updated 7/1/2005 10:59:28 PM ET 2005-07-02T02:59:28

In a swipe at his critics, embattled University of Colorado professor Ward Churchill said Friday he has filed a formal complaint against himself, demanding that school officials investigate a claim he failed to acknowledge research help from graduate students.

With a broad smile, Churchill told The Associated Press he has never had a research assistant. But in a letter to university officials dated Monday, he said that “should by no means deter you.”

Churchill, who touched off a firestorm with an essay that likened some of the World Trade Center victims to a Nazi architect of the Holocaust, is under investigation by the university on allegations that he committed plagiarism, fabricated some research findings and falsely claimed to be an American Indian. He has denied the allegations.

Churchill was also accused of not giving credit to research assistants in an article this year in the Berkeley, Calif.-based magazine Anarchy: A Journal of Desire Armed. He said his complaint Friday was “no more credible” than the allegations raised in the magazine.

The magazine has no listed phone number and editors did not immediately respond to e-mails Friday.

University spokeswoman Pauline Hale said the school has received Churchill’s complaint against himself and “is taking it under advisement.”

The university’s investigation of the other allegations could result in his dismissal after reviews by two committees, the administration and the university’s governing Board of Regents.

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