University of Colorado president resigned amidst legal controversies

On March 7, 2005, University of Colorado (CU) President Elizabeth Hoffman announced her resignation amidst an array of legal issues. Two women had sued the public university, claiming they were raped by CU football players as part of an ongoing scandal involving allegedly administrator-sanctioned recruitment events for football players that involved drugs, alcohol and strippers. Additionally, Ward Churchill, a tenured ethnic studies professor, had made disparaging remarks about the victims of the September 11 terrorist attacks. Calls for Churchill's firing put Hoffman in the midst of a heated public debate over first amendment rights and free speech. After her resignation, Hoffman cited a call by the Governor Bill Owens to fire Churchill and her refusal to do so on First Amendment grounds as her reasoning.

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