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UNC Board Approves Tenure for Journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones in Reversal

The board voted in a 9-4 decision in favor of tenure after uproar over her job protections

UNC-Chapel Hill’s board on Wednesday voted to approve tenure for journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones.

The board voted in a 9-4 decision, in favor of tenure after weeks of controversy over Hannah-Jones’ job protections. She was originally hired in April and intended to start her new role at UNC in July.

Last week, Hannah-Jones announced that she will not begin her position as the university’s Knight Chair in Race and Investigative Journalism, as outlined in a letter from her legal team to the university.

According to reports, sources said UNC trustees politically objected to her work and felt pressured by conservatives to prevent her from getting hired. The UNC-Chapel Hill Board of Trustees had declined to vote on tenure for Hannah-Jones and later offered her a five-year fixed term contract. Previous candidates have been hired with tenure.

Hannah-Jones is a Pulitzer Prize winner and creator of “The 1619 Project” on slavery for The New York Times.