Official news: Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones will not join the faculty of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill on July 1 as before AnnounceIf there is no term, she would never join the faculty.

“The poor conditions of employment provided to Ms. Hannah Jones in fixed-term contracts are due to opinion discrimination that violates freedom of speech and expression guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States and North Carolina,” Hannah Jones’ lawyer wrote this week the University. The letter also accused the university of violating federal and North Carolina laws for racial and gender discrimination and retaliation, the illegal political influence of violating North Carolina laws, “and other illegal reasons.”

“In this case,” the legal team wrote, “any appointment without a term for Ms. Hannah-Jones is unacceptable.”

It is generally believed that Hannah Jones will not join faculty without a tenure, at least in disclose Last month, Chapel Hill’s board of directors postponed her term of office voting due to political issues.This became clearer on June 4th deadline Hannah-Jones considered the results of her tenure bid for the board and ended without a vote. However, a letter from lawyer Hannah Jones from the Legal Defense and Education Fund of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People confirmed these suspicions.

The letter also provides more insights into how Hannah Jones’ tenure appointment was initially derailed. This is also a window to understand her potential legal case against the university.

New schedule

In April—before the public became aware of the board’s refusal to vote for Hannah Jones for life—Carolina announced that she would join the faculty beginning in July as the Cavaliers chairman of race and investigative journalism. But the lawyer’s letter detailed a different timetable: Hannah Jones originally planned to join the Haasmann School of Journalism and Media in January this year, but the board of directors refused to vote on her tenure case twice, the first time was 11. Month, then January. Although she made excellent recommendations at all other levels reviewed during her tenure, the agency did not provide any explanation to Hannah Jones.

Then, in February, based on the letter, Carolina told Hannah Jones that she could only join faculty and staff by signing a fixed-term contract, with no term. “Ms. Hannah-Jones, without fully understanding the reasons for her refusal to vote on the term plan, signed a term agreement around February 28,” the letter continued, “to minimize her suffering during her tenure. Money loss. And damage to her reputation.” (letter Originally by NC Policy Observation.)

What happened next is well known: NC Policy Observation According to the report, the trustee in Carolina refused to vote on Hannah-Jones’s term of office out of political considerations. This was mainly due to the fact that Hannah-Jones was in New York Times magazineThe award-winning “1619 Project” relives the struggles and contributions of the first black Americans in American history.The project was widely praised by many readers and scholars, but some critics, including former President Donald Trump, claimed that it was Unpatriotic. Strong opposition to the project has contributed to some current anti-teaching legislation Critical race theory In public schools, colleges and universities.

NC Policy Observation Subsequently disclose How close are some of these critics to home. The emails it issued showed that Walter Haasman, the largest donor to the Haasman School and the publisher of the Arkansas newspaper of the same name, had sent emails to Carolina executives and at least one trustee against Han Appointment of Na Jones.

“I am worried about the controversy linking the University of North Carolina School of Journalism to the 1619 project,” Haasman wrote in a December message of this kind, just as the board has been weighing the Hannah-Jones term. In another message, he hinted at racial dynamics, saying that “long before Nicole Hannah Jones won” her Pulitzer Prize, “brave southern whites risked their lives to defend the rights of blacks and also won Won the Pulitzer Prize.” Hannah Jones is black, and many of her critics are white conservatives.

The board did not really explain why it submitted Hannah-Jones’s term vote.Board chairman Richard Stevens said in May that it is “not uncommon” for board members to have questions about candidates’ backgrounds, “especially those who are not from traditional academic backgrounds.” That explanation It doesn’t make any sense, because other Hussman professors who don’t have traditional academic qualifications get tenured positions when they are appointed, because journalism is a field where practical experience is very important.

Hannah Jones’ attorney elaborated on this in a new memo to Carolina.

Hannah-Jones “has been a journalist for nearly 20 years and holds a master’s degree from the UNC Hussman School of Journalism and Media. She is the recipient of the most prestigious honors and honors in her field,” the letter said. “She won the Pulitzer Prize in 2020 for her journalism, and won three National Magazine Awards, a Peabody Award, two Polk Awards and a MacArthur’Genius’ Scholarship. She still The winner of the UNC Distinguished Alumni Award 2019 was elected as a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Association of Historians, and was inducted into the North Carolina Media and Journalism Hall of Fame this year.”

Hannah-Jones has indicated through her lawyer that she is considering legal action against the university. The new letter hinted at the basis of the potential litigation, stating that Hannah-Jones “knowledged from the beginning that the Cavaliers chairmanship requires a lifetime appointment after being appointed, not only because every Cavaliers chairman who has joined UNC since 1980 has She was appointed to a tenure position because UNC has repeatedly informed her, verbally and in writing, that her recruitment process will include a vote on her tenure plan by the UNC Board of Directors before she is appointed.”

Elsewhere, the letter claimed that Hannah Jones was not granted tenure because of race and gender, and violated her First Amendment rights.

Although the voting deadline set by her for the board of directors has passed, the letter clearly stated that she did not and does not intend to withdraw her term of office.

Carolina spokesperson Joel Curran said in a statement that “the lawyer representing Nikole Hannah-Jones has contacted the university. Although this is still a confidential personnel issue, as the prime minister [Kevin] Guskiewicz has publicly stated that we think she will add great value to the Carolina campus. “

Among other responsibilities, Hannah Jones plans to teach two courses in the fall: magazine writing and investigative reporting.

Continuous support

Hannah-Jones has seen a wave of support, most recently in response to requests from Carolina Dean Mimi Chapman and Frank A. Daniels Human Services Policy Information Distinguished Professor to ask the dean and dean to express their opinions on the case.

“You don’t have to agree with Ms. Hannah-Jones’s conclusion in the ‘1619 plan’ to do this,” Chapman said in a statement. statement last weekend. “You only need to agree that the teacher’s voice must dictate the academic integrity of the tenure process to make sense. If an external institution without subject expertise (in this case, a BOT) becomes the arbiter of teacher scholarships, all teachers are likely to work Question the status quo, threaten certain external interests, or make people feel uncomfortable and be punished.”

Many chairpersons, deans and other groups have responded, from various departments drug to history.

In her open letter, Lisa Lindsay, the chair of history, talked about the controversy surrounding the “1619 Project.” She said, “As professional historians, we have an informed view.” She continued, although ” There is a legal and continuous professional debate on the merits of certain details of the ‘1619 Project’ document,” she continued, “even those who are critical of some of the assertions made by Ms. Hannah Jones in the ‘1619 Project’ document. The same is true for professional historians. Project 1619 affirmed its rigor and academic integrity, and supported her to obtain a tenure qualification.”

Lindsay continued, “As new evidence emerges and new perspectives clarify previously overlooked issues, historians are particularly sensitive to the obligation to modify past narratives.” “Historicists who fully reinterpret a large subject may be Aroused controversy and criticism, but at the same time, it forced the entire field to question its standard assumptions and engage in fruitful debates.”

The school-wide tenure and promotion committee also responded to Chapman’s call, saying in a statement statement The refusal to vote on Hannah Jones’ tenure set a “dangerous precedent” and “is causing significant direct and long-term harm to the State of Carolina”.

“When the world’s leading academics worry that their work will be judged by any lens other than merit, we cannot recruit or retain them. Without world-class teachers, Carolina would no longer be a world-class university , And it’s no longer a jewel in North Carolina.”

Three scholars of color have already linked their departure from Carolina to the Hannah Jones case.Lisa Jones, another black scholar who the Carolinas Department of Chemistry has been trying to recruit for years, said she Can’t come To Carolina, Hannah Jones was deprived of her tenure.Lamar Richards, the president of the New Carolina Student Union, is black, and he alone urges future students Look elsewhere Because of the racial climate on campus. Most of the Carolina Black Caucus members who attended the most recent meeting also said that they are actively looking for work elsewhere.

It is unclear how the board will respond to Hannah Jones’ lawyers. It did not indicate that a term vote will be held in the short term, if any.And the Board of Governors of the University System of North Carolina-according to NC Policy Observation, Indirectly involved in the Hannah-Jones case-apparently satisfied enough with the dispute to maintain Block the appointment of another faculty member In Chapel Hill, the one from Eric Muller. Dan K. Moore, Distinguished Professor of Law and Ethics, has served, but this year the UNC News Council unanimously reappointed him to the position. However, similar to the Hannah-Jones case, the system committee refused to vote to confirm his press appointment. The board did not give any reasons. But Mueller and his supporters believe this is because he is an outspoken critic of the board, including how it handled the silent Sam Confederate memorial in Chapel Hill.

Some people on campus hope that the board will consider the Hannah Jones case on or after July 14th, when the board will call a new chairperson and new members as planned.

Hussman’s Associate Professor Deb Aikat said that he and his colleagues “very much hope that the UNC Chapel Hill board will do the right thing in granting Nikole Hannah-Jones tenure. This will help all of us focus on welcoming Nikole as the University of North Carolina Chapel The faculty and staff of the Mountain Campus. Now is the time for us to move on.”

Aikat says that Professor Hussman “enriches news and media by empowering our students and empowering our field with research insights. This is what we do best. Everything else is a distraction. And, to be honest, about Nikole Hannah -The general uncertainty of Jones’ tenure decision does not help anyone. For all the wrong reasons, UNC has attracted media attention. These developments are self-defeating.”


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