Education

After a controversial delay, UNC awarded Nikole Hannah-Jones a tenure position

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The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill awarded Nikole Hannah-Jones a tenure on Wednesday, which is a dramatic change. Has become a legend of the icon The vulnerability of public universities Political power in polarized countriesThe university’s board of directors formally voted to grant Pulitzer Prize winner Hannah-Jones (Hannah-Jones) status by 9 votes to 4 votes New York Times Controversial” journalist and lead authorProject 1619,” at a special meeting.

The vote of the board of directors ended a busy few days, during which time, Lamar Richards, the chairman of the university’s student union (Lamar Richards) Petition to his board members Hannah Jones will be formally voted before July 1, when she plans to start serving as an endowment chair for the Haasman School of Journalism and Media at the University of North Carolina.Hannah Jones’ lawyer wrote in a letter that she She won’t start her position without a tenure.

The process that led to the board’s vote on Wednesday was a vague process. Hannah-Jones was approved for tenure through typical campus procedures, but a few months ago, when a board member questioned her candidacy, the bidding stopped. University officials subsequently changed Hannah-Jones’s position from lifetime to contract, with the option to consider lifetime tenure at the end of the five-year term. It wasn’t until Wednesday that the entire board of directors formally considered bidding for the term.

EnlightenmentIn May, the news that Hannah Jones would not receive a tenure faculty position immediately drew criticism from advocates of academic freedom across the country. They blamed politics-the “1619 Project” was vilified in conservative circles and criticized by some historians-for hindering academic progress. The legislature controlled by the Republican Party of North Carolina decides the appointment of the UNC System Board of Governors, and these two agencies respectively appoint and elect almost all Chapel Hill trustees.

The role of Walter E. Hussman Jr., a prominent donor to the School of Journalism, was also under scrutiny. Hussman privately expressed reservations about Hannah-Jones’s appointment of the school’s dean, Susan King, and he firmly supported this appointment. Hussman then sent an email to the president of the university and its chief fundraiser, expressing similar reservations. Donors’ opposition seems to focus on whether Hannah-Jones’s appointment is consistent with journalistic objectivity, which is the core value of Hussman’s view of good journalism.

The exact reason for the derailment of Hannah-Jones’s tenure appointment is unclear.But its news triggered a liquidation in Chapel Hill, where black faculty and staff believed the incident was Another frustrating example Black laborers devalued in flagship stores. Several faculty and staff left the campus for other jobs, while others said they were considering it. Richards, President of the Student Union, Publicly urged Black students and staff go elsewhere.

Constituencies across the campus issued a statement calling on the board of directors to grant Hannah-Jones a tenure faculty position, and supporting students staged protests. With only a few days left before Hannah Jones’s scheduled start date, Richards officially called on the trustee to meet to consider the reporter’s tenure. It seems that the other five trustees-the number of people needed to trigger the special meeting-signed his request.

A few hours before the meeting, Jin, the dean of the School of Journalism, Published a column In the student newspaper, she thanked the people on campus for uniting and supporting the election for tenure. “Why did Nikole Hannah-Jones’ tenure let so many of us stand together?” she wrote. “I believe this is because we are committed to the idea of ​​establishing the first public university to cultivate a society that represents values ​​and progress. This university aims to prepare our state for the new century and new challenges.”

After the board of directors voted, she issued a statement expressing her gratitude to the students, faculty, and alumni who supported our school, journalism’s centrality to democracy, the ideals of the university, and Hannah Jones herself. . King said that the tenure process is “longer than I thought”, but when she takes office, Hannah Jones “will deepen the university’s commitment to the integrity of knowledge and access to opportunities for all.” “

This is a story of development. Please check back for updates as soon as possible.

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