Renaming committee begins its work

Iowa State's Committee to Establish Principles on Renaming held its first meeting Aug. 4. President Wendy Wintersteen appointed the committee last month and tasked it with developing a university policy to ensure a consistent, evidence-based and historically thoughtful means by which to evaluate historical naming and honors.

The 20-member group is led by Reg Stewart, vice president for diversity and inclusion, and Carol Faber, Faculty Senate president and associate professor of graphic design. The committee plans to complete its work by the end of fall semester.

As a first step, Stewart and Faber directed committee members to review Stanford University's set of principles and procedures, and begin to consider how an Iowa State draft policy might look.

Adopted in 2018, the Stanford policy is one example for renaming buildings and other features. Committee member Daniel Hartwig, head of the library's special collections and university archives, served as university archivist at Stanford when its renaming policy was created. Hartwig shared some of his past experience and background with the committee.

Stewart and Faber shared other examples of similar policy efforts at Oklahoma State University, Yale University, University of Michigan, University of Minnesota and Oregon State University. Committee members were encouraged to share other resources, insights or information that would be useful to developing a policy for Iowa State.

Committee members reviewed current policies on the process to name university property established by either the state Board of Regents or the university. These policies are linked on the committee's web site. The committee also received information on the university policy development and approval process.