On May 20, the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill (UNC-CH) chapter of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) posted a statement condemning the UNC-CH Board of Trustees (BOT) for failing to award tenure to Nikole Hannah-Jones (statement updated June 21, 2021 to clarify that the the BOT did not reject Hannah-Jones’s tenure recommendation but failed to act on it).
Now the national leadership of the AAUP has posted a statement on the UNC Board and Nikole Hannah-Jones, calling on the Board “to immediately reverse its mistaken move to withhold tenure and accept the faculty's recommendation that Nikole Hannah-Jones be appointed to the Knight chair with tenure.”
UNC-CH AAUP chapter member Hassan Melehy has written a commentary for the Academe Blog on “The Right-Wing ‘Renewal’ of Higher Education in North Carolina pointing out that the Board’s failure is just the latest example of the influence over the UNC System Board of Governors and the UNC–CH BOT exercised by conservative activist groups like the Raleigh-based James G. Martin Center for Academic Renewal.
At Slate, UNC-CH professor Alice Marwick and UNC-CH professor and UNC-CH AAUP chapter member Daniel Kreiss have written an article on “The Conservative Disinformation Campaign Against Nikole Hannah-Jones” that puts the situation at UNC-CH in the broader context of “a long-term conservative battle against public higher education and the teaching of American racial history.”
The University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill’s Board of Trustees (BOT), apparently bowing to pressure from the UNC System’s Board of Governors (BOG), has
rejected failed to act on a tenure recommendation that had the full support of UNC-Chapel Hill Hussman School of Journalism and Media’s faculty and Dean and of UNC-CH’s Chancellor. By blocking Nikole Hannah-Jones’s appointment with tenure, the BOT and BOG have once again engaged in administrative overreach at UNC-Chapel Hill and violated the rules of faculty governance and academic freedom.
The Chapel Hill chapter of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) objects in the strongest possible terms to this latest egregious attack on the core principles of academic freedom and shared governance. We join the Hussman School faculty in demanding that the BOT immediately
reinstate approve Hannah-Jones’s original appointment with tenure.
All UNC system and campus administrators must respect the faculty's central role in hiring and tenuring our colleagues and defining educational programming.
See the full UNC-CH AAUP statement on
the revoking of Nikole Hannah-Jones’s appointment with tenure (statement updated June 21, 2021 to clarify that the the BOT did not reject Hannah-Jones’s tenure recommendation but failed to act on it).
The UNC-Chapel Hill chapter of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) is opposed to the current policy of allowing the UNC System President to name a finalist candidate for chancellor searches at UNC campuses.
The Board of Governors’ recent appointment of Darrell Allison as Chancellor at Fayetteville State University—after a normal search had created an initial list of finalists that did not include him—demonstrates that the current system is in violation of the AAUP’s principles of shared campus governance.
See the full UNC-CH AAUP statement on UNC chancellor searches.