Sounds like a good day in Denver

March 19, 2009

Sounds like Philio Hutcheson has been kicking a little ass for the plaintiff this afternoon. And I love Emma Perez, just for the record. What a great closing line.  

From the Daily Camera.

Georgia State University professor of education, Philo Hutcheson, told the jury Thursday afternoon that the appropriate punishment for Ward Churchill — assuming that he had actually committed the transgressions CU found him guilty of — would have been to dock his summer pay or perhaps suspend him for a year with pay.

Churchill attorney Robert Bruce made it clear he was only asking Hutcheson for the purposes of answering the question to assume a scenario in which Churchill admitted to the charges brought against him. He told the jury that Churchill is firm in his contention that he committed no academic fraud.

Hutcheson said with the tremendous volume of work Churchill has generated, there are bound to be a few mistakes.

“In a huge output of work — I’ll be blunt — I would expect there would be some errors,” he said.

But he said a half dozen questionable footnotes from five to six pages of writings out of thousands of pages does not represent a pattern of misconduct.

Bruce also asked Hutcheson, who has a special interest in academic freedom and tenure, whether CU should have followed the recommendation of the Privilege & Tenure Committee and suspended Churchill without pay for a year instead of firing him.

Hutcheson agreed.

CU attorney Patrick O’Rourke, during cross-examination, tried to make the claim that Churchill’s violations were far more severe than a couple of plagiarized lines from a book. He asked Hutcheson if he had ever written something, attached someone else’s name to it, and then referred back to it as a third-party independent source.

Churchill has been accused of doing that with an essay he wrote to which Rebecca Robbins name was attached.

Hutcheson said no.

CU ethnic studies professor Emma Perez was next to take the stand. She took over as chair of the department when Churchill resigned the post in early 2005.

She said she was “appalled” by the investigative committee’s findings on Churchill, saying the report itself contained “fabrication” and “falsification.”

Perez told the jury she and some other faculty members shot off a letter of grievance to CU for its findings on Churchill and never got a response.

“Which showed me once again that ethnic studies is held in low esteem at the university,” she testified.

On cross-examination, O’Rourke asked Perez if out of the more than 1,000 tenure-track faculty at CU, fewer than 10 signed her grievance letter.

“Yes it was very disappointing, wasn’t it,” she responded.


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