Message from President Isiaah Crawford
In recent years, conversations have taken place at institutions of higher education across the country about the role of naming and renaming university buildings and spaces. These issues have arisen in the context of institutions acknowledging and confronting their historical legacies, as well as addressing concerns about corporate ethics and institutional affiliations with certain donors or corporations.
University of Puget Sound is cognizant of these issues and must be prepared to thoughtfully and holistically assess and address any renaming requests that could arise on our own campus. Our university policy affirms that new naming of buildings or campus spaces can occur through agreements with donors or through independent action of the board of trustees. However, the policy is silent on the process for considering the removal or replacing of a name on a university building or space. Now is the time to address this aperture in the policy.
With the support of the Board of Trustees, I convened the Committee to Recommend Principles on Renaming University Buildings and Spaces, consistent with the goal of developing Legacies Projects identified in Goal Two of the Leadership for a Changing World strategic plan with a view to the broader contexts in which naming decisions occur at the university.
Charge & Timeline
The committee is charged with articulating and recommending institutional principles that will guide us in evaluating and determining whether to remove or replace any name from a building or other prominent structure or space on campus. This work will be helpful in informing any proposed changes to our policy. The committee is not asked to examine any specific named building or space on campus as part of its charge. That work will be guided by our new policy.
The committee will spend spring semester 2021 examining resources and seeking input from our community. We will review input and develop our response during the summer months to share with the President at the start of the fall semester.
As the committee work progresses, we will share updates concerning our work.