As UNC-CH seeks new dean, who is willing to take the position after Nikole-Hannah Jones controversy?

After a long-drawn-out controversy concerning Nikole Hannah-Jones's tenure, the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill is searching for a new dean for the Hussman School of Journalism and Media.

Journalism faculty members are now fearful and nervous of who would even want to take up the position considering megadonor Walter Hussman Jr.'s influence over the school. On the other hand, UNC still has a strong academic reputation nationally.

Like many others who have taken up high-profile roles in academia, the next dean will have to recognize the politics that come with the job.

But seeing what Hannah-Jones, a Black woman, went through to secure tenure, it may be a huge turn-off for diverse candidates. The school's full-time faculty makeup is 51% male and 72% white, according to the school's 2019-20 accreditation self-study.

The 10-person search committee is made up of Hussman professors and others from the UNC community.

In an email to the journalism school, Gary Marchionini, the dean of the UNC School of Information and Library Science, said they are planning to take input from faculty, staff, students, alumni and others.

For a full report on UNC-Chapel Hill's search for a new dean by News & Observer's Kate Murphy, check here.
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