UNC-CH Faculty Council affirms confidence in chancellor after Hannah-Jones controversy

Orange County News

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (WNCN) – The Faculty Council of the Univerisity of North Carolina at Chapel Hill on Wednesday voted to affirm its confidence in Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz, saying that a change in the university’s leadership “would be deeply destabilizing.”

A statement drafted and discussed by the council said a change at the helm of the university wouldn’t follow principles of shared governance. All present in the meeting voted in favor of the resolution with 11 abstaining.

“It is my strong belief that this is not a time for a leadership change on our campus,” said Faculty Council Chair Mimi Chapman.

Chapman called Wednesday’s emergency meeting.

“On Saturday, I was contacted by someone who was alarmed about a meeting that they had been a part of in which names were being solicited for an interim chancellor,” Chapman said.

Chapman said the President of the UNC system makes final decisions about the Chancellor. She said the Board of Governors has the authority to submit final candidates.

The show of support for the chancellor comes after a controversy surrounding journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones, who is known for her work on the 1619 Project. After a back-and-forth, Hannah-Jones was offered a tenured teaching position, which she turned down to instead work at Howard University.

The following day, members of the Carolina Black Caucus, Black Student Movement, and Black Graduate and Professional Association collectively agreed on a list of demands, which are divided into Safety and Equity categories.

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