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University of Colorado President Elizabeth Hoffman Forced to Resign

Reported by Marie Therese - March 8, 2005

Yesterday, Bill O'Reilly interviewed attorney and radio talk show host Craig Silverman and University of Colorado Law Professor Lisa Wayne about the resignation of the embattled President of the University of Colorado President Elizabeth Hoffman. Silverman made the astounding claim that he voted for John Kerry, presumably trying to appeal to the more "liberal" listeners in Colorado. The Billster continued to refer to Ward Churchill as a "traitor." The consensus seemed to be that the CU Board of Regents is going to make an attractive buyout offer to Ward Churchill. It will interesting to see if the firebrand professor actually accepts it!

Law Professor Lisa Wayne noted that the University has other problems and that President Hoffman has been under a lot of stress since she took the job five years ago. MOST of those problems centered around a massive sex and sports scandal, including a recently uncovered $800,000 slush fund to be used to wine, dine and entertain young athletes.

Bill O'Reilly, of course, took full credit for the University's drop in endowments and donations (just as he takes credit for diminishing French wine sales in the US) and laid the blame at the feet of "traitorous" Ward Churchill. However, there has been a steady drop in collegiate giving throughout the United States since the tech sector meltdown. In fact, the University of Colorado endowments were in trouble last summer:

"In addition, Commonfund (www.commonfund.org), the endowment consulting firm, reports that 12 percent of the 637 institutions that it polled had invaded the corpus of their endowments, leaving many under water. Managing such troubled endowments is tricky, adds Judy Van Gorden, treasurer and chief investment officer for the University of Colorado. This summer she and colleague Loren Loomis Hubbell, treasurer and vice president for Finance and Administration at Mercy College (NY), spoke about such specific challenges at a TIAA-CREF endowment workshop. The two presenters explained that UMIFA (the Uniform Management of Institutional Funds Act), which was first promulgated in 1972, limits an institution's ability to spend from an endowment that is under water. "This is a quandary for an institution," says Van Gorden, who adds that UMIFA is in effect in all but three states: Alaska, Pennsylvania, and South Dakota." (Source: Coping with the Endowment Crisis.)

Neither of O'Reilly's guests favored the idea of a buyout for Churchill. Wayne because she feels Churchill is the victim of what outgoing President Hoffman called "a new McCarthyism" and Silverman because he feels it sets a bad precedent and that Churchill should just be kicked out because he's a traitor.

Here's a brief exchange:

O'REILLY: It's not subjective. He's a traitor. He's calling for a violent overthrow of the country. He's a traitor. That's not subjective. That's...


WAYNE: I disagree with you, Bill. I've read the essay. And that's not exactly what it says.

O'REILLY: He's got the tape. Silverman has got the tape. I heard the tape. He wants to sound like...


WAYNE: You can take anything you want out of context and argue it.

SILVERMAN: It's not out of context, Lisa, give me a break. You know what? When he accuses me of being part of a right-wing agenda, I'm a Democrat. I voted for John Kerry. There's a problem up there at C.U. And as David Harsanyi (search ), who was a guest on your show last week from "The Denver Post," he said that it's not as if the university is under the control of liberals. It could be way out there, wacky, radical left, like Ward Churchill. It's amazing that 199 fellow professors backed this guy. There's a problem up at C.U.... (End of excerpt.)

O'Reilly really cut Silverman off FAST here. He has carefully avoided mentioning that figure of 199 on his show, preferring to say only that 9% of the faculty support Churchill.

Unfortunately, yet again,the "liberal" Ms. Wayne was hopelessly ill-equipped to deal with O'Reilly and Silverman. She was falling all over herself to seem rational and fair-minded but ended up being self-deprecating and almost apologizing for Boudler, Colorado, as follows:

WAYNE: "Well, you know, it's interesting, because I live in Boulder, as well. You know, the feeling in Boulder, obviously — and it's a liberal bastion, there's no question about that. But there's a different feeling about what's gone on up there. And the thing is that most of us are feeling that, even though you may not agree with what he said — and many of us don't — but that's why you go to universities. You look for controversy. You want those kind of things that have stimulation in that environment."

She played her role as the accomodating little woman very well. While I am sure she is a good Law School teacher, she didn't have enough of a taste for the jugular to be on the same screen with O'Reilly and Silverman.

Uf course, that's the way O'Reilly likes his liberals: Tongue-tied and ineffective. I notice that he has never invited Churchill on his program, even though he said weeks ago he was considering it.

How do I know this? Trust me. If The Factor had extended an invitation to Churchill, and the professor had refused to appear, Mr. O'Reilly would have been bloviating about that slimy cowardly traitor Churchill who refused to face him and was HIDING under his DESK because he was AFRAID to APPEAR on the The Factor's sound stage!!

What's the matter, Bill? Scared of a guy who's bigger than you and actually knows how to defend himself, verbally and physically?

Click here to read O'Reilly's Talking Points Memo and the Silverman-Wayne transcipt,

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