Professor Investigated

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Decade-old University of Colorado documents show an official urged a faculty appointment for embattled professor Ward Churchill despite questions about his academic credentials.

Churchill landed a tenured faculty position less than a year later. That action bypassed the usual six-year academic review. That's according to correspondence between then-Vice Chancellor for Academic Services Kaye Howe and Dean of Arts and Sciences Charles Middleton.

Churchill is under fire for likening some victims of the September eleventh terror attacks to Holocaust architect Adolf Eichmann. The school is investigating Churchill's works to determine if he should be fired.

In 1990, CU officials apparently considered him an expert in American Indian studies who was being courted by other universities.

The correspondence was among documents released to KHOW AM radio talk show host Dan Caplis, who shared them with the Rocky Mountain News.

The documents don't explain why Churchill was able to avoid the normal tenure process. Scholars have questioned Churchill's conclusions for years, and some have suggested he lied about being an Indian to get his job at CU.