CU No Longer Looking Into Churchill's Ethnicity

7 Of 9 Complaints Were Forwarded To Full Committee

After months of investigation, a University of Colorado panel has decided to drop part of its inquiry into professor Ward Churchill.

The committee recommended pursuing seven plagiarism charges against Churchill, but opted to toss out allegations that he misrepresented himself as an American Indian.

Churchill came under fire for an essay he wrote, likening the victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks to a Nazi official.

A letter from the university dated Friday informed Churchill of a faculty panel's decision to drop the matter, the professor said Monday.

"There's no basis to proceed," Churchill quoted the letter as saying, later adding: "It should have never been an issue.

"It can be taken as that we're not functioning as boards of racial purity with a board of white guys that sit around and decide who's an Indian and who's not."

University spokeswoman Pauline Hale said the panel's work is confidential and declined to comment on the story. The subcommittee of the Standing Committee on Research Misconduct was close to finishing its work, Hale said.

Churchill touched off a firestorm when he wrote an essay comparing some World Trade Center victims to Adolf Eichmann, one of the Nazis who orchestrated the Holocaust. CU leaders said he couldn't be fired over the statements because of First Amendment protections, but they ordered the faculty panel to review the allegations of plagiarism and that he falsely claimed to be an Indian to give his research more credibility.

"You've got essentially, a gaggle of white guys out there trying to discredit me and the worst they can do is call me a white guy," he said in a phone interview with The Associated Press.

In his response to the plagiarism allegations, Churchill's lawyer, David Lane, has said that in one instance the professor simply took articles written by other people and put them together for a chapter of one book, which Churchill did not take credit for.

In at least two other cases Lane has said Churchill authored articles and gave them to others who took credit for them, at least one of whom later accused Churchill of plagiarism.

"The that complaints that were dropped were claims of ethnic fraud and copyright infringement. Moving on are allegations concerning claims of plagiarism and academic misrepresentation," Lane told 7NEWS. It's important to note that the committee doesn't know whether he's guilty or not guilty. None of them are in Ward's field. They passed it on to the next committee, simply shrugging their shoulders saying, 'I don't know.' This next committee will have the authority to bring in experts in the field so they can get down to the nitty gritty of these allegations."

Churchill's Sept. 11 essay sparked outrage from Colorado Gov. Bill Owens and New York Gov. George Pataki, as well as from some families of the victims of the terrorist attacks.

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