We, the undersigned students, alumni, faculty, staff of the University of California, Davis and other concerned community members, petition Chancellor Linda Katehi, Vice Provost Maureen Stanton, Asian American Studies Department Chair Nolan Zane, Faculty Relations Director Binnie Singh, and Academic Dean of the College of Letters and Science Jessie Ann Owens to respectfully request that Assistant Prof. Caroline Kieu Linh Valverde be granted tenure.
Caroline Kieu-Linh Valverde is a bilingual, bicultural, international scholar and has served as an Assistant Professor of Asian American Studies at UC Davis since 2003.
We were disappointed to hear of her tenure denial, as Prof. Valverde has contributed in numerous ways to UC Davis, in terms of research, teaching, and community service. Her pioneering scholarship regarding contemporary and historic experiences of Southeast Asian Americans, global diasporic communities, transnationalism, mixed race and gender theories have made a wide impact on these various fields while empowering Asian American communities and beyond. She is also the author of the book "Transnationalizing Viet Nam: Community, Culture, and Politics in the Diaspora" (Temple University Press - Asian American History and Culture Series, 2012). Despite authoring a published book, she was still denied tenure by UC Davis. In academia, the denial of tenure means that the professor must leave their job and is subsequently blacklisted by other universities. This process particularly drives women of color professors out of academia altogether.
Prof. Valverde teaches innovative and challenging courses based upon her research topics. She assigns intensive research projects and papers, as she demands the highest academic performance of her students and motivates students to expand their research, critical thinking and writing skills. She is also incredibly dedicated to her students. She gives constructive feedback on student work, advises student organizations, replies to emailed student questions, video chats with students at all hours, and encourages them to work as her research assistants. She serves as a mentor to many students, maintaining her relationship with them long after graduation. She has guided many of us into professional careers involving social justice, business, law, psychology and much more as a testament to her emphasis on giving back and bettering our communities.
In addition, Prof. Valverde’s faculty position was created as a direct result of a coalition movement of people of color and LGBT communities in protest regarding the 2000 anti-Asian violence at UC Davis. Furthermore, she is one of the few Southeast Asian American professors at UC Davis. She is also the only professor qualified to teach courses focused on Southeast Asian American experiences, despite the sizeable and diverse Asian Pacific Islander student population at UC Davis. The tenure denial of Prof. Valverde may be indicative that UC Davis is not truly committed to its claims of valuing diversity.
We demand tenure for Prof. Valverde.
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