Did “conservative anger” prevent journalist Nicole Hannah Jones from joining UNC?


Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times research journalist Nicole Hannah Jones In July, he was to enroll at the Hasman Journalism Media School at UNC Chapel Hill as a tenure professor.

Instead, her role as a nightchair for racial and research journalism will be a fixed-term “professor of practice” with the option of being screened for term of office within five years.

Susan King, dean of the School of Journalism, said the UNC-CH board was said to be hesitant to give someone off-campus a term.

But the news is that some conservatives, especially Hannah Jones, are critical of her work. 1619 projectExplore the heritage and history of black Americans and slavery. Her work won the Pulitzer Prize for Commentary in 2020, but faced scrutiny by some historians and politicians. Explanation from the New York Times..

“Investigative journalists are always involved in controversy,” King said. “They dig deeper and ask questions for answers. Part of what they do is ask unpleasant questions to people, institutions and systems.”

To Announcement of adoption of Hannah Jones “One of America’s most respected research journalists will work with students to advance their careers and ignite critical conversations,” King said in April. It was.

As of Thursday afternoon, Hannah Jones could not be asked for comment.

Board did not approve

Earlier this week, King explained in a message to faculty that when Hannah Jones’ tenure proceedings were presented, campus trustees did not act on it. As a result, the university offered her a five-year fixed-term contract, which is different from her original job. Hannah Jones will also remain a journalist for the New York Times.

NC PolicyWatch first reported: UNC “Retreat from Offer” Hannah Jones has been in a position during her tenure after conservative criticism.

The Board of Directors has the authority to approve all life tenure, which is a lifetime appointment. “The board was worried about non-scholars entering college with this designation,” King said in a message.

However, all of UNC-CH’s previous night chairs have been appointed tenure, and their position is designed to draw professionals into academia. King wrote that some nightchairs across the country do not have tenure for life, which will affect their next search and appointment of this role.

Term of office is a rigorous process and requires approval at many levels. Hannah Jones was in court by King before the 1619 project was announced. Her recruitment for this position has been going on for several months.

As part of the tenure package, Hannah Jones met with a group of teachers and taught classes at UNC-CH. She wrote a statement about her professional vision, education and services, presented her series of work investigated by the Journalism School Promotion and Tenure Commission, and voted to approve her. The package was also reviewed by outside scholars and presented to all tenure teachers at the School of Journalism. King then submitted it to the president, college-level promotion and tenure committees, and the board.

King said he received the support of Provost and the Prime Minister in making this employment, even if his tenure was not included.

“They stood by the school to find a way to bring her here,” King said. “She will help students navigate the changing times of America in very partisan moments.”

When the recruitment of Hannah Jones was announced, board members did not issue a statement. The board did not publicly discuss whether she should be in office. Still, there was no vote from the board.

This issue may be addressed by the Board of Directors on Wednesday and the Board of Directors on Thursday.

Concerns among teachers

King said he would respect the powers and decisions of the board, but was concerned about Hannah Jones’ qualified schools and their faculties. She said it could be a setback for Hasman School and the university as a whole.

“People are worried about what this is saying about the board,” King said. “I’m afraid of what my peers say and the potential for new scholars and practitioners. Do they want to come here?”

Hannah Jones Covers Civil Rights and Racial Injustice New York Times Magazine..she is MacArthur Fellowship Winner of “Genius Grant” and recently American Academy of Arts and Sciences Introduced in NC Media & Journalism Hall of Fame..

King says UNC is celebrating this adoption, and some say Hannah Jones is “the most important journalist of the generation.” However, the news of her recruitment also attracted criticism from several UNC graduates and conservative groups.

Jay Schalin, Director of Policy Analysis at the James G. Martin Center for Academic Renewal, wrote: Recruitment “indicates a decline in journalism standards” I am aiming for the 1619 project. Sharin said the project’s goal was “political upset, not historical or journalism.”

Shannon Watkins, also at the Martin Center, criticized the trustee and the UNC system. “Activists-Scholars” cannot be prevented From gaining a position in the university. “

An unsigned editorial from “What was UNC Thinking Leadership?” Said Carolina Partnership for Reform. “This woman is an activist reporter, not a teacher.”

But at journalism schools, the controversy over the adoption of Hannah Jones can be seen through another lens.

Associate Professor Fat Ikat said, “When we were doing racial calculations in 2021, the UNC Board refused to consider future tenures in the Faculty of Colors,” a disturbing precedent. He said he made it.

“A colleague of UNC faculty suffers from conservative anger suffering from conservative anger stopping the UNC board from providing tenure to acclaimed journalists such as Nicole Hannah Jones. “Ikat said.

About 20 journalism and media faculty members, including Aikat Make a statement On Wednesday, Hannah Jones said she was surprised that she wasn’t awarded tenure and asked college leaders for an explanation.

“The appointment as a night chair failed to provide Hannah Jones’ tenure, causing the goalpost to move unfairly and violate the long-standing norms and established processes associated with tenure and promotion at UNC Chapel Hill. “They write.

They mentioned Hannah Jones’ more than 20 years of journalism experience and her “necessary and transformative work on American racial history.”

“The national politicization of universities, journalism and social sciences undermines the completeness and academic freedom of the University of North Carolina system as a whole,” they wrote.

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