Excerpt: Last week, the journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones, who led The New York Times Magazine’s 1619 Project, was named the Knight Chair in Race and Investigative Journalism at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Faculty at its Hussman School of Journalism and Media recommended her for tenure too. But the university’s board of trustees didn’t approve the faculty recommendation. Instead, UNC appointed her to a five-year contract with the option of a tenure review.
That appointment may still strike many Americans as a great gig, even without the dream of lifetime job security. But many in academia and journalism see it as a politicized assault on academic autonomy and the First Amendment. If antipathy toward the perspective of the 1619 Project motivated the denial of tenure—and I fear that it did—that would be a clear example of a government body unconstitutionally punishing someone for her views.