New York Times reporter Nikole Hannah-Jones will join the historically Black college as its Knight chair in race and journalism.
Hannah-Jones made the announcement on “CBS This Morning” with Gayle King on Tuesday.
This comes just less than a week after trustees at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill reversed a controversial decision to deny her tenure.
Hannah-Jones, best known for her “1619 Project,” which earned her a Pulitzer Prize will also establish the Center for Journalism and Democracy, which the university says will train aspiring journalists in “the investigative skills and historical and analytical expertise needed to cover the crisis our democracy is facing.”
Howard also announced the appointment of award-winning writer Ta-Nehisi Coates, a fellow MacArthur genius grant recipient as writer-in-residence.
Recall the University of North Carolina’s board of trustees denied her tenure but following protest on June 30th from alumni, faculty and students, the decision was reversed.
Hannah-Jones during a chat with King disclosed that it was a tough decision to decline the UNC position, but after months of a tenure battle that she never wanted to become a “public scandal,” the creator of the “1619 Project” says it was hard not see what she had gone through as political, CNN reports.
“It’s pretty clear my tenure was not taken up because of political opposition because of discriminatory views against my viewpoint and I believe my race and my gender,” she told King.
She earned a master’s degree at UNC’s journalism school.
UNC-Chapel Hill Chancellor Kevin M. Guskiewicz reacting in a statement said he was disappointed in the decision but remains committed to recruiting and retaining “world-class faculty.”
“In my conversations with Nikole, I have told her I appreciated her passion for Carolina and her desire to teach on our campus. While I regret she won’t be coming to Chapel Hill, the students, faculty and staff of Howard University will benefit from her knowledge and expertise. We wish her the best,” he wrote.
Howard University President Wayne A. I. Frederick praised the appointments of Coates and Hannah-Jones in a statement, calling them “two of today’s most respected and influential journalists.”
“At such a critical time for race relations in our country, it is vital that we understand the role of journalism in steering our national conversation and social progress,” Frederick said in a statement. “Not only must our newsrooms reflect the communities where they are reporting, but we need to infuse the profession with diverse talent. We are thrilled that they will bring their insights and research to what is already a world-class, highly accomplished team of professors.”