Faculty members at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill are upset after learning one of their professors has been snubbed on her tenure track quest possibly due to her ties to “The 1619 Project.”
Journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones is the writer behind the NY Times “The 1619 Project.” The UNC-Chapel Hill professor also holds a master’s degree from the school and was being considered for tenure less than a month ago. The school released a news release that lauded her for being “one of the country’s leading voices in journalism covering housing and school segregation, civil rights, and racial injustice in the U.S.”
But just a few weeks later, it’s been revealed that the school’s Board of Trustees has decided to rescind its offer, The Chronicle of New Education reports.
“When her case was presented, the Board of Trustees did not act on tenure, and she was offered a five-year, fixed-term contract by the university,” Susan King, the dean, wrote. “The Board of Trustees has the authority to approve all tenured (lifetime) appointments. I was told the board was worried about a nonacademic entering the university with this designation.”
“The 1619 Project” has been under scrutiny by Republicans bothered by it placing slavery at the center of retelling American history. Former President Donald Trump worked hard to prevent the curriculum from entering public schools and even threatened to withhold federal funding from schools who taught it, Forbes reports.
Angry faculty members came together to release a blistering letter blasting the decision due to how it “unfairly moves the goalposts and violates longstanding norms and established processes relating to tenure and promotion at UNC-Chapel Hill.”
Mimi V. Chapman, chairwoman of Chapel Hill’s faculty spoke with Hannah-Jones on Tuesday and she said she “understands that this is part of a larger picture that just undermines the value of faculty.”
“We didn’t see her as this controversial figure that we wanted because we just really like controversy,” Francesca Dillman Carpentier, the committee’s chairwoman said. “We saw her as an alum who had made it, and who had made a real difference in starting difficult conversations.”