In fact, the school of public health at Columbia has fired two of its leading public intellectuals, Carole Vance and Kim Hopper. Both were in soft-money jobs that required them to generate funding for the institution, and when the NIH grant money dried up, so did their jobs.
Nicholas Kristof wrote a column in the Times in February calling on professors to take on a greater role in public debates, noting that universities “have fostered a culture that glorifies arcane unintelligibility while disdaining impact and audience." The Nation responds: "Kristof is right that universities have become inhospitable places for
public intellectuals, but he misses the ultimate cause. The real problem
isn’t culture. It’s money."