Committee will investigate 'structural racism' at UNC after Nikole Hannah-Jones controversy
The investigation follows the purported 'mishandling' of 1619 Project founder Nikole Hannah-Jones’ tenure offer.
Campus Reform reported earlier this year on internal emails at UNC that show Hannah-Jones was initially pleased with her original offer.
The American Association of University Professors announced in a recent statement that they have launched a special committee to investigate “structural racism” at the University of North Carolina.
The AAUP special committee intends to produce a report following the investigation that will discuss the “mishandling” of Nikole Hannah-Jones’ tenure case as well as a “pattern of egregious violations of principles of academic governance and persistent structural racism in the University of North Carolina System.”
Earlier this year, Hannah-Jones — the New York Times journalist who gained a national platform for her “1619 Project” — was offered a position as a Knight Chair in Race and Investigative Journalism at the University of North Carolina’s Hussman School of Journalism and Media.
The Board of Trustees initially chose not to take action on her tenure application — a move that generated significant progressive backlash. On June 30, the trustees decided to grant tenure to Hannah-Jones; however, she announced on July 6 that she had turned down the offer in favor of another position at Howard University.
Emails between administrators show that Hannah-Jones was satisfied with her five-year fixed, tenure-track contract — under which she would earn $180,000 per year — before being offered immediate tenure.
In the words of Trustee Chuck Duckett, Hannah-Jones was “incredibly talented” and a “national figure.” Because she had “not taught a class or been in academia before,” she agreed to the five-year agreement and was “happy about it.”
Campus Reform reached out to the University of North Carolina and the American Association of University Professors for comment; this article will be updated accordingly.
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