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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted at 1:55 p.m., Tuesday, May 29, 2007

3 at UH back UC professor in counter-complaint

Associated Press

BOULDER, Colo. — A University of Colorado faculty committee that accused controversial ethnic studies professor Ward Churchill of research misconduct has itself been accused of similar breaches in a complaint filed by five professors, including three from the University of Hawai'i.

Churchill set off a firestorm by comparing some Sept. 11 victims to a Nazi. He was later accused of plagiarism, fabrication and falsification in some of his other work. University President Hank Brown wants to fire Churchill over the research allegations, according to a document leaked to the media this week.

Churchill denies the allegations and vows to fight any sanctions.

The counter-complaint, filed late Monday, is against a panel that conducted the primary investigation of Churchill's work.

Five professors from universities in Kansas, Hawai'i and Washington state and two attorneys accused the investigative panel of misrepresenting, falsifying, fabricating and suppressing evidence. They said the panel had exceeded its mandate in concluding that Churchill was disrespectful to American Indians.

They said the panel's investigation chilled academic freedom for people who challenge orthodox views and hampered research into "the real nature and effects" of Indian policies in North America.

Marianne Wesson, a CU law professor who was chair of the investigative panel, did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

Joseph Rosse, chairman of the university's Standing Committee on Research Misconduct, confirmed Tuesday he received the complaint.

Rosse said under his committee's standard procedure, two separate reviews would have to conclude the complaint had sufficient merit before it would be referred to an investigative panel.

The counter-complaint was signed by James M. Craven, an economics professor at Clark College in Vancouver, Wash.; Ruth Hsu, an associate professor of English, David E. Stannard, a professor of American studies, and Haunani-Kay Trask, professor of Hawaiian studies, all at the University of Hawai'i; Michael Yellow Bird, associate professor of indigenous nations studies, University of Kansas; Jennifer Harbury, an attorney in Weslaco, Texas; and Sharon H. Venne, an attorney in Edmonton, Alberta.