Phil Mitchell on Kevin McCullough Show

Kevin McCullough will be interviewing Dr. Phil Mitchell, formerly of Colorado university, on his radio show at 3:20 Eastern. Live stream here.

He was decorated in 1998 as “Teacher of the Year”. Yet according to Mitchell his teaching “is not up to standard”, and he has been too outspoken about his “Christian views” in this state-run University.

I’ve seen “Teacher of the Year” awardees fired before, as the award tends to be a popularity contest voted on by the students and often has little to do with one’s teaching ability, let alone one’s contribution to the literature. Still, it’s highly unusual for a long-tenured professor to be fired for the expression of views in the performance of his teaching duties. The contrast with fellow Buffalo Ward Churchill is interesting, indeed.

Update (1217): Correction: Steven Taylor notes below that Mitchell did not, in fact, have tenure.

Following up on this, though, I see something rather odd. From Mitchell’s CU page, I see: “I have both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education and a Ph.D. in American Social History specializing in contemporary American social, religious and cultural history.” I would find it most odd for a social historian, one who specializes in religion no less, not to talk about religion in class.

FILED UNDER: Education
James Joyner
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James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. I did a little research on this one (but have yet to post anything).

    The fellow in question wasn’t tenured, and it is unclear to me that he was wholly fired, as he is listed as teaching in their extensions program this term on the CU web site. According to a column in the Denver Post he is no longer teaching in the history department, however.

    The whole thing is a tad confusing.

  2. James Joyner says:

    Quite odd, indeed.

  3. He was canned, kids, very little confusing about that. As Mitchell was apparently one of the top ranked professors in the entire history of his, err, history department, and a teacher of the year, it seems pretty clear (to me at least) that the regressive progressives on college campuses are once again displaying that their idea of diversity only applies to skin color, not ideology.

  4. Matt says:

    In an interview I saw last night, he stated that he chose not to pursue tenure some time ago. He said all he wanted to do was teach. FWIW.

  5. Amy Grau says:

    I am glad to see that people are talking about Dr.Mitchell. He was indeed my favorite professor at CU because he taught so well and really brought history and its importance to life. It is sad that he is being discriminated against because of his beliefs when Ward Churchill is being fought for as he proclaims 911 victims to be Nazis. Who do you think should be protected for their views?

  6. Brittany says:

    I am currently a student at CU Boulder and have been a student of both Phil Mitchell AND Ward Churchill. There is NO comparison to be made. I have read Churchill’s books. He is a racist and a lunatic. Mitchell, on the other hand, is intelligent and loves to teach. I am so glad to know who the university apparently thinks is a better choice for my education.