University of Vermont Department of Economics Students and Alum Denounce Purge

Sampling of what UVM students and UVM alum are saying about Dr. Summa’s removal from the Economics Department by Dean Bill Falls.

Martin Harrison, Essex, VT

I am signing this petition because I strongly believe that educational institutions should embrace diversity in their coursework. John Summa inspired me to pursue a degree in economics and exceeds the standard criteria of a UVM educator.

Sam Colburn, Norwich, VT

One of the rare professors I had at UVM willing to actually engage with students and the material. Unlike many others, he is far more interested in real learning and teaching, as opposed to GPAs and meaningless bureaucracy.

George Frantzis, Burlington, VT

I am signing this petition because John Summa gave the most engaging, beneficial, and useful economics class I have ever had….I would be remiss if I let a learning environment such as this die and be slandered.

Andrew Dazzo, Burlington, VT

These [his] classes have forced me to question mainstream economic thinking and for that I am thankful and indebted to Professor John Summa. Thank you!

Brooke Jenkins, Greenville, RI

I support academic freedom.

Seamus Elliott, Burlington, VT

As a student of his, I feel he is a very effective and engaging professor

Lindsey Nelson, Stoneham, MA

I’m a UVM alumni and John Summa made a huge difference in my Economics Major.

Jasper Smith, Portland, OR

I took a number of insightful, thought-provoking classes from Professor Summa during my time at UVM. I not only enjoyed them, but also left each energized and enthused to continue learning, ask questions and demand answers.

Joe Begley, Boston, MA

John Summa was an excellent professor, mentor and friend to me. His lectures we’re always intellectually challenging, and he was willing to go the extra mile for students who wanted to learn more.

Alison Ambrosecchio, Stamford, CT

John summa is one of my favorite professors. he is an amazing teacher, very patient, and very helpful.

Alan McKinnon, Burlington, VT

I came to UVM with the hope that I would experience a diverse learning community where my preconceived notions and ideas could be challenged. Professor Summa encouraged me to question accepted economic theories, think beyond what I had previously learned, and helped create a classroom environment where no idea would be laughed away as being ‘too radical’. Silencing this kind of creative thought and preventing the spread of new ideas is not only against what I believe but seems to contradict the values shared by the University of Vermont. Professor Summa should have his contract renewed so others may be exposed to a learning environment where new and challenging ideas exist.

Jesse Schandler, Burlington, VT

This man is a phenomenal teacher and kept EVERYONE interested every class period. This is honestly a disgrace. Shame on you UVM.

Abe Trabulsy, Colchester, VT

He’s kinda the man!!

Peter White, Dedham, MA

Summa is a great prof. He is the only professor in the department who has even mentioned anything outside of neoclassical economic theory.

Aaron Brosnan, Burlington, VT

Professor Summa is a vigorous, and indissoluble, member of the UVM Economic Department. Through his years at UVM, Professor Summa has staunchly committed himself to enriching the lives and minds of his students. Firing Prof Summa would leave a permanent and irreconcilable void in the Economic department….It would be a crime to deprive students of a holistic mindset, over differences in teaching styles. Let truth prevail, and please reappoint professor Summa.

Grant Kelley, Shelburne, VT

Summa is a great teacher. He doesn’t deserve to be fired.

Max Borger, Burlington, VT

Summa cares for his students while offering thought provoking curriculum. I a refusal to renew his contract is unwarranted

Austin Hughes, Burlington, VT

Professor Summa is an amazing and dedicated professional, who is passionate about economics, and about how the presentation and discussion of economics in the mainstream often ignores alternative points of view. If he is removed, it will be UVMs loss and will permanently damage their reputation.

Sean Sarmiento, Bronx, NY

Although I may not have agreed with everything Professor Summa taught, I certainly respect his years of experience and heterodox take on economic issues. He deserves to continue to be a voice at UVM Economics, and I’m sure many of my peers would agree.

Robert Haggerty, Burlington, VT

Summa gave me a different perspective on Econ, that it is in fact a perspective! Economics is a social science with many vantage points of thought and restricting students to neoclassical theory creates the assumption of an exact science, which Econ is very much not. Thought processes must not be restricted but encouraged in the study of Econ.

Mike Curran. Belmont, MA

This is bullshit. Summa is one of the best professors at UVM. I will withhold any future donations to the University of Vermont if he is not reinstated.

Jenna Lancour, Essex Junction, VT

One of the best professors I’ve ever had at UVM

Alexander Murphy, Burlington, VT

Keep Summa at UVM.

Nana Antwi, Burlington, VT

I’m signing this because Prof Summa is wonderful educator and we need minds like his in the classroom coming a from a student who has taken multiple courses with him.

David Dewhurst, Burlington, VT

I’m signing because diversity of ideas and presentation of statistical truth is vital.

Peter Wernhoff, Shelburne, VT

John Summa is one of my favorite teachers at UVM. He offers multiple perspectives into the field of economics and should be allowed to continue teaching.

Peter Shannon, Wilmette, IL

Professor Summa is an interesting and well-informed professor.

James Driver, Burlington, VT

Prof Summa tells it like it is.

Elizabeth Bannar, Burlington, VT

John Summa ignited my passion in economics and taught me not only to think critically when presented with an economics topic, but to critically analyze the history and intentions of most political and economics agendas. His intro microeconomics and history of economic theory were eye opening and are some of my favorite courses I have taken at Vermont. His talent and insight should not be lost.

Harry Clinton, Delmar, NY

Summa is the best professor

Pierre Dillon, Blue Hill, ME

John Summa is an amazing professor and man.

Craig Guild, New London, CT

I graduated from UVM’s College of Arts and Sciences in 2013 with a BA in History and Political Science. I further went on to get my MAT through UVM’s Graduate College. In five years of courses at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, I can safely say that Prof. Summa’s History of Economic Thought remains one of, if not the most academically challenging and rigorous courses I have ever taken. I cannot say I have truly learned more in any other single class. To strip Prof. Summa of his position and further deny him full time status at the University is not only a cruel act against a man who has given so much to the University community, it is a crime committed against the very fabric of academia and scholarship expected at the University level. Shame on UVM! And further, shame if this course of action is not immediately reversed!

Charles Brecheen, Burlington, VT

I thoroughly enjoy Professor Summa’s teaching style and the way he challenges orthodox models.

Michael Cronin, Stamford, CT

I had professor Summa and believe that his unique way of teaching Econ was very valuable, up to the point where I took his class everyone had been teaching Econ the same way, same view, and it was interesting to hear it from a different perspective while still learning what we needed to learn.

Chad Bateman, Burlington, VT

Fantastic teacher, great researcher, and couldn’t have asked for a better mentor during my time at uvm.

Mary Butler, Stamford, CT

I have taken a couple of Professor Summa’s classes and I really enjoyed them.

Dillon DellaPasqua, York, ME

John was a captivating professor and true pioneer in the space of Pan-American economics. His film on the life of Víctor Jara is more than enough to back his knowledge, providing insight on the dynamic nature of North and South American socioeconomic relation. Great guy! And he surfs…. Rock on Summa!


Will Sanborn, Burlington, VT

Professor Summa is the reason that I was able to get through the difficult subject of microeconomics! He is a fantastic professor and willing to help anyone whenever they need it. There’s no reason he shouldn’t be considered among the best at UVM.

Lauren Juenker, Burlington, VT

Prof. Summa should not be penalized for discussing problems with the conventional approach of microeconomics, I personally feel that methodological individualism is based on and relies on assumptions that are not true, and the social science approach that he is also telling us about makes much more sense. Summa should not be penalized for showing us both sides of microeconomics, and yes he may have a preference in one of the ways of looking at it but he does not tell us that that way is the right way, nor the only way. He lets us decide.

Gabe Appleton, Lambertville, NJ

I had Prof. Summa and his teachings were fundamental to my economic education @ UVM.

Andrei Klimov, Bath, ME

John Summa is a well-known and well respected teacher at UVM. When signing up for my intro level Micro course he was heavily recommended compared to others, and I see why. He approaches economics from multiple perspectives and emphasizes rational analysis. While his teaching style and material is unique compared to others, I believe it is effective in reinforcing the idea that economics can’t be simply explained through individual choices. He is a very empathetic and wise person who works hard to make sure his students understand the material and can see where it applies in the real world.

Zachary Haas, Wilton, CT

I’m signing because I took two of his classes and was my favorite Econ Proffessor at UVM.

Alex Romac, South Burlington, VT

Professor Summa is an awesome teacher and friend. He provided clear insight into current economic issues. I would not recommend majoring or minoring in Econ if Summa was not included in the equation.

Alyssa McCabe, Glen Gardner, NJ

A great professor with a lot to say. Knowledgeable, caring, and extremely passionate!

Scarlett Moore, Burlington, VT

Without diversity in the economics department at UVM, students cannot possibly develop well-informed opinions or be truly educated upon graduation. Academic freedom must be of the utmost importance in order to fully provide for students who are almost entirely cut off from critiques of the current economic system, which is treated as a gold standard for economic models despite the degradation of human and environmental rights in its pursuit of gross individual profit. John Summa teaches students to think, not just to memorize graphs and treat economists words as gospel.

Laurel Chen, Winooski, VT

I am a proud UVM grad and this puts a large blemish on my perception of UVM as a place that encourages and teaches multiple viewpoints and models of improving and understanding the world that are not always accepted by the mainstream.

Jordan Ciccone, Burlington, VT

I’m a student at UVM and deserve an input. Stop purging our professors. Stop ruining our education.