Who among us had fully formed values in our early 20s? Kids grow up, and all Indians I know believe that kids should have the opportunity to grow, to make mistakes, to become wise elders. Churchill's proper response to his insult of the dead would have been to apologize. His moral failure gives tribal Indians understandable reason to reject his invented Indian identity. His outrageous conduct led to a close reading of his work and it did not stand up to the vetting it never had at the front end, and that gave the University of Colorado cause to fire him.
If the University of Michigan wants a researcher and teacher, it would appear by objective criteria they have one. If they want a Cherokee, not.
Smith's record does not appear to require augmentation by hereditary advantage. Ethnic fraud is harmful to tribes and sometimes to individual real Indians if they are passed over for a fake in a job that really does call for a tribal person. Ethnic fraud is not harmful to universities unless they allow it to be. The University of Michigan should articulate its values and rule according to those values.
To be fair, Churchill directed his remarks at the WTC's "technocratic corps," its "relatively well-educated elite." Presumably that didn't include janitors, clerks, or interns.
Churchill was silent about whether the WTC's non-elite deserved what they got. Perhaps he considered them collateral damage. If so, that would make him no different from the well-educated elite in the White House today, who don't care how many civilians they kill in their mad hunt for "terrorists."
For Churchill's response to the criticism he received, see Terrorism: "Good" vs. "Evil."