While supporters of Ward Churchill, the outrageous professor who was, at long last, fired by the University of Colorado, continue to attribute Churchill’s problems to jingoistic public pressure, the Rocky Mountain News gets to the heart of the matter:

“So what have we learned from the Churchill saga? That it is difficult, but not quite impossible, to fire a tenured professor. That the wheels of due process at a university are ridiculously slow, in this case taking 2 1/2 years. That public pressure on a university is not always a bad thing, since it can produce reform that otherwise would have been spurned. Does anyone suppose that CU would have bothered to revamp the process by which it grants tenure – which it did – without the spur of the Churchill fallout?

“Under President Hank Brown’s leadership, the university has put yet another awkward issue behind it. Even if a court reinstates Churchill someday on the improbable, spurious ground that his First Amendment rights were violated when he was fired, at least Coloradans will know that the faculty and leadership at their flagship university expelled his poisonous influence from their midst when they had the chance.”