A.A.U.P. Cary Nelson Calls for Reinstatement of Ward Churchill in New York Times

Cary Nelson, president of A.A.U.P., has called for the reinstatement of Professor Ward Churchill in a one-paragraph blog post in the New York Times. Why A.A.U.P. has chosen to wait after two years of an obvious persecution of a professor and to use a brief blog post to declare this policy is somewhat disappointing. Yet hopefully we will see a robust A.A.U.P. defence of Ward’s academic freedom and actively engage this matter publicly in its own media and internal Committee A response and recognise that to be silent is to lie. I am hopeful this announcement represents official A.A.U.P. policy which subsequently precipitates robust action:

104. April 6, 2009 11:10 am Link

I agree with Professor Fish that the disputes over Ward Churchill’s work should have remained in traditional scholarly venues and not been made the subject of disciplinary hearings. Ward Churchill should be reinstated as a faculty member at the University of Colorado.

Cary Nelson
AAUP President

— Cary Nelson

Dr Nelson was responding to a surprising Stanley Fish op-ed that supported Mr Churchill’s reinstatement and condemned the “circus” that, under the cover of academic misconduct, expelled him in 2007 from the academy for his 9/11 progressive views. I also posted a blog response in the New York Times.

146. April 6, 2009 1:19 pm Link

Stanley Fish has generally attempted to silence activist professors or more charitably to restrict their mission to university related issues of curriculum work, departmental activities and other boring and sundry activities. He has also usually given a rather narrow if not egregiously constricted view of academic freedom. Yet in this column, he is defending an activist professor who construes his profession as working for change and pedagogy as a moral act.

I am pleased that Mr Fish has unexpectedly seized the moment to contravene his own basic principles and has the intellectual elasticity to see injustice and condemn what is a witchhunt on the Boulder campus to destroy the career of a progressive, tenured, full professor.

— Peter N. Kirstein

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