Wednesday, February 09, 2005
The fact that he has tenure must, I'm afraid, be taken into account. Firing him, or forcing him to resign, might be morally satisfying but would be a tactical error. It would confer martyr status on him, and it would be interpreted by his students, and by Churchill himself, as punishment for speaking the truth to power. Besides, the fault here does not lie with Churchill; he's a symptom, not a disease. The fault lies, generally, with the sick academic culture in which he has thrived, and, specifically, with the administrative weasels at the University of Colorado who have repeatedly rewarded his dubious critical achievements. What should be done with Churchill, therefore, is...nothing. His notoriety should stand as an ongoing monument to the decay of intellectual standards in higher education, and his professorship as an ongoing monument to the intellectual cowardice of the school which hired and tenured him.Thus, inadvertently, Ward Churchill might teach us all a lesson.