Catt Hall naming review moves to draft phase

Since the start of spring semester, the Standing Committee for the Consideration of Removing Names from University Property has met 15 times regarding the removal of Carrie Chapman Catt's name from Catt Hall. The committee devoted most of those meetings to interviews with individuals with expertise, knowledge or interests in the Catt Hall name removal issue.

"These individuals broadened the committee's understanding of the issue, and we're grateful for their input," said Carol Faber, chair of the committee, associate professor of graphic design and former president of the Faculty Senate. "They shared their perspectives and provided historical insights into Catt's life and work, the suffrage movement and the university before and after the original naming process."

Over the summer, the committee will begin developing an initial draft of its report.

"Once we have a draft report, we expect the committee will take an initial vote on a recommendation in the fall semester. That result will be incorporated into our draft and then we will make the draft report available for public comment, as outlined in the policy's procedures," said Faber. "The committee will decide how long the comment period will be. Our procedures state it will not exceed 60 days."

"As is also outlined in our procedures, we will specifically invite feedback from those who submitted name removal requests, stakeholders and university units impacted by the decision," she added.

After the committee reviews feedback from its draft report, it will take a final vote and send its final report and recommendation to the president's office. A two-thirds vote of the 17-member committee is required to recommend removal of a name from a building.

The committee, appointed in March 2021 by President Wendy Wintersteen, has continued to review research on Catt and the suffrage movement. Last year, History Associates Inc., a Maryland-based research firm, provided the committee with more than 200 pertinent historical documents gleaned from sources all over the country. Each person interviewed also was allowed to submit documents and resources.