11 votes

The real reason UNC-Chapel Hill is withholding tenure from Nikole Hannah-Jones

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  1. psi
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    I cannot stress enough how polticized the Board of Governors/Trustees has become. The UNC Board of Trustees (the board that denied Hannah-Jones her tenure) has 13 seats: 4 seats appointed by the...

    I cannot stress enough how polticized the Board of Governors/Trustees has become. The UNC Board of Trustees (the board that denied Hannah-Jones her tenure) has 13 seats: 4 seats appointed by the (heavily-gerrymandered, Republican) state legislature; 8 seats appointed by the NC Board of Governors (who themselves are appointed by the heavily-gerrymandered, Republican state legislature); and 1 appointed by the student body (the student body president). For those keeping score, that's 12 seats filled by political ideologues, and 1 seat filled by someone who actually has a foremost interest in student affairs; moreover, the student representative is only permitted to participate in meetings, not to vote.

    As an example of the Board of Governors/Trustees general shittiness towards the student body, consider the case of Silent Sam, a Confederate monument that stood on UNC campus until 2018. Unsurprisingly, this statue was unpopular with the student body, especially given its racist dedication in 1913, but the Board of Governors made no effort to have the statue removed (by NC law, only the Board of Governors would have been able to petition for the statue's removal from campus). In 2018, after the statue was toppled by protesters, the Board of Trustees proposed spending $5.3 million for an new campus building that would hold the (toppled) statue.

    Thankfully the Board of Governors rejected that plan, but their counter-proposal was only slightly less shitty. In 2019, a year after Silent Sam was toppled by protesters, the Board of Governors signed a settlement agreement in which they would donate the statue and a $2.5 million trust to the Sons of the Confederate Veterans, a neo-confederate group. A Judge later overturned the settlement agreement, acknowledging that the Sons of the Confederate Veterans never had standing to sue in the first place.

    Mind you, throughout this entire ordeal, the insistence by both Boards to keep the statue on campus stemmed from a NC law that prevented confederate statutes from being removed unless they were relocated to a place of "equal prominence", despite the fact that the statue had already been toppled, thus likely rending the law moot.

    For what its worth, the statue still remains off-campus (likely locked-up in some warehouse). A tree has been planted in the place it once stood.


    Bonus "fun" fact: the current chairman of NC's Board of Governors, which oversees the management of the NC university system, is Randy Ramsey. Ramsey is a boat salesman who lacks even an associate degree. If that isn't an indictment of the politicization of NC higher education, I don't know what is.

    4 votes