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Truth comes out about law professor's background
December 4, 2005
William C. Bradford has resigned as an associate professor at Indiana
University School of Law-Indianapolis, effective Jan. 1.
He was featured in this space June 26, when he claimed that a faculty
committee had voted against him for tenure.
Bradford, 39, maintained that two left-leaning professors were leading
the charge for political reasons. They disliked him because he was an
Army veteran who supported the war, he said.
One of Bradford's allies, Professor Henry C. Karlson, pointed out that
Bradford was the real deal -- awarded the Silver Star and a major in
the Special Forces. Bradford said he was in the infantry and military
intelligence. He fought in Desert Storm and Bosnia, he said.
On the law school's Web site and its Viewbook, Bradford was profiled
as being in the Army infantry from 1990 to 2001. He wore a Silver Star
lapel pin around campus. He had a major's gold-leaf insignia plate on
After my column ran portraying Bradford as a victim of a politically
correct agenda, I was contacted by retired Army Lt. Col. Keith R.
Donnelly, a recent law school graduate, West Point graduate and Gulf
Donnelly had long been suspicious of Bradford's background, he said.
What really piqued his attention was the Silver Star claim -- "it is a
pretty high award for valor, and not many were awarded in Desert
Independently, Donnelly and I requested Bradford's service record from
the Army. It showed he was in the Army Reserve from Sept. 30, 1995, to
Oct 23, 2001. He was discharged as a second lieutenant. He had no
active duty. He was in military intelligence, not infantry. He
received no awards.
Meanwhile, Bradford promoted himself. He blogged on the law school's
student Web site. He did radio interviews. He went national on "The
O'Reilly Factor." David Horowitz, a champion for conservatives, took
up his cause.
When I asked Bradford in late summer about the discrepancy between his
record and his claims, he responded with a story that he said could
not be made public.
In September, Bradford admitted on the law school blog that he had
been assuming names and posting comments in support of himself.
Then The Chronicle for Higher Education, in a long article, reported
that Bradford said he received no military decorations. He maintained
that he was a major, however.
Meanwhile, law school bloggers hammered away at Bradford's
credibility. Bradford, formerly a vigorous participant, shut up.
His resignation came as no surprise.
I asked him Wednesday what he would do. He said he had a deal in the
works and could discuss it after Dec. 15.
"This is all very sad," said Karlson, who considers himself Bradford's
friend. Karlson believes the votes against Bradford had nothing to do
with his record. Everyone believed he was a decorated vet.
He also confirmed what others in academia have told me: Universities
don't check every detail in resumes. "I don't think that anyone comes
off looking very good in this," he said.