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UNC has released its settlement with Nikole Hannah-Jones, read it here


Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter and MacArthur Fellow Nikole Hannah-Jones, poses for a portrait. Photo courtesy of John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

UNC will pay Nikole Hannah-Jones $74,999.99 to resolve legal matters related to her tenure case last year, according to the University's settlement with Hannah-Jones that was released on Thursday. 

According to the UNC Policy Manual, if UNC pays less than $75,000 to settle potential litigation, the chancellor is authorized to approve the settlement.

The policy states that this is a circumstance that would not require the attention of the Board of Governors to approve the settlement.

UNC announced the agreement with Hannah-Jones last Friday to end any legal action she was considering against the University for its initial failure to grant her a tenured position in the Hussman School of Journalism and Media last spring. She signed the agreement on June 27. 

The agreement also states that Hannah-Jones will not apply again for employment with UNC for a period extending through January 1, 2028.

"This provision does not restrict Ms. Hannah Jones's right to participate, speak or attend any University-sponsored meeting, events or symposia or otherwise participate in any non-employment capacity with the University," the settlement said. 

There are three other key campus initiatives in the settlement that seek to "promote inclusivity at UNC, accelerate investment in mental health counseling and continue funding programs and initiatives through the Office of the Provost."

First, it requires 20 UNC faculty and staff to be trained as search and selection advisers through UNC's Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.

Second, the University must hire an additional trauma-informed therapist by July 31.

Finally, $5,000 must be reserved each fiscal year through 2025 to help pay for meetings and events sponsored by the Carolina Black Caucus. 

"We took these concessions directly from the asks of student and faculty groups and fought very hard for them," Hannah-Jones said in a tweet on Tuesday. "We believe that these concessions will help make my alma mater better and help it live up to its promise. As I said again and again: This was never about me."

The Carolina Black Caucus released a statement on Twitter thanking Hannah-Jones for the settlement provisions.

"With (Hannah-Jones') advocacy, the caucus is looking forward to continuing our efforts to educate and uplift the voices and work of our community within UNC," the organization said. 


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