Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Academic Freedom in Colorado

By now you’ve all heard about the Ward Churchill flap at the University of Colorado. You might have found yourselves wondering how a conservative in the Colorado public university system would be treated if he made controversial statements.

Well, wonder no more. Back in 1997 Luis Chavez, a history professor at Pikes Peak Community College, satirized th proliferation of ethnic studies programs by submitting a mock proposal for a "Gringo American Studies" program. He was suspended.

But wait, there’s more! Chavez appealed the decision, and it was overturned, but when his department chair, Katherine Sturdevant, testified on his behalf at the appeals hearing, "the administration stripped her of her chairmanship of the history department, took away her office on the college’s new campus, reassigned her to the older campus, removed her from various college committees, denied her merit raises, and gave her a negative evaluation after twelve years of positive performance reviews."

Professor Sturdevant decided to take legal action, and, four years later, a federal court ordered that she be reinstated, and that the college award her $75,000 and a raise.

Hat tip to Ralph Frasca at Division of Labour.

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