'Protect Nikole': Emails reveal UNC dean asked ABC News for favorable Nikole Hannah-Jones coverage.

In an email obtained by 'Campus Reform,' the dean of the journalism school at the University of North Carolina asked a reporter at ABC News to 'protect' Nikole Hannah-Jones amid the tenure controversy this spring.

'Campus Reform' previously covered UNC's offer of tenure and Hannah-Jones' subsequent refusal of the offer.

Emails obtained by Campus Reform show a University of North Carolina dean telling an ABC News reporter to “protect” Nikole Hannah-Jones during her ongoing battle for tenure. 

In late May, ABC Deputy Political Director Averi Harper emailed UNC Journalism and Media Dean Susan King to ask why Hannah-Jones had not been granted tenure. King told her that the Board of Trustees had declined to consider Hannah-Jones’ application package, adding:

”Protect Nikole. She deserves it and I’m doing all I can to make this right. We really want her here.”

[RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: Nikole Hannah-Jones UNC offer letter lists $180,000 yearly salary]

Hannah-Jones, author of the “1619 Project” and sought-after college guest speaker, was being considered for a tenured position despite having never taught a college course. 

King told Harper, “She deserves tenure. Her package is perhaps the best I’ve ever seen.” 

[RELATED: UNC Board of Trustees grants tenure to Nikole Hannah-Jones]

Though UNC’s Board of Trustees voted on June 30 to grant tenure, Hannah-Jones turned them down and instead accepted a professorship at Howard University, her alma mater. 

Averi Harper is an alumna of the UNC Hussman School of Journalism and Media.

The University of North Carolina sent Campus Reform a statement after publication reading, “Ms. Harper was seeking clarity on the tenure process to inform a statement that she and fellow Black J-school alumni posted in support of Nikole Hannah-Jones on May 24, and Dean King responded in kind.”

Campus Reform reached out to Averi Harper for comment. This article will be updated accordingly. 

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @AngelaLMorabito