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Hoosier Anti-Patriotism By: Ruth Holladay
IndyStar.com | Monday, June 27, 2005

William C. Bradford is a patriot, a veteran and an Apache Indian.

But is he "collegial"?

More on that in a bit. He fought in Desert Storm and Bosnia-Herzegovina, served as a major in the U.S. Army Special Forces and received the Silver Star.

Now the 39-year-old legal scholar is engaged in a battle on the home front -- political correctness in academia.

In 2001, Bradford was hired as an associate professor at Indiana University School of Law-Indianapolis. His expertise is international law, federal Indian law and national security/foreign relations law. He has four degrees, including one from Harvard Law.

But he's under fire, he said, because his ideas about the war on terror do not conform to views held by Professors Mary Harter Mitchell, 52, and Florence Wagman Roisman, 66.

They are tenured, a status Bradford is seeking. Bradford said the two women have voted consistently to deny him tenure, despite good academic ratings.

In March 2004, he said, he was told during a review that someone described him as "uncollegial."

That's the new kiss-of-death buzzword. "Faculty seeking to get rid of others claim they are not collegial," Bradford said.

Bradford wrote a defense of the flag after 9/11 -- one that hung in the school lobby until some faculty objected.

He refused to sign a letter sent by Roisman defending Ward Churchill. He's the Colorado professor who called victims of 9/11 "little Eichmanns."

Roisman would not comment specifically on Bradford's collegiality or lack thereof. She denied his politics was the issue.

Professor Henry Karlson, a respected senior faculty member, finds Bradford collegial and more. "He's perhaps the finest young man we have recruited."

But, yes, there is a problem. "Some members of the faculty, for reasons I cannot ascertain, are trying, for lack of a better term, to drive him away."

Students have voted Bradford their favorite teacher.

Mitchell long has been an anti-war activist. She did not return three calls on Friday.

Roisman said she is a proud member of the left. "I am a person of very progressive politics," she said. "Everybody there would tell you I am the most to-the-left person (on the faculty.)"

In winter 2003, Roisman made news for objecting to a tree with ornaments in the school lobby. After it was removed, she successfully lobbied against a new display -- an Indiana winter scene.

Then-Dean Tony Tarr weathered that storm, then resigned in 2004.

The new, interim dean is Susanah Mead, a longtime faculty member.

On Friday, Mitchell and Roisman threw a party for Mead. Only women faculty and staff were invited. Mead acknowledged she heard some rumblings about sexism.

Bradford laughed. "If a male dean came in, and only male faculty held such an event, can you imagine the outrage?"

There he goes again -- being uncollegial.

Ruth Holladay is a columnist for the Indianapolis Star.

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