Fit to Print? UNC’s Settlement with Nikole Hannah-Jones is Bad News

Phillip Magness:

One last thing. UNC did the right thing in offering her the job without tenure. There are many professors who are not academically qualified but who nonetheless qualify for a teaching professorship on the strength of a career of solid, interesting work. These faculty, commonly called professors of practice, raise no eyebrows whatsoever. Given her work history, such an offer would have been exactly the right kind for UNC to make to Hannah-Jones. If at some point down the line her demonstrated research output and classroom experience warranted a merit-based promotion, she could have been given the opportunity to go through the same tenure-review process as any other faculty member. Instead, she demanded the privilege of sidestepping the normal rules and procedures of academic promotion by threatening to unleash a lawsuit and a Twitter mob against the university.

And as galling as it is to see Nikole Hannah-Jones try to weasel her way into an unearned tenured professorship, there is one thing that is even more galling: She hasn’t published a single piece of journalism in the New York Times, her other full-time employer, in over two years. Maybe the Times is on to her. They claim to publish all the news that’s fit to print, after all.

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