Top candidate turns down UNC job, cites school’s mistreatment of Nikole Hannah-Jones

In a letter sent to school administrators, more than 30 faculty members from the chemistry department at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill said the school’s refusal to grant Pulitzer-winning journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones tenure is injuring the university and risks doing more damage.

Hannah-Jones, a highly regarded journalist who specializes in education reporting, is also the creator of The New York Times’ “1619 Project,” which examines the consequences of slavery in the U.S. and the role African Americans have played in the country’s prosperity. Since its publication in 2019, white Republicans have tried to censor the project in order to hide its coverage of anti-Black racism.

In the letter to UNC Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz, faculty from the university’s chemistry department said Lisa Jones, a world-renowned chemist who withdrew her candidacy for a job at UNC over the school’s refusal to grant Hannah-Jones tenure, is evidence that the school’s stance is harming its reputation and “is antithetical to everything we value and represent.”

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