The University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill made the decision to deny a tenured position for renowned journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones, who has written the book “The 1619 Project” for The New York Times Magazine. Alternatively, Hannah-Jones was offered a fixed five-year contract at the university, which is reportedly very unusual.
The Hussman School of Journalism and Media has asked Hannah-Jones to work as their Knight Chair in Race and Investigative Journalism, which is generally a position that is tenured. But according to reports, following pressure from conservatives groups, she did not obtain the career-long appointment and will now begin a fixed term with the alternative of undergoing review for tenure in five years.
Susan King, the dean of UNC’s Hussman School of Journalism and Media, stated that it was disappointing and it was not what was expected.
Hannah-Jones is the university’s former student, a winner of Pulitzer Prize, and the recipient of the MacArthur Fellowship “Genius Grant” among other honors. But the state’s conservative troops have criticized her recruitment as well as her position at UNC, as they were against “The 1619 Project,” which wanted the reexamination of American history by focusing on slavery.
It has been reported that Hannah-Jones underwent stringent application process for tenure, and eventually, the board chose to decline undertaking an action with respect to approving it. Hence, UNC-Chapel Hill Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz decided to offer Hannah-Jones the fixed-term position as a “work-around. Several supporters of Hannah-Jones spoke out against the decision and 24 employees of the Hussman School of Journalism and Media chose to sign a petition seeking the school to grant her tenure.
The university’s leadership was asked to reinforce its commitment to the university; its faculty and time-honored norms and procedures; and its endorsed values of diversity, equity and inclusion. They added that Nikole Hannah-Jones must be tenured as the Knight Chair in Race and Investigative Journalism.
A statement wasn’t released by Hannah-Jones yet.