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UNC-Chapel Hill Caves to Pressure, Grants Tenure to Nikole Hannah-Jones

UNC-Chapel Hill Caves to Pressure, Grants Tenure to Nikole Hannah-Jones

“The board voted 9-4 to accept the tenure application at a special meeting that included a closed-door session that had sparked a protest by supporters of Hannah-Jones.”

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has relented after an intense pressure campaign and will grant tenure to 1619 Project author Nikole Hannah-Jones.

This drama has been going on for weeks.

When the school first hired Hannah-Jones to join the faculty, she and her supporters were angry that it did not offer her tenure. Some faculty members threatened to leave the school. Last week, Hannah-Jones even refused to start her job if she did not get it.

Now she has gotten what she wanted. Tom Foreman Jr. writes for the Associated Press:

UNC trustees OK tenure for journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones

Trustees at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill approved tenure Wednesday for Pulitizer Prize-winning investigative journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones, capping weeks of tension that began when a board member halted the process over questions about her teaching credentials.

The board voted 9-4 to accept the tenure application at a special meeting that included a closed-door session that had sparked a protest by supporters of Hannah-Jones. At one point, a student said, she was manhandled by a campus police officer trying to get her out of the ballroom where the meeting was held.

“Today we took another important step in creating an even better university,” trustee Gene Davis said after the vote was announced. “We welcome Nikole Hannah-Jones back to Chapel Hill.”

Davis said that in granting tenure to Hannah-Jones the board was reaffirming its commitment to the university’s highest values of “academic freedom, open scholarly inquiry, commitment to diversity of all types, including viewpoint diversity, and promotion of constructive disagreement and civil public discourse.”

This was a story that seemed ready-made for student activists:

The school paper, The Daily Tar Heel, offers some background on the process:

On June 23, Student Body President Lamar Richards submitted a formal meeting request to the Board petitioning for a special called meeting by or on Wednesday to discuss and take formal action on Hannah-Jones’s case. This came after Hannah-Jones’ legal team announced she would not join UNC faculty without tenure.

Hannah-Jones was set to join the UNC faculty Thursday as the Knight Chair in Race and Investigative Journalism. The previous two Knight Chairs at UNC received tenure upon hiring, but Hannah-Jones was initially offered a fixed, five-year contract, with the option to be reviewed for tenure at the end.

The Board’s decision comes after many University affiliates released statements and held protests in support of Hannah-Jones.

Many of these statements came after Chairperson of the Faculty Mimi Chapman wrote a letter urging UNC community members to speak out on the situation.

“You do not have to agree with Ms. Hannah-Jones’ conclusions in The 1619 Project to do this,” she wrote. “You only have to agree that faculty voices must govern the tenure process for academic integrity to have meaning.”

I’ve been following this story from the beginning, and I can’t recall when the campus left seemed angrier about a faculty-related decision.

The left views Hannah-Jones as a hero. They would never allow anyone to treat her as anything but a star.


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The Friendly Grizzly | July 1, 2021 at 8:38 am

I guess the board was afraid of riots?


    Did you know she does not have a PhD.

    She claims the other 2 who held that Chair were granted tenure upon appointment. But they each had a PhD and volumes of published scholarship. Her only published work is pseudo-history that had to be corrected by the NY Times after dozens of REAL history professors (with PhDs) complained. Question – given the massive errors – admitted to by the NY Times – why hasn’t she had to return the Pulitzer Prize ? ? If a White reporter had made such serious errors – they would surely have had to return the Pulitzer and./or resign in disgrace.

    Uh, it seems like some body surely has privilege here and it is not any white person. The privilege of not have to abide by the standards that apply to everyone else.


This is what academia has sunk to. An academic fraud extorts a major University to gain tenure – using the race card all the way.

Universities that cave to this extortion are morally bankrupt. Many have promoted people to leadership positions who are all too willing to advocate for, and be co-conspirators with, these academic con-artists.

UNC is liberal. I was surprised that she didn’t get it earlier.

Tell me about the Ivy Leagues next. They have gone nuts.

    Do you want an scholastically talented – or affirmative action moron – employee who comes out of those nut factories, or someone who is mentally grounded, ingrained with common sense and a work ethic, or the brainwashhed schmucks being indoctrinated by this moron Jones?

The alums should respond by simply no longer donating to them. I did that at Stevens Inst. of Tech. when they went woke. I now give the money to somebody more deserving.

    JusticeDelivered in reply to lhw. | July 1, 2021 at 10:03 am

    Also by no longer letting their children attend there.

      TPHobbit in reply to JusticeDelivered. | July 1, 2021 at 12:30 pm

      Hillsdale College is worthy of support, It’s one of the few institutions of higher education in this country that can be said about.

    I ditched my university alumni. The school is just not the school I graduated from, and I’m now embarrassed to have their name on my diploma.

    Nora in NC in reply to lhw. | July 2, 2021 at 5:47 am

    I answer every email solicitation with a polite reply letting them know the reasons that as an alum I’m too angry to send them any donations:
    -the athletic/academic scandal
    -the school’s history of harassing moderate/conservative speakers
    -and now this

    Why throw good money after bad?

UNC Tarheels colors are blue and white. Or were. Now they are just red and yellow.

A UNC diploma just became so much waste paper.

    Oracle in reply to Rusty Bill. | July 1, 2021 at 9:43 am

    My wife and I are alumni of UNC-CH. Their diplomas have been trash for thirty years. We never give money to that cesspool.

Who is surprised? Even a little?

Morning Sunshine | July 1, 2021 at 9:42 am

When I was in college, tenure was reserved for professors who had been there a few years, with many years of student reviews and interviews, etc. My favorite professor, my major advisor did not get tenure until 5 years after I had graduated, and they were still asking for my advice on granting it.

    Dathurtz in reply to Morning Sunshine. | July 1, 2021 at 4:46 pm

    The professor who took me under his wing and helped me publish my first two papers didn’t get tenure until a couple years after I left. I had several good profs who worked their asses off to get tenure and not all of them got it.

she is total trash with tatoos and all. And academia is digging its own grave.
Btw Yuri Bezmenov predicted the cratering of academia. and here we are.

2smartforlibs | July 1, 2021 at 9:49 am

This is why I was so glad I was a non-trad. I managed to get two of these left-wing nuts canned.

Jones is an imbecile and an airhead. Her work isn’t history; it’s fantasy. That said, I’m finding out for the first time that the previous two Knight Chairs were granted tenure going in. Alas, a precedent.

It almost doesn’t matter that she has no phd, no teaching experience, has produced no real scholarship. She got a MacArthur grant didn’t she? She’s kind of like Obama, getting ahead because of the color of her skin.

The professors are clowns. The school itself is a clown show. And what can you say about activated students? Pfah.

    nordic_prince in reply to Titan28. | July 1, 2021 at 2:03 pm

    If I had known it was so easy to get tenure, I would have invested in some tanning bed sessions.

Nikole Hannah Smith brought her stormtroopers to the meeting. The cowardly board buckled. They were afraid of being beat up, their homes, families and children assaulted. Nikole Jones is straight out of Hitler’s playbook. This is precisely how the Nazis took power. UNC is a garbage heap of a school.

    JusticeDelivered in reply to fredx3. | July 1, 2021 at 11:07 am

    I am wondering how many universities today are not garbage heaps? Also. will market forces lead to either new universities or existing ones who reject CRT in any of its forms.

      The Friendly Grizzly in reply to JusticeDelivered. | July 1, 2021 at 1:40 pm

      A third idea: employers seeking out bright young people, then hiring them and running them through apprenticehips?

        I wonder about this. It seems companies would be better off hiring good people and training them rather than hiring a credentialed person and hoping they work out.

    Remember: federal money flows into this school. So no matter where you’re living, you’re paying this malignant idiot’s salary.

E Howard Hunt | July 1, 2021 at 10:23 am

The end is nigh.

texansamurai | July 1, 2021 at 10:29 am

pathetic–what an embarassment to unc and the many proud tarheels have had the privelege of knowing/working with

Unless a school is willing to close and send the children home, the left will riot all the way to bloodshed until the school capitulates.

The schools will never close and send the children home.

We need alternatives to “higher ed”.

    JusticeDelivered in reply to gibbie. | July 1, 2021 at 11:27 am

    At some point I developed the ability to digest information about nearly any skill area and apply it. I spent huge amounts of time in libraries. I think the issue was having drive to do so.

    With internet, people no longer need to camp in a library to acquire knowledge.

    Can this be taught? At what point do people have enough discipline to be able to teach themselves without in person class, or even much outside direction?

    The Friendly Grizzly in reply to gibbie. | July 1, 2021 at 1:41 pm

    See my comment above about apprenticeships.

nordic_prince | July 1, 2021 at 10:55 am

So if adults want something, all they have to do is hold their breath and stomp their feet like a two-year-old? Cool.

Nice to know no one has to achieve anything of substance to go places in this life.

The people should be able to cancel universities ability to issue degrees and effectively close universities like UNC down.

Nobody evinces attitudes of infantile petulance, entitlement and arrogance, like the vile Dhimmi-crats. This vile, died-hair twit possesses no academic credentials and writes for a propaganda rag, the Pravda Times (which should be disqualifying, in and of itself). The only reason this miserable, entitled twit received tenure is because of her skin pigmentation and her reputation as one of the Dhimmi-crats’ most celebrated propagandists.

There are hundreds more like her on the faculty. This is no big deal. A drop in the non-education bucket. The damage was done long ago or she would never have been considered. There is no way to correct this short of massive budget cuts, donor rebellion and refusal to enroll.

Yet another race huckster.

Perhaps tax payer funds going to UNC should be reduced by the North Carolina State House then?

I guess this marks the death of the “old boys network” and the beginning of the “new clowns network.”