By KIRK JOHNSON and KATHARINE Q. SEELYE
Published: April 2, 2009
Ward Churchill, who was a tenured professor at the
, left, walked with his lead attorney University of Colorado David Lane out of the courtroom after a jury ruled that he was wrongly fired by school administrators, on Thursday.
Ward Churchill, left, and his attorney
David Lane after closing arguments in Churchill’s civil suit against the University of Colorado in on Wednesday. Denver
But the jury, which deliberated for a day and a half, awarded only $1 in damages to the former professor, Ward L. Churchill, a tenured faculty member at the university’s campus in
since 1991 who was chairman of the ethnic studies department. Boulder
The jurors found that Mr. Churchill’s political views had been a “substantial or motivating” factor in his dismissal, and that the university had not shown that he would have been dismissed anyway.
“This is a great victory for the First Amendment, and for academic freedom,” said his lawyer,
David A. Lane.
Whether Mr. Churchill, 61, will get his job back, and when, was not resolved. Mr. Churchill’s lawyers said they would ask Judge Larry J. Naves of Denver District Court to order reinstatement, in light of the verdict.