UNC board set to vote on tenure for Nikole Hannah-Jones amid outcry from Black faculty and students

The board of trustees at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill is expected to vote Wednesday on whether it will grant tenure to award-winning journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones as tension mounts among Black students and faculty who say the board’s initial failure to do so reflects a history of systemic racism at the school.

The board’s special meeting comes just one day before Hannah-Jones was set to officially join the Hussman School of Journalism and Media as the Knight Chair in Race and Investigative Journalism. Last month it was revealed that her appointment didn’t come with tenure, a break with tradition for that position. Hannah-Joneslegal team has said she will not take the position if it doesn’t include tenure.
University officials posted a notice of Wednesday’s special meeting online, but a university spokeswoman declined to comment on plans for a tenure vote when reached by CNN.
      Trish Harris, vice chair of the Carolina Black Caucus and recruitment director at the UNC School of Education, confirmed that the tenure vote for Jones would take place at the meeting. The Carolina Black Caucus is a campus group that advocates for Black faculty and staff at UNC.
        The board’s refusal to give Hannah-Jonestenure has fueled outcry from UNC’s Black community with more than 100 students rallying last week on campus to demand that the board reconsider tenure for Hannah-Jones. 少なくとも three Black faculty members have reportedly announced their resignations amid the controversy. CNN was unable to confirm if the tenure issue with Hannah-Jones was the key reason for their departure.
          In early June, 42 faculty members from the Hussman School of Journalism and Media penned a letter condemning the board for not granting Hannah-Jones tenure calling itblatant disregard for time-honored tenure procedures and for the university and Board of Trusteesendorsed values of diversity, equity and inclusion.
          UNC student body president and trustee Lamar Richards requested that the board schedule a special meeting to vote on the tenure application for Hannah-Jones.
          In Richardsletter to the board dated June 23, he said the meeting was necessaryfor the sake of our university’s future, not as the sole corrective measure for inclusion efforts on campus but as the first step to ignite this critical phase of bolstering inclusion for Carolina.

          ‘A slap in the face

          Black faculty members, students and alumni say the controversy is just the latest example of the bias and discrimination that Black people have faced at UNC.
          Dawna Jones, chair of the Carolina Black Caucus and assistant dean of students at UNC, said Black faculty members have complained for years about being overlooked for promotions, not receiving professional development, and being overworked and expected to take on added responsibilities such as serving as diversity chairs of search committees and mentoring students.
          The turmoil over Hannah-Jones not receiving tenure felt like anotherslap in the facefor many faculty members, ジョーンズは言った.
          I think for us on campus it feels like just another trigger of the things that go on behind in the scenes in the rooms that Black leaders are in,” ジョーンズは言った. “We feel as though we are being treated much differently than our (白い) counterparts.
          UNC-Chapel Hill Chancellor Kevin M. Guskiewicz released a statement saying he was concerned about the complaints from Black faculty.
          It has always been my goal to build a community where everyone truly knows they belong and are valued for their own unique perspectives and experiences,” Guskiewicz said. “I am deeply concerned that some members of the Carolina Black community do not feel they can thrive in this environment.
          Jones said there is also value in having a Black woman as a full tenured faculty member at UNC because it’s rare on many college campuses. There is currently only one Black female faculty member with tenure at UNC and that is Dr. Trevy McDonald who serves as associate professor and director of Diversity, エクイティ, & Inclusion at the School of Journalism and Media.
          Having a Black woman of her stature at the University of North Carolina, it’s a no-brainer for us and it’s very confusing that we’re in this situation right now,” ジョーンズは言った.

          Students rally for Jones

          Students at UNC have also expressed frustration with how Hannah-Jones is being treated.
          At a UNC Black Student Movement rally on campus last week, Jaylen Harrell, a rising sophomore, 言った CNN’s affiliate WRAL that the controversy over Jonestenure was “フランスは過剰流出後、調査を開始” and made him question how much UNC values its students of color.
          As minority students on campus, it’s important that our faculty and staff help represent us,” Harrell said. “We want our voices to be heard, not just through us, but through our faculty and staff as well.
          In addition to her master’s degree, which she earned at UNC’s journalism school, Hannah-Jones has racked up awards that include the MacArthur Foundation Fellowship (known as the Genius Grant) and the Pulitzer Prize for her landmark 1619 事業.
          This year she was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
            McDonald said she feels confident the board will grant Hannah-Jones tenure.
            It will not be a unanimous vote, but she will have the majority needed,” マクドナルドは言った.