July 28, 2021

Nikole Hannah-Jones Says She Won’t Join UNC Without Tenure

Mr. Hussman had criticized aspects of the 1619 Project in emails to university leaders, including Susan King, the dean of the Hussman School. But he said in an interview with The Times this month that he did not want to influence the board’s decision on Ms. Hannah-Jones.

“I really wanted to make them more knowledgeable about the 1619 Project,” said Mr. Hussman, the longtime publisher of The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette in Little Rock and a U.N.C. graduate. “And I thought, I’m now a lot more knowledgeable about it, having read it — not cursory but carefully.”

Speaking of the board members, he said, “They’re going to have to make their own decision.”

Mr. Hussman, who has pledged $25 million to the journalism school, said any decision on Ms. Hannah-Jones’s role at the university would not affect his future donations.

The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund Inc. did not respond to a request for comment.

The 1619 Project, whose name is derived from the year that enslaved Africans were brought to the English colony of Virginia, drew early criticism from five prominent historians. The series became the center of a cultural debate partly because of a series of 1619 Project school lesson plans developed by the Pulitzer Center and offered on its website.

Last month, 1,619 University of North Carolina students and alumni signed a two-page advertisement published in The News Observer of Raleigh, N.C., that called for Ms. Hannah-Jones to be given tenure. In addition, more than 200 academics and cultural figures — including the author Ta-Nehisi Coates, the filmmaker Ava DuVernay and the historian Eric Foner — signed a letter published in The Root last month saying the board had displayed a “failure of courage” in its refusal to grant her tenure.

Republican lawmakers in nearly a dozen states have also proposed bills targeting the 1619 Project.

Article source: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/06/23/business/media/nikole-hannah-jones-university-of-north-carolina-tenure.html

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