Our colleague, Alan Allport, staffs the AHA's Local Arrangements Committee for the Philadelphia convention, assuring me that Cliopatricians move in the highest ranks of the profession. His article,"Philadelphia for the Poor and Thirsty," Perspectives, 43 (December 2005), 42, suggests that the ranks may not be too exalted, he understands our condition very well, and he knows what the priorities are. We'll expect to adjourn from the session on Saturday to the Cliopatricians' Third Annual Banquet. [ more ... ]
I feel obliged to say something about the odd case of Professor William Bradford at the Indiana University School of Law, Indianapolis. Several of us here at Cliopatria, myself included, were inclined to take up his cause when it first became known in June. In many ways, he seemed like a strong candidate for tenure. He had excellent teaching evaluations and more publications than a number of his senior colleagues. After the still-unresolved Ward Churchill fiasco at the University of Colorado, the cause of a real native American with degrees from very strong institutions seemed like a worthy one, and his argument -- that he was being discriminated against because he is a conservative -- seemed plausible.
And all of those things may yet be true. But his story began to come apart when he, like John Lott [ed.: Why is he still at the American Enterprise Institute?], was forced to admit the use of sock puppets in internet exchanges. He has resigned from the Law School faculty after it became known that his claims for his military service were false. He saw no more active duty than George Bush did. He did not earn a Silver Star; and he did not retire as a Major. His story begins to sound like an odd blend of John Lott's and Mt. Holyoke's Joe Ellis. Once questions were raised, it was all too easy to show that both Joe Ellis and William Bradford doing their academic thing when they claimed to have been on the battlefield. That a major part of his self-representation was false helps, I think, to explain some of the frenzy about Bradford's campaign for tenure. Behind it lay the fear of exposure.
Some of the claims that Bradford made for himself were false, but some of his charges may yet be true. There is no evidence that those who opposed his being tenured had any intuition that his claims about military service were false. Still, I'm a little unnerved by how easily I might have been used as a spokesman for his cause. Smart conservative legal scholars, like Eugene Volokh, were not. But I challenge "Professor X" of David Horowitz's Front Page Rag, who took up Bradford's cause with such zeal, to give us a final article about the discrimination against this" conservative" legal scholar – one that acknowledges that his hero was, in part, a fraud. Given the recent revelations, however,"Professor X" may have been William Bradford. Yet another lie brought to you by David Horowitz.