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Nikole Hannah-Jones turns down UNC job following tenure fight, will take position at Howard

Nikole Hannah-Jones UNC Howard tenure
Posted at 9:03 AM, Jul 06, 2021

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — Investigative journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones says she will not teach at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill following an extended fight over tenure.

Hannah-Jones announced her decision during an interview on "CBS This Morning" on Tuesday. She said she would instead take up the Knight Chair in Race and Investigative Journalism at Howard University, a historically black school in Washington, D.C.

In April, Hannah-Jones, a UNC-Chapel Hill alumna and a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist who has written extensively about race in the U.S., was set to join the university as the Knight Chair in Race and Investigative Journalism at the university.

Other professors who have held the position in the past had been offered tenure. However, the school's Board of Trustees initially declined to provide Hannah-Jones tenure, citing questions about her credentials.

Last week, the board reversed course and approved Hannah-Jones' tenure.

Hannah-Jones was among the staff members at The New York Times who developed "The 1619 Project," a sweeping long-form series that re-framed American history by centering the story of the country on the institution of slavery and the Black experience.

Hannah-Jones was awarded the 2020 Pulitzer Prize for Commentary for an essay she wrote as part of that project.

"The 1619 Project" has been criticized by conservative politicians who claim the project is divisive and not an accurate portrayal of American history.