Churchill Sparks U. Colo. Tenure Review

The University of Colorado (search) on Thursday ordered a review of its tenure system after one of its professors created a furor by likening the World Trade Center victims to Nazi bureaucrats.

The university's governing Board of Regents voted to form a panel to examine the way the school awards tenure and the way professors are evaluated after they get it.

University President Elizabeth Hoffman (search) said some changes are likely at the conclusion of the review.

Tenure, which protects faculty members from being fired except for blatant misconduct, was thrust into the spotlight by the controversy surrounding an essay by professor Ward Churchill (search) in which he called the Sept. 11 victims "little Eichmanns" — a reference to Adolf Eichmann, the Nazi bureaucrat who helped carry out the Holocaust.

Churchill, a tenured professor of ethnic studies, has said he was arguing that some World Trade Center victims were participating in an unfair American economic system that provoked the terrorist attacks.

Since the publicity about his essay, Churchill and the university have faced questions about how he managed to get tenure.