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Campus Cancel Culture is out of control


I see sophomores at Oberlin have destroyed the First Amendment by objecting to calling Oscar Meyer turkey and Miracle Whip on Wonder Bread a “banh mi” again:

In her career in journalism, Nikole Hannah-Jones has been awarded the Pulitzer Prize and a MacArthur Fellowship “Genius Grant.” But despite support from the UNC-Chapel Hill chancellor and faculty, she won’t be getting a tenured teaching position at her alma mater. At least not yet.

As Policy Watch reported last week, UNC-Chapel Hill’s Hussman School of Journalism and Media pursued Hannah-Jones for its Knight Chair in Race and Investigative Journalism, a tenured professorship. But following political pressure from conservatives who object to her work on “The 1619 Project” for The New York Times Magazine, the school changed its plan to offer her tenure — which amounts to a career-long appointment. Instead, she will start July 1 for a fixed five-year term as Professor of the Practice, with the option of being reviewed for tenure at the end of that time period.

“It’s disappointing, it’s not what we wanted and I am afraid it will have a chilling effect,” said Susan King, dean of UNC Hussman.

Just flat-out political pressure from the hardcore wingnuts, contemptuous not just of academic freedom but higher education itself, who dominate the UNC Board of Governors. This represents easily the gravest threat to free speech on campus.

The Hussman Faculty have issued a statement:

Failure to tenure Nikole Hannah-Jones in her role as the Knight Chair in Race and Investigative Journalism is a concerning departure from UNC’s traditional process and breaks precedent with previous tenured full professor appointments of Knight chairs in our school. This failure is especially disheartening because it occurred despite the support for Hannah-Jones’s appointment as a full professor with tenure by the Hussman Dean, Hussman faculty, and university. Hannah-Jones’s distinguished record of more than 20 years in journalism surpasses expectations for a tenured position as the Knight Chair in Race and Investigative Journalism.

The failure to offer Hannah-Jones tenure with her appointment as a Knight chair unfairly moves the goalposts and violates long-standing norms and established processes relating to tenure and promotion at UNC Chapel Hill. The two immediately preceding Knight chairs in our School received tenure upon appointment. The university counts among its ranks of tenured faculty many leading professionals with distinguished work in their fields. Indeed, one great strength of the Hussman School is that our students learn directly from people who spent decades in advertising, public relations, business, and journalism. The university and its leadership have routinely confirmed the outcome of the numerous faculty bodies entrusted to make decisions as to what is best for their students.

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