Pressure Mounts on UNC in Nikole Hannah-Jones Tenure Dispute

By TOM FOREMAN Jr.

FILE - In this May 21, 2016, file photo, Nikole Hannah-Jones attends the 75th Annual Peabody Awards Ceremony at Cipriani Wall Street in New York. A major University of North Carolina donor said Wednesday, June 2, 2021 that he sent emails to university officials questioning the hiring of Nikole Hannah-Jones after he became concerned about how much research went into the selection of the investigative journalist, whose award-winning work on slavery he called “highly contentious and highly controversial." (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP, File)

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) — The pressure on trustees at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to grant tenure to investigative journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones continued to mount Friday as a major funding partner joined the call to change her status and a sought-after chemistry professor decided not to join the faculty over the dispute.

In addition, The Baltimore Sun published an editorial in which it drew a parallel between Hannah-Jones and the Tulsa race massacre of 1921, describing it in a headline as “the whitewashing of American history,” a reference to The 1619 Project led by Hannah-Jones. Some believe conservative criticism of this project is at the heart of the decision by the UNC Board of Trustees to deny her tenure at the school of journalism and media.

Hannah-Jones, who won a Pulitzer Prize for her work on The 1619 Project for the New York Times Magazine, accepted a five-year contract to join the journalism school’s faculty as the Knight Chair in Race and Investigative Journalism. A trustee who vets submissions for tenure postponed consideration of Hannah-Jones’ application in January because of questions about her non-academic background, the head of the board of trustees said last month.

The school said little about why tenure wasn’t offered, but then a prominent donor revealed that he had emailed university leaders challenging her work as “highly contentious and highly controversial” before the process was halted.

The foundation that endows the Knight chair encouraged the trustees to reconsider. Last week, Hannah-Jones issued a statement saying she had retained attorneys from the NAACP Legal Defense Fund as she considers legal action against the school. Dozens of members of the journalism school’s faculty have demanded an explanation.

Student leaders have joined faculty in demanding that trustees reconsider her tenure. A letter signed by professional athletes, writers and academics also assailed the university, saying the trustees “failed to uphold the first order values of academic freedom and the free exchange of ideas.”

A two-page ad appearing in The News & Observer of Raleigh last month featured 1,619 alumni and students at UNC-Chapel Hill who offered their support of Hannah-Jones and called on the school to grant the tenure request.

Dr. Richard Besser, president and CEO of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, asked in a letter to Board of Trustees Chairman Richard Stevens for assurances that Hannah-Jones “is being treated fairly and equitably in decisions regarding her appointment.” The letter was first reported by NC Policy Watch.

Besser cited what he called growing evidence showing the role that structural racism and discrimination play in health disparities for people of color in the U.S. It is in that context, he wrote, that he asked for reconsideration of tenure for Hannah-Jones.

“To honor our commitment to ethical conduct and practices, we ask that the UNC Board help us understand the steps it is taking to ensure that Ms. Hannah-Jones is treated fairly and equitably in decisions regarding her appointment,” Besser wrote.

While not directly addressing the tenure situation, university spokeswoman Joanne Peters Denny said in a statement that the school shares the foundation’s commitment to addressing health and racial inequity, and considers the foundation’s investment “critical to our ongoing work to solve the greatest public health challenges of our time.”

The chemistry department at UNC also revealed this week that Lisa Jones, an associate professor at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy, withdrew her candidacy to come to Chapel Hill, citing the trustees’ decision on Hannah-Jones.

“Hearing of the delay of Nikole Hannah-Jones’ tenure decision led me to reconsider whether the environment at the University of North Carolina would be conducive to the achievement of my academic aspirations, which include promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion,” Jones said in a statement Thursday. “While I have never met Ms. Hannah-Jones, as a faculty member of color, I stand in solidarity with her and could not in good conscience accept a position at UNC.”

Hannah-Jones responded to Jones’ decision on Twitter, saying that “the solidarity shown me by Black women in particular during this crucible is something I will never forget.”

The school declined to comment on Jones’ decision specifically, saying in a response that UNC is “committed to creating and sustaining an inclusive community of students, faculty and staff. We are dedicated to building a diverse learning environment with the highest caliber faculty and we remain committed to that mission.”

In an editorial Friday, the Sun pointed to the country’s history of racism and how some people are made uncomfortable by it while others want to act as if it doesn’t exist, a reference to The 1619 Project.

“There’s no guarantee that there will be a new vote on Ms. Hannah-Jones tenure, and it’s unclear when the board may take up the issue. ... But the public pressure has made it clear that history and truth still matter to many in this country,” the editorial said



No comments

Thank you for reaching out to us. We are happy to receive your opinion and request. If you are need advert or sponsored post, We’re excited you’re considering advertising or sponsoring a post on our blog. Your support is what keeps us going. With the current trend, it’s very obvious content marketing is the way to go. Banner advertising and trying to get customers through Google Adwords may get you customers but it has been proven beyond doubt that Content Marketing has more lasting benefits.
We offer majorly two types of advertising:
1. Sponsored Posts: If you are really interested in publishing a sponsored post or a press release, video content, advertorial or any other kind of sponsored post, then you are at the right place.
WHAT KIND OF SPONSORED POSTS DO WE ACCEPT?
Generally, a sponsored post can be any of the following:
Press release
Advertorial
Video content
Article
Interview
This kind of post is usually written to promote you or your business. However, we do prefer posts that naturally flow with the site’s general content. This means we can also promote artists, songs, cosmetic products and things that you love of all products or services.
DURATION & BONUSES
Every sponsored article will remain live on the site as long as this website exists. The duration is indefinite! Again, we will share your post on our social media channels and our email subscribers too will get to read your article. You’re exposing your article to our: Twitter followers, Facebook fans and other social networks.

We will also try as much as possible to optimize your post for search engines as well.

Submission of Materials : Sponsored post should be well written in English language and all materials must be delivered via electronic medium. All sponsored posts must be delivered via electronic version, either on disk or e-mail on Microsoft Word unless otherwise noted.
PRICING
The price largely depends on if you’re writing the content or we’re to do that. But if your are writing the content, it is $60 per article.

2. Banner Advertising: We also offer banner advertising in various sizes and of course, our prices are flexible. you may choose to for the weekly rate or simply buy your desired number of impressions.

Technical Details And Pricing
Banner Size 300 X 250 pixels : Appears on the home page and below all pages on the site.
Banner Size 728 X 90 pixels: Appears on the top right Corner of the homepage and all pages on the site.
Large rectangle Banner Size (336x280) : Appears on the home page and below all pages on the site.
Small square (200x200) : Appears on the right side of the home page and all pages on the site.
Half page (300x600) : Appears on the right side of the home page and all pages on the site.
Portrait (300x1050) : Appears on the right side of the home page and all pages on the site.
Billboard (970x250) : Appears on the home page.

Submission of Materials : Banner ads can be in jpeg, jpg and gif format. All materials must be deliverd via electronic medium. All ads must be delivered via electronic version, either on disk or e-mail in the ordered pixel dimensions unless otherwise noted.
For advertising offers, send an email with your name,company, website, country and advert or sponsored post you want to appear on our website to omodjk(at)gmail(dot)com

Normally, we should respond within 48 hours.

Sponsored Partner's Advertisement