Members announced for renaming policy committee

Eighteen members of the Iowa State community will join co-chairs Reginald Stewart, vice president for diversity and inclusion; and faculty senate president Carol Faber on the university's Committee to Establish Principles on Renaming. President Wendy Wintersteen announced the appointments July 8 in a campus memo and said she asked the group to develop a university policy that lays out "a consistent, evidence-based and historically thoughtful means by which to evaluate historical naming and honors."

She emphasized it's not being asked to review any specific renaming issues.

Charge to the committee

"In recognition of Iowa State University's commitment to research and factual evidence, academic freedom and intellectual inquiry, the university charges the committee to develop a policy to ensure a consistent, evidence-based and historically thoughtful means by which to evaluate historical naming and honors. This policy will strive to provide integrity, consistency and clarity to the process in order for these principles to endure. When the committee completes this policy, a formal process will exist for the investigation of renaming issues."

Joining Faber and Stewart on the committee are:

  • LeQuetia Ancar, assistant director of student services; director of multicultural student success, College of Engineering
  • Sebastian Braun, associate professor, world languages and cultures department
  • Joseph Cheatle, director, Writing and Media Center, dean of students office
  • Simon Cordery, chair, history department
  • Paula DeAngelo, deputy counsel, office of university counsel 
  • Kurt Earnest, associate director of residence life, student engagement and academic excellence, residence department
  • Simon Estes, adjunct professor, music and theatre department
  • Eleanor Field, president, Graduate and Professional Student Senate
  • Morgan Fritz, president, Student Government
  • Monica Gordillo, associate teaching professor, management department
  • Daniel Hartwig, head, special collections and university archives, university library
  • Gloria Jones-Johnson, University professor, sociology department
  • Maggie LaWare, associate professor, English department
  • Sheryl Rippke, policy administrator, office of university counsel
  • Samarth Vachhrajani, senior in architecture, College of Design
  • Amy Ward, past president, Professional & Scientific Council; and learning technologies coordinator, Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching
  • Ross Wilburn, associate program director and diversity consultant, ISU Extension and Outreach Community and Economic Development
  • Brian Meyer, associate director for strategic communications, strategic relations and communications (ex-officio)

The lack of a university process for reconsidering historical memorials and naming decisions was highlighted in early June when social media posts drew attention to a 1926 plaque on campus honoring former student William T. Hornaday, the first director of the Bronx City Zoo. In 1906, Hornaday set up a zoo exhibit that featured a Congolese man, Ota Benga. Last month, the plaque was removed as an interim step and stored in university archives at Parks Library. Wintersteen announced she would appoint a committee, led by Stewart and Faber, to develop a policy to review historical naming decisions for Iowa State.

Once the committee has completed its work, she said questions such as the Hornaday plaque or Catt Hall, named for alumna and suffragist Carrie Chapman Catt, can be reviewed under a consistent process.


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