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After a highly publicized dispute which centered on the denial of tenure to Nikole Hannah-Jones, the university responsible has reached a settlement with her.

According to reports, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill announced on Friday (July 15th) that it reached the settlement with the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist. “The steps taken to resolve the lingering potential legal action posed by Ms. Hannah-Jones will hopefully help to close this chapter and give the university the space to focus on moving forward,” said David Boliek, chair of the university’s board of trustees, said in the statement released by the school. The amount of the settlement estimated to be close to $75,000, and it was approved by Kevin Gusciewicz, the university’s Chancellor. Gusciewicz made the move without the need to obtain approval from the board of Governors per the school’s guidelines.

Ms. Hannah-Jones had been announced as the Knight Chair in Race and Investigative Journalism at UNC Chapel Hill’s Hussman School of Journalism and Media in April 2021. But instead of receiving a tenured position as is custom, she was offered a five-year contract as a professor. The appointment also incurred severe & unfounded criticism from conservatives and other right-wing figures who adamantly opposed her involvement in The 1619 Project from the New York Times, which thoroughly re-examined slavery in the United States.

In response. Hannah-Jones stated that she would be seeking legal action. Under pressure from many academics and journalists along with her fellow faculty members and students, the board of trustees would give her tenure a month later. The journalist, who earned a master’s degree from the school in 2003, would then turn the offer down. She then opted to become part of the faculty at Howard University as its Knight Chair, and would go on to found the school’s Center for Journalism and Democracy.

“Ms. Hannah-Jones is grateful to have this matter behind her,” said Janai S. Nelson, the president and director-counsel of the Legal Defense Fund in a statement released shortly afterward. “And she looks forward to continuing her professional work committed to using the power of investigative journalism to expose the truth about the manifestations of racism in our society and training the next generation of aspiring journalists to do the same at her academic home of Howard University.”

Nikole Hannah-Jones and UNC Resolve Hiring Dispute  was originally published on