Faculty from many departments across the University have issued statements of support for Nikole Hannah-Jones after the UNC Board of Trustees initially failed to offer her a tenured position.
On Wednesday, the Board voted 9-4 in a special meeting to approve Hannah-Jones’ tenure application. Faculty members are encouraged by the decision, but they say this situation has been nothing new for people of color at UNC.
Seth Noar is a professor in the Hussman School of Journalism and Media and the journalism and media representative on the Committee on Appointments, Promotions and Tenure. He said he is pleased with the outcome of the vote.
“I'm feeling very good that they finished out the process,” he said. “I think that's really important for our University.”
Chairperson of the Faculty Mimi Chapman said she was hopeful the Board would approve Hannah-Jones’ tenure and feels it was the right decision.
She said it would have been an “incredible breach” with the faculty to not approve the tenure.
“They have to know the campus was very unified,” Chapman said. “This opinion, that academic matters, that the tenure process needs to be respected — that was just not in debate anywhere on our campus.”
Susan King, dean of the Hussman School, said the decision took longer than she imagined, but she is appreciative that the Board voted in favor of the school’s recommendation.
"(Hannah-Jones) is a journalist’s journalist, a teacher’s teacher and a woman of substance with a voice of consequence," she said. "Hannah-Jones will make our school better with her presence. She will deepen the University’s commitment to intellectual integrity and to access for all."