On Wednesday, the University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill scheduled an emergency faculty meeting regarding the massive public fallout that ensued after leftist journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones ultimately rejected an offer of tenure from the university. Hannah-Jones’s rejection strongly suggested that she believes that racism caused the school to initially drag its feet regarding whether or not to offer her tenure.
Mimi Chapman, the UNC-Chapel Hill Faculty Chair, stated that the emergency meeting would focus on Hannah-Jones’s concerns that various trustees, state politicians, and UNC System board of Governors may replace Kevin Guskiewicz, the chancellor of the university. Guskiewicz had provided support for Hannah-Jones’s hiring behind closed doors, and he also expressed public dismay when the leftist journalist was initially denied tenure.
Chapman remarked that replacing Guskiewicz would result in “an absolute disaster for [the UNC] campus” to endure “a change in leadership right now.”
In separate meetings on Wednesday and Thursday this week, the new members of the Board of Trustees are anticipated to make a decision on the future of Guskiewicz. Chapman fears that the meeting time will be harnessed for pressuring Peter Hans, the UNC System President, to take action against Guskiewicz, given that he has the authority to recommend termination of the chancellor’s position. However, the ultimate authority over the future of the chancellor rests with the UNC System Board of Governors.
Hans claimed that UNC’s mission “is teaching, research, and public service, not rumors and politics,” and he also added that all individuals should “take a deep breath,” avoid “[chasing] conspiracy theories,” and “focus on [the university] mission.”
Critical race theory (CRT) and the 1619 Project have turned into highly controversial education initiatives that numerous American families have attempted to keep out of various American schools. As part of their quest, parents have made several appearances at local board meetings, while multiple states have also introduced various laws designed to ban teaching CRT.
Initially, Hannah-Jones had been denied tenure due to the heavy backlash surrounding the 1619 Project, which focuses extensively on the long-term outcomes of slavery in American history. Though this project inexplicably won a Pulitzer Prize, it has faced heavy criticism from various historians for gross inaccuracies. Moreover, GOP legislators have also demonstrated strong opposition to the Biden administration’s persistent attempts to weave Hannah-Jones’s ideology into American public education.
Last night, Hannah-Jones proclaimed that she refused to accept any faculty position at UNC unless it included an offer of tenure. After the Hannah-Jones’s public fit, faculty ultimately voted 9-4 in her favor.
However, Hannah-Jones ultimately rejected the tenure offer. During a performance on “CBS This Morning,” the controversial journalist informed Gayle King that she would accept the inaugural Knight Chair in Race and Reporting at Howard University instead.