UNC trustee approves the term of Nikole Hannah-Jones


After twice decline In order to vote for the term of journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones and then ignore the separate June 4 deadline set by Hannah-Jones for voting, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill today approved her term of office. Special meeting. Three hours after the board of directors meets in private, the vote is public.

Some protesters who attended the meeting in support of Hannah Jones initially refused to leave the meeting for private meetings, citing continued concerns about the transparency of the Hannah Jones case and other board decisions. They were driven out by security guards. Lamar Richards, the president of the Student Union, explained the reasons for the closed-door meeting and helped calm the crowd.He also said frustration Given the huge public interest in the Hannah-Jones bid, more senior members of the board did not explain this in advance. In any case, he said, the goal is to make the Hannah Jones tenure case be treated like everyone else.

It was the petition made by Richards, the only student trustee on the board, that helped force a lifetime vote on Hannah-Jones before the end of today’s annual board meeting. After him, five other trustees also issued similar petitions.

Before Wednesday’s meeting, the board of directors had conflicting views on the Hannah-Jones case. Richard Stevens, the outgoing chairman of the board, said that the board has questions about Hannah Jones’ qualifications because she is not a traditional scholar. However, this is inconsistent with the way the board handles tenure positions for other journalism professors, because their field is the field of collecting expertise through professional experience (not necessarily a final degree). Stevens also stated that the Provost of Carolina did not formally submit the case to the board of directors for deliberation. However, tenure documents that the provost does not support will not enter the board of directors in the first place.

Confirmed by the trustee who spoke anonymously, the real explanation is that the board has been Politics and donor pressure Not acting as Hannah-Jones, co-creator New York Times MagazineThe “1619 Plan”. Hannah-Jones’s stated goal for the project is to re-examine the contribution of African Americans to American history, dating back to 1619. She is believed to push readers (including historians) to challenge their assumptions about the past.However, some critics say that “1619” is Unpatriotic And too much attention to racism.At the same time, many faculty, staff, students and alumni have also repeatedly Urge the board She approved the term of Hannah Jones for her Pulitzer Prize, MacArthur “Genius” Award and other honors and qualifications. Hannah-Jones is also a graduate of the Haasman School of Journalism and Media in North Carolina and is a member of its Hall of Fame.

In view of the controversy, it is not clear whether Hannah Jones will still come to Carolina. On the one hand, the board’s treatment of her tenure cases is different from almost all other cases it considers; usually, it puts a rubber stamp on tenure cases supported by faculty and dean, such as Hannah-Jones’s. Hannah Jones claimed through her lawyer that the board of directors had long refused her to vote, which violated her First Amendment rights and discriminated against her as a black woman. Ten of the 13 members of the current board of directors are white.On the other hand, campus groups even Outside scholars Protect her vigorously. Hannah Jones just confirmed that she will not come to North Carolina on Thursday or sign a fixed-term contract as previously planned.

On Wednesday morning, Hannah Jones wrote on Twitter: “Let the chips fall where they can.” A few hours before the meeting, she spent the opening of the Ida B. Wells Memorial in Chicago. Ceremony, she said she inspired her career. “It was a great day when we unveiled the Ida B Wells Monument in Chicago. To be honest, this black female reporter, no matter how much power is against her, it is very appropriate for this to happen today,” Hannah Jones Tweeted at the unveiling ceremony.She also said concern On Twitter as a protester who was kicked out of the meeting.

Read more tomorrow at Within higher education. In the meantime, here are some background under these circumstances.


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