White House press secretary Jen Psaki was asked on Tuesday to address New York Times reporter Nikole Hannah-Jones decision to decline the University of North Carolina's tenure offer after she battled back and forth with the university to gain that position.
"What does Biden make of the UNC process and her decision, and is this an example of systemic racism that he promised to [inaudible]," asked CNN's April Ryan.
"I have not spoken with the president about the decision on tenure by the institution in North Carolina. I will say that the students at Howard are quite lucky to have her as a professor and in their family," said Psaki.
"I think there's no question that there continues to be systemic racism in our country. We see that in a range of sectors, including in some learning institutions, but that's why the president's continuing to make racial equity, and addressing racial equity, a central priority and crisis that he would like to address and focus on as president," she continues.
Hannah-Jones said after being originally denied tenure, then having a "vote occur on the last possible day, at the last possible moment, after threat of legal action, after weeks of protest, after it became a national scandal, it's just not something I want anymore," in reference to her decision to pass up on the tenured position.
She will instead be joining Howard University as an inaugural Knight Chair in Race and Journalism at the school.
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