UNC trustees OK journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones’ tenure bid

The board voted 9-4 to accept the application for tenure at a special meeting that included a closed-door session.

The university announced in April that Hannah-Jones, who won a Pulitzer Prize for her work on the New York Times Magazine’s 1619 Project that focused on the country’s history of slavery, would be joining the journalism school’s faculty as the Knight Chair in Race and Investigative Journalism in July with a five-year contract.

Before Wednesday, the school had said little about why tenure was not offered, but a prominent donor revealed he had emailed university leaders challenging her work as “highly contentious and highly controversial” before the process was halted.

Hannah-Jones attorneys had announced last week that she would not report for work without tenure, prompting a call from Student Body President Lamar Richards, who’s also a trustee, for the board to convene a special meeting.