Campus Free Speech

Regarding Nikole Hannah-Jones and the University of North Carolina

Conservatives should be fighting to open universities up, not to close them down

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At the Chronicle of Higher Education, Sean Wilentz and I have an essay arguing that if reports are true that the board of trustees at the University of North Carolina put the kibosh on a tenure offer to Nikole Hannah-Jones, then those who care about preserving academic freedom should object.

The question is not whether Nikole Hannah-Jones should have been offered a tenured position in the journalism school at a university. My Princeton colleague, Sean Wilentz, is a a man of the left and a historian of American politics and he has been among those who have raised red flags about the quality of "The 1619 Project" that won Hannah-Jones a Pulitzer Prize. There are plenty of good reasons why a member of the faculty might vote against extending such an offer. (Given the nature of journalism schools and the history of the particular position she was offered, the fact that she is a working journalist without a Ph.D. is probably not one of those good reasons.) Reasonable minds can disagree on whether Hannah-Jones would be a good hire for UNC, and those of us who might disagree can reasonably criticize the school for making a bad call.

The question is who ought to decide whether particular individuals should be hired for available faculty positions. The board at UNC has apparently taken the view that it should not rubber stamp such offers but should feel free to override the determination of the faculty and administration on individual personnel decisions. Nothing good can come of this.

Members of the boards of trustees of universities have no expertise to assess the quality of an individual's work and the potential contribution that a faculty member might make to the campus. They have no basis on which to assess whether the faculty have made a good or bad choice in a hiring or promotion decision from a scholarly perspective. What board members do have are political opinions and personal interests. If boards can block faculty hiring and promotion decisions, the inevitable result will be to shrink the range of acceptable ideas that can be expressed, taught and investigated on the university campus. Faculty hiring and promotion decisions will turn not just on peer review but also on the vagaries of political lobbying campaigns by activists. Peer review is hardly perfect, but it does not get better if a political body gets to second-guess the results.

Of course, faculty have not helped the situation. Universities are sorely lacking in political and intellectual diversity. Professors too often let their own political and ideological preferences drive their behavior. It would be a minor miracle if the faculty at a major university were to offer a tenure position to a comparable figure on the political right. It would be naive to imagine that politics did not figure into the faculty's decision to hire Hannah-Jones and that the faculty did not understand that in making such an offer they were themselves making a statement in the ongoing culture war. Under such circumstances, university professors should not be surprised if conservative voters lose faith in universities and conservative politicians strike out at universities.

Even so, those who seek to promote academic freedom, campus free speech, and greater intellectual diversity in academia should be seeking to expand and not to shrink the range of ideas expressed on college campuses. Free speech is not only for those with whom we agree. The principle requires tolerating those with whom we disagree. We do not improve the state of higher education by further politicizing the process of hiring and promoting faculty.

The Hannah-Jones situation is not the most egregious sin against freedom of thought in American higher education. She was still offered a five-year contract. She apparently accepted that offer. She will remain a loud voice in American political discourse, and she will be regularly feted on university campuses. Far more troubling and career-damaging decisions are made every day on university campuses across the country.

But the principle that trustees should not interfere in faculty hiring decisions was hard won and essential to establishing academic freedom in the United States. It would be all too easy for that principle to be eroded in our current polarized political environment. Setting aside that principle whenever we happen to disagree with what the faculty has done will only encourage the belief that faculty appointments should be treated as political spoils and that the scope of acceptable teaching and scholarship should be determined by politicians and mass public opinion.

From the piece:

If disagreements over whether an individual professor should be hired, promoted, or fired were resolved by boards, then the mission of the university would be corrupted. Public universities in red states and blue states alike would find themselves shrinking the acceptable range of scholarship and teaching. Faculty members at private universities would once again have to worry about whether their work might offend the moral sensibilities or economic interests of influential alumni, from any point on the ideological spectrum.

The sharp polarization of our politics threatens the foundations of teaching and scholarship, especially in areas of civics and American history. Efforts to create grounds where students can learn essential lessons about the structure of our constitutional government and the nation's past run afoul of clashing, strident political agendas. It is against that deplorable background that the trustees of the University of North Carolina have blocked this appointment.

Read the whole thing here.

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  1. “Members of the boards of trustees of universities have no expertise to assess the quality of an individual’s work and the potential contribution that a faculty member might make to the campus. They have no basis on which to assess whether the faculty have made a good or bad choice in a hiring or promotion decision from a scholarly perspective. What board members do have are political opinions and personal interests.”

    The sheer arrogance of this statement is breathtaking, but not entirely surprising. What….Faculty and Admin staff do not have the same biases as board members? Please. If anything, their view is more myopic.

    1. He spoke of expertise not bias.

      I’ve said here before I think many conservatives genuinely don’t know what ‘expertise’ is, they’re Jacksonians for whom there is only partisan allies or enemies.

      1. Right, because expertise is not affected by bias in any way…

        1. Giving tenure to this Chinese Commie agent would be as valid as giving it to an active member of the KKK. BLM = KKK. All those diverse woke officials, prosecutors? Same as the KKK.

          1. Cuckoo for KoKKo Puffs is Dave.

        2. Again, they actually don’t get what expertise is and what is implied by it.

            1. when we work around you, that just makes you even more frustrated.

        3. That misconstrues the claim. An expert with bias is better able to assess the expertise of a candidate than a non-expert with bias.

      2. You don’t understand Jackson’s underlying principle — that expertise didn’t exist.

        And I’m hard pressed to see this woman’s “expertise.”

        1. “You don’t understand Jackson’s underlying principle — that expertise didn’t exist.”

          Well, we can certainly agree that you have no expertise.

          1. “I believed it, we published it. Official questions had been raised, but we stood by the story and her. Internal questions had been raised, but none about her other work. The reports were about the story not sounding right, being based on anonymous sources, and primarily about purported lies [about] her personal life—[told by three reporters], two she had dated and one who felt in close competition with her. I think that the decision to nominate the story for a Pulitzer is of minimal consequence. I also think that it won is of little consequence. It is a brilliant story—fake and fraud that it is. It would be absurd for me or any other editor to review the authenticity or accuracy of stories that are nominated for prizes”

            Bob Woodward on Janet Cooke….

        2. Lol, the guy who’s handle is preceded by ‘Dr.’ thinks expertise doesn’t exist.

          But, thanks for confirming my point.

          1. When children look at you, all they see is a grotesque monster. You’ll never be a real girl, Queen, no matter how many HRTs you abuse.

            1. So Johnny is a Behar sock puppet? Makes sense.

              1. >you pay thousands of dollars for hair removal
                >you pick the perfect dress, the perfect shoes and accessories
                >invest in shapewear and a nice wig
                >spend an hour painstakingly putting on a “pretty” face
                >all your “friends” tell you you’re beautiful
                Then you go outside and a child goes “Mommy, that’s a MAN!”
                >mfw

                1. We’re not discussing your mom here, JA.

                  1. If you are in emotional, maybe even intellectual, denial about such a basic fact as the chromosomal genome in every cell of your body, what credibility is left for any other belief you argue?

                    You can make yourself useful. Post a picture in full regalia. It will be used to frighten children who are being bad. To avoid cruelty to you, do not scan it or look at it, just send a link.

                    “If you don’t stop that immediately, the Queenie will get you.”

                  2. Nor are we in 4th grade anymore. Are you from the hood? That is a hood thing to say.

                    1. Krazy Kockatoo’s Komments!

          2. That’s a really weak strawman, QA. Dr Ed is correcting your mischaracterization of what Jackson thought. Nothing in that comment tells us whether he agrees with Jackson or not.

            1. I said of Jackson “they’re Jacksonians for whom there is only partisan allies or enemies,” how is that ‘corrected’ by his “you don’t understand Jackson’s underlying principle — that expertise didn’t exist?”

              1. Outside of the military, exactly what was the Federal Government doing in the 1820s? And how much expertise was involved in lighting a lamp (i.e. lighthouse keeper), or collecting customs duties, or delivering mail? We aren’t talking about Air Traffic Controllers here…

                Jackson’s attitude — agree or disagree but Jackson’s attitude was that all Federal jobs (outside military officers that required a Congressional commission) was so simple that *anyone* could do it and hence it was only fair that the spoils of the victory should go to the victor.

                I should add here that it was something other than the lack of expertise — the assassination of President Garfield that put an end to this practice.

                1. “Outside of the military, exactly what was the Federal Government doing in the 1820s? ”

                  Negotiating the Monroe Doctrine with the European powers.

      3. She is an idiot. Those slaves were the luckiest Africans in the world at the time. Their descendants have done great compared to those remaining behind. She also makes the mistake of criticizing practices from long ago, like criticizing medical care or shipbuilding from that time. Everyone was doing the best they could. She is imposing todays standards on people who were not advanced. Not criticized the way Stone Age people lived?

        She is an idiot, totally unfair, and a mere Chinese Commie propagandist, hating and unfairly attacking America. No way should she be allowed to wash the floors, let alone get a tenured spot. She got a regular job, to be judged in 5 years because the Board is weak, woke, and afraid of the Chinese Commie scumbags in the media.

        1. >”Those slaves were the luckiest Africans in the world at the time.”
          This is not wrong. Descendants of New World slaves have no close relatives in West Africa because their tribes were annihilated by other tribes. The few that survived — their ancestors — were sold into slavery. I wonder if she advocates the Uribai tribe should have murdered them instead. Is she wrong? What if all the money spent on their descendants over the years went to the space program instead… Something to think about.

          1. You’ve no idea what you’re talking about is something to think about.

            1. Why not? How then did their ancestors end up in a position to be sold into slavery?

              P.S. You’ll never be a real girl.

              1. Lol, do you really think “How then did their ancestors end up in a position to be sold into slavery?” proves your claim above? You think like a 8 year old.

                1. Who sold them into slavery? Did white Europeans go to Africa and catch them? Hang nets in the trees baited with fried chicken and watermelon below?

                  1. Thanks for confirmation JA.

                    1. confirmation of what?

                    2. Don’t worry about it, anything you might write, including nothing at all, would have been considered confirmation. Once they think you’re a racist, there literally isn’t any way to change their minds.

                    3. “Hang nets in the trees baited with fried chicken and watermelon below?”

                      Yep, doesn’t matter what anyone writes, just determined to find racism! Actually, seems you, Brett, are just determined to have it not found, or actually to willfully avert your eyes.

                    4. He’s mocking you, Queenie. Suggesting that THAT is what you’re envisioning, in place of the reality. It just makes it funnier that you don’t figure that out.

                      The truth is the slaves the European slave traders sailed away from Africa with were enslaved by their fellow Africans, and were often on the losing side of genocidal wars. The only reason they were even alive, much of the time, was because their conquerors thought they could get some money for them. Otherwise they’d have been killed like their neighbors.

                      So, yes, your average American descendant of slaves can generally trace their lineage back to people who were only alive because they’d been sold into slavery.

                      And the Africans who got to stay behind? Their descendants wound up a lot poorer than the slaves’ descendants, which certainly doesn’t defend slavery, but is richly ironic.

                      Understanding this doesn’t make somebody a racist.

                    5. “Suggesting that THAT is what you’re envisioning”

                      That I envisioned his crude racial stereotypes? Come on.

                      ” the slaves the European slave traders sailed away from Africa with were enslaved by their fellow Africans”

                      This is another of your unsupportable generalizations. I’m betting you could produce evidence that some Africans were involved in the slave trade of other Africans, but I’m betting that’s not how it always went down.

                      “which certainly doesn’t defend slavery”

                      Indeed, so why level it at a person whose work condemns slavery?

                      “Understanding this doesn’t make somebody a racist.”

                      No, invoking crude stereotypes does though. I mean, certainly his point (an overgeneralization at best) could have been made without them, right?

                    6. Invoking crude racial stereotypes to mock you. He was quite obviously attributing them to you, not endorsing them.

                      Perhaps not accurately, but then mockery wouldn’t be precisely mockery if it was accurate.

                    7. Brett, JA and Co are defending slavery, the racism is already baked in, the imagery is theirs, and it’s racist.

                    8. ” Once they think you’re a racist, there literally isn’t any way to change their minds.”

                      DAMMIT! Why can’t there be a way where you can do and say racist things without anybody jumping to the conclusion that you do and say racist things because you are a racist?

            2. All reparations should be subrogated for the awful costs these parasites caused the government, the real estate market, the health system.

              Before the feminist lawyer destroyed their patriarchal families, the disparity in social pathologies was less than 10%. After the War on Poverty and the destruction of their families, the disparities went to 400%. Yet, they keep voting for their mortal enemy, the Democrat Party. Why is that?

              1. “these parasites”

                Kockatoo’s Krazy Konfirmation!

              2. The real parasites already got compensated.

        2. “Those slaves were the luckiest Africans in the world at the time.”

          Ok I think we have the dumbest comment of the day here. It is always interesting to see comments from people who have no where near the experience say other are lucky.
          Here a couple of thoughts for consideration. Maybe the countries they were kidnapped from might have been better had their people been left there. Maybe their countries would be better if they had not be colonized and exploited. Maybe their countries would be better if they did not have other setting groups against each other to help them hold power.

          1. We had a natural experiment to answer your many questions.

            Upon setting foot in France, all the slaves of Jefferson, Ambassador for 5 years, were free. They all got Frenchified, the kids, the adults, attending cooking and wine schools. All chose to return to America. Discuss.

            1. Birds don’t realize things like that France had a set of pretty horrible racist laws of their own, that these people had family back home, that they would have been penniless in a foreign land, etc., or that anecdotes prove nothing. They just love crackers and repeat things they’ve been told without thought or context.

            2. Great example of why we need work like the 1619 Project. The American school child should know that while the leading countries of the world like France and England had seen the abomination that slavery was and had gotten rid of the practice. We in the America would go on in ignorance and would have to fight a bloody Civil War to end slavery.

            3. “Upon setting foot in France, all the slaves of Jefferson, Ambassador for 5 years, were free. They all got Frenchified, the kids, the adults, attending cooking and wine schools. All chose to return to America. Discuss.”

              We don’t eat snails here. No matter what the sauce ladled over them is.

      4. What’s wrong with Jackson? IMHO he was a little too “live and let live”. More of a Polk guy myself.

        1. For persons like yourself I’m sure there was nothing wrong with him.

      5. “they’re Jacksonians”

        Thanks.

        Alas, too few of us are.

        1. Bob is committed to breaking treaties and violently removing natives by force. Cool.

          1. Right, you would have opposed that. Everybody is brave about things 150 years ago.

            Give your house to whatever tribe should own the land and move back to Europe. Otherwise, you are just virtual signaling.

            1. I don’t know what I would have done back then. But I do know not to self-identify as a Jacksonian today. I mean I guess that’s virtue signaling in the sense that I am not willfully and happily identifying myself with a reprehensible person. I

              You seem okay with identifying with a reprehensible person because you like vice-signaling. That is to say you routinely praise or take morally reprehensible and indefensible positions with pride. So every time you scoff at my virtue signaling, I’ll point to your constant vice signaling.

              1. Jackson was a great general and president.

                1. Who was committed to maintaining and expanding slavery and Indian removal as part of a wider project of maintaining white supremacy in newly acquired lands. Those aren’t great things.

                2. From the perspective of a superstitious, obsolete, right-wing bigot checking deeds of $48,000 residential properties in Outer Knuckle-Drag, Ohio, maybe.

                  Try to get through what’s left of the culture war without conducting a mass shooting aimed at your betters.

          2. Yes. If you actually took Property 1, you’d have learned about the Right of Conquest.

            1. I did. Just because it was asserted in judicial opinions doesn’t mean it was morally right or that it should be praised and celebrated.

              1. Like I said, give back your house and go back to your ancestral homeland. Better make sure your ancestors were not living there as a result of conquest though.

                1. I can’t change the past Bob, as you well know. But I can choose not to celebrate and praise the worst things that have happened. That you choose to do so shows that you simply glory in vice and poor morals. You should reflect upon this at some point.

                  1. I am a constant disappointment to you.

                    1. For me, guys like you are the vindication of my beliefs and efforts . .. and precipitates of gratitude that my children and grandchildren get to compete economically with backwater clingers.

                    2. Art, I’ll be sure to tip your children well next time I go to Starbucks.

                  2. Some of your ideas may resonate with me but you are trying make a point on opinions by giving an opinion which you try to state as fact. Funny.

                    1. Uh it’s not an opinion. It’s well documented that those were some of Jackson’s policy priorities. I just read Daniel Walker Howe’s What Hath God Wrought about this era. There are plenty of citations to primary sources and to historians with further primary citations demonstrating this. Feel
                      free to peruse his bibliography.

      6. There certainly is plenty of criticism from those that do have the expertise to judge her historical scholarship, there conclusion was it was fatality flawed.

        But what is more troubling is her appointment to the Knight Chair in Race and Investigative Journalism, seems to indicate approval of using slanted and distorted history to further an agenda in Race and Investigative journalism.

        It endorses a methodology of picking a thesis, cherry picking the facts to support that thesis, and ignoring and downplaying countervailing facts. Granting tenure so she can continue that methodology and pass it on to a new generation of journalists seems unwise to me.

    2. Trustees are not academics and thus cannot speak to academic quality.
      Rather than being about scholarship, this appears to have been politically – i.e. viewpoint – motivated, not academically motivated.

      That is bad when the viewpoint is conservative; it is also bad when the viewpoint is liberal.

      That’s all that the OP is saying

      1. How on earth do you know that, Sarcastr0? = Trustees are not academics and thus cannot speak to academic quality.

        1. “How on earth do you know that, Sarcastr0? = Trustees are not academics and thus cannot speak to academic quality.”

          The statement is as controversial as saying “architects aren’t physicians.” There are a few exceptions, but not many.

        2. Some are and many re not. That someone is not a member of a faculty does not mean that they lack a reasonable intellectual opinion.
          However, for the most part BoTs are large universities should stay out of appointment matters unless they violate university rules and practices.

          1. I agree = However, for the most part BoTs [of] large universities should stay out of appointment matters unless they violate university rules and practices.

            In this case, there are demonstrable and serious errors in her scholarship, which is what tenure-track professors are presumably judged upon. UNC BoT was right to step in here.

            1. Do you know what your talking about? How many tenure committees have you served on? How many in the relevant field here?

              1. What’s point? What if XY has served on them? Tenure track review is by nature a bit incestuous and probably needs to be changed.

                1. “Tenure track review is by nature a bit incestuous”
                  What is your relevant experience MT? Your claim is highly presumptuous

                2. The point is does he know what he’s talking about, because what he says here makes me think he does not.

      2. I’ve litigated tenure squabbles for decades. Mostly, the Board, which has the formal authority to award tenure, doesn’t know enough to second-guess the faculty’s academic judgment. In one brief long ago, I wrote: “The last academic administrator who was competent to judge the scholarly merit of the entire faculty was Aristotle.” That doesn’t mean that the Board doesn’t have some valuable role to play to root out potential conflicts, log-rolling, or larger questions of resource allocation. But generally it does, and should, defer to the faculty’s assessment of academic excellence. When it doesn’t, there is usually ground for suspicion unless there is evidence of some legitimate non-scholarly concern.

        1. “should, defer to the faculty’s assessment of academic excellence.”

          WHY?

          *They* aren’t competent to judge the scholarly merit either — even at the department level, their specialties are in other fields.

          1. Well, somebody has to judge it, and people in your field, if not your exact sub-specialty, can usually do the job. Especially since the tenure file usually has contributions from outside specialists.

            1. If the Dean and the Provost signed off on a hire, it is very unusual that the BoT would intervene absent the presence of a non-academic issue, such as impending criminal charges, grossly unethical behavior, moral turpitude that disgraces the university, etc

              1. Or she was a radicalized twit….

              2. I don’t see this as a raw academic decision.

                The University belongs to the People. Serves the People. The elected Governor, selects the BoT, and maybe is approved by the elected legislative body.
                In my mind the BoT role is to define the direction of the University. Much like civilian control of the Military, the control of the University needs to be controlled by those not of academic roots.
                In this case, the BoT stepped in because the disagreed with the direction the academics were headed.
                I don’t see the controversy in this. One academic denied tenure does no harm. No one is saying the survival of the University rests on a tenure decision of a single professor.

                1. “I don’t see the controversy in this. One academic denied tenure does no harm.”

                  Depends on what you see the purpose of tenure to be. It’s there to keep the administrators from fiddling with the research. You don’t want some political appointee to be able to say “In table 2, you say X but we want you to say W instead. Don’t make us fire you.” A tenured professor can’t be fired for refusing to alter research outcomes to what management wants the research to say. (You know, that thing that Conservatives claim happens to research scientists who study climate.)
                  If you offer a person a contract but deny tenure, it’s tantamount to saying “we want to be able to censor you.” THAT’S why it matters.

          2. Agreed Ed. CJ a lot of faculty aren’t geared for or have the skills to be tenured professors, they’re researchers with a phd that are fulfilling that part of tenure to keep the job for the other parts they do like. Many of the grad tenured professors I had fell into this category. I can’t see them being the ones competent to judge when many of them barely can teach. This is different from their intellectual capabilities most are amazing in that realm and can really posit some amazing things, but when it comes down to teaching or evaluating we have a system that doesn’t exactly work to create great professors, but researchers that want the benefits of being a professor.

            1. Anyone who thinks that teaching has much to do with tenure needs to get out more.

            2. Tenure applies to *faculty* who work in research, service and/or teaching. It’s not there any less for faculty in a research aspect as it is for them as teachers.

              1. Except where is the money coming from, and what are people paying for?

                1. A research university is about research, and operates a teaching operation as a side business. Funny you didn’t know that, “Dr.” Special Ed.

        2. >”The last academic administrator who was competent to judge the scholarly merit of the entire faculty was Aristotle.”
          I like this quote. It in spirit relates to the broader trend of the death of scholasticism that started in the latter half of the 20th century. The transformation of universities from institutions of knowledge to institutions of degeneracy, usury, and graft undermines all appeals to “academic freedom”, independence, and whatnot imho. Now, board of trustees is no different than a corporate BoD.

      3. Trustees have something more important than knowledge of “academic quality”. Trustees have a responsibility for the institution.

        1. And the best way to meet their duty is to defer to those who know more about what makes a good faculty member.

            1. Open wider, clinger. Or not. Your comfort is no longer much of a concern for your betters. But you will comply with our preferences, clinger. That is the cost of choosing the wrong side of history and the losing side in the culture war.

              I am content.

              1. Tell your kids to have my cold brew waiting for me at the Starbucks drivethrough tomorrow. I like it black, just like your wife’s boyfriend.

                1. You like your beer like your boyfriends, (black)? What do they say about that down at the country club?

          1. Blindly deferring to others is one of the definitional examples of failing in your duty to exercise independent judgement and oversight. You know, those things that are right there in the job description of a “trustee”?

            1. Talk about strawmen, no one is suggesting ‘blind deference,’ but don’t you think that when evaluating the value of someone in position X the judgement of others with knowledge and experience in that kind of position should be given deference?

              1. Maybe, but usually not. You should plausibly defer to others when the topic is beyond general understanding and your personal expertise. So if you don’t have at least a passing understanding of statistics, you should defer to others on the interpretation of a paper on advanced physics. Professors, on the other hand, are supposed to be primarily educators. Evaluating a professor’s ability to educate requires little specialized knowledge or expertise. A journalism professor even less so.

                But even in areas where deference may be appropriate, deferring to others in the same small field can lead to in-group bias. That’s why the best folks to evaluate a paper on astrophysics will include statisticians, high-energy particle physicists, etc, not merely others within the subgroup.

                1. “You should plausibly defer to others when the topic is beyond general understanding and your personal expertise. ”

                  You speak of topics, which makes me ask…Are you familiar with the idea of professions, their standards and the like?

                  ” Professors, on the other hand, are supposed to be primarily educators.”

                  Where do you get this from? UNC is a classic ‘research university.’

                  “A journalism professor even less so.”

                  Why is this?

                  ” can lead to in-group bias”

                  This isn’t a danger in *political appointed boards?*

                  “That’s why the best folks to evaluate a paper on astrophysics will include statisticians, high-energy particle physicists, ”

                  Boards are not usually composed of experts in other subgroups. This is not a knock on them, they are often quite accomplished in non-academic areas, but, again, my point is they should restrict their interventions to areas where those non-academic areas are triggered.

                2. “But even in areas where deference may be appropriate, deferring to others in the same small field can lead to in-group bias.”

                  “Hire good people, and then listen to them” — some rich guy.

          2. You’re assuming they’re good.

          3. Deferring is hardly consistent with discharging fiduciary responibilities

            1. Indeed, it’s often nearly required by the same.

      4. The Left shows no quarter, and thus should expect none.

      5. Quality is a social construct created by STRAIGHT, WHITE, EUROPEAN, MALES. Therefore, it must not be used for tenure decisions. Black Girl Magic is the only viable and unbiased measure of merit.

        1. I see there’s plenty of cocaine to go around today.

          1. Cocaine is a man’s drug, while doobies give you boobies.

            1. birth control pills are not recreational, and you should stop taking them with your black beer chasers.

      6. “Trustees are not academics and thus cannot speak to academic quality.”

        Lots of people can speak to academic quality. Most of us, and certainly trustees, have been students, for example.

        1. That’s like saying people with cars are good judges of mechanics.

          There’s an entire episode of Seinfeld about this.

          1. “That’s like saying people with cars are good judges of mechanics.”

            Sure. It doesn’t matter what other mechanics think of somebody, if people with cars complain that their cars don’t work when they get them back, he’s a crappy mechanic.

    3. It’s reflective of the “God Complex” that affects a lot of tenured professors — they tend to think that they are way more important than they are, and that what they think is way more important than it actually is.

      It’s how “research” has become more important than teaching, even though (in most cases) it is only the teaching that is being paid for. It’s how they can urinate on half of the country with seeming impunity — while enjoying a salary that is twice (thrice) the area’s median wage, while only “working” 30 weeks a year.

      There is a reckoning coming soon, and there is nothing preventing the NC legislature from outright abolishing tenure.

      1. One of my professors had a cartoon on his office door in which a tweedy academic says he is glad that classes have ended so he can get to work.

      2. “There is a reckoning coming soon, and there is nothing preventing the NC legislature from outright abolishing tenure.”
        Back on your hobby horse again, Ed.

        1. The Higher Ed Act *still* hasn’t been reauthorized…

          1. NC has a GOP-dominated legislature. They’re too busy policing what bathrooms people use.

      3. there is nothing preventing the NC legislature from outright abolishing tenure.

        Except the desire not to destroy its state university system, which includes, in UNC, one of the best public universities in the country.

        Not important to conservatives, of course.

        1. Tearing down is what they like best, ironically.

        2. “Except the desire not to destroy its state university system, which includes, in UNC, one of the best public universities in the country.”

          If the NC legislature is interested in anything that happens in Chapel Hill other than basketball, that would come as a surprise. Despite the fact that, say, the women’s field hockey team has won a couple of national championships, and I believe the lacrosse team advanced to the final four this year. There are three major universities, (two public, and one private) that are located quite close to the state capitol, and the most public interest for any of them comes along around basketball season.

        3. If the legislature eliminated tenure, it would make UNC non-competitive for at least several years if not more. Instead they might supplant tenure with a different perk

          1. In a world where there are HUNDREDS of qualified faculty applying for every position, I’m not so sure….

            1. If there’s a job that HUNDREDS of qualified faculty no longer want, then MAYBE Special Ed could land that job.

      4. Ed agreed! See above research has supplanted what it means to be a professor. If you aren’t in academia you don’t see this. It is true and 30 weeks is generous with 3 classes at 3 credit hours and 3 hours of office time a week and maybe the weekly chair and faculty senate meetings.

        1. If you’re in academe how is it you don’t see that research is at least a co-equal aspect of faculty performance? We’re not just to disseminate knowledge, we are to create and expand it.

          1. “We’re not just to disseminate knowledge, we are to create and expand it.”

            Except that people aren’t paying for the latter.

            1. This will come as a surprise to the NSF.

        2. “with 3 classes”

          Who’s still teaching “3 & 3”?
          Most have gone to “3 & 2” or “2 & 2” — or less….

      5. “It’s how “research” has become more important than teaching, even though (in most cases) it is only the teaching that is being paid for”

        How is it that you don’t understand how a research university works? Teaching is a side business.

        1. How is it that you don’t know how it’s funded????

          1. I do know how it’s funded, which is why (unlike you) I didn’t go off all half-cocked.

    4. Exactly. Keith is whining like the butthurt beta he is. Look at the guy: https://news.wsu.edu/2019/04/15/princeton-university-professor-keith-e-whittington-deliver-foley-distinguished-lecture/. The physiognomy says it all.

      In general, the left holds no principles outside of power. Every “principle” they claim to have is a temporary vehicle for power either directly by helping them consolidate social influence or indirectly by trolling idiot conservatives and lolberts into yielding their power. Sad how betamales like Keith keep falling for the same bullshit. I guess that’s what happens when the aristocracy has been replaced by the merchant class.

      1. Hi, Johnny. We would love to see your portrait. Anyone selling a mirror to a Democrat is violating the laws against torture, and should be prosecuted. Watch MSNBC for a short time. All are triple baggers, two bags over their faces, and one bag over the viewer’s face in case the other two bags break.

      2. “like the butthurt beta he is”

        Lol, how *does* the Right get under-represented in Higher Ed indeed!

        1. >“No man has the right to be an amateur in the matter of physical training. It is a shame for a man to grow old without seeing the beauty and strength of which his body is capable.” ― Socrates

          Is this OK?

          1. Don’t be mad at me because I can tell the difference between an apple before I’ve eaten it and after I’ve eliminated it and you can’t (I hope you brush regularly!).

            1. Nothing infuriates a leftist more than holding up a physical mirror. Why are there no attractive people on the left? Is there something about leftism that leaves you allergic to exercise, addicted to consumption, and turns you all into grotesque monsters?

              1. Are you 8? No wonder you were talking about your mommy above.

                1. Yikes. These aren’t even good. You keep talking like a woman, everyone knows you aren’t one.

                  1. “You keep talking like a woman, everyone knows you aren’t one.”

                    You really have to stop bringing up your mom Johnny.

                    1. I have two moms, you BIGOT

                    2. Which one is the beta?

                    3. “I have two moms, you BIGOT”

                      I assumed you were talking about your more hairy one.

              2. “Why are there no attractive people on the left?”

                Have you never heard of Hollywood?

                1. Beauty is only skin deep, while ugly goes to the bone…

                2. The left has to pay attractive people to shill for them and holds up the few they can convince as successes when Harvey Weinstein is pretty much the rule. Next time you go to a gym, talk to people. There are no lefties that aren’t DYELs and all those smoking hot cardio bunnies, they could give a shit about “equity” and BLM.

                  1. “The left has to pay attractive people to shill for them”

                    Which explains the “Fox News Babe” phenomenon?

    5. From what I’ve seen, members of the boards of trustees have at least as much expertise at hiring as the faculty members and administrators. Personnel decisions are general business skills not unique to academia. There may be good reasons that they should stay out of personnel decisions but “lack of expertise” isn’t one of them.

      1. There are two general parts to a hiring decision: If I hire this person will they show up for work? and if I hire this person, can they do the work? The first one is quite general and applies whether you’re hiring a university professor or a drive-through cashier. The second factor, however, requires analysis of candidates’ capability and varies widely depending on what, exactly, you’re hiring a person to do. If you want to hire someone to design bridges you need to know something about designing bridges to assess the candidate’s ability to design bridges. When you ignore this factor, you get Dilbert’s PHB trying to direct the activities of engineers.

        1. The reply to both you and QA is that they’re not designing bridges. They’re professors – which means their primary job responsibility is teaching. And evaluating the effectiveness of a teacher is not something that requires special skills or knowledge.

          To extend your analogy, though, yes there are problems when clueless pointy-haired bosses interfere – but what the faculty want (and apparently have gotten for years) is to let Wally do the hiring and firing instead.

          1. “which means their primary job responsibility is teaching.”
            Where in the world did you get that from?

          2. I’ll never forget when a committee of professors decided to pipe live steam 1.9 miles *downhill* and *then* run it through turbines.
            Hint, it didn’t work well….

            1. The ONE time they used your idea, and that had to happen! No wonder you remember it so vividly.

          3. “They’re professors – which means their primary job responsibility is teaching. ”

            Did you go to Trump University? The primary business of a university is research. The primary job of professors is to conduct research. This is why “publish or perish” is a thing. Once you get outside of a university, you can find a school that does teaching as their primary business, but at the U, it’s a side business.

      2. “members of the boards of trustees have at least as much expertise at hiring as the faculty members and administrators”

        Except they can’t evaluate the work of those their hiring?

        1. “Except they can’t evaluate the work of those their hiring?”
          That is the reason for getting at least 10 to 15 letters for a faculty hire , especially to a tenure position.

    6. “The sheer arrogance of this statement is breathtaking, but not entirely surprising.”

      Especially in a field like journalism, which is broadly consumed by the public. People generally have a good idea of what makes a journalist credible and interesting, and non-faculty members are arguably more qualified to determine who should be on the journalism faculty than faculty members.

      It appears that the faculty screwed up and gave tenure to a crappy journalist. Kudos to the trustees for correcting their error.

      1. “It appears that the faculty screwed up and gave tenure to a crappy journalist”

        You apparently were the recipient of some crappy journalism. The faculty committee recommended tenure.

        1. As none of us has actually seen the file, including comments by the relevant Dean (s) and Provost, I’d say that most here are just talking politics through their hats.

          1. There was more journalism on this subject in the local news. (I currently live in the “research triangle”, which has as corners UNC-Chapel Hill, NC State, and Duke.)

        2. Do you have a point beyond some distinction between giving tenure and recommending tenure?

          1. The faculty can only recommend tenure. Only officers of the institution can commit the institution contractually

            1. Sorry. Your point was clear. I was responding to JP.

              1. It’s the same point.

      2. Medicine is broadly consumed by the public but that doesn’t mean they know what make a good pharmacist.

        1. If he gives me the pills I’m supposed to get, he’s a good Pharmacist. If he doesn’t, he’s not.

          1. Good luck with getting your meds.

  2. So the way to increase diversity of thought on college campuses is to give in to those who seek to eliminate any viewpoints but their own.

    Got it.

    1. Well, not hiring even more crazy leftists is a start….

      1. Maybe they get hired over you because they understand what a research university DOES and HOW IT WORKS.

    2. This is the paradox, isn’t it? Let’s be diverse and pluralistic by importing more people who are against diversity and pluralism until they outnumber us, and vote out diversity and pluralism. Progressives never follow all of this to its logical conclusion.

      1. It’s a fallacy not a paradox.

    3. Yes. “Diversity of thought” is a nonrigorous, meaningless term without constraining to a specific epistemology. Optimizing for diversity of thought drowns out legitimate academic inquiry by creating an environment of zero sum hypercompetition in which quality ideas are incapable of rising to the top except by accident because they’re drowned out by a cacophony of shyte. How much “diversity of thought” is there in algebraic geometry? Or Thermochemistry?

      1. There is no thermochemistry

        1. Thermochemistry

          The sad thing is, you probably didn’t even bother checking first.

          1. Lol. Everytime! In hindsight, complex variables would have gone better with thermochem.

  3. Sorry. It is a state school. That means that state money is being spent. You are trying to tell the stewards of that money how to spend that money. The citizens of the state are the ones ultimately in charge of the university, the money spent there, and the employees (including. Faculty) employed there.

    This woman’s “scholarship” is highly unpopular throughout much of country, and no doubt throughout much of the state that the university is part of. The trustees, no doubt, don’t want her, nor her “scholarship”, to be associated with the university that they are tasked to oversee. They, no doubt, don’t want to be running for re-election, having to justify the hiring of this “scholar” on their watch.

    1. Let me add, for faculty of state colleges and universities who don’t like this, you can always go to work for private schools. This isn’t going to be the only complaint along these lines – conservative states across the country are starting to reassert their power to control their state colleges and universities taking it away from the embedded liberal faulty and administrations at these schools.

      1. Yes, Republicans will destroy the universities for telling them the truth, that they’re backwards-looking. Just like they destroy anything they can’t corrupt.

    2. Ah, so politically unpopular views should be canceled on state campuses because those politicians have political needs.

      1. Then there are the errors in actual scholarship….

        1. And the guy who made the good faith argument about the errors is deploring this decision. It has nothing to do with errors.

          1. LTG….prove it = It has nothing to do with errors.

            I don’t where politics comes into play. You have an applicant for a tenured position. The main criteria to judge the applicant upon is their body of academic work. Her academic work is rife with demonstrable errors, that is not in dispute. So why should she receive a tenured position? Just because? C’mon.

            1. “Her academic work is rife with demonstrable errors, that is not in dispute.”

              Like the Board, you don’t know what you’re talking about. The question is why you would insist on doing so?

              1. He keeps talking about numerous errors but has identified zero of them.

                1. You know, all the errors. Like not taking the Conservative side and sticking with it. That seems to be the main “error” in play here.

            2. Sean Wilentz, an expert on American history made an informed-and expert critique of the Project, and her essay. He opposes the tenure denial.

              The Board members did not. They are incapable of doing this. They have no training in academic history, they did not ingest decades of historiographical debates on the subject of slavery, they did no original research on the subject matter at hand, and probably haven’t taken a college level history course in decades. To the extent they read the essays they are upset about the way it made them feel.

              They only know what the popular political press says about NHJ. And the popular political press simply reports the gripes of pundits and politicians who also don’t have any historical training and are more concerned with propping up myths about America’s founding for political purposes. The laughably inaccurate and slapdash 1776 Commission Report is evidence of that.

              To put this another way, there are probably scholars in every department who have idiosyncratic and probably outright wrong views about something. The board doesn’t deny their tenure applications because 1) it has no political valence 2) they actually recognize that they have no expertise to assess any of their errors. But because of politics they believe they are qualified to judge NHJ.

              1. “they did no original research on the subject matter at hand”

                Neither did the woman in question.

                1. But whatever she did impressed most historians who did do the research.

                  1. Indeed, it did….for all the wrong reasons.

                    1. Matches up with historical scholarship wouldn’t be considered wrong.

      2. “Ah, so politically unpopular views should be canceled on state campuses because those politicians have political needs.”

        More like someone doesn’t believe in democracy…

        1. Free speech should be put to a vote says Eddie.

          See, it was never a principle for folks like him, he doesn’t get it at all. It’s just that at times he was told ‘use this cudgel’ and did.

          1. This isn’t “free” speech. This is “taxpayers compelled to pay for” speech.

            1. So when conservatives get denied faculty or tenure or have their events at universities canceled it’s ok and not a violation of free speech because it’s ‘taxpayers compelled to pay for it’ speech?

              Them’s straws you’re grasping.

              1. Alright, let me explain this to you: Jones has every right to be an enemy of Western civilization. Western civilization isn’t obligated to pay her to be its enemy. Not even if the barbarians who already got in through the gate are inviting her to join them.

                1. “[E]nemy of Western civilization.”

                  Dude. Come on. This is ridiculous even for you. How on earth does saying that slavery is central to American history make her an enemy of Western Civilization? That would only be true if Western Civilization was so fragile that it could not handle anyone talking about how important slavery was and its impacts. And if that’s the case it isn’t worth saving in the first place.

                  1. “How on earth does saying that slavery is central to American history make her an enemy of Western Civilization?”

                    That it’s not true, for starters. She’s making the blot the whole, to attack the whole.

                2. There is no ‘unless critical of Western Civilization’ exception to the 1st Amendment.

                  1. Yes, and fortunately, nobody is silencing her, they’d just not giving her a plum position.

                    1. Just wondering: did you have this same reaction to a publisher not choosing to publish Hawley’s book?

                    2. So when conservatives are denied employment, tenure, or a speaking gig at a public college they haven’t been silenced they’re just not being given a plum X. Bookmarking this one for ya Brett.

                    3. No, Brett. It is just not giving her a lifetime position that can only be terminated for cause.

                    4. That’s pretty plum, from the perspective of virtually everybody else, who enjoys at will employment.

                3. ” let me explain this to you: Jones has every right to be an enemy of Western civilization. Western civilization isn’t obligated to pay her to be its enemy.”

                  Let me explain this to her. They offered her a 5-year contract and yes, they are contractually obligated to pay her. “Brett doesn’t like you” turns out to NOT be an excuse for breach of contract.

            2. “This is ‘taxpayers compelled to pay for’ speech.”

              To the extent that college students are taxpayers.

        1. This seems to be a recurring theme for you.

    3. First, the validity of scholarship is not a popularity contest. If it is, then you put yourself on the side of the Church against Galileo, who turned on him once he advocated for heliocentrism. Even if, somehow, the scholarship were “bad,” whether it fits *popular* notions of what is right is a poor criterion for assessing it.

      Second, as I understand the matter, the Board of Trustees isn’t making a decision about hiring but rather tenure. The money is spent either way because power over hiring has been delegated to the school, as is customary for public colleges and universities; the question is whether tenure would be granted with the position.

      1. “Second, as I understand the matter, the Board of Trustees isn’t making a decision about hiring but rather tenure”

        They offered her a five-year contract, with another possibility of tenure afterwards.

        1. To be clear (since “they” isn’t clear), the Board of Trustees denied her tenure, so the University (the administration and particularly the Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz, not the BoT), offered her a five-year contract as Professor of the Practice. The Chancellor can do this because fixed-term positions don’t need board approval.

          1. “Professor of the Practice” would sound like a more appropriate appointment IF she is planning to work, essentially for hire by a publisher (broadcaster).
            But again we actually know few details.

  4. This analysis is wring on so many levels. For alternative point ov view, see: https://priorprobability.com/2021/05/19/tenure-and-wokeness/

  5. We are in a cold civil war. Everything must be done to stop the enemy, the agents of the Chinese Commie Party.

    1. Zero tolerance for woke. All woke is Chinese Commie. Slightest woke remark should get the person fired on the spot.

      1. Mayor McNutty weighs in.

        1. What bad man sold you a mirror?

          1. Birds like David love mirrors!

      2. David,
        Take 2 mg of ativan.
        A mind is a terrible thing to lose

        1. That boat has sailed, struck a reef, and sank.

      3. “Zero tolerance for woke. All woke is Chinese Commie. Slightest woke remark should get the person fired on the spot.”

        Look out, those Chinese Commies are out to get you. Better check to make sure there aren’t any hiding behind the trees in your yard, or under your bed.

  6. A state school is still part of the state government. The legislature created the board to run the school, so it exercising its powers is perfectly fine.

    The scandal should be that ideologically motivated faculty decisions are just rubber stamped.

    1. Again, note Bob can’t even conceive of the expertise arguments actually offered by Whittington. It’s all about power for him, as usual.

      1. That’s a cop out. As was mentioned above, state schools are different than private schools. She’s free to be employed at one of those.

        1. So you just repeat they have the power to do this so what’s the possible complaint, I mean, they can always go elsewhere. Thanks for helping my point!

            1. You don’t seem to be able to.

        2. “state schools are different than private schools”

          The Trustees of private schools are charged by law to faithfully administer private schools. They, not the faculty or adminstrators, are the ultimate authority.

          Private trustees should control their schools better.

          1. By eliminating superstition, and the science-disdaining mouth breathers who fall for it, from their teaching and teachers?

        3. ” She’s free to be employed at one of those.”

          Or would be, if she weren’t contracted to UNC-Chapel Hill.

    2. Wait, Bob. You deplore “ideologically motivated faculty decisions,” but whole-heartedly approve of ideologically motivated board decisions.

      That’s our Bob.

      1. Yes, “ideologically motivated faculty decisions” need to be balanced by ideologically motivated board decisions.

        Otherwise, good gotcha.

        1. “Yes, ‘ideologically motivated faculty decisions’ need to be balanced by ideologically motivated board decisions.”

          Or, and this is just a crazy idea, maybe take your ideology and store it rectally, where it came from.

    3. ” The legislature created the board to run the school, so it exercising its powers is perfectly fine.

      The scandal should be that ideologically motivated faculty decisions are just rubber stamped.”

      so, if the board uses its powers the way Bob prefers, it’s just peachy-keen fine, but if the board uses its powers the way Bob doesn’t prefer, it’s a “scandal”.

      Bob, you’re from Ohio. Your state school knows how to make a real scandal. Not in Pennsylvania’s class, but on par with USC, which is a private outfit. What, paying amateur (but very good) football players to come to school here? Who, us? No way. couldn’t happen.

  7. A private university can hire whomever it wants to — and go bankrupt if it hires the wrong people.

    This is a STATE UNIVERSITY — and as it is being funded by the state, the state gets to say whom you hire. If you don’t like that — leave.

    1. “This is a STATE UNIVERSITY”

      Actually, NORTH CAROLINA STATE UNIVERSITY is about a 45-minute drive down I-40.

      1. ““This is a STATE UNIVERSITY””
        James that is a bit too much pedantry on your part UNC is a state university (and likely a land-grant college

        1. “James that is a bit too much pedantry”
          If you liked that pedantry, you’re going to love this. When you cut and paste a quotation into a set of quotation marks, you need to change the double quotes to single quotes. You did it wrong.

  8. “(Given the nature of journalism schools and the history of the particular position she was offered, the fact that she is a working journalist without a Ph.D. is probably not one of those good reasons.)”

    Bullshyte.

    Let’s start with the fact that tenuring someone without a terminal degree hurts your accreditation — and that’s something that comes from the faculty, not the politicians. For example, one does not need a doctorate in accounting or nursing to teach those subjects — it’s the faculty who demand these degrees. (And exclude those who are actually working in the field.)

    And then, absent her doctorate, it absolutely is appropriate to evaluate her on the basis of her journalism, and if it sucks, that becomes grounds to deny her tenure.

    1. Which utterly ignores Whittington’s point.

      1. Ignoring reality is kind of a Special Ed theme.

        1. Like, for example, his not having a fucking clue about accreditation requirements.

          1. Hint: I worked in an accredited school, teaching IT. I didn’t have a terminal degree in IT when I got hired, or through any of the re-accreditations. I had (and still have) a liberal arts undergraduate degree.

  9. “Even so, those who seek to promote academic freedom, campus free speech, and greater intellectual diversity in academia should be seeking to expand and not to shrink the range of ideas expressed on college campuses.”

    Then shouldn’t there be someone–aside from academics seeking to hire and promote their own colleagues–who has at least some oversight over the hiring and promotion process? Otherwise, you end up with an ideologically homogenous faculty, hardly the kind of backdrop for the promotion of “academic freedom, campus free speech, and greater intellectual diversity.” Succinctly put, I think it’s safe to say that Hannah-Jones’ viewpoint is already thoroughly represented in the Hussman Journalism School faculty.

    1. “Then shouldn’t there be someone–aside from academics seeking to hire and promote their own colleagues–who has at least some oversight over the hiring and promotion process?”

      Usually university administrators (deans, provosts, chancellors, presidents) have a say in whether people are hired in addition to a hiring committee. The administrators usually approve the initial request for a position, considering factors like what the department and college need to teach. They are often involved in campus visits meeting with each candidate. Then they are the final layer of approval once a candidate has been accepted. HR also plays a role in advising the process, doing background checks, and the like.

      Second, hiring procedures are often well-documented and crafted in such a way as to limit bias. It’s not perfect, but the processes I’ve been a part of have been more transparent and fair than job searches I’ve witnessed in the business world or in politics, where being somebody’s friend or donating enough money to the right party can be enough to get a position.

      For instance, I once witnessed a candidate absolutely bomb an on-campus visit. His job talk was a ramble, he flubbed interviews, and he committed harassment during his teaching demo. However, the candidate had friends on the board who tried to push hard for him over more highly-qualified candidates. It took the hiring committee as well as administrators to insist on a better candidate, and it was only because the hiring process was designed to robustly review candidates that they didn’t end up rubberstamping a liability.

      1. “Second, hiring procedures are often well-documented and crafted in such a way as to limit bias.”

        She’s already hired, this flap is about not offering her tenure.

  10. I’ll have to remember this thread the next time someone brings up how conservatives can’t get a break in academia.

    Many here have made it clear in their comments that they don’t much care about academic freedom; it’s just a convenient cover to get their people into positions of power, or delegitimize institutions they don’t care for.

    1. You should change your moniker to Projecto. Because that’s exactly what’s been happening in academia all along. Now you whine about the shoe being on the other foot.

      1. Ah, the old ‘two wrongs make a right’ argument.

      2. I have said many times on this blog I want there to be affirmative action for conservative faculty, so maybe don’t jump to conclusions quite so fast.

    2. “they don’t much care about academic freedom”

      Wrong. I don’t care about it at all.

      This ain’t 1500 and the Church is burning heretics. All these brave academics all think and speak alike.

      1. “Wrong. I don’t care about it at all.”

        Vice signaling.

    3. “I’ll have to remember this thread the next time someone brings up how conservatives can’t get a break in academia.”

      You finally have a single anecdote. Congrats. Meanwhile, she was still hired, for 5 years, and presumably, can attain tenure in the future. What has she missed out on besides tenure?

      “BOTH SIDES!!!” You’re really slacking man.

      1. “What has she missed out on besides tenure?”

        Tenure means not having to worry about being censored. No big deal.

  11. Notice all the regulars who scream ‘university decisions should be made on merit alone’ are now all ‘these are and should be political decisions!’

    It’s almost like that first thing was more a cudgel than principle (like the cancel culture stuff).

    1. I think most of the conservatives would say that the board was rejecting her on merit, and it was the faculty that approves of her because they like her politics despite her work being crap.

      1. Some would, but others are more candid.

        1. Yes, indeed my comment was based on what conservative regulars here were saying supra.

      2. That is, in fact, what happened here wrt the board. There are numerous errors in her scholarship. That is objectively true, and undeniable. Therefore, she was rejected.

        I don’t see where politics are even relevant.

        How many professors get tenure track positions despite glaring errors in their work. Not too many, I would hope.

        1. Did you not read that Willentz, the person making actual good faith and expertly grounded historical arguments about the project is strongly against this decision?

          1. He could be against the university’s practice even when he thought that her schoalrhip was unworthy.

            1. Right. Which means that XY’s point is dumb. Scholars talking about the errors know this is about politics and not errors. Because scholars always think other scholars have errors.

              1. No, my point still stands; it is not dumb. Maybe you’d like to take a swing at directly addressing it. Her academic work is rife with errors. You’re not disputing that. That is just objectively true.

                What you have a problem with is dealing with the consequences of putting out substandard work; the BoT declined to offer her a tenured position.

                1. I actually do dispute that. I mean are you talking about her introductory essay or the project as a whole? some of the project involves poetry and art which cannot possibly have “errors.”
                  As to the history, Kevin Kruse’s essay on the Atlanta highway system is backed by tons of primary sources and historical research.

                  Further as Peter Shulman notes, the facts are overwhelmingly correct historically and most of the issues are about emphasis or the one sentence in NHJ’s essay about slavery’s influence on the Revolution. That’s it.

                  https://twitter.com/pashulman/status/1396327691926835206

                  So if you want to demonstrate to me that there are objectively major errors, please cite each sentence and use primary source documents backed by secondary research to demonstrate that.

                  Otherwise I will take the view of actual American historians who know about this far more than either you or the board do.

                  1. He is just making a conclusory statement. I see no primary source documents backed by secondary research in his comment.

                    “Dr. Shulman studies technology, science, and American politics in the 19th and 20th centuries, with special interests in the history of energy, environmental history, communication and transportation, the history of intelligence, and the history of American foreign relations.”

                    He’s not an expert in the field either. A junior professor at a third rate liberal arts college supporting his tribe.

                    1. “A junior professor at a third rate liberal arts college supporting his tribe.”

                      Please let Adler know that you feel that way about him (they both teach at Case Western).

                      “He’s not an expert in the field either.”

                      No but he is an expert in American history and you are not. Do you know more about American history than Professor Shulman? If so how did you obtain this knowledge? Which archives did you go to? Which comprehensive exams in American history did you take? Which undergraduate and graduate history courses did you take? what course do you teach and have to develop syllabi for with primary and secondary sources? Are you aware that just because a historian has a research focus doesn’t mean he somehow doesn’t know about the general topic of slavery in American history? Has it ever occurred to you that slavery and race are also important parts about the history of intelligence, technology, and foreign relations?

                      Shulman did all these things and is tuned into the profession and its methods. You are not. His conclusory statement is based on all these things. Yours are not. Neither are the Boards.

                    2. “(they both teach at Case Western)”

                      Liberal arts part of CWRU (old Western Reserve University) is not the law school.

                      Liberal arts part is not a good part, its the engineering part of CWRU (old Case Institute of Technology) that is good.

                      “Do you know more about American history than Professor Shulman? ”

                      IDK, I never heard of him. Maybe, I know quite a lot.

                      You are just appealing to credentialism in your list of things only a professor does.

                    3. “IDK, I never heard of him. Maybe, I know quite a lot.”

                      So no you don’t. Just admit it. You don’t know more about American history than a tenured professor who went to Harvard.

                      “You are just appealing to credentialism in your list of things only a professor does.”

                      No I am identifying how he obtained more knowledge about American history than you. Do you think there is some other way to gain more knowledge of American history besides careful study and research? If so please explain this mysterious new form of knowledge.

                      “Liberal arts part of CWRU (old Western Reserve University) is not the law school. Liberal arts part is not a good part, its the engineering part of CWRU (old Case Institute of Technology) that is good.”

                      Probably going to be murdered by some stalker by saying this but their humanities departments are excellent. They know far far more than you do about pretty much anything. You would lose in a battle of wits with every single professor in the history department there. So not for the last time: fuck you.

                    4. “You don’t know more about American history than a tenured professor who went to Harvard.”

                      You are awfully impressed with mere credentials. Knowledge can be obtained from varied sources and in varied ways.

                      “So not for the last time: fuck you.”

                      No thanks, I prefer women.

                    5. I listed the ways historical knowledge is obtained and you dismissed that as being a professor. Do you have some unknown form of obtaining historical knowledge that historians are unaware of?

                    6. “Liberal arts part of CWRU (old Western Reserve University) is not the law school. ”

                      Liberal arts part bad, law school good! Lol.

                    7. “You are awfully impressed with mere credentials. ”

                      Because he can’t achieve them.

                    8. “No thanks, I prefer women.”

                      Do they prefer you?

                2. C_XY,
                  Do we know the reason that the BoT gave for vetoing the tenure offer?
                  Why would offering a 5 year contract but not tenure be acceptable?
                  It could be that the BoT does not want to expand the number of tenured slots and is only willing to approve 5 year contracts. That kind of structure in NOT uncommon in universities even in STEM departments.
                  As I don’t know the woman, her work or the policies and practices of the University, I don’t have a case specific opinion.

                  1. We only know what the chair said was their reason: The BoT wanted more time to consider her, given her non-traditional background. A five year position will do that. Seems pretty reasonable.

                    1. “The BoT wanted more time to consider her, given her non-traditional background.”

                      I thought it was her work was rife with errors? I mean, yeah, it’s a lame story but you should try at least to stick with it.

                    2. If that was the reason given by the BoT, it would not be so unusual. Many major research universities give 5 year contracts even at the full professor level.

                3. “No, my point still stands; it is not dumb.”

                  This opinion is also dumb.

                  ” Maybe you’d like to take a swing at directly addressing it. Her academic work is rife with errors.”

                  How, exactly, is one to take a swing directly at your claim that errors exist, despite your inability to provide any errors? It is uncontroverted that YOU think there are errors, but nobody cares.

              2. LTG,
                “Which means that XY’s point is dumb. ”
                Not at all.
                Look, I see most comments here are base on minimal knowledge of the particulars of this case, but are driven by people’s politics and their assumptions of UNC’s policies and what actually happened as this appointment worked its way up the line.

                That is why I have tried to be clear that I have no dog in this fight, but I would be interested in facts.

          2. I’d like to know what the departmental Visiting Committee had to say about this appointment to tenure

        2. Every scholars work has errors in it. I just read a biography of Stephen Hawking, dude was wrong on quite a few very big things. But denying him tenure on those grounds because, say, you don’t like his ideas about the big bang would be wrong.

          1. QA,
            I think that comparing the questionable speculations ( such as his quantum information paradox) of Hawking with faulty (or faked) journalism is a gross misrepresentation of the nature to the disciplines and of the work.
            Slipshod work does not just have errors in it. It is of minimal intellectual value. It may not even be good propaganda

            1. This Pulitzer Prize winning work is probably not of ‘minimal intellectual value.’

              1. Maybe yes, maybe no. Depends on what errors are where. The Pultizer is a journalism award not an academic award.
                I don’t know her work and I am nit judging.
                But you just tried to duck out of the preposterous comparison with Stephen Hawking.

                1. It’s not preposterous in the sense that both most certainly may have made errors in their work. Hawking conceded as much several times at least. So the idea ‘scholar made errors=disqualification from tenure’ is silly.

                  “The Pultizer is a journalism award not an academic award.”

                  And we are talking about a Journalism Department! Do you think an Oscar award winning director should be disqualified for a job in the Film Department of a University on the grounds that his Oscar was not academic? Many academic fields, especially professional ones, recognize professional achievements to a degree that traditional academic fields don’t.

                  1. You actually know little of Hawking, his intellectual field, and his work. And his hypotheses that have not been substantiated are a far cry from journalistic errors.

                    You keep raising “whataboutisms>” I Actually don’t cre what awards the journalist won when it comes to having an educated opinion about the propriety of the Board’s action.
                    You seem to be willing to judge on your politics. I refuse to do that.

                    But to compare her to Hawking is a slander of the highest degree.

                    1. “And his hypotheses that have not been substantiated are a far cry from journalistic errors.”

                      How so? Hawking seemed to at times be quite intentionally cheeky-provocative in these. And he himself flatly admitted they were not just substantiated but that he was wrong. He made several public bets about this.

                      I’m a huge fan of Hawking btw, but in my experience it’s normal for scholars to get things wrong.

                    2. Look, Hawking was at the TOP of his profession. I’ve seen no evidence that this is true of NHJ.
                      No professional physicist would accept your comparison.
                      You could likewise discredit Einstein or Fermi, whose greatest error meant that fission was not discovered 5 years before the start of WWII. By his mistake he saved the world.

                  2. “Do you think an Oscar award winning director should be disqualified for a job”
                    If it is Roman Polanski, yes, I do.

                    1. That’s different, everyone here would agree the board should disqualify Polanski.

                    2. And yet Polanski was and is a brilliant director.
                      So, at least you acknowledge that sometimes the Board must step in to protect the institution.

                    3. I wouldn’t give Roman Polanski a job working at a middle school. But having him direct a film (with adult actors) wouldn’t be out of the question.

                2. “The Pultizer is a journalism award not an academic award.”

                  What school would want people who win journalism awards teaching journalism? That’s just nuts.

              2. This actually made me laugh. Yes, I suppose you are right. Hannah-Jone’s Pulitzer carries pretty much the same intellectual heft as Walter Duranty’s Pulitzer. I suppose impressing journalists is sort of like impressing your two year old. Next up a Pulitzer for “Could Dad really have taken my nose ? An expose.”

                At least back in the day, progressive’s weren’t so thoroughly post-modern that they had at least a minimal sense of shame and repudiated Duranty after the fact.

                1. So if I find, say, a Nobel Prize winner later proved pretty wrong you’d laugh if someone said a Nobel prize was a good qualification for an academic job?

                  You can hurt your back stretching like that.

                  1. Actually if you think that William Schockly could get a faculty job in today’s climate, think again. Same is the case for James Watson. Those Nobel prizes would be discounted

                2. “At least back in the day, progressive’s weren’t so thoroughly post-modern that they had at least a minimal sense of shame and repudiated Duranty after the fact.”

                  Did the ones teaching journalism know how to use an apostrophe?

        3. https://twitter.com/pashulman/status/1396327691926835206

          Also what you think is objectively major errors, other historians, who know far more than you about such things, disagree.

      3. Yeah but they’re poor judges of what is crap and what is not. Just like you.

        1. How would you know, LTG? = Yeah but they’re poor judges of what is crap and what is not

          1. I know because I have a background in history and historiographical debates, personally know historians, and try to keep up with this stuff. I am not an expert in American history but I at least have the advantage of knowing what I don’t know about it, and what I would need to do to obtain such knowledge if I so chose. The people railing against 1619 don’t seem to have this recognition. So I know that my view on what is crap and what is not is of limited utility. You (and Brett) do not view yourself as having that limitation despite your lack of expertise.

            1. Well, don’t feel too bad for her, LTG. She got a 5-year position as a consolation prize. The UNC BoT can re-evaluate her at that time, and evaluate what additional scholarly work she produces. I am quite sure they’ll be eager to do that eval. 😉

              1. Way to change the subject.

                1. Well, he never knew what he was talking about and therefore had no initial point, so there’s that.

          2. Commenter_XY, historical study is a recognizable intellectual activity. That means some kinds of thinking pertain to historical study, and other kinds of thinking are excluded from it.

            Practitioners relate collegially. They promulgate standards. They compare notes. They judge professionalism among fellow practitioners. They specialize. They accumulate expertise in various parts of the historical record. They publish, and review publications of others. They pay attention to methods.

            There are decided questions about the best ways to think about history. Some such questions remain open.

            LTG’s commentary on this board has shown familiarity with all of that. Few others who comment here seem even to know that some historical practices are more fruitful than others. Most seem not to care. You would be wiser to listen to LTG than to criticize him, when he is talking about the activity of being a historian.

            1. lathrop, I have no criticism of LTG at all. None. Hell, I’d love to share a few cocktails with LTG. Why not? LTG could tell me war stories of what it is like being a lawyer that I am sure are funny AF.

              LTG and I simply have a difference of views. That’s Ok.

      4. “I think most of the conservatives would say that the board was rejecting her on merit”

        Which is why they asked her to stay for 5 more years.

    2. I see that you are incensed that Hanna-Jones was not given tenure. But, I didn’t see you show the same outrage when Tim Boudreau, a tenured professor, was fired for reading a Supreme Court opinion.

      It is wrong, as the OP states when either side does it. I guess you only care when it is your ox getting gored. You don’t care when your ox is doing the goring.

    3. “Notice all the regulars who scream ‘university decisions should be made on merit alone’ are now all ‘these are and should be political decisions!’”

      Huh? Any evidence that the board didn’t reject her based on her (lack of) merit? Opinions about her merit as a journalist tend to be split along ideological lines, but that doesn’t mean that it was the trustees that were making political decisions.

      1. “Huh? Any evidence that the board didn’t reject her based on her (lack of) merit?”

        You mean like the fact that they offered her a five-year contract?

      2. It would be very strange if the Board rejected tenure for lack of merit yet offered a five year contract at the same academic level.

      3. I was referring to several early conservative posters who argued ‘it’s a state school, they have the right to make a political decision!’

  12. Even so, those who seek to promote academic freedom, campus free speech, and greater intellectual diversity in academia should be seeking to expand and not to shrink the range of ideas expressed on college campuses.

    Well, some ideas are so beyond the pale that they don’t deserve to be heard. Well, that’s what progressives tell me, anyway.

    1. Yes, yes, you are a real victim. Feel better?

    2. I mean, surely there are some limits. Do you think a Holocaust denier or a white supremacist is a voice that needs to be given a professor position?

      1. Exactly, S_0. It would no matter what his/her other credentials were.

      2. The “Holocaust denier” or “Former Grand Dragon” arguments are always used in this situation, but that’s not who’s not being given tenure, or refused jobs, or being hounded off campus. Since there are about 5 whole people in the country who fall in those categories, it’s a straw man argument. You know very well who I’m actually referring to.

        And no, QA, I’m not a victim. I’m just using the rules the people on your side of the political aisle put into play.

        1. “And no, QA, I’m not a victim. I’m just using the rules the people on your side of the political aisle put into play.”

          You poor thing. What a sad story.

  13. The board of trustees is like a Board of Directors, they hire the upper level people to do the best for the Organization. There are reasons to hire this woman and there are not to. Any hire this visible has a component of PR in it she was highly visibly involved in a highly visible project.

    Pretty much all of the opinions here fall along partisan lines, but I can’t think of a worse idea than letting a faculty select its own members without oversight.

    1. “There are reasons to hire this woman and there are not to. Any hire this visible has a component of PR in it she was highly visibly involved in a highly visible project.”

      She was already hired. They said they wanted her to stay on the faculty, only without any protection from being fired for saying something unpopular with management. It’s easier to censor people that way.

      1. It’s called “compromise”. She’s poison to a lot of people, and that’s what happens in these situations.

  14. When you only speak up to lecture one side it’s fair to conclude your allegiance is to the other side.

    That goes for complaining about America and Americans too.

    1. Captain False Dilemma strikes again!

    2. Didn’t think Ben would e one to go in for the Liberal Conspiracy, but here we are.

      1. That’s just gibberish.

        If Whittington wants anyone to heed his lecturing, he might want to establish he hasn’t become entirely or principally antagonistic.

  15. I gotta say, this sounds like like gussied-up argumentum ab auctoritate. Does anyone, anyone at all, believe that someone of Nikole Hannah-Jones’s level of qualifications would have been hired if it were not for political considerations?

    And if everyone concedes (which we all do) that the hire was politically motivated, why is the Board not perfectly qualified, as well as well-motivated, to step in?

    1. ” Does anyone, anyone at all, believe that someone of Nikole Hannah-Jones’s level of qualifications”

      You mean a Pulitzer Prize winner and MacArthur Genius designee?

      Just stop.

      1. Lib prizes awarded to libs. The Pultizers are just a giant circle jerk and the next time a MacArthur is given to a conservative will be the first time.

        1. Sure, Bob, whatever makes you feel better about your (and your side’s) lack of accomplishment.

          1. You don’t have either of her prizes either.

            I’d take those prizes [MacArthur = $$$$] but they don’t impress me, I guess you are easily impressed.

            1. “You don’t have either of her prizes either. ”

              She does.

              “I’d take those prizes [MacArthur = $$$$] but they don’t impress me”

              Yeah. The only reason Bob doesn’t have two of each is because they’re totally biased against him because of his political viewpoint(s); it totally isn’t because he’s grossly unqualified for either one of them. Not at all.

            2. “You don’t have either of her prizes either.”

              No, but too bad I’m the one arguing for deference here. Thanks for trying though!

      2. “You mean a Pulitzer Prize winner and MacArthur Genius designee?”

        Those aren’t qualifications. The UNC and their trustees is allowed to have a different opinion of the quality of her work than the Pulitzer and MacArthur folks.

        1. ” The UNC and their trustees is allowed to have a different opinion of the quality of her work than the Pulitzer and MacArthur folks.”

          Well, UNC management seems to have agreed, in the sense that they hired her and asked her to keep working for them.

          1. Sure. And the trustees seem to disagree.

            1. We’ll just have to wait and see if she works through the five years.

          2. Who cares if they hired her? They DIDN’T give her tenure. Which is what the post is about.

            1. They didn’t give her tenure YET.

        2. A Pulitzer Prize in journalism is not a qualification for a job in a…Journalism Department?

          Thanks for the side splitter 12″!

          I eagerly await your next arguments about how a Nobel Prize in Economics is no qualification for a job in an Economics Department or that a Tony is no qualification for a job in a Theater Department….

          1. “A Pulitzer Prize in journalism is not a qualification for a job in a…Journalism Department?”

            Of course not. The quality of her work and likelyhood of success at teaching are qualifications. A Pulitzer might reflect upon her work, but it’s not a qualification per se.

      3. Notice, Queenie, how you didn’t attempt to answer the point. You went straight for the ad-hominem. Now either Malvolio is wrong and you know why, or you just dislike his answer because it goes against what you WANT to believe.

        Which is it?

        1. “Notice, Queenie, how you didn’t attempt to answer the point.”

          In the sense that it was met head on.

          ” Now either Malvolio is wrong and you know why, or you just dislike his answer because it goes against what you WANT to believe.”

          It was the first one.

    2. “Does anyone, anyone at all, believe that someone of Nikole Hannah-Jones’s level of qualifications would have been hired if it were not for political considerations?”

      That sounds like a gussied-up argument from incredulity.

      I do. Many others do. She is an investigative journalist with a MacArthur Fellowship and a Pulitzer. She has decades of publications under her belt. Journalism, like other professional departments, often hires journalists with tenure if they have a field-relevant graduate degree (a Master’s in journalism, an MFA, etc.) in addition to experience in the field.

      She sounds like a great fit for the position; it is the Board who is making this hiring decision political.

      1. Meh. The NYT had to revise the main point of her most famous work. She doxxed a fellow journalist and lied about it. The trustees were correct.

        1. She’s a racist and racial grifter.

          1. What I would give right now to see the treasure trove of Slack messages that Bari Weiss has….

          2. “She’s a racist and racial grifter.”

            Other than that, I don’t think she shares many qualities with Republicans.

        2. Meh. Those are small blips that you’re overstating. She apologized for revealing a journalist’s work phone number and not immediately deleting it, and an editor made some edits to the digital edition of one of her articles.

          1. “She apologized for revealing a journalist’s work phone number and not immediately deleting it…”

            She posted an email containing his phone number on twitter. One of her followers replied, “I can’t believe he gave you his phone number”. She replied, “Girl…”. She then left the tweet up for two days until it became and issue. The claim that she didn’t know what she’d done is simply not plausible.

            “an editor made some edits to the digital edition of one of her articles.”

            They changed the claim that protecting slavery was one of the primary motivations for independence to a claim that it was one of the primary motivations for independence for some people. The latter is a much weaker claim.

            1. “They changed the claim that protecting slavery was one of the primary motivations for independence to a claim that it was one of the primary motivations for independence for some people.”

              OMG, TOTES FRAUD! Lol.

              1. You don’t think that’s a big difference?

                1. Not to someone who knows that independence was universally sought. Then, as now, some people were so frightened of change that they sought to cling to the past. So if you start by assuming that no motivation for independence was held by everybody, then all motivations for independence must have been held by “some people”.

        3. “The NYT had to revise the main point of her most famous work.”

          Show your work here.

          And I mean, prove it was the main point of her most famous work.

          1. The main point of the 1619 project was that slavery was central to America’s founding, and she supported that by saying it was a primary reason for the revolution. And she had to walk that back.

      2. She sounds a better fit for a position as Professor-of-the -practice.
        Was she giving up journalism for a publisher as her main occupation?

        1. Don, do you know much about journalism departments? I don’t mean this pejoratively, honest question.

  16. “The sharp polarization of our politics. . . . ”

    What a crock and a crutch.

    Prof. Whittington uses this baseless canard to base his argument, without proof there’s been a ‘sharp polarization of our politics.’

    There’s more Twitter and social media but that only means people have easier opportunities to make their voices heard.

    It does NOT mean those voices have become more polarized – any more than Macarthyism, the 50s and 60s demonstrations, Vietnam, the CIVIL WAR.

    1. “Prof. Whittington uses this baseless canard to base his argument, without proof there’s been a ‘sharp polarization of our politics.’”

      What kind of proof are you looking for? maybe like half of a political party that believes they won an election in which they got fewer votes?

      1. “votes”

        1. Your “correction” is less correct than the original.

  17. Having a hyphenated name is enough reason to disqualify her.

    1. Hyphenated-Americans are a fairly substantial bunch.

  18. ” Under such circumstances, university professors should not be surprised if conservative voters lose faith in universities and conservative politicians strike out at universities. ”

    Because if there is anything conservatives can’t stand, it is first-rate teaching and research institutions.

    And all of this damned progress, reason, science, education, modernity, and inclusiveness (at the expense of backwardness, ignorance, insularity, superstition, and intolerance).

    There are important reasons conservative-controlled schools are mostly fourth-tier (or worse) goober factories, while our strongest educational institutions are operated in, for, and by the liberal-libertarian mainstream. Operating hundreds of censorship-shackled, dogma-enforcing, science-disdaining, bigotry-embracing, superstition-infused yahoo schools has — and should have — consequences.

    Conservatives are fortunate their betters made the mistake of accrediting conservative-controlled schools.

    1. Does “first-rate teaching” include “settled science” like no racial differences in IQ, man-made global warming, and that it’s perfectly normal to penetrate another man’s tuchis?

      1. Uh, yeah.

        1. Kind of. Penetrating another man’s tuchis isn’t a matter of science, but of freedom. Effects and risks may be of science.

          “Poor is the man whose pleasures depend on the permission of another.”

          Which party wants freedom depends on the issue, and which wants detailed control, based on the issue, is a silly exercise for the echo chamber-ruled.

        2. You are a member of the party of crackpottery.

          1. …and that’s coming from an expert in the field.

      2. “Does “first-rate teaching” include “settled science” like no racial differences in IQ, man-made global warming, and that it’s perfectly normal to penetrate another man’s tuchis?”

        You spend a lot of time thinking and writing about penetrating another man’s tuchis. Is it because it keeps happening to you?

        1. Write what you know

        2. Point to the doll where the bad liberal touched you.

  19. So…what specific reforms to university policy are called for, to make sure trustees don’t have a say in decisions re faculty appointment, tenure, etc.

    Perhaps transfer the authority from trustees to faculty, though a formal amendment of university policy?

    Pending such a reform, how exactly are trustees to exercise the authority the university regulations grant them?

    1. The way this usually works is that BoTs defer to the judgement of faculty and only step in when there’s something that doesn’t fall into that expertise (like the person is accused of some misdeed).

      1. If the person commits some misdeed, just alert the faculty and they’ll cancel the planned appointment.

        Or if, in their academic judgment, she’s rehabilitated herself, that she is a good teacher, and that her scholarship is valuable, what business do the Trustees have in second-guessing such a decision?

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kathy_Boudin#Columbia_University

        It would seem that the only thing the Trustees would be able to do in that situation would be to throw a wrench in the works for hiring a qualified, completely-rehabilitated person.

        Really, why have trustees at all?

        1. That is almost never withing the realm of at faculty tenure committee. It is an administrative decision to be made by senior administrators usually after consultation with the general counsel

          1. Truly an interference with academic self-government!

            Whether a person’s overall academic excellence outweighs one or two little “misdeeds” is a distinctly academic question. How can we be sure that academic considerations have their due weight on the scale if it’s non-academics making the decision.

            This is the next frontier in fighting for faculty self-governance!

            1. “Whether a person’s overall academic excellence outweighs one or two little “misdeeds” is a distinctly academic question.”

              You think you’re being incredibly cute here, but like lots of people trying that you’re missing something. It probably has to do with you not knowing much about the area you’re talking about. Think about what faculty might be experts in and what they might not be and the different values a university must value…

              1. Just to be clear here, remember that no one is arguing what you’re cutely putting forward: that a BoT must defer when academics say that they academic value of a hire is > than the non-academic issues the potential hire involves. No one. So you’re introducing a pedantic distinction here, no one is saying the “person’s overall academic excellence outweighs one or two little “misdeeds” is a distinctly academic question” (notice the double “”, this is how I actually quote someone!).

                What’s at issue here is that it is unlikely this person was denied on academic merit (since the BoT really can’t determine that) and no traditional non-academic reason that BoTs tend to give has been supplied for her denial. In the context of the fact that her work is controversial and there was a campaign against her, it stinks of what you would otherwise call ‘cancel culture.’

                1. Seriously, why can’t the whole thing be delegated to academics – perhaps if you’re worried they’d hire a Kathy Boudin, then have a trained police professional (expertise!) screen out the convicted felons before the issue is allowed to reach the professors.

                  What basis is there for having Trustees make any of these decisions? They’re not experts in either academics or criminology.

            2. Cal. that is academic self-government. It’s a feature not a bug

              1. Letting non-academics make these academic decisions? Non-academics are a bunch of mouth-breathing rednecks who think a Rubens is a sandwich. Academics shouldn’t be making recommendations to them about anything – academics should *tell* them what to do, and they should go right ahead and do it. And bring their wallets.

        2. “Or if, in their academic judgment, she’s rehabilitated herself,”

          Do you maybe see where you slipped here? Hint: think of spheres of expertise.

          1. Whose expertise counts at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice? There, academic expertise and criminological expertise seem to overlap. Yet they were pressured into not renewing the contract of Susan Rosenberg, who spent time in prison over possessing “a large cache of explosives and firearms over 750 lbs and automatic weapons” (I thought we had a Second Amendment in this country!).

            Fortunately, this controversy was many years ago, and I hope universities have grown woker and more resistance to pressure from public clamor.

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Susan_Rosenberg#Release

  20. Also, there seem to be two different issues here

    – 1st Amendment issues, meaning *no-one* – faculty or trustees – can engage in viewpoint discrimination in most cases

    -university governance issues – who exercises what authority can constitutionally be exercised?

    1. (who exercises *such* authority *as* can constitutionally be exercised)

    2. ” there seem to be two different issues here”

      There’s just the one: It’s MUCH easier to censor a faculty member who lacks tenure.

      1. Thank you for your contribution, but I was trying to respond to the post.

        1. Try harder.

    3. Are there? I think you think so because you don’t recognize the idea inherent in the notion of a ‘profession’ that other members of the profession have a much, much better chance to know how well someone’s work lives up to the standards of that profession. So, if a BoT denies tenure to someone with no scandal or what have you and whose work is controversial in the general public but has been widely recognized by respected institutions and positively evaluated by the faculty then the denial reeks of being due to the controversial in the general public part.

      That’s called ‘cancel culture’ in other contexts.

      1. “you don’t recognize the idea inherent in the notion of a ‘profession’”

        Yes, that’s exactly what I said, I’ve learned by experience not to challenge your summaries of what I said, those summaries are much better than my actual words, and much more sinister and cool.

      2. “someone with no scandal or what have you”

        I wasn’t talking about that person, I was talking about Hannah Nicole-Jones.

        Or as you would put it, truth is relative, and the truth-value of any statement depends on how politically-correct it is.

        Yes, that’s exactly what the version of you in my head would say, therefore you said it.

        1. Oh, my mistake, I should have referenced Nikole Hannah-Jones.

          Hannah Nicole-Jones is a totally different and unrelated person. I think she wrote for a right-wing news outlet, where she developed a fully-footnoted study showing that a secret clique of Masons ran the country from behind the scenes. Even some of her fellow-historians criticized the quality of her research and conclusions, but she quite properly dismissed these critics as Masonic stooges.

          Now a journalism department at Podunk State U has proposed that she get tenure at their department. I hope the trustees at Podunk ratify this recommendation sight unseen, rather than meddle in academic affairs like the UNC Trustees.

    4. Cal,
      First you misunderstand the 1A protection.
      Second, Te authority and power rests with the corporation or with the state in the case of a public university

      1. “Second, Te authority and power rests with the corporation or with the state in the case of a public university”

        Unfortunately, there people who fail to recognize the prerogatives of academics to make these decisions.

        The Fourth Circuit (which supervises federal courts in the region where UNC is located) has been known to overrule faculty decisions on tenure – even worse, a *jury* – the classic example of uncredentialed rubes – were allowed to sit in judgment of academic decisions and rule them illegal.

        https://centerforacademicfreedom.org/cases/adams-v-trustees-of-university-of-north-carolina-wilmington/

        And now we have these so-called “trustees” getting their dirty hands all over academic affairs. Where will it end?

  21. As she was hired solely as a political decision and not as an academic decision, then the board of trustees absolutely do have the expertise to decide if she’s a qualified candidate. The bad precident was set by the ones choosing to ignore academic merits when hiring for an academic position. Not by those who then weighed in on the solely political hiring of an academically unqualified individual.

    1. “As she was hired solely as a political decision”

      “he solely political hiring of an academically unqualified individual”

      What’s your basis for this premise? She’s heavily awarded in her field.

      1. “She’s heavily awarded in her field.”

        Her field is on of the least trusted institution in the country. Maybe her field is wrong about her qualifications.

        1. “Her field is on of the least trusted institution in the country.”

          Least trusted by whom? By people who don’t want to be told things that conflict with their preferred ideological worldview.

          Or did you mean she’s running a phone-spam operation on the side? Selling used cars? running for Congress?

        2. That’s really silly. Right now epidemiology is likely a highly distrusted field, but it would be silly if you were hiring an epidemiologist to not take prestigious awards in that field they have into account.

          1. “epidemiology is likely a highly distrusted field”
            by ignorant people.

            1. What was the average standard error of Covid epidemiological forecasts? Anyone remember that 4% ifr estimate early on in the pandemic? LOL

            2. “‘epidemiology is likely a highly distrusted field’
              by ignorant people.”

              The same people who distrust the journalists.

  22. Higher ed in general needs to be restructured in bankruptcy, right after the government stops transferring trillions of dollars straight to its coffers.

    I can’t seem to muster any interest in this dispute about whether hiring decisions should be controlled by boards of directors, or by the leftist faculty. Maybe both should have input. But I’m not an academic. What does seem clear is that Nikole Hannah-Jones is a promoter of deranged, incorrect, and wrong Marxist thought and propaganda. That’s not who we should have teaching at our institutions, of course. That seems obvious. But that’s not how things are, even remotely. Academia is filled with such persons, and such thinking is basically orthodox there now. So. . ?

    1. “But I’m not an academic. What does seem clear is that Nikole Hannah-Jones is a promoter of deranged, incorrect, and wrong Marxist thought and propaganda.”

      Translation: I have no expertise in this area. I am going to make now broad categorical statements that I could not possibly back up with well thought out research. Also I don’t know what Marxism is, but I am fairly certain it applies to everything I don’t like.

        1. You linked to a guy with zero expertise making an opinion piece in a right-wing paper.

          Next time try linking to the criticisms of an actual historian.

            1. It is responsive. Non-expert makes up bs. Called on it. Links to another non-expert as if that’s proof. Again, try an actual historian (one was actually discussed in the article!)

              1. I’m sure you’re perfectly aware of the many historians that have criticized and dismissed this fraud. Even leftist-controlled Wikipedia details a number of them, if you’d like to peruse. With that said, I see there is no point of interest to any of your comments, and you won’t respond to anything substantive, instead preferring to bleat about academic qualifications and pose some kind of citation link challenge. Very boring!

                If there is anything you would like to actually discuss, question or criticize in a substantive manner, I’d be happy to consider and, who knows – maybe even see the error of my ways!

                1. The leftists have gotten to Wikipedia, now, too? Oh dear, maybe reality really DOES have a leftist bias, after all.

                2. “If there is anything you would like to actually discuss, question or criticize in a substantive manner”

                  I mean, he cited Wikipedia *and* the Washington Examiner, your refusal to bow to these vaunted sources on the current state of academic history shows you are not interested in substantive debate! Lol.

            2. He said you don’t know what you’re talking about, and your pathetic counter helps prove that. That’s pretty responsive.

      1. “: I have no expertise in this area. I am going to make now broad categorical statements that I could not possibly back up with well thought out research. ”

        It really seems to be a defining aspect of many of our conservative regulars, isn’t it?

        1. ‘There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there always has been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that “my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.” ‘

          – Isaac Asimov

          1. “Naturally, the educated man does not believe in propa­ganda; he shrugs and is convinced that propaganda has no effect on him. This is, in fact, one of his great weaknesses, and propa­gandists are well aware that in order to reach someone, one must first convince him that propaganda is ineffectual and not very clever. Because he is convinced of his own superiority, the intellectual is much more vulnerable than anybody else to this maneu­ver, even though basically a high intelligence, a broad culture, a constant exercise of the critical faculties, and full and objective information are still the best weapons against propaganda.”

            ― Jacques Ellul

            1. I believe in propaganda. I believe I can be affected by propaganda. Don’t you?

              Ellul hits the issue on its head at the end, in criticizing the practices of an educated man who does not engage sufficiently in true intellectual activity: “Because he is convinced of his own superiority, the intellectual is much more vulnerable than anybody else to this maneu­ver, even though basically a high intelligence, a broad culture, a constant exercise of the critical faculties, and full and objective information are still the best weapons against propaganda.” Who do I think is more likely to constantly practice those elements listed at the end: highly-informed experts and experienced people who consult experts, or people who believe themselves superior by virtue of their status alone and are willing to countermand experts because a decision does not fit their political stance du jour? I trust the former more, the professors and administrators, over the Board of Trustees, though I admit room for improvement. Asimov would reject the latter based on ignorance; Ellul (a professor himself) would reject both but hold the latter up to especial scrutiny, since they act as an institution of control and are completely encircled by the influence of special interests.

              “I think that if the university was truly as it is supposed to be, it would be extremely useful for change. The university teaches technique, but at the same time it should teach criticism, the ability to criticize technique and the world in which we live. For that reason, in 1968, I agitated with the students in order to obtain what was called in France the ‘autonomous universities,’ which meant that each university would be free from the state, self-organized. The professor and the students would organize themselves. It was a complete failure, and I think the political situation today in the universities is worse. They are concerned only with preparing modern man for technique. I think that a university should do just the opposite.”

              – Jacques Ellul

              1. Good comment. I think Ellul was right and I see it borne out today, in that the more “educated” people are very much more susceptible to propaganda, from intellectuals to just college grads and masters degree holders. Not that wallowing in ignorance is any better than being taken in by propaganda, and plenty of folks do that as well whether educated or not. But I do not think that universities today are doing their rightful job as Ellul described it. Sucking down trillions in taxpayer dollars in itself makes them a blight upon society, and is a symptom that should show you something is rotten.

                1. the reason “educated” (really credentialed) people are more susceptible to propaganda is that they think they’re too smart to be fooled because if someone were trying to fool them, it would be obvious no? This hubris is exactly what makes them so easy to fool. The idiot always suspects someone is trying to pull something over on him. Note that the true intellectual — scientist and (real) artist types — are natural skeptics. They tend not to be as susceptible because they always demand proof of some sort.

                  1. ” if someone were trying to fool them, it would be obvious no? This hubris is exactly what makes them so easy to fool. The idiot always suspects someone is trying to pull something over on him.”

                    So what’s your excuse for Trump being able to fool some of the people all of the time?

    2. “I’m not an academic. What does seem clear is that Nikole Hannah-Jones is a promoter of deranged, incorrect, and wrong Marxist thought and propaganda.”

      This the kind of non-academic analysis you’re capable of?

    3. This reads like kinda fascistic viewpoint discrimination.

  23. So you are advocating that the board should ignore their fiduciary responsibility and “rubber stamp” the decisions of others? That’s hard to defend.

    1. So you didn’t understand that the argument was that the Board best serves its fiduciary responsibility if it defers to experts in the field on the issue? That’s hard to understand.

      1. It would appear that in this case the board rejected that argument.

        1. “It would appear that in this case the board rejected that argument.”

          After a pressure campaign by angry conservative ‘mobs.’

          Hmm, what’s that called when it happens in other regards???

        2. “It would appear that in this case the board rejected that argument.”

          Proving that my decision to have my child educated in a different state’s universities was, in fact, a good one.

      2. Where there are questions they Board gets advice from third parties. It does not rubber stamp the faculty

  24. Again there is this whining about diversity of opinion on college campuses. If you went across the faculty of most colleges and universities you would likely find pretty diverse opinions. The L& S colleges are likely to be liberal, but if you went to the business and technical campuses you would find more conservatives.

    I would also like to say works like the 1619 Project are exploring areas that were not well researched in the past. The fact is that history of white men is well covered. A new book on Lincoln, Madison, or the rest is not going to cover much new ground. The area for exploration are often the common Americans. This includes the slaves and free blacks, the immigrants, and the indigenous people. Every area of study expands over time, so why would history remain stagnant?

    1. Remember the controversy over the British guy who did a history of historians, and his American publisher dropped him because he (allegedly) wasn’t covering enough black historians?

      I think these black historians – not all of whom wrote on whites-only subjects – predated Hannah Nicole-Jones.

    2. The reason history of nonwhite men is not as “well covered”, is because their contributions to history are by comparison few and far between.

      This incongruity has not gone unnoticed by black supremacists by the way. It is exactly this disparity that has caused them to rewrite history from antiquity (Egyptians and Israelites were black) to the early modern period (the first American President was black) to modernity (the light bulb was invented by a black man). Quite fascinating.

      1. “The reason history of nonwhite men is not as “well covered”, is because their contributions to history are by comparison few and far between.”

        I really can’t thank you enough for confirmation.

        1. Remind me again. In which African country did the Industrial Revolution start?

          1. Remind me again. Which countries in Africa were exploited to support the industrial revolution? Which countries were occupied, colonized and people enslaved? How did that colonization affect the native people? How does the legacy of that colonization carry on today in those countries?

      2. ” The reason history of nonwhite men is not as “well covered”, is because their contributions to history are by comparison few and far between. ”

        Shoving even more progress down the bigoted, ignorant, whining throats of conservatives is going to be important and enjoyable.

        Open wider, Johnny. You will comply. I will celebrate.

        1. ‘member when Zimbabwe landed on the moon…

          1. Wakanda Forever!

  25. “The reason history of nonwhite men is not as “well covered”, is because their contributions to history are by comparison few and far between.”

    Not to mention ignored and belittled by racists.

    1. “We wuz kangz, yo!”

      1. I’m sure you wuz.

    2. If you believe in out of Africa theory, blacks have had a 100,000 year headstart on whites. What were they doing during all that time?

      1. Inventing agriculture and language.

    3. Who says that history is not well covered. FFS we have a whole month dedicated to Black History.

      Arguably its over covered.

      1. Is it a coincidence that Black History Month is the shortest month of the year? If you’re going to crow over giving them a month, at least give them a whole month.

        1. Strong argument. The fact that there are only 28 days devoted to Black History instead of 30 is a damning indictment of racism in America.

          1. You got 5 months with 30 days, and 6 with 31. YOU get the one with 28. Sound fair to you?

  26. “Even so, those who seek to promote academic freedom, campus free speech, and greater intellectual diversity in academia should be seeking to expand and not to shrink the range of ideas expressed on college campuses.”

    Wrong

    The universities have embraced the destruction of academic freedom, campus free speech, and any intellectual diversity. They are sh!tholes.

    The proper response is to destroy them. They chose to destroy everything they are supposed to stand for, every bit of value they offered society. Burn them down, and start over fresh

  27. 1619 is a joke. If that’s your claim to fame you don’t deserve tenure.

  28. “The question is who ought to decide whether particular individuals should be hired for available faculty positions.”
    Existing faculty are the ones who have self-hired themselves into a 99% left-wing body. They are the last ones I trust to hire other professors, and the fact that this one was eminently unqualified is exactly the kind of opportunity that the board of trustees is right to intervene in.

    1. Why would trustees want a person who wins journalism awards to be teaching journalism?

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