Nikole Hannah-Jones Tenure Goes Back to the Same UNC-Chapel Hill Board of Trustees That Took Issue With The 1619 Project Journalist

Illustration for article titled Nikole Hannah-Jones Tenure Goes Back to the Same UNC-Chapel Hill Board of Trustees That Took Issue With The 1619 Project Journalist

Photo: Evan Agostini (Getty Images)

The same conflicted (read: cowering racists) board of trustees at a North Carolina university have received a resubmitted tenure application for Nikole Hannah-Jones after supporters of the New York Times Magazine’s The 1619 Project journalist called the board out for being full of shit.


See, Hannah-Jones is not only a beast in the journalism world but she’s a MacArthur Genius and Pulitzer Prize winner, so what the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is not going to do is act like Hannah-Jones is only worthy of a five-year contract because the board was facing pressure from white people who hate critical race theory.

Initially, the school wanted Hannah-Jones in a tenured position but they switched it to a five-year professor term as a workaround to get past the racist-ass board because UNC-Chapel Hill is still in the South.

Probably didn’t help matters that a who’s who of Black folks issued a missive, published by The Root, in support of Hannah-Jones. Written by Ta-Nehisi Coates, Glenda Elizabeth Gilmore and Martha S. Jones, and titled, “We Stand in Solidarity With Nikole Hannah-Jones,” the biblical declaration stated:

We decry this rising tide of suppression and the threat to academic freedom that it embodies. Some of us will call upon our university administrators, public school superintendents, principals, teachers, and faculty unions and senates to issue statements of support for the freedom of ideas in the classroom. Others of us will urge philanthropic foundations to look twice at state institutions that betray that freedom. The artists, performers, and speakers below may decline invitations from institutions that suppress free thought about racism and its historical roots. We will take our views with us to the ballot box and hold local, state and national politicians accountable to the free exchange of ideas and academic freedom. We, our children, young scholars, and our country deserve no less.

From the Associated Press:

On Wednesday, Chuck Duckett, a member of the board of trustees, confirmed to The Associated Press that a resubmitted offer with tenure has been sent to the board. He said he received the resubmission Tuesday from the university’s Appointments, Personnel and Tenure Committee, which is made up of tenured professors.

Duckett told The News & Observer of Raleigh that he received Hannah-Jones’s tenure dossier and list of experiences and background with Tuesday’s submission and that he had not seen them before. His committee vets candidates before the full board votes for approval.

Hannah-Jones was part of a slate of tenure candidates proposed by Provost Bob Blouin to be considered at the January 2021 board meeting. Duckett contacted Blouin with questions about Hannah-Jones’s candidacy and asked to postpone the review.

While the offer has been resubmitted, there is no guarantee that there will be a vote, or that the trustees will take up the issue when the board meets on July 14 and 15, after Hannah-Jones is set to start her job as the Knight Chair for Race and Investigative Journalism at UNC-CH.


The school expects Hannah-Jones’ tenure review to come to a full vote by the end of June.

What was shocking, or not so surprising, is that the board halted Hannah-Jones’ tenure application despite her receiving the full support of the journalism school’s dean, Susan King.


“On behalf of our school and our students I hope the Board of Trustees will vote on @nhannahjones tenure package. I think they will be impressed as are we,” King tweeted.

Never forget that white people reenact the Civil War just to try and win, so something tells me the board may not respond well to pressure.

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