UNC professor slams board as journalism school’s accreditation downgraded after Nikole Hannah-Jones controversy

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University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill professor slams school board for treatment of controversial writer Nikole Hannah-Jones

“It wasn’t the journalism department that didn’t want to hire Nikole Hannah-Jones,” Mimi Chapman, professor and chair of the faculty council, Mimi Chapman, said this week. according to Inside Higher Ed. “It was a board-level issue, which was widely reported. The delay in the vote and all the maneuvering behind the scenes is to blame for this issue.”

FILE – In this May 21, 2016, file photo, Nikole Hannah-Jones attends the 75th Annual Peabody Awards
(Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP, File)

UNC EMAILS SHOW LONG TENURE DEBATE FOR NIKOLE HANNAH-JONES, WHO TOOK A JOB AT HOWARD UNIVERSITY INSTEAD

“Faculty and students are bearing the brunt of a situation they didn’t create, and that’s a shame,” Chapman added.

Chapman did not immediately respond to a Fox News request for comment.

Chapman’s comments come days after UNC’s journalism school received a demote of his credentialing due to concerns about the lack of diversity in the department following the Hannah-Jones hiring controversy.

1619 PROJECT’S NIKOLE HANNAH-JONES SAYS AMERICANS ARE LEARNING ‘THE HISTORY OF A COUNTRY THAT DOESN’T EXIST’

Nikole Hannah-Jones signs books for her followers before taking the stage to discuss her book, "The 1619 Project: A New Origin Story" at a 2021 LA Times Book Club event.
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Nikole Hannah-Jones signs books for her followers before taking the stage to discuss her book, “The 1619 Project: A New Origin Story” at an LA Times book club event in 2021.
(Jason Armond/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

“[T]The UNC Hussman School faces an existential crisis both internally and externally,” the Accreditation Council for Journalism and Mass Communications Education determined. [Hannah-Jones] controversy…revealed long-standing issues. Many stem from inconsistencies in the execution of the objectives of the 2016 diversity and inclusion action plan.

Hannah-Jones, author of the 1619 Project, was initially offered a multi-year position to become the school’s next Knight Professor of Journalism — an endowed position that previously included a tenured position. Once this was revealed, public outcry and threats to leave Hannah-Jones prompted the school’s board of trustees to vote in favor of granting her term. The former Pulitzer winner then chose to go teach at another school.

In an interview with CBS This Morning on July 6, Jones explained her decision and said she didn’t want to take the job at UNC after her vote for tenure became a “national scandal.”

“Because look what it took to get started,” she said. “It was a position that since the 1980s has become tenured. Knight chairs are designed for professional journalists working in the field, to enter academia. All the other chairs before me, which also happened to be white, received this position with tenure.

Project 1619 founder Nikole Hannah-Jones is considered a hero by liberal media organizations and Hollywood, despite widespread backlash to the award-winning project.

Project 1619 founder Nikole Hannah-Jones is considered a hero by liberal media organizations and Hollywood, despite widespread backlash to the award-winning project.
((Photo by: Jeff Schheart/MSNBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images))

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Emails obtained by Fox News last year show school officials debating whether to grant Hannah-Jones tenure while expressing concerns about her writings that claim Americans learn “the story of a country that does not exist” and were demystified as inaccurate by critics.

Several states, including Florida and Missouri, have included bans on the 1619 Project along with bans they have implemented on the promotion of critical race theory in public schools.

Fox News’ Michael Ruiz and Adam Sabes contributed to this report

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