Nikole Hannah-Jones

Notable Chemist, Lisa Jones, Declines UNC Offer Amid Nikole Hannah-Jones Backlash

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Lisa Jones, an associate professor of pharmaceutical sciences, has decided to pass up an offer of employment at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill after they denied Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and professor Nikole Hannah-Jones tenure.

“It does not seem in line with a school that says it is interested in diversity,” Jones wrote in a letter to the faculty according to Inside Higher Ed.

“Although I know this decision may not reflect the view of the school’s faculty, I will say that I cannot see myself accepting a position at a university where this decision stands. I appreciate all of the effort you have put into trying to recruit me but for me this is hard to overlook.”

UNC-Chapel Hill’s Hussman School of Journalism and Media sought after Hannah-Jones for its Knight Chair in Race and Investigative Journalism. The professorship is a tenured position. However, Conservatives, who have been campaigning to have Hannah-Jones’ “1619 Project” removed from classrooms, complained about UNC’s intention to grant the spot to Hannah-Jones.

The college will instead offer Hannah-Jones a fixed five-year term. After five years, the board can review the decision for tenure.

On Friday, a group of 38 faculty members at UNC’s Hussman School of Journalism and Media signed a statement condemning the board’s decision.

“It seems apparent that the UNC Board of Trustees has again failed to review Nikole Hannah-Jones’s dossier for appointment as the Knight Chair in Race and Investigative Journalism with tenure, despite affirmation at all previous levels of rigorous review,” the faculty wrote, adding, “The fact that the Board’s inaction might have resulted from donor influence is especially alarming.”

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