Petitions to Support Carole Vance and Kim Hopper

Welcome. Please use the pages on this site to read and sign petitions and letters regarding the shocking firing of internationally-renowned, long time professors from the Columbia University School of Public Health. The Department of Sociomedical Sciences at Columbia’s Mailman School of Public Health has terminated Professors Carole S. Vance and Kim Hopper without cause or compensation after more than 25 years of distinguished service.

At the same time that Columbia University has just announced a record-shattering $6.1 billion haul from the capital campaign, Columbia’s School of Public Health has decided that non-tenured faculty who don’t bring in at least 80% of the salaries in grant money must go – regardless of the quality of their teaching or the impact of their scholarship.

*NOTE* You must provide a name and email and make a comment on the petition to sign, but we will not share, trade, sell, or otherwise make your email available to anyone else, and we will never make any emails public. We will also not use them to contact you about other causes.

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241 thoughts on “Petitions to Support Carole Vance and Kim Hopper

  1. I’m frankly very puzzled to learn of this decision by the Columbia School of Public Health. Carole Vance and Kim Hopper are dynamic scholars who enhanced the university’s reputation.

  2. Pingback: Petition to support Carole Vance and Kim Hopper | Feminist Philosophers

  3. Sarah Schulman, Distinguished Professor of the Humanities, City University of New York, College of Staten Island says:

    Carole Vance is an important figure in the history of feminism. She is known internationally, and deeply respected and appreciated at home.

  4. Kathryn Shanley, Professor of Native American Studies, University of Montana.

    Carole Vance has been an innovator, tireless visionary, inspiration to so many people. It’s hard not to be absolutely cynical about Columbia’s decision to let her go.

  5. Marie Bruvik Heinskou, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology, University of Copenhagen, Denmark says:

    Carole Vance is a very important figure in the history of feminism.

  6. I do not understand the reasoning used in the dismissal. Seems totally illogical.

  7. Carole Vances’ contribution to sexuality studies and sex work has been very important. Her dedication to her students likewise.
    This decision is definitely wrong. Revoke it!

  8. Thousands, probably millions, of people, have benefited from Carole Vance’s important work. Her work on sexuality and feminism and human rights and sexual minorities is outside of the mainstream and should continue to have a home at Columbia, which likes to tout itself as supporting pioneering professors. Columbia, renew immediately!

  9. This is really shocking. Carol Vance is such a hugely important scholar. What has happened to Columbia to do such a thing?

  10. With recent news about how differently men and women react to health care treatments, this is a giant facepalm.

  11. Neo-liberalism at its best/worst! This is how world over they will pressurize scholars to work only for grants and funding.We must respect contribution of scholars like Carol Vance in terms of institutional structures as well. Feel terribly concerned.

  12. Prof Carole Vance’s work has been foundational to my understandings of sexuality and gender. This news is deeply shocking and disturbing.

  13. Prof. Hopper’s seminar on the Law and Policy of Homelessness was one of the best classes I had in all three years of law school.

  14. I’m only one of scores of people that have benefited not only from Carole’s scholarship, but also her thoughtful and generous comments on my own work and struggles on these issues over the years. She is an outstanding scholar, mentor, and role model. Columbia should be so very proud to have her with them, and renew her contract at once.

  15. Carol Vance’s teaching and work has been very important to me in developing my understanding of sexuality, gender and rights. Any university should feel privileged to have her as one of their faculty.
    – Alankaar Sharma, India

  16. I have had the opportunity to attend a workshop conducted by Carol Vance, she was a terrific teacher. She is obviously committed to students. What more does a teacher need to be?

  17. Carol Vance’s seminar on Sexuality, Gender, Health and Human Rights opened up an entire field of thought to me and many others – a true public good, taught with thoughtful brilliance, humour and generosity.

  18. I wholeheartedly support this petition. Please add my name!

  19. Johanna Crane
    Assistant Professor
    Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences
    University of Washington-Bothell

    I have great respect for Kim Hopper and his work on homelessness and mental health. He is a true asset to the program and the profession.

  20. I *strongly* support this petition.

    Laura Ciolkowski
    Associate Director
    Institute for Research on Women, Gender, and Sexuality
    Adjunct Associate Professor of English & Comparative Literature
    Columbia University

  21. Carole Vance is one of the most critical thinkers to shape the field of sexuality studies. She is a gifted teacher, generous mentor, and innovative thinker. Students over the years have chosen to study at Columbia to study with Carole. She is no ordinary faculty member, but has developed a field and taught generations of highly successful scholars. What more could a university want? She is a giant among feminist scholars.

  22. By all means, Columbia, tell the world how you value money over scholarship, paradigm changing innovation, or teaching.

    • (Please note: American Studies at Purdue University is the username of an event planning group for the American Studies program at Purdue University and does not reflect the sentiments of the combined faculty, staff and students of Purdue’s American Studies program.)

  23. Carol is an icon and a pioneer in her field. She generously allowed me to sit in on a dynamic seminar on health, rights, sexuality and justice that she led, with some of the great thinkers on those subjects, while I worked at the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission. Her generosity of spirit and intellect resonate across the globe. Shame, Columbia School of Public Health! Renew Carol’s contract at once.

  24. This decision represents a loss to academics and a big step backwards for the university’s role in public life.

    Jerry Jones
    Executive Director
    National Coalition for the Homeless

  25. Fiscal Specialist, Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families. As an employee of a public-sector agency and an alumna of the Mailman School of Public, this news is most disturbing. I am hopeful Columbia will do the right thing and reinstate these Professors.

  26. I am shocked and appalled that Columbia would let such a renowned scholar as Carole Vance go. I am deeply indebted to her for her mentorship, her ongoing support, and her cutting edge theoretical insights on visual culture, art, documentary studies, censorship, sex work and sexuality studies. She has remained a critical ally and inspiration to artists and scholars nationally. It is doubtful that I would be a tenured professor at the University of Michigan without her.
    Carol Jacobsen, Professor, The University of Michigan

  27. These are the people at Columbia whose scholarship we know and whose example we seek to emulate. After all they have done for you over so many years–enhancing your reputation, teaching and mentoring your students, building connections outside the university, putting research to work. Shame on Columbia.

  28. Kim Hopper’s work has been instrumental in my career working with people experiencing homelessness. I served with him on the Board of the National Coalition for the Homeless, and his learned and passionate advocacy greatly influenced the scope and effectiveness of our work.

  29. I am appalled at Columbia’s actions.

  30. Kim Hopper is perhaps the most learned and objective scholar on the issue of homelessness in the country. Academic pursuits and molding the future of this country should always take precedence over private dollars. Universities hire people to teach and they should leave the fundraising to the development department. Please reconsider your decision as it will deny opportunity and knowledge to many students. Both professors should be back quickly because the message being sent by the university is not a positive one.

  31. I am horrified at the Columbia’s actions. I came on the Board of Directors of the National Coalition for the Homeless when Kim was President. It was due to his work that homeless advocates around the nation were able to quantify at least a 30% undercount of people experiencing homelessness in the 1990 census – which of course has huge implications for federal funding. Couple this with Kim’s brilliant academic work and Columbia shamefully has lost a passionate advocate and scholar. Feels like a 21st century version of Columbia’s “strawberry statement!”– Shameful!

    Bob Erlenbusch, Executive Director, Sacramento Regional Coalition to End Homelessness, and former professor of Social Work, University of Southern CA

  32. Like many of my colleagues, I’m shocked at Columbia’s dismissal of Kim Hopper. I’ve worked with Hopper for over 25 years and have a deep appreciation for his intellect, contributions to the field in several areas related to homelessness, mental health and social inclusion. He is a model of engaged scholarship who should be celebrated by Columbia. Incidentally, we’ve also raised millions in federal grant funds through our collaborations.

  33. I’m a grad of Cornell (BA, Chemistry) and U Penn (PhD, Molecular Biology). This is a shocking symptom of how the worship of $$$ uber alles is eviscerating the U.S. academic enterprise. If Universities don’t remember their mission – which is research AND teaching AND spreading knowledge – then they will not survive…and probably our culture will not survive, either.

  34. Our universities have become corporate with no regard for scholarship. These scholars should have been tenured many decades ago. Money makes the world go round, and money is all that universities seem to regard as important. Just looking at the list and and background of people who cared enough to speak up shows the value of these two scholars.

  35. If money is not put in the service of human values, who knows what values it’s serving? We do not want to ultimately aid and abet people who are amassing money to use it for reasons that are not beneficial to the health, strength and productivity of our communities and our nation.

  36. I use Carole Vance’s seminal text *Pleasure and Danger: Exploring Female Sexuality* very often in teaching.

  37. The short sightedness of this decision is appalling. The Columbia administration, like most university administrations, are simply parasitic and invidious to the intellectual health of academia.

    Gene Roberts
    M.A. Student in Sociology
    Columbia University

  38. I add my name to this Petition to Support Carole Vance and Kim Hopper of Columbia University. I am appalled to hear of this system of “Grant” salaries. It’s abhorrent, disgusting and disastrous to the education of our students.

  39. If such influential and caring professors can be dropped thoughtlessly after more than a quarter century of dedicated work, then the university system in this country is rapidly becoming worthless. It is not your marble halls and manicured lawns that bring in such hefty tuition and carry on the reputation of your institution. It is the faculty, pure and simple. With unprecedented public access to autodidactic tools and free online lectures, the most important draw of the increasingly cost-prohibitive four-year university is and will become even moreso the mentorship model of teaching by dedicated experts in the field. This move suggests that Columbia’s (and I dare say, other universities’) models, metrics, and goals are shockingly out of step with the needs of the nation. Theirs is a telling decision.

  40. Elizabeth Chacko, Associate Professor of Geography & International Affairs, The George Washington University says:

    I am puzzled as well as shocked that Columbia University would fire professors such as Carole Vance and Kim Hopper, who are well known for their scholarship and work both within the academy and in the public sphere. I could understand if they were not productive researchers or short-changed their students. But professors of this caliber! Columbia, regardless of your ranking, you have fallen several notches if your mission is still to create knowledge and to educate.

  41. Shocked to read this. I am not a professor, just a Politics graduate currently studying towards an additional degree on Anthropology and both professors have done so much for this field! It is an unfair and totally illogical decision that needs to be revoked (and an apology issued to both Professor Vance and Professor Hopper) immediately.

  42. As a non-academic but someone who has worked for over 25 years in the university environment, I’ve been appalled by the corporatization of academia, and this attitude, along with the culture of “publish or perish” has to be seriously revisited if intellectuals are to retain the precious right of academic freedom and the ability to be actively involved with the community at large. Columbia University should immediately reinstate these two academics who are making such valuable contributions to the world.

  43. As someone who is seriously thinking of going into academia, I think this is a worrying development. I support this petition!

  44. Not only is Mailman embarrassing itself by loosing two universally respected and admired scholars, it is eviscerating its graduate program by loosing two of the few people who are committed to mentorship and training. It’s already decide to require faculty to bring in 80% of their own money, but what will it do when it looses all its students and the tuition and labor they provide?

    Zoë H Wool
    Postdoctoral Fellow and Lecturer
    Department of Anthropology
    Columbia University

  45. Pingback: Petitions to Support Carole Vance and Kim Hopper | livingLAH

  46. As an incoming student to the Mailman School of Public Health that has contemplated entering academia, I am dismayed by this trend and frustrated by this action against two such laudable professors whose work has greately benefitted the public and been integral to setting Mailman apart.

    While I am not currently an academic, I do support these petitions.

    Lauren Haynes

    Incoming M.P.H. Candidate
    Mailman School of Public Health
    Columbia University

    B.S. Biomedical Engineering
    The Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science
    Columbia University

  47. Scary how much this business model is being accepted within University culture. Shocking that such behavior has become the norm.

  48. Quite shocked about this. I’ve known Kim Hopper for more than 40 years and he has worked tirelessly on behalf of students, patients, the homeless, etc. Few other academics have the record that Hopper has. Shame on Columbia.

  49. When we become a society, and it looks like we are, which bases everything on the bottom line, we quickly become impoverished intellectually and spiritually. Carole Vance and Kim Hopper have made enormous contributions to our City’s and Columbia University’s rich academic, intellectual and community life. Please reinstate them immediately.

  50. A professor’s work should be valued for their contributions to the betterment of our communities.

    Coachella, CA.

  51. Jessica Block
    Ph.D. candidate, Clinical Psychology
    Old Dominion University
    Virginia Consortium Program in Clinical Psychology

  52. With revenue positioned as the bottom line, Universities will lose innovation, academic freedom, and student mentorship. Granting agencies are looking for other kind of returns. It’s no way to promote higher education in a country that is sorely in need of more of it.

    Anne M. Galvin
    Assistant Professor of Anthropology,
    St. John’s University
    Queens, NY

  53. I was shocked to read about this. A school that is so well known for its quality of education that brings in a lot of money in student fees and only pays its professors 20% of their salaries?! Do the students know this? I would boycott Columbia. Academics (like artists) should always be pushing at the edges of how we live our lives, challenging us to think from other perspectives. Both professors seem to be models of this. I would like to see good teachers being able to teach and not pushed to do research and fund-raising for their research in order to keep their jobs. Columbia needs to re-think things. This is really shocking.
    Alison Miyake
    B.A. (Economics and Japanese) University of British Columbia
    M.B.A. Ivey School of Business, University of Western Ontario
    Japan

  54. Professor and Director,
    Herberger Institute School of Art
    Arizona State University

    I am very concerned about absolute and rigid metrics of any kind being used to draw lines around the worth and value of academic contributions.
    the contributions of these two faculty to their local, regional and world communities is immeasureable and counts for much more than research dollars. It is unfortunate that the prestige of such strong mentors and public thinkers cannot find a supportive home in a University setting.

  55. Alexandra Juhasz
    Professor of Media Studies
    Director, the Munroe Center for Social Inquiry

    Carol Vance read my doctoral dissertation, Remediating AIDS, in the 1990s when I was at NYU because she was one of only a handful of scholars working on this issue at that time. Her mentorship, leadership, and intelligence was then, as now, invaluable to my work, and that of many fields.

  56. This is outrageous. I support this petition.

    Faculty
    Goddard College
    York College and College of Staten Island (CUNY)

  57. I was saddened to hear of the loss of these two highly regarded professors and ask the university to reconsider.
    Paige Morrow
    London School of Economics and Political Science

  58. I am shocked and saddened to hear of the termination of these two highly regarded professors and request the university to reconsider.

  59. Kim Hopper is an indispensable source in the study of homelessness. Beyond that, he is an amazing professor and mentor. This is a great loss for Columbia’s student body and a decision that needs reconsidering.

  60. Associate Professor of International Studies and Anthropology
    Ramapo College of New Jersey

    I hope Columbia reconsiders it myopic decision. These two scholars are not only well-respected among the academic community, they are bridges into the communities that Columbia lives in. By severing ties with them, Columbia sends a message that it is not interested in fostering a constructive relationship with Harlem, Washington Heights, and the people of New York.

  61. Valerie Sperling
    Professor of Political Science and Women’s and Gender Studies
    Clark University (Worcester, MA)

  62. Valerie Sperling
    Professor of Political Science and Women’s and Gender Studies
    Clark University (Worcester, MA)

  63. Carol Vance’s brilliant teaching during my MPH at Columbia were the reasons I pursued a doctoral degree in Medical Anthropology. She opened my eyes to the world of engaged scholarship that could be both critical and applied. I hope the university reconsiders this very poor decision.

  64. I took Prof. Carol Vance’s seminar on Sexuality, Gender, Health and Human Rights twice, as an (auditing) human rights advocate in 2000 and the second time while doing my MA in Human Rights at Columbia University in 2006. The seminar and the group of startegic thinkers that Prof. Vance brough together (including Prof. Alice Miller who served as my thesis advisor), have greatly contributed to my knowledge and skils, and crtical thinking which I have been using since then in human rights advocacy while in civil society and politics.

    Columbia University should give up such injust and self-defeating policies or will no longer be what it is.
    Adrian Coman

  65. Pingback: Injustice at Columbia: Power and public health | a paper bird

  66. Sarah Gunther
    Associate Director of Programs, Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice
    Columbia Human Rights Studies MA student

    Carole Vance has made unbelievable contributions to the sexual rights field. She is also one of the best teachers I have ever had, connecting academics and activism in incredibly meaningful ways. Columbia needs to reverse this unjust decision.

  67. Money! The last word in any complex and the educational industrial complex seems to be falling right in place with every other complex in America. An educated, informed society?

  68. The broken funding system for higher ed will continue to chase away many of academia’s best and brightest to institutions who support and compensate them adequately… if they aren’t simply sacked first.

  69. Mary Baine Campbell, Professor of English, Comparative Literature, Women’s and Gender Studies
    Brandeis University

    Carol Vance was a great light in my feminist education, and I’m sorry for those who will not have the opportunity to work with these extraordinary people. I’ve just advised a student not to take the graduate fellowship Columbia has offered in their field, unless of course the university rescinds this absurd decision.

  70. Based on what I have read thus far, petition for these two professors to receive tenure/be renewed at Columbia.

  71. This is extremely short-sighted and a blunder that will seriously harm Columbia’s reputation.

    J McAllister
    Senior Lecturer
    University of Botswana

  72. Carol Vance’s work has been an inspiration for a whole generation of feminist activists and scholars. Columbia University must seriously not give a damn about “public” health or public anything. Rename school to Mailman School of Privatised Knowledge.

  73. Very disturbing news. Professor Vance’s important and pioneering work has been, and continues to be an invaluable inspiration for scholars within many fields.
    Lotta Samelius, PhD,
    affiliatied with Linköping University, Sweden

  74. This is a scandal. Columbia University is not what it was.
    Marilyn Hacker
    Professor (Emerita)
    Department of French Studies
    CUNY Graduate Center

  75. The work of two internationally respected and vital scholars is truncated for their failure to reach the 80% mark. Columbia should re-consider this decision immediately.

    Kevin D. Ming
    PhD, Cultural Anthropology

  76. Carole Vance is one of the world’s most important scholar-activists in gender, sexuality, and public health. This is a shameful moment in Columbia’s history. She and Hopper MUST be hired back.

  77. Associate Professor of Gender Studies
    Adjunct Associate Professor of American Studies, History and Human Biology
    Indiana University Bloomington

  78. This is an extraordinary dereliction of duty by Columbia University. It is extremely short sighted. Vance and Hopper are public intellectuals as advocates for people who are marginalised in many ways. Almost by definition, many of the people who have been assisted by their academic work and analysis are not on social media. How many of the homeless are tweeting and on Facebook?

    Universities say they want ‘impact’ – Vance and Hopper provided mountains of ‘impact’, not because they had to fill in an absurd form, but because of their commitment to reasoned, scholarly advocacy. This is so very precious in today’s academic climate, I hope that Columbia’s decision has been made by an ignorant, junior bureaucrat and that they will rescind it.

    I remember the very good work done by the Mailman School of Public Health at the Cairo Conference and many other places, where academics worked side by side with activists like myself and women’s organisations and networks. This work laid valuable foundations for future collaborations on many issues. I hope that petition will bring this valuable work to public attention again.

    On a more hopeful note, when Manchester University decided to terminate Sheila Rowbotham’s contract, they were amazed by the strength of feeling from her students who campaigned for her. The young administrators had no idea that this gentle, softly spoken academic was a leading feminist writer and activist whose work was known world wide and had influenced generations. Their decision was reversed. There is no shame in Columbia re-thinking a bad decision. The shame will be in Columbia sticking to it.

  79. Well, Columbia, I’m not surprised at all, but I am saddened. Also, it seems like a pretty foolish move. Even from a profitability perspective, it’s not just grant money that counts, but tuition money from students who come to your school because of the reputation of its professors. Getting rid of those professors seems counterproductive.

  80. Pingback: CONDEMN by Liking & Reposting: Columbia Univ Fired 2 Eminent Public Intellectuals because they hadn’t brought in enough Grant Money | Economic Sociology and Political Economy

  81. Kim Hopper has been a tremendous inspiration and help to our Columbia University Public Psychiatry Fellows for many years, both through his creative teaching and dedicated consultations to our Fellows.

  82. Starting in the 1980’s and continuing to the present, Kim has been a seminal influence in urging the City to develop services for the homeless. It is incomprehensible that the CU School of Public Health will abandon Kim after such a distinguished career of creative scholarship and public service.

  83. I am appalled and heartbroken. I cannot overstate the influence that Carol’s work, intellect, and commitment has had on my own professional and personal trajectory — and on my understanding of how human sexuality and reproduction affect everything. Don’t they see how these actions will harm the university in a very real and very serious way?

    I am the Europe Director at the center for Reproductive Rights

  84. Damian Lima
    HIV $ STI Tester and Counselor
    Boston, MA 02111
    It is a disgrace that notable and committed scholars were fired for such a reason. Public Health is about serving humanity, not about making money.

  85. Please Add my name to this petition
    Dr Elena Loizidou, School of Law, Birkbeck College University of London, London UK

  86. It is shameful that leading scholars have been deprived of their livelihoods in this manner and that students have been deprived of their insights and mentoring.

  87. Columbia should reconsider this decision. Some things are more important than the bottom line when it comes to scholarship and the advancement of knowledge as well as engagement in changing society.

  88. By terminating Dr. Vance, Columbia will not only lose one of it’s most influential and pioneering scholars on gender and sexuality; it will also lose one of it’s most caring, and generous faculty members. Please do the right thing and reinstate Dr.Vance’s appointment.

    Lisa Kim

  89. Carole Vance indeed changed the way we think about sexual politics and history. I’m a member of the generation that was hugely influenced by Vance’s writings on sexual politics, and I know this didn’t stop with my generation. She remains a major international public intellectual.
    Karen Dubinsky, Professor, Global Development Studies/History, Queen’s University, Kingston Ontario Canada

  90. Both these people are followed outside their field, exactly the kind of work Nicolas Kristof was discussing. This is an impoverishment of the discourse of the university and its range of tolerable opinion, since work that centers on these populations and topics is hardly of great interest to funders. Will we have professors who stay on the right side of the bright line of funders? Of course they will. Shame on you.

  91. Carol Vance continues to be an eminent academic leader. This is a shortsighted and appalling treatment for distinguished people– universities are only as good as the people who teach in them.

  92. It is disgraceful that any university should engage in such callous activities, but for an institution like Columbia to participate in this total disregard for true scholarship is unbelievable.

  93. I am a Columbia PhD and an Assistant Prof. of Anthropology. I have taken a graduate class with Carol Vance many years ago. I find it utterly redundant to praise her–the name speaks for herself, loud and clear. I have more or less been under the impression that the same goes for “Columbia” as well. But I am not very sure right now. I am outraged by and ashamed of the institution whose badge of honor I have otherwise been carrying with pride.

  94. Suzanne Rizzo, international public health worker and former women’s and gender studies student at Wellesley College

  95. This increasing reliance on the “business model” – rather than the service or scholar models – in academia is frankly alarming. When such a trend exists in a school of public health, it is even worse. How can a faculty objectively and independently study the health effects of economic, social, and political forces in society when its professors are increasingly tethered to running grant-getting mini-enterprises? Firing such cherished, talented, and accomplished professors due to lack of grant funding – all the while expanding fundraising and taking up an ever growing footprint in Harlem with gleaming multi-million-dollar buildings – is shameful. I am an alumnus of the College of Physicians and Surgeons, and do not plan on donating in the future as a result of this.

  96. This is outrageous!!! Capitalism gone mad! Vance’s scholarship is globally renowned, how could she be an un-tenured professor over a quarter of a century!?

  97. I’m dismayed and horrified. Vance’s scholarship was important to me and others in graduate school; her work in sexuality studies has only grown since. Shame on Columbia!

  98. Its really shocking and sad to hear about this. Carole Vance is not just a name limited to Columbia University but is known in many other parts of the world for her outstanding work and contribution in the area of gender, public and sexuality. Dr. Vance i believe is not just a professor but a person who reaches out to the students and gives quality time to listen to them, a true mentor i would say.

    Columbia University will lose a gem of a person if they don’t think through this decision. I think she should be reinstated with due apology and respect.

  99. The aim of scholarship cannot be reduced to the ability to raise money. Prof. Vance and Prof. Hopper are not just academics or health experts but great public intellectuals as well.

  100. I cite and teach the invaluable contributions of Carol Vance to the analysis of the Culture Wars. This is a bad day for true scholarship. I am amazed though that Columbia so brazenly revealed their crass motives.

  101. I’m a Columbia Alumna and believer in a Columbia that supports scholarship, excellence in teaching, and equitable access to health care *more* than the bottom line. Please help me maintain my beliefs and reconsider letting these two scholars go.

  102. Carole Vance is an amazing professor. I’ve taken her teachings to heart and practiced her lessons in my professional and personal life. She is a tremendous asset to lose.

  103. Leslie Kwan, MPH
    Research Associate, Board on Population Health and Public Health Practice
    Institute of Medicine, The National Academies

  104. I worked at the Washington Heights campus where Carole Vance and Kim Hopper’s scholarship, research and vision loomed large. This decision seems immensely shortsighted.

    Colin Robinson
    Writer/Activist
    Trinidad & Tobago

  105. Kim Hopper is one of the most important medical anthropologists of his generation. He is one of the sharpest commentators on anthropological work I have met in my more than 30 years in the field. As stated in many places he is a true public intellectual whose work on homelessness and global mental health has been intellectually rich and made huge impacts in the field and in the community. I strongly support his reinstatement at the Columbia Mailman School of Public Health.

  106. Arvind Narrain, Advocate at Alternative Law Forum
    If the impact of scholarship is to be measured as transcending the limits of academia and making its way into the wider world, then Carol Vance’s work merits special mention in the field of gender and sexuality. Carol remains a model of how reserach , teaching and mentoring are all roles which can fuse to make a contribution to a field of learning and activism. The great contribution of Carol Vance is to influence an entire generation of LGBT as well as gender and sexuality activists by introducing Indian activists to theories of gender and sexualty. Carol taught the CREA Institute of Sexuality and Rights and through that yearly commitment influenced generations of LBGT activists in India. We were introduced to the work of Gayle Rubin and others through Carol’s inspiring lectures and found ourselves a language to describe what was going on. As far as sexuality activism in India is concerned, Carol Vance’s contribution is unparallleled.
    We hope that the University will reinstate , who is clearly one of the university’s treasures ( from a global point of view). to her rightful position..
    arvind narrain

  107. I am totally shocked. Hope that this senseless conduct of Columbia University will end immediately.

  108. Saskia Wieringa, Professor of Gender and Sexuality, University of Amsterdam, Secretary of Kartini Asia Network says:

    Carole Vance has been a leading scholar in her field for many decades. She has had and still has a huge impact on academics and activists alike. She is respected worldwide for academic work, her dedication to her students, and to the wider society . How foolish can a university be to even think of getting rid of some one who is such an asset to the field and to any university.

    • Carole Vance and Kim Hopper, who have served for 25 years should not be terminated. Their contributions must be acknowledged and rewarded by instituting duly for the greater good of the university and women kind.

  109. It is sad that the application and impact of these professors’ scholarship is not taken into consideration at all. If impact is taken out of the equation, what is the purpose of the scholarship? It seems it is merely to generate revenue for the school, which in turn factors into the school’s ranking and reputation.

  110. Over the past 25 years, I’ve worked with women’s human rights and sexual rights advocates in many countries — from Turkey to India to the Netherlands and beyond, Carole Vance is praised as an incredibly gifted scholar and a genuinely committed mentor. What is Columbia missing about Vance’s intellectual contribution?

  111. Carol Vance’s pioneering work in the domain of gender and sexuality has been and still is inspiring thousands of scholars and activists to think and act beyond the box of intellectual and social conventions and to engage in constructing safe, healthy, happy sexualities. That Columbia University seems to willfully ignore and even discard this influence and quality impact is unacceptably disrespectful to Carol as well as extremely harmful to its own standards and reputation. I sincerely hope that Columbia will immediately apologise and retract its shortsighted abysmal decision.

  112. Although I have little info as to how and why this happened, but I clearly remember Carole Vance as a wonderful person and scholar who gave me invaluable support while preparing my PhD proposal.

  113. It’s sad that the administrators of Columbia seem to have forgotten the entire purpose of a university and are instead running it as a business.

    Columbia, by this action you’ve shred your own reputation as a serious centre for deepening and disseminating knowledge.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if these are the canaries in the coalmine, though in fact I think you’re risking a voluntary exodus of dedicated teaching staff.

    The result will be that it won’t be long before professors and prospective students alike decide to go elsewhere for a quality education that’s not motivated by money.

    You’ve got one chance to rehabilitate your reputation before the damage is lasting. I’d use it if I were you.

  114. From the Mailman mission:
    •To create health equity in a diverse world

    Really???

    T. Gundling
    Professor of Anthropology
    William Paterson University

  115. This is a shocking example of the extent to which market rationality is taking over universities – increasingly disregarding issues of content, purpose, quality and social impact and relevance of academic work in favor of indicators of productivity, income generation and efficiency.

  116. Hulya Demirdirek, an anthropologist who was transformed by Pleasure and Danger intellectually in the late 80s and learned from Vance since then…
    Despite my deep respect and sympathy for Carol Vance I am not surprised but saddened to think that this is not personal and symptomatic of the latest trends in education, public health and in many more areas. We all know how great she is but it does not help to argue only by stressing her value, we need to argue against the system which allows this to happen. If Columbia has no inhibition as an institution to engage in such an act of short sighted disrespectfulness they must be feeling very complacent with their upcoming “clients” (given what a business minded operation they are running I am not calling them students). Or are they using the latest trends they find justifiable and so normalised that they are using them as a front for removing people who are public intellectuals and pioneers but not “money making machines”?

  117. Carole’s scholarship, pedagogy and mentorship have shaped how myself and many practitioners that work in public health and sexual rights have interrogated our assumptions to create progressive and effective strategies for change. Her work links critical theory and principled practice that is rare and essential to address todays most important issues–from HIV to gender based violence. Columbia should reinstate her and Dr. Hopper and support their ability to play this vital role to build bridges that enrich both the academy and the broader social justice movements.
    Javid Syed
    Director of Sexual Health and Rights
    American Jewish World Service

  118. Carole Vance is an activist-academic whose scholarship and sharp, progressive voice has transformed public health discourse and continues to shape the way we think about sexual health and sexual rights. Columbia University must reinstate Vance and Hopper immediately. I am shocked and appalled by this decision of the University to remove two such brilliant minds from their staff. This only underscores the academic corporatization taking place at Columbia and across the country. Utterly shameful.

    Anne Lieberman
    Program Associate, Sexual Health and Rights
    American Jewish World Service

  119. How can a renowned university ‘run out of budget’ for the salaries of two of its distinguished professors with a long-term record of academic community service?! How can these sophisticated and inspiring veterans still be non-tenured after all those years? Bringing in grant money is a profession, exposing excellence in teaching and enlightening quite another. I was happy enough being taught and coached by Carol Vance at seminars and conferences on several occasions in Europe. I would never consider to put my money in a university that removes two outstanding pearls from its disfigured crown for such a silly, completely wrong reason. The decision of Columbia’s Public School of Health is a policy mistake, an academic mistake and a public mistake.

  120. Marjan Sax, political scientist, Amsterdam

    I know Carole Vance and her work from the seventies, when she published groundbraking work on women’s sexuality. She has ever since been a tireless scholar, outstanding academic, active activist (of which there are so little) and an incredible inspiration for generations of students.
    It is unthinkable that Columbia University School of Public Health would lay off a professor who has worked so long, so hard and is so succesful. By the way, how come she does’nt have tenure after so many years? Columbia makes itself totally ridiculous.

  121. Brian Hennigan, PhD candidate, Geography, Syracuse University

    Hopper’s work is foundational for anybody (academic or otherwise) endeavoring to better understand homelessness/extreme poverty and its political and social responses. Firing Hopper, unfortunately, doesn’t only stain the reputation of Columbia; it negatively reverberates across the social sciences and, ultimately, our increasingly neo-Dark Age of a society.

  122. Since I read Pleasure and Danger in the early 1980ies, Carole Vance has been a great inspiration to me as well as to numerous other scholars in the field of sexuality. It is completely incomprehensible, that such a prestigious university forces researchers themselves to find the money for their salary, and it is a scandal that she has not been tenured ages ago. I sincerely hope the university will change its mind in this matter.

  123. Very disappointing decision! As a recent graduate from Mailman and this department, I sincerely hope our comments make a difference to those in power to change this.

    Rawan Yasmin

  124. The idea of “soft money” in academics to finance positions is by itself flawed to a high degree. Especially for controversial areas of research like human sexuality, it will spell the death sentence. This kind of employment policy is a serious failure of leadership at Columbia, bowing to a market idea of “return on investment” which must not be applied to intellectual freedom. I do not believe that “there is no money”; thing is, the money funneling can be adjusted.
    If Columbia cannot reverse its decision or change its policies, I hope for Prof. Vance and Hopper to get the red carpet at some other institution that will not hide behind fake financial concerns.

  125. Pingback: Is Faculty Research Part of Their Teaching? /  The Ave

  126. Shocking decision. It will impact the college’s reputation should they not reconsider.
    Sarah Enany, Ph.D. Cairo University, Egypt

  127. Kim Hopper and Carol Vance are national treasures and their value cannot simply be measured by grant funds. I hope that Columbia reassess its decision to focus more on the contributions that each person makes to the public debates about social life. Both Kim and Carol have contributed immensely to the teaching and training the next generation of scholars and practitioners. We need their ideas, voices, and presence.

  128. This is truly a pity and a sign of the increasing corporate interests in schools of public health. No longer will we have academics that push the boundaries and create interdisciplinary fields of study that challenge our cultural understandings of social relations and institutions that marginalize entire populations. The “soft-money” model is a corporate sham and does not belong at the university.

  129. Outraged to learn of this treatment of leading and inspiring public intellectual Carole S. Vance who has contributed to founding and developing innovative international education in India, the Netherlands and worldwide. A feminist groundbreaker and one of the most important sexuality researchers in the world. After contributing so much to the study of contexts of poverty worldwide, through cutting edge research on sexuality topics in contexts where funding is hard to find, how could funding now be seen as a legitimate rationale for dismissal? Appalled at this action and its implications for academic life in the US and worldwide.

  130. Alisa K. Lincoln
    Associate Professor, Northeastern University
    PhD, Sociomedical Sciences, Columbia University

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