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Nikole Hannah-Jones denies tenure at UNC, accepts a position at Howard University

Pulitzer award recipient Nikole Hannah-Jones was offered tenure at her Alma Mater University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC). However, she declined the offer to accept a position on the faculty at Howard University in Washington, D.C. The announcement was made by Jones on “CBS This Morning” with Gayle King on Tuesday. 

Hannah-Jones initially filed for tenure at her alma mater earlier in the year, which was denied by the UNC Board of Trustees, causing a mountain of controversy. The result was flipped by UNC on June 30th after months of protesting from students, staff, and alumni. 

Jones graduated from the UNC Hussman School of Journalism and Media with a master’s degree in 2003, where she earned the honor of being a Roy H. Park Fellow, for students who demonstrate “outstanding leadership potential”. She was also elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

According to Jones, she was never informed why her tenure was denied, claiming that she loved UNC and was anticipating returning to the school. She believes that she was discriminated against because of her race, gender, and political stance.

  “This is my alma mater. I love the university, they have given a lot to me and I wanted to give back. It was embarrassing to be the first black person to be denied tenure and I didn’t want this to become a public scandal” said Jones on CBS This Morning with Gayle King.

Jones will be joined by Ta-Nehsi Coates, a MacArthur genius grant recipient and she will also establish a new Center for Journalism and Democracy.