I'm going expand upon a post I put on Nancy Nall's site a while back:
I don't know about you guys, but I'm astonished that Ward Churchill got as far as he did.
If you go to his CU page, and look at his vita, you might very well be surprised.
One thing that really bothers me about his claims are the references to the four points on which American Indian status may be claimed: 1) through self-reference (what hooey. If I claim to be Tutsi, that don't make it so), 2) through community acceptance (and most of the Keetoowah community do not accept him), 3) through tribe membership (he is as much a Cherokee as Bill Clinton. Of course, Clinton does not claim the status, while Churchill does). Finally, the fourth way is by blood, and Churchill has no more than 1/32nd Native American blood, if any at all.
Second, he was chair of the Department of ethnic studies. Whaddafuck is diat? For people that can't cut it in Anthropology or Sociology? What a politically correct copout. What garbage. What hot air. What an insane excuse for a department. I'm not claiming that what they do is not valid, or that their faculty does not perform good research; rather, I am questioning why this field should not rightfully be in an Anthropology or Sociology department.
Finally, he is a tenured full Professor, and his highest degree is a M.A. in communications. Hello? A full professor?
He doesn't have a Ph.D., or any terminal degree. For those of you not familiar with academe, dis jus' don' happen. Especially at a "well respected" school such as CU Boulder. A full professor? Go figgur. My guess is that he played the "I'm a Cherokee, you have to give me tenure" card.
All that being said, he's an idiot.
The first amendment let's us say things like "W is a lying draft dodger" and "Ken Lay is a great American" and get away with it.
Now, the question becomes "Should CU and the board of regents fire Churchill"? As much as I think the guy is a festering ball of pus on all of academia, I have to say that no, they should not fire him. Simply because the veil of tenure allows him the academic freedom to pursue any thread of research he wishes.
At that point, all of his posturing becomes moot, because you just can't do that stuff in academe, no matter how much you whine about it.
Threatening tenure, in general, is a very bad thing though. The effects could be disastrous. We could end up with the David Horowitzes of the world running the Universities.