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UNC decided not to offer Nikole Hannah-Jones tenure after a conservative freak-out.

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May 19, 2021, 4:01pm

Nikole Hannah-Jones, creator of the 1619 Project and winner of the Pulitzer Prize and a MacArthur fellowship, has been hired for a five-year term as a professor at UNC-Chapel Hill’s Hussman School of Journalism and Media—despite having been pursued by the school for its Knight Chair in Race and Investigative Journalism, a tenured professorship.

Hannah-Jones’ application for tenured professorship was met with pushback from the UNC-Chapel Hill Board of Trustees, who chose not approve it, despite the application’s “enthusiastic support” from faculty and members of the tenure committee.

“I’m not sure why and I’m not sure if that’s ever happened before,” Susan King, the dean of UNC Hussman told NC Policy Watch. She said the decision was disappointing, and could have a “chilling effect.”

The reason, unsurprisingly, has to do with the Republican tantrums over the 1619 Project.

An anonymous board member told the publication that the action was a result of political pressure from the majority Republican UNC Board of Governors, which has the power to oust trustees and chancellors with whom they disagree. “They have defunded academic centers and discontinued programs with which they were at political odds,” according to the trustee, who described the offer of a five-year appointment—with the option of being reviewed for tenure at the end—as a “work-around.”

We hear a lot (from Bari Weiss’s Substack) about cancel culture run amuck at universities, but somehow I’m not holding my breath for the self-proclaimed free speech defenders to circulate Hannah-Jones’ story.

[via NC Policy Watch]

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