Carole Vance is a pioneering feminist academic. Her writing and her constant political engagement pressed feminist thinking and action forward in innumerable ways. Her sometimes-controversial insistence on integrating sexuality into sex equality debates, as well as her infinitely sophisticated thinking about transnational equality, have made her one of my role models for a long time.
For those of you who do not know, Carole was recently told by Columbia University’s Mailman School that they would not renew her contract. The school insists that faculty raise the money to pay their salaries in grants, and Carole has not done so.
Tenure is controversial even among those of us who have it, but if there is one kind of work that necessitates the protection of tenure, it is the work of Carole Vance. Scott Long has written most persuasively about how wrong this decision is, and the Nation jumped in to describe why firing Carole and her colleague Kim Hopper matters immensely.
Please join us to make it clear to Columbia that their actions violate the most basic norms of academic freedom and integrity. There are a few efforts afoot to help Carole, and most of these have been described on this page. Please sign the academic petition here. Our voices will join those of esteemed scholars and civil society leaders in support of Carole.
If you choose to write SEPARATELY from the petition, please write to the President, Provost and Dean of the Mailman School, and in your communication please stress is that the “letter of non-renewal” should be rescinded, and Carole’s contract should be renewed. If you choose to write separately from the petition, please write to: Lee C. Bollinger, President Columbia University firstname.lastname@example.org; John H. Coatsworth, Provost email@example.com; Lee Goldman, Executive Vice President for Health and Biomedical Sciences and Dean of the Faculties of Health Sciences and of Medicine firstname.lastname@example.org; Linda P Fried, Dean of the Mailman School of Public Health email@example.com; Lisa Metsch, Chair, Department of Sociomedical Sciences, firstname.lastname@example.org Please also send copies of this letter to email@example.com, as the organizers would like to keep a record of everything sent.