Chancellor Phil DeStefano of the University of Colorado-Boulder, where Ward “Little Eichmanns” Churchill holds a $90,000-a-year job as an ethnic studies professor, announced yesterday afternoon that the university will investigate the self-proclaimed American Indian for fraudulent scholarship. Michelle Malkin made her own transcript of DeStefano’s statements and summarized it as follows:

“In the course of this review, we have determined that the allegations of research misconduct warrant further action.

“– Question of ethnicity. Regarding misrepresentation of ethnicity to gain credibility…we believe such misrepresentation may constitute research misconduct and failure to reach standards of research integrity.

“– We have concluded that allegations of research conduct related to plagiarism HAVE SUFFICIENT MERIT TO WARRANT FURTHER INQUIRY. Will refer to Boulder Campus Standing Committee on research misconduct.”

DeStefano made it clear that the inquiry will not be based on Churchill’s famous comparison of the victims of the 9/11 terrorist massacre to the Nazi butchers who slaughtered Jews. That remark, said DeStefano, was political speech protected by the First Amendment however repugnant it might have been. Churchhill made the comment in an article, “Some People Push Back: The Justice of Roosting Chickens,” written the very next day, Sept. 12, 2001.

Michelle’s also got a link to the report recommending the investigation. One of the key allegations is that Churchhill, in one of his books, made up an 1837 incident in which the U.S. Army supposedly distributed smallpox-infected blankets to Mandan Indians in an effort to commit genocide. According to Thomas Brown, the professor at Lamar University who made the charges:

“Situating Churchill’s rendition of the epidemic in a broader historiographical analysis, one must reluctantly conclude that Churchill fabricated the most crucial details of his genocide story. Churchill radically misrepresented the sources he cites in support of his genocide charges, sources which say essentially the opposite of what Churchill attributes to them.”

The university will also investigate charges that Churchill passed off a scholarly work by two different professors as his own.

The most interesting aspect of the university’s probe will be Churchill’s claim to be an oppressed American Indian, when all the evidence suggests the contrary–ranging from the testimony of Indian leaders who have been claiming for more than a decade that Churchill has lied about his ancestry to more recent genealogical research demonstrating that he has scarcely a drop of Indian blood in his veins. Churchill has been making the Indian claim–and wearing his hair in a Sitting Bull ‘do–since he first applied for a teaching job at Boulder in 1979. The university’s position (echoing that of the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) is that if you say you’re an Indian (it’s called “self-identification”) and you look like an Indian, you’re an Indian.

I myself think Churchill looks about as Indian as Kennewick Man, but the headband does help. And it’s pretty clear to me that Churchill played the Indian card to hoist himself into a tenured full professorship (and even, for a while, department chairmanship) at Boulder even though he has neither a Ph.D. nor credible academic training to teach ethnic studies.

Nonetheless, according to DeStefano, Churchill still could be found to have committed scholarly fraud if he used his supposed Indian identity to lend credence to his scholarship:   

“A remaining question is whether Professor Churchill has attempted to gain a scholarly voice, credibility, and an audience for his scholarship by wrongfully asserting that he is an Indian. There is evidence that Professor Churchill’s assertion of his Indian status is material to his scholarship, yet there is serious doubt about his Indian identity. The evidence is sufficient to warrant referral of this question to the Committee on Research Misconduct for inquiry and, if appropriate, investigation to determine whether Professor Churchill relies on his Indian identity in his scholarship and, if so, whether he has fabricated that identity. The Committee should inquire as to whether Professor Churchill can assert a reasonable basis for clarifying such identity.”

I can’t wait to see the results of that particular inquiry.