‘Black Nationalist’ self-proclaimed finalist for Dean of Law School Ole Miss | Mississippi Politics and Current Affairs

Kenneth Nunn of the University of Florida liked a tweet that read, “If DeSantis wants to pay to help people escape from a terrible place, he should start with Mississippi.”

The University of Mississippi is seeking to fill the position of Dean of its Law School.

Finalists for the position have been named and campus tours are being arranged as the University wants the Dean to be on the ground and in place by July 1, 2023.

According to an email obtained by Y’all Politics, one of the finalists is Kenneth Nunn, a university professor at the University of Florida (UF). Nunn is a law professor and associate director of the Center on Children and Families at UF. He should be on campus at Ole Miss early next week.

On the faculty page at UF College of LawNunn lists his areas of expertise:

Nunn joined the UF faculty in 1990 and co-founded the Center for the Study of Race and Race Relations, one of the few law school centers that focuses on race. Previously, he worked as a public defender in San Francisco and Washington, DC and as an attorney with the Southern Africa Project.

Nunn has published a variety of written works, including several book chapters and various articles on topics almost exclusively centered on race, diversity, critical theories – including CRT – and human injustice.

In one of his writings titled “Essentially Black: Legal Theory and Morality of Conscious Racial Identity” Nunn describes himself as “a black nationalist and Africa-centered scholar”.

Nunn is on Twitter as well. He shares or retweets mostly based on racial issues. He often likes tweets, like this one shared about Mississippi, a state he’s currently looking to relocate to:

“If DeSantis wants to pay to help people escape from a terrible place, he should start with Mississippi.”

Nunn also liked these tweets in June of this year:

“It’s time to expand [Supreme] to research. Who’s with me?” – Representative Mark Pocan

“To white progressives/democrats and white women today: do not vent your anger against black people today. #WeTriedToTellYa. About Donald Trump. The GOP. Senator Joe Manchin. Senator Susan Collins. Gorsuch. Coney Barrett. Kavanaugh. About Leadership WEAK Dem. We have seen this before. Papa Pope…” – Roland Martin

“The old KKK morphed into the modern GOP. It’s as simple as that. Today’s Republicans are fiery racists looking for crosses to burn. -Ed Hull

Y’all Politics reached out to the Ole Miss School of Law to ask about Nunn being a finalist for Dean’s position as well as whether the University was aware of Nunn’s extensive writings and opinions on race and if they had a comment on his posts.

Jim Zook, the director of marketing and communications for Ole Miss, did not respond to specific questions posed regarding Nunn’s review, nor did he provide a list of names of other people being considered for. the position of dean. Instead, Zook provided this statement:

“The university has not publicly announced the names of any of the candidates who are part of the confidential search for the next dean of the University of Mississippi Law School. The search committee’s discussions of applicants and their professional qualifications are confidential and will not be disclosed by the university as the search proceeds.

Late Thursday, concerned law students began to question the wisdom of bringing in a figure as potentially divisive as Nunn. However, unsurprisingly, none wanted to be quoted or named for fear of reprisals.

Founded in 1854, the Ole Miss School of Law is Mississippi’s first and only public law school.

According to job description posted online by the University, the Dean of the Faculty of Law is responsible for the following:

  • long term strategic planning
  • lead a diverse faculty and student body
  • advance research and faculty scholarship; encourage student success and achievement
  • advocate for student welfare
  • facilitate an inclusive climate and promote diversity, equity and inclusion within the law school
  • Fund raising
  • promote and develop external relations and with the School’s graduates.

In addition, the job description indicates that the Dean represents the School within the University and represents the School of Law and the University to external constituencies. The Dean reports to the Provost and oversees over 30 full-time faculty, 56 staff, and approximately 500 students.

The Dean also facilitates partnerships on campus and with the community, including collaborations with affiliated professors and the engagement of experts as adjunct professors.

Jon J. Epps