our Web site.
The Standing Committee on Research Misconduct accepted the Investigative Committees report on May 15, 2006, and issued its report to the provost and dean of the College of Arts & Sciences on June 13, 2006. Both the Investigative Committee and the Standing Committee on Research Misconduct recommended sanctions ranging from suspension without pay to termination.
I have carefully reviewed the Report of the Investigative Committee, Professor Churchills responses to the Committee, and the Recommendations of the Standing Committee on Research Misconduct. I have met with and obtained the separate input of Provost Susan Avery and Todd Gleeson, the Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences. I met with Professor Churchill and his attorney, David Lane. After conducting the due diligence I felt was necessary, I have come to a decision regarding the recommendations of the Standing Committee on Research Misconduct pertaining to Professor Ward Churchill. Today, I issued to Professor Churchill a notice of intent to dismiss him from his faculty position at the University of Colorado, Boulder. My issuance of this notice now triggers a process that is governed by Regents Law, Article 5.C.1 and 2 and Regents Policy 5-I....