BOULDER, Colo. – An embattled professor who set off a firestorm with an essay comparing some Sept. 11 (search) victims to a notorious Nazi denied allegations Wednesday he plagiarized another professor's work and physically threatened her.
The allegations arose during negotiations between Ward Churchill (search) and the University of Colorado over a buyout of his contract in the wake of his controversial essay resurfacing in January.
Talks broke down Friday after the Rocky Mountain News reported that a professor at Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia (search) accused Churchill of plagiarizing her work and threatening her.
Churchill flatly denied plagiarizing anyone's work and said he has sometimes made threats to sue but has never threatened anyone with violence.
"I have other things to do than sit up in the middle of the night calling people who irritate me," he told The Associated Press in an interview.
In his essay written shortly after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, Churchill called some World Trade Center victims "little Eichmanns," a reference to Adolf Eichmann, who orchestrated the Holocaust.
The essay drew little attention until earlier this year, when it resurfaced after Churchill was invited to speak at Hamilton College in upstate New York. Relatives of the dead and the governors of New York and Colorado denounced Churchill and the speech was canceled because of death threats against the professor.
Churchill, 57, a tenured professor of ethnic studies, said he would consider a buyout from the university if it could be "a template" for resolving similar disputes in the future. He said his goal was not to get rich.
"Not only was (the proposed settlement) under a half million (dollars), it was well under," he said.