Controversial CU Professor

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An attorney for University of Colorado professor Ward Churchill is asking school officials if they plan to use --quote-- "the Nazi standard for racial purity" --unquote-- as they try to determined whether he's an American Indian.

A faculty committee is investigating whether Churchill should be fired over allegations that he plagiarized others' work and that he falsely claimed to be an American Indian to give his work more credibility.

Attorney David Lane has written a letter to Philip DiStefano, the university's acting chancellor. In it, he devotes little space to the plagiarism complaints and says Churchill can easily refute them. Lane also asks for clarification on how the university wants Churchill to prove that he's an Indian.

DiStefano isn't commenting, saying he's not seen Lane's letter and the case is in the hands of the Standing Committee on Research Misconduct. The committee is expected to take up to nine months to make a recommendation to DiStefano.

The university launched the investigation of Churchill after an essay came to light in which he compared some September eleventh victims to Nazi bureaucrats.