Last month, UNC’s Hussman School of Journalism and Media announced that Hannah-Jones, an alumnus and the author of the controversial “1619 Project” as its Knight Chair in Race and Investigative Journalism.
However, NC Policy Watch reported on Wednesday that Hannah-Jones will no longer receive the tenure position following “conservative criticism.”
According to the outlet, UNC’s board of trustees decided not to approve Hannah-Jones’ tenure – which effectively translates into a career-long appointment – despite support from faculty. She will still be offered a fixed five-year-contract with the journalism school.
Hannah-Jones did find support on social media from the prominent PBS journalist.
“UNC’s decision to deny tenure to @nhannahjones is absurd & a reminder of how hard some work to deny the hard truth that is Nikole’s life work & the 1619 Project,” Alcindor tweeted. “She is a Pulitzer Prizer winner & a MacArthur genius. What more needs to be said?”
Susan King, dean of the UNC Hussman School of Journalism and Media, reportedly called the decision “disappointing” and said she was afraid it would create a “chilling effect.”
King said Hannah-Jones “represents the best of our alumni and the best of the business.”
However, the “1619 Project” has widely been criticized by historians over factual inaccuracies and Republican lawmakers have been outspoken with opposition in response to the Biden administration’s efforts to incorporate the “1619 Project” in its education agenda.
The “1619 Project” was a Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times Magazine enterprise that examined the long-term consequences of slavery in America. It was released in 2019 to coincide with the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first enslaved Africans in colonial Virginia in 1619. Historians have raised concerns about some of the claims, notably that slavery was a primary reason that American colonists sought independence from Great Britain.
Fox News’ Sam Dorman contributed to this report.