Chemistry Professor Turns Down Employment Opportunity At UNC Because The University Didn’t Provide Tenure To ‘1619 Project’ Author

OPINION | This article contains political commentary which reflects the author's opinion.

Lisa Jones, a chemistry professor rejected a job opportunity at UNC because UNC refused to provide Nikole Hannah-Jones tenure, according to The Daily Wire.

“The news this week that Nikole Hannah-Jones was denied tenure was very disheartening,” Jones stated.

“It does not seem in line with a school that says it is interested in diversity.”

“Although I know this decision may not reflect the view of the school’s faculty, I will say that I cannot see myself accepting a position at a university where this decision stands.”

“I appreciate all of the effort you have put into trying to recruit me but for me, this is hard to overlook.”

“This is a very political thing,” a UNC Board member said.

“The university and the board of trustees and the Board of Governors and the legislature have all been getting pressure since this thing was first announced last month.”

“There have been people writing letters and making calls, for and against.”

“But I will leave it to you which is carrying more weight.”

From The Daily Wire:

A chemistry professor turned down a job at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC) citing the school’s refusal to give “1619 Project” author Nikole Hannah-Jones tenure.

According to the Huffington Post, Lisa Jones, a chemist and professor at the University of Maryland, withdrew her candidacy for a job at UNC saying that she couldn’t look “past UNC’s treatment of Hannah-Jones when considering whether to join its faculty.”

More than 30 faculty members from the chemistry department penned a letter to school administrators claiming that the school’s refusal to give Hannah-Jones tenure has injured the university. The letter to UNC Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz claims that denying the author tenure “is antithetical to everything we value and represent.”

The Daily Wire reported that UNC’s Hussman School of Journalism and Media offered tenure to Hannah-Jone under the school’s Knight Chair in Race and Investigative Journalism position. The UNC Board of Trustees denied Hannah-Jones immediate tenure, instead offering her a five-year term with the potential for tenure down the road.

The Root writes:

Imagine your very public bending over to white supremacy becoming part of your legacy. Seems to me UNC-Chapel Hill would’ve been much better off ignoring all of the white tears and doing right by Hannah-Jones. Maybe the board never expected that so many people — Black people especially — would be standing together in support of Hannah-Jones and refusing to be quiet about the effort to keep American history whitewashed.

Hannah-Jones received intense criticism for the “1619 Project.” She received a Pulitzer Prize for her work, though it has come under fire from historians for its one-sidedness.

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Among the critics is James McPherson, professor emeritus of history at Princeton University and Pulitzer Prize-winning author. McPherson called the project “unbalanced” and “one-sided.”

“I was disturbed by what seemed like a very unbalanced, one-sided account, which lacked context and perspective on the complexity of slavery, which was clearly, obviously, not an exclusively American institution, but existed throughout history,” the historian said.

Hannah-Jones has since signed book deals for two new books, eight new essays, and teamed up with Oprah Winfrey to create several feature films and documentaries.