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On the Matter of Nikole Hannah-Jones

The recent action of the Board of Trustees in deferring consideration of the appointment of Nikole Hannah-Jones as a Knight Chair with tenure in the Hussman School of Journalism revives–once again–the conversation about the racial hierarchies that inform policy at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The continued resistance to confront the historic processes through which patterns of exclusion and practices of iniquity have assumed structural form at Carolina have acted to sap the morale of faculty, staff, and students, from within, and undermine the intellectual credibility and moral integrity of the University, from without.

Vast numbers of the Carolina community bear witness with mounting incredulity to a succession of decisions and actions which have eroded confidence in leadership of the University and squandered the most valuable resource the University possesses: the morale of its people. The recent action of the Board of Trustees cannot but deepen the sense of alienation that is coursing its way through the Carolina community. This egregious episode can have only one salutary outcome: the appointment of Hannah-Jones to the position of Knight Chair with tenure, in accordance with the procedures and practices of the Hussman School of Journalism.