Speed Reads

'not something that I want anymore'

Nikole Hannah-Jones declines UNC tenure offer, takes Howard University job

Investigative journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones has declined the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill's tenure offer and announced plans to head to Howard University instead.

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Board of Trustees recently approved tenure for Hannah-Jones, who created The 1619 Project, after previously sparking controversy by not granting it. But on Tuesday, Hannah-Jones revealed on CBS This Morning that she has "decided to decline the offer of tenure" and won't be teaching on the school's faculty. 

"Look what it took to get tenure," she said. "This was a position that since the 1980s came with tenure. … Every other chair before me, who also happened to be white, received that position with tenure." 

She said that after tenure was only granted "at the last possible moment" and after "it became a national scandal," it's "just not something that I want anymore," adding that it's "pretty clear that my tenure was not taken up because of political opposition, because of discriminatory views against my viewpoint, and, I believe, my race and my gender." 

Hannah-Jones will, however, be joining the faculty of Howard University, where she will have tenure and will found a Center for Journalism and Democracy, according to The Washington Post. Author Ta-Nehisi Coates is also joining the school. 

"I am so incredibly honored to be joining one of the most important and storied educational institutions in our country," Hannah-Jones said. "One of my few regrets is that I did not attend Howard as an undergraduate, and so coming here to teach fulfills a dream I have long carried."

UNC Hussman School of Journalism and Media faculty members in a statement said they support Hannah-Jones's decision, per HuffPost

"The appalling treatment of one of our nation's most-decorated journalists by her own alma mater was humiliating, inappropriate, and unjust," the faculty said. "We will be frank: it was racist."