Standing committee named for review of requests to rename university property

President Wendy Wintersteen has named the standing committee that will consider requests to remove names from university property. The group will begin its work this semester and is expected to continue into the fall.

Chairing the committee will be Carol Faber, president of the Faculty Senate and associate professor of graphic design. Last year, Faber and vice president for diversity, equity and inclusion Reginald Stewart co-chaired the committee that developed the policy on consideration of removing names from university property.

Joining Faber on the committee are:

  • James Andrews, University Professor, department of history
  • Theressa Cooper, assistant dean for diversity, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
  • Jon Fleming, retired physician, Ames
  • Morgan Fritz, president, Student Government
  • Chad Gasta, chair, department of world languages and cultures
  • Carmen Gomes, associate professor, mechanical engineering
  • Monica Gordillo, associate teaching professor, management
  • Beth Hartmann, teaching professor, Program for Women in Science and Engineering
  • Chelsea Iennarella-Servantez, senate engagement officer, Graduate and Professional Student Senate; DVM/Ph.D. student, biomedical sciences and animal science
  • Clayton Johnson, director of student services, College of Human Sciences
  • Sara Marcketti, Morrill Professor and director, Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching
  • Brendan O'Brien, director, International Students and Scholars Office
  • Jo Anne Powell-Coffman, associate dean for research, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
  • Mack Shelley, chair, department of political science
  • James Wright, associate teaching professor, department of agricultural and biosystems engineering
  • Paula DeAngelo, deputy counsel, office of university counsel (ex-officio)

"I want to thank Carol Faber and the committee members who accepted my request to serve in this important role for our university community," Wintersteen said.

Up first: Catt Hall

Wintersteen said the committee's first assignment will be a review of Catt Hall, named for alumna Carrie Chapman Catt. Since last fall, when the renaming policy was established, several requests to review the building have been submitted through the Consideration of Removing Names from University Property website.

"Because the naming of Catt Hall has been a recurring issue for more than a quarter of a century, the university will provide support to assist with research, organization and report development, as the standing committee will serve as the body that reviews this important issue," Wintersteen said. "As part of that support, we are in the process of securing an outside consultant with expertise in historical research to gather and organize factual evidence."

Committee has process to follow

Wintersteen said the policy development committee met its charge last year of developing a process to ensure a consistent, evidence-based and historically thoughtful way to evaluate naming decisions. The procedures linked to the university policy outline how to prepare a recommendation and how to receive feedback and public comment.

"Thanks to that group's work, the new standing committee has a set of principles to guide it in studying the facts, investigating allegations and arriving at a fully informed recommendation," she said.

The committee will submit a final report with a recommendation to the president for a decision. If a decision calls for removal of a name from a major unit such as a building, the president will prepare a recommendation for the Iowa Board of Regents, which will make a final decision based on its own naming policy.

After Catt Hall, it is expected that a plaque recognizing W.T. Hornaday will be the second historical naming decision the committee will review.

Wintersteen sought nominations for individuals to serve on the standing committee from senior leaders, deans, student leaders and others.