By: Teddy Grant
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill board of trustees voted Wednesday to give tenure to journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones, following controversy from Black students and staff after they denied her tenure earlier this month.
In a 9-4 vote, the board approved tenure for Hannah-Jones in a closed session, according to CNN.
According to a letter from Hannah-Jones’s legal team, the school had initially offered her a five-year contract instead of a tenured position because a “powerful donor” had raised objections.
She previously said she would not stick with the university if she wasn’t offered tenure, CNN reported.
Hannah-Jones won a Pulitzer Prize for spearheading the 1619 Project, which aimed “to reframe the country’s history by placing the consequences of slavery and the contributions of Black Americans at the very center of [the U.S.’s] national narrative.”
“There have been those who have wrongly questioned this university’s commitment to academic freedom and open scholarly inquiry,” board chair Richard Stevens said after the vote. “We remain committed to being a light shining brightly on the hill. We embrace and endorse academic freedom, open and rigorous debate and scholarly inquiry, constructive disagreement.”
Ahead of the session, protestors were violently removed from the meeting room. Taliajah Vann, president of the Black Student Movement at UNC, told Marc Lamont Hill that they were peacefully standing in the board meeting when the police proceeded to attack them.
“I will never forget the way that my university treated me today,” Vann said.