Board takes 30 min to dename Deady

Live-blog: Really not that hard, was it? I thought the student trustee Katharine Wishnia had the best comments, here. Pres Schill promised some stuff, and maybe called out implicit bias training as the sort of window-dressing we could do without, but I wasn’t really listening, sorry.  If anyone brought up what to do about the Duck’s exploitation of mostly minority football players to pay for coaching, travel, and scholarships for mostly white non-revenue sport athletes I missed it.

Mostly this meeting is online – I mean virtual – but a few of the trustees are in JH:

One of them is wearing what appears to be an American flag mask. I’m no vexillologist who once got chewed out by my Boy Scout Troopmaster for wearing an American flag bandana on a canoe trip, but this is a violation of U.S. Code § 8. Respect for flag:

No disrespect should be shown to the flag of the United States of America; the flag should not be dipped to any person or thing. Regimental colors, State flags, and organization or institutional flags are to be dipped as a mark of honor.

(d)The flag should never be used as wearing apparel, bedding, or drapery.

(e)The flag should never be fastened, displayed, used, or stored in such a manner as to permit it to be easily torn, soiled, or damaged in any way.

(i)The flag should never be used for advertising purposes in any manner whatsoever. It should not be embroidered on such articles as cushions or handkerchiefs and the like, printed or otherwise impressed on paper napkins or boxes or anything that is designed for temporary use and discard. …

(j)No part of the flag should ever be used as a costume or athletic uniform.

Also, the flag should be displayed so that the union (i.e. the stars) are on the observer’s left.

6/24/2020: This is either going to be the shortest board meeting since the one where they bought out Gottfredson, or an opportunity for Pres Schill and our Trustees to give long, heartfelt speeches about their newly acquired but deeply held beliefs about the symbolic importance of de-naming Deady.

The next meeting of the Board of Trustees is scheduled for June 24 at 1:00 p.m. Pacific Time. This meeting will be limited to the topic of Deady Hall. The next regular, quarterly meeting of the Board is scheduled for September 10-11, 2020.

The June 24 meeting will be held remotely due to ongoing social distancing guidance. Members of the public or media may view a livestream feed at: https://youtu.be/diSuPRnX6Ko or listen via audio only by dialing 1-888-337-0215 and entering Access Code: 9504541.

Those wishing to provide public comment to the Board for this meeting may do so in writing via trustees@uoregon.edu.  All comments will be shared with trustees, but only comments received by 8:00 a.m. on June 24 are guaranteed to be shared with trustees prior to the meeting. Thank you for understanding.

6/10/2020: Pres Schill’s response to Trustee Colas ignores exploitation of black student athletes, accepts denaming Deady

Pres Schill’s letter is below – he says he’s changed his mind on denaming Deady and the Board will meet on it soon. He ignores the exploitation issue.

Trustee Andrew Colas, speaking at last weeks Board meeting:

First he pointed out to Duck AD Rob Mullens that it’s the football players – mostly black – whose unpaid labor earns 75% of the AD budget and supports Mullens and the “non-revenue” sports, which are mostly white. So Black Lives should Matter to Mullens, if he wants to keep getting paid. Video of Colas’s response to AD Rob Mullens is here:

Then, in thoughtful and moving remarks, he called for the Board to vote – immediately – to dename Deady Hall, here:

President Schill’s letter:

Continue reading

Board of Trustees to meet on budget crisis, endowment assessment increase, Duck Athletic Fund surcharge for academics, closing law school, consultant freeze, early retirement buyout to replace deadwood tenured faculty with cheaper NTTF/Career, ending baseball and athletic subsidies, health concerns about football players, and what to do about Fall reopening

Just kidding, they’re going to meet, but just about de-naming Deady. Gosh, I wonder what they’ll decide this time.

This Wednesday Thursday at 1 PM, online. Corrected materials here. (The original agenda had the day as Thursday, but it’s really on Wednesday.)

Livestream will presumably be on the UO Channel here.

All other matters will be resolved in secret zoom meetings between Angela Wilhems, Mike Schill, Patrick Phillips, Brad Shelton, and Rob Mullens over the next month or so.

These Deady talking points are *not* for media, Deans told to stifle

Whoops. Thanks to an anonymous source for passing this on, as prepared by one of VP Kyle Henley’s PR flacks, at $115,815 a year. Note the request that Deans etc don’t talk to the press! How Trumpish.

If anyone has a copy of the talking points that were prepared for Pres Schill’s 2017 decision *not* to dename Deady, please forward them.

From: George Evano <gevano@uoregon.edu>
Sent: Thursday, June 11, 2020 9:46 AM
To: Jennifer Winters <jwinters@uoregon.edu>; Univ Communications – Storyteller Team <ADV.Email.comm.storyteller.team.email.group@uoregon.edu>; Monique Danziger <mdanzig2@uoregon.edu>; Jennifer Lindsey <jlindsey@uoregon.edu>
Cc: Jennifer Archer <jdarcher@uoregon.edu>; Jim Engelhardt <jime@uoregon.edu>; Rayna Jackson <raynaj@uoregon.edu>; Anna Sherwood <asherwoo@uoregon.edu>; Zack Barnett <zbarnett@uoregon.edu>; Nancy Novitski <novitski@uoregon.edu>; Kara Rowan <krowan@uoregon.edu>; Colleen Schlonga <colleens@uoregon.edu>; Marlene Blum <marleneb@uoregon.edu>; Jessica T. Brown <jtbrown@uoregon.edu>; Tim Jordan <tjordan@uoregon.edu>; Kate Conley <katec@uoregon.edu>; Charlie Litchfield <clitch@uoregon.edu>; Molly Blancett <blancett@uoregon.edu>; Katy George <george@uoregon.edu>; Laurie Notaro <lnotaro@uoregon.edu>; AnneMarie Knepper <aknepper@uoregon.edu>; Jim Barlow <jebarlow@uoregon.edu>; Dusty Whitaker <dustinw@uoregon.edu>; Jesse Summers <summers5@uoregon.edu>; Kyle Henley <khenley@uoregon.edu>; tova stabin <tstabin@uoregon.edu>; Marlitt Dellabough <marlitt@uoregon.edu>; Heidi Hiaasen <heidih@uoregon.edu>; Tim Christie <timc@uoregon.edu>; Lauren Stanfield <lemiller@uoregon.edu>; Caitlin Howard <choward4@uoregon.edu>; Rachael Nelson <rachaeln@uoregon.edu>; Internal Communications <comminternal@uoregon.edu>; Julianne Davis <juls@uoregon.edu>; Jim Murez <jmurez@uoregon.edu>; Kristin Strommer <kstromme@uoregon.edu>; Andra Brichacek <andra@uoregon.edu>; Kirstin Hierholzer <kirstinh@uoregon.edu>; Laura Bottem <lbottem@uoregon.edu>; Lewis Taylor <lewist@uoregon.edu>; Debbie Williamson <debbiews@uoregon.edu>; Kay Jarvis <kdjarvis@uoregon.edu>; Damian Foley <foley@uoregon.edu>; Saul Hubbard <saulh@uoregon.edu>; Matt Cooper <mattc@uoregon.edu>; Greg Bolt <gbolt@uoregon.edu>; Ed Dorsch <edorsch@uoregon.edu>; Anna Glavash <aglavash@uoregon.edu>; Cheyenne Thorpe <cthorpe@uoregon.edu>; Melody Leslie <mleslie@uoregon.edu>; Emma Oravecz <ejo@uoregon.edu>; Jett Nilprabhassorn <jettn@uoregon.edu>; Chakris Kussalanant <chakris@uoregon.edu>; Michele Ross <mross@uoregon.edu>; Melissa Foley <mfoley@uoregon.edu>; David Austin <dmaustin@uoregon.edu>

Subject: Deady Hall Talk Points

Hi Everyone,

Attached please find a copy of the communications talk points around the president’s Deady Hall recommendation. These talking points have been sent to senior leaders, deans, and development officers to use in formal and informal communications and conversations with internal and external constituencies. These are not for use with the media. If you receive media request for comment, please have them refer them to Kay Jarvis.

You can also see them in the Team for Racial Climate – where they are updated in real time. Let us know if you want to be a member of that group, which has some excellent resources contributed by tova and others.

Trustee Andrew Colas breaks the Board’s code of omerta, twice

A brave man. Trustees are not supposed to disagree with Lillis in public. I’m sure there will be consequences. I hope there may be action.

First he pointed out to Duck AD Rob Mullens that it’s the football players – mostly black – whose unpaid labor earns 75% of the AD budget and supports Mullens and the “non-revenue” sports, which are mostly white. So Black Lives should Matter to Mullens, if he wants to keep getting paid. Video here.

Then, in thoughtful and moving remarks, he called for the Board to vote – immediately – to dename Deady Hall, here:

At one point Colas noted that Deady had later changed his racist views – and argued that Deady himself might recognize, were he alive today, the pain and suffering he had caused so many blacks, and agree that his name should not be in the face of them now.

Daily Emerald reporter Duncan Baumgarten has the story here:

Matthew Deady, after whom the university’s first building is named, was appointed to the position of President of the UO Board of Regents in 1873. He was a pro-slavery delegate to the Oregon constitutional convention, and Colas read quotes from Deady detailing his racism, including saying that Black people are just as much property as “horses, cattle and land.”

“I cannot accept a person who would see me and believe that I am as good as a horse, cattle or a piece of land. That wrecks me inside,” Colas said Thursday.

Because of Oregon’s public meeting laws that require advanced notice, the board couldn’t debate or vote on renaming the building during Thursday’s meeting.

“We will visit about this and see what we want to do here,” Board Chair Chuck Lillis said.

Actually, the Board has broken the intent of Oregon’s public meetings law at least three times under Chuck Lillis and Angela Wilhelms leadership to take action without advance notice or in secret. Once when they tried to ram the delegation of authority legislation through without even letting the board see it until the morning of the vote – this attempt was stymied when RG reporter Diane Dietz and I saw Chuck Triplett putting it on their desks during a coffee break, took some quick photos, and the faculty raised hell. Then again when they gave Mike Gottredson a $940K buyout without showing the contract before the meeting, and again when Wilhelms kicked Dietz and me out of a secret “training session” at the Eugene Hilton, where the board decided how to subsidize the IAAF Track and Field Championships.

More from the Emerald:

The board voted to change the name of Dunn Hall, named after a KKK member who was a classics professor at the UO, to Unthank Hall, in 2017. The hall is now named after DeNorval Unthank Jr., the first Black student to graduate from the UO’s School of Architecture and Allied Arts.

But UO President Michael Schill decided to not rename Deady Hall that same year. In the course of that decision, the board of trustees compiled a report on the subject.

At the time Pres Schill promised to at least put up an interpretive area in Deady, explaining his complicated racist history. It never happened. I assume VPEI Alex-Assensoh is still revising the org chart for the committee, and scheduling some more Jeffersonian Dinners at Marche to decide on the wording.

Pres Schill: Keep Deady, add Black Cultural Center

Please consider posting your comments on the Senate blog here, rather than on UOM. Thanks.

Dear University of Oregon community,

Like many universities throughout the nation, the University of Oregon is actively engaging in issues of diversity and inclusion on campus and using them as an opportunity for debate, learning, and community-building. Some well-publicized incidents this academic year have underlined the importance of our efforts to ensure that each and every student, faculty, and staff member feels included and comfortable learning and contributing here. 

In this message, I want to focus on two decisions—I will not recommend to the Board of Trustees that it dename Deady Hall, and we will move forward with efforts to build a new Black cultural center at the UO. I am announcing these decisions now because our campus needs clarity about the status of Deady Hall and a clear path forward to focus on tangible actions we can take to improve the climate at the UO for students of color, specifically those who identify as Black or African American. 

In the fall of 2015, the Black Students Task Force presented UO leadership with a set of 13 demands. One demand requested the following: “Change the names of all of the KKK-related buildings on campus. Deady Hall will be the first building to be renamed.” In February 2016, I empaneled a committee, chaired by Associate Professor Charise Cheney, to provide me with advice on a set of criteria that could be utilized in decisions for denaming buildings on campus. After receiving the committee recommendations, I appointed three historians to research the historical record of Dunn Hall and Deady Hall’s namesakes and answer a set of questions based upon these criteria.

On August 9, 2016, we released the historians’ 34-page report. More than 1,000 people—faculty and staff members, students, alumni, and community members—provided input on the report and numerous editorials, letters to the editor, and commentaries have appeared in the media.

On September 1, 2016, in a letter to the community, I established a set of principles that would guide my decision about whether to recommend the denaming of a building on campus to the Board of Trustees. They are as follows:

  • Bigotry and racism have no place in our society or our university. Each of us must value each other based on individual merit and not the color of our skin, the social status of our parents, our gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, or physical or mental ability.
  • It is vital that all students at the University of Oregon feel valued and included as part of this institution. This is true for every member of our community, but particular attention needs to be paid to members of groups who often feel isolated and alienated as a result of their chronic underrepresentation on campus and the legacy of racism in this state and nation.
  • We must be careful not to obscure our history regardless of whether we like what we find when we study it. The only way we can understand our present and prevent injustice from repeating itself is to study our history and learn from our past.
  • The process of naming or denaming a building has symbolic value. But symbols are less important than actions that affect the material circumstances of members of our community.
  • Naming a building and denaming a building are not identical actions and should be governed by separate decision-making processes and considerations.
  • Naming a building honors an individual either for exceptional contributions to the university and our society or for exceptional generosity. While extremely meaningful, naming a building occurs regularly and is usually done contemporaneously with, or shortly after, the life of the person for whom a building is named. The very purpose of naming is to establish a durable honor that stands the test of time.
  • Denaming a building, on the other hand, is an extraordinary event and should only occur in very limited circumstances. Many decades may have passed since the person whose name is on a building was alive, and information will typically be less complete than in a naming decision. Contemporary decision-makers will often be limited in their ability to evaluate the behavior of people who lived in circumstances and with cultural mores very different from our own. Denaming is also an act associated with ignominy and the destruction of reputation. We should normally be careful when we do this, particularly because the person involved will seldom be available to defend himself or herself.
  • Finally, denaming threatens to obscure history and hide the ugliness of our past, which is contrary to our institution’s values of promoting lifelong learning and sharing knowledge. Therefore, the presumption should be against denaming a building except in extraordinarily egregious circumstances.

In that letter, I announced my decision to recommend to the Board of Trustees that they dename Dunn Hall, a building that commemorated a former professor of classics at the University of Oregon who also served as the Grand Cyclops of the Lane County Ku Klux Klan. The Board of Trustees unanimously adopted this recommendation on September 9, 2016. Dunn Hall was temporarily renamed Cedar Hall.

Because the issue of potentially denaming Deady Hall was more contested, I decided to delay a decision until UO students returned from their summer vacations so we could continue the conversation. Throughout the fall term I have continued to solicit the opinions of community members on the question of denaming Deady Hall.  

In applying the principles for denaming to Dunn Hall, I found that the presumption against denaming was outweighed by the facts set forth in the historian’s report—namely that Frederick Dunn was the head of a hate group that supported racism and violence against African Americans, Catholics, and Jews, and was not a man for whom a building should be named on the University of Oregon campus. Matthew Deady, however, presents a more complicated case, the detailed facts of which are recounted my September 1, 2016, letter to campus and in the historians’ report.

In my view, the facts set forth in the historian’s report do not support overturning the presumption against denaming Deady Hall. Many of Deady’s historical accomplishments were exceptional. He was an active and respected legislator and political figure in the state. He was appointed by President Buchanan to be the first federal judge for the State of Oregon. He, more than any single person in the University of Oregon’s history, played a formative role in its creation and early years as a regent. It was his work in persuading Northern Pacific Railroad president Henry Villard to donate to the university that kept its doors open in the 1880s.

Of course, Deady was also a deeply flawed man. He held racist views which I find abhorrent and contrary to the principles of our university. His support of slavery prior to the Civil War cannot be excused, even if it was based upon his understanding of the “letter of the law” of property. Nor can his support for the 1849 exclusion act be ignored. The fact that Deady’s views and actions were shared by many Oregonians at the time he lived does not excuse them, although it does explain them. 

Although Deady’s racist views did not abate after the Civil War, he fully embraced the new constitutional order. The historians characterize his change as a “metamorphosis.” Deady supported the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments, which guarantee to all equal protection under the US Constitution. While he never had the opportunity to issue an opinion involving African American civil rights, he was a protector of Chinese immigrants.

Deady does not represent an example of an egregious case justifying overturning the presumption against denaming. Unlike Dunn, he was not the head of an organization which espoused violence against vulnerable populations. Also unlike Dunn, his positive acts and importance to the nation, state, and university were noteworthy and of historical distinction. For all of these reasons, I will not recommend that the Board of Trustees dename Deady Hall.

The fact that Deady Hall will remain a symbol of racial intolerance for many of our students is troubling. Many students associate this past and our continuing to honor a man who was racially intolerant as evidence that the university does not take their concerns about diversity and inclusion seriously. Nothing could be further from the truth.

As I have stated previously, bigotry and racism have no place in our society or in our university. It is vital that all students at the University of Oregon feel valued and included as part of this institution. While the process of naming or denaming a building has symbolic value, symbols are less important than actions that affect the material circumstances of members of our community. It is these actions that we now must focus on.

We have already implemented half of the demands of the Black Student Task Force, including the creation of the Umoja Academic Residential Center, the creation of an African American Opportunities Program and accelerated efforts to recruit African American students to the university, and the hiring of African American faculty members including the launching of a new African American Studies cluster in the College of Art and Sciences. Once these faculty join the university we will work with them and our existing faculty to explore the feasibility of creating a Black studies minor and/or program. In addition, I will continue to advocate that the faculty consider and develop innovative changes to incorporate issues of race more broadly into our curriculum. We will also continue to finalize our fundraising strategies for diversity scholarships by the end of this academic year.

Today, I would like to announce my commitment to build a new Black cultural center at the UO. I have been convinced that, particularly in light of their small numbers, African American students need a place that will provide them with an opportunity to gather, reinforce their academic pursuits, enhance connective bonds that support recruitment and retention, and discuss their shared experiences and needs. We will work with our students to plan a structure that will provide them with a place of respite with programming that will promote their success. Fundraising for this project has already begun with a generous $250,000 gift from our alumnus and campaign chair Dave Petrone and his wife Nancy. The planning phase for design and construction will begin immediately.

We will also commence this spring with the renaming of Cedar Hall. We will solicit from our community nominations of names of individuals who have distinguished themselves in the fight for racial justice and equity. Our students will be involved from start to finish as we identify criteria and select someone who will embody the values of achievement, tolerance, and equity. It is my hope and expectation to bring this renaming decision to the Board of Trustees in June.

We will also move forward with plans to work with our students and faculty to ensure that the lessons we have learned about ourselves and our history are not lost. We will plan installations in both Deady and Cedar Halls that remind all visitors of their histories and of the continuing project of inclusion and diversity.

The work of making the University of Oregon a more diverse and inclusive university is important work and will not happen overnight. It will not be complete when we cut the ribbon on the Black cultural center. Nor will it be complete when we recruit more African American students and faculty members to Eugene. While I am grateful to the Black Students Task Force for placing racial equity squarely on our agenda, it will take all of our efforts—faculty and staff members, students, administrators, alumni, and community members—to make this university the inclusive place we want it to be. I am eager to get on with this work.

Sincerely,

Michael H. Schill

President and Professor of Law

Pompous Yalie twit insults Johnny Cash, Bob Marley, and UO Pres Mike Schill

In the NYT, of course:

Yale Sets Policy That Could Allow Renaming of Calhoun College

… “This isn’t about symbolic politics, but about the mission of the university,” said John Fabian Witt, a historian at Yale Law School and the chairman of the committee. Fostering an inclusive campus, he said, “is the best way to approach the project of research and learning.” The report acknowledges “a certain exhaustion” with the whole issue.

… As an example of an overly broad policy, Mr. Witt cited guidelines recently adopted at the University of Oregon allowing for potentially renaming buildings honoring anyone who demonstrated “discriminatory, racist, homophobic, or misogynist views that actively promoted systemic oppression” or who “failed to take redemptive action,” among other expansive criteria. “There’s a real risk that would catch up anyone alive before 1950,” Mr. Witt said.

Yes, research and learning can be exhausting, Professor Witt. But maybe you should have tried a little harder to understand the importance of redemption. Here are some references:

What did Professor and Exalted Cyclops Frederick Dunn know, and when did he know it?

9/29/2016: 

In response to questions about how likely it was that Professor Dunn was duped into becoming the leader of the Eugene KKK in the early 1920’s, I asked Elizabeth Peterson, the cinema studies librarian and film archivist in the UO Libraries, about local showings of “The Birth of a Nation”,  the infamously racist and KKK promoting DW Griffith film of 1915. It turns out she knows a lot:

My article about early Eugene and Springfield movie theaters has just been published in the Oregon Historical Quarterlyhttp://www.jstor.org/stable/10.5403/oregonhistq.117.3.0452. I discuss the local screening of “Birth of a Nation” on p. 459-460:

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The Eugene Theatre (later the Heilig Theatre) showed the film for three days in the summer of 1916. The Eugene Theatre had a capacity of 760 seats and was in direct competition with three other large movie theaters in Eugene: the Oregon, the Rex, and the Savoy. The Eugene Theatre management ran ads for “Birth of a Nation” for a month in the Eugene Daily Guard leading up to the event. Both the Daily Guard and the Morning Register ran stories about the film’s production (these were likely placed there as PR items), and the Daily Guard’s theater reviewer wrote an enthusiastic piece in praise of the film: https://news.google.com/newspapers?id=fk9XAAAAIBAJ&sjid=FvADAAAAIBAJ&pg=4877%2C1815761.

I wasn’t able to find any other evidence of local reactions to the film, although there was a large outcry against it in Portland, led by Beatrice Morrow Cannady. There is an article in the Oregon Historical Quarterly about that protest (Kimberly Mangun, “‘As Citizens of Portland We Must Protest’: Beatrice Morrow Cannady and the African American Response to D.W. Griffith’s ‘Masterpiece’,” Oregon Historical Quarterly 107:3 (2006): 382-409).

Here is a link to a page from the Eugene Daily Guard that has a half-page ad for the film, and an article just below encouraging people to see the film and which mentions its representations of black people (“Master Picture of Civil War Period is to be Here Monday”) https://news.google.com/newspapers?id=fU9XAAAAIBAJ&sjid=FvADAAAAIBAJ&pg=6066%2C1766027

screen-shot-2016-09-29-at-12-38-18-pm

I have also attached two items from the Eugene Morning Register that were published prior to the Eugene screening of the film. One has a tone of praise for the depictions of the Klan, while the other seems to express concern for a resurgence of Klan activity:

screen-shot-2016-09-29-at-12-48-31-pm

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I did a quick search of the Oregon Historical Newspapers database (http://oregonnews.uoregon.edu) and “Birth of a Nation” played all over Oregon in towns of all size during this time.

Whether or not Frederic Dunn saw the film when it played in Eugene, the publicity for it in local media was such that he was likely aware of it and its subject matter.

9/28/2016 Professor Frederick Dunn was not tricked into leading the KKK in Eugene

Earlier this month President Schill recommended denaming Dunn Hall, on the basis of Dunn’s position as Exalted Cyclops of the Eugene KKK chapter during the early 1920’s. The Board of Trustees agreed, despite the arguments of David Igl during the public comment period that Dunn was misled about the true nature of the Klan. At the time I praised Igl for his courage in taking an unpopular stance in defense of a dead man who could not defend himself. The RG has now published his defense of Dunn in an Op-Ed here:

Dunn was tricked into leading KKK in Eugene

Frederick Dunn, a University of Oregon professor of classics, was tricked into accepting the position of exalted cyclops of the Ku Klux Klan in Eugene for what probably amounted to a short period.

Ironically, it was because of the very fact that Dunn was an honorable and moral man of high standing that he was targeted by the Kleagles — the marketing reps for the Georgia-based financial scam that was the Klan fraternal organization — for this position so that they could use his standing in the community as a cover to make themselves appear legitimate.

It’s an interesting argument, read it all. I don’t believe it.

The 1920’s Klan was spawned by the notoriously racist 1915 D.W. Griffith film “Birth of a Nation”. The movie was very popular, and it sparked well publicized protests across the country over its insidious racism and its positive portrayal of the Klan. Here’s the infamous scene of the knights of the Klan riding to protect southern white women from a horde of black union army veterans. Dunn could hardly have been unaware of this controversy, or of the original Klan’s role in lynchings and terrorism against Blacks, or of what it meant to be a leader of the new Klan.

UO Board of Trustees denames Dunn, meets new admins, approves renovations

These are not easy to find on the Board’s website, so I’ve put them here. Schedule and links. Each link below takes you to a post with the respective committee agenda, documents, summary and sometimes some commentary. The full board agenda and materials and some live-blogging are at the bottom.

Academic and Student Affairs Committee —8:30 am – September 8, 2016, Ford Alumni Center, Giustina Ballroom 

Finance and Facilities Committee — September 8, 2016 10:00 am – September 8, 2016

Executive and Audit Committee —1:15 pm – September 8, 2016 Ford Alumni Center, Giustina Ballroom 

Meeting of the Board — September 8-9, 2016 [Materials] [Livestream]

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 8 – 2:00 pm – Convene Public Meeting

– Call to order, roll call, verification of quorum – Approval of June 2016 minutes (Action) – Public comment. Those wishing to provide comment must sign up advance and review the public comment guidelines either online (http://trustees.uoregon.edu/meetings) or at the check-in table at the meeting.

Jim Igl: He has provided written documents to the board. He is skeptical of the Historians’ Report’s section on Dunn, and argues that his connection to the KKK was tenuous and short lived. He notes that Dunn was a life-long member of a Methodist church that was famous for its eucemenical nature, not anti-catholicism. He also brings up Dunn’s family connection to Abraham Lincoln.

[I don’t know Mr. Igl, but I want to thank him for stepping up to tell us more about Dunn. As President Schill later noted, the dead cannot speak for themselves, and everyone deserves an advocate. It was a brave move, which I imagine will cost Mr. Igl some grief even though there was nothing in his remarks to suggest that he has anything but disgust for the KKK, racism, or religious intolerance. Quite the opposite.

But my takeaway is that when Dunn took the job as Grand Cyclops, even if it turned out only to be for a day, and only because he was duped, he went to a place from which there is and should not be any returning.]

ASUO VP Natalie (sorry, missed last name). Supports denaming Dunn and Deady. believes majority of students do as well.

ASUO Pres Quinn Hagga: Supports denaming Dunn and Deady, calls for an investigation of the names of all other campus buildings.

1. Recommendation re Dunn Hall (Action): Michael Schill, President

Chuck Lillis: We’re here to decide about Dunn, not Dealy, or Healy, or whoever he was. Oh, Deady. OK.

Pres Schill: Serious decision, those up for denaming are not here to defend themselves. Strongly believes that racism and bigotry have no place at a university. Dunn was the Grand Cyclops of the KKK, a terrorist organization that promoting lynching. Recommends Dunn Hall be denamed today, and then renamed for someone whose life does represent our values, after an open, campus-wide process. Thanks the Black Students for raising this issue, believes that the process they started has benefited us all.

Trustee Andrew Colas gives a very effective speech on why he supports denaming Dunn now, and also Schill’s decision to delay dealing with Deady until the students are back. I’m not going to try and summarize it, I hope the Board posts the video soon.

The still very relevant demands of the 1968 Black Students are here. Read it all, here’s a snippet:

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Frederic S. Dunn is denamed by unanimous vote of the Board.

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Dunn was also a member of the YMCA and a freemason, but he is not buried in Eugene’s Masonic Cemetery with his parents, or in their fabulous Mausoleum. Someone needs to hire HLGR to work on this conspiracy.

More Dunn trivia: The YMCA sent him to Italy to work with US soldiers after WWI. What sort of classics professor comes back from a trip to Italy hating Catholics?

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2. Seconded Motions and Resolutions (Actions)
–Seconded Motion from FFC: Pacific Hall Renovation (pending September 8 committee action)
–Seconded Motion from FFC: Oregon Hall Renovation (pending September 8 committee action)

Allyn Ford recuses himself from the vote, because he’s giving the money for this. Pretty sweet, and the board cracks up.

3. New Administrator Introductions: Scott Coltrane, Senior Vice President and Provost

Sorry, I got sucked down the Dunn history hole. Provost Coltrane introduces President Schill’s many recent hires. They all sound good from where I’m sitting. Schill gives Coltrane full credit for hiring them.

4. President’s Report: Michael Schill, President

Pres Schill discusses how much UO has improved in the past year. Agreed.

He then goes on to discuss how he is meeting the remaining demands of the Black Student task force and how UO is trying to meet them. Frankly, some of this stuff sounds illegal given past court rulings, but then I’m not a lawyer.

$1.05B in fundraising so far. In the past year *80%* has been for academics. As Schill notes, this is a turnaround.

Budget: 12% of Education and General Fund budget comes from the State. [Thanks to Schill for giving this correctly, instead of using the 6% of UO’s total budget – i.e. including the Duck crap, which his predecessors always trotted out to dis the state and the taxpayers.]

Lots of uncertainty about next biennium, particularly if Measure 97 fails. If it does, we will need double digit tuition increases and spending cuts.

[Me: Vote for Measure 97! Sure it’s not perfect but what tax is. Oregon needs more money for basic services like health and education, and HLGR’s Bill Gary and Sharon Rudnick are never going to get PERS cuts through the Oregon Supreme Court when the judges are in PERS, no matter what we pay them.]

3:25PM: Lillis recesses for a private “training session” with the Board. Uh-Oh, last time this happened they decided to subsidize Tracktown’s IAAF championship bid.

Meeting Recessed

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 9 – 9:30 am – Reconvene Public Meeting [Materials] [Livestream]

[Sorry, no live-blog today. Tran Nguyen has it covered on twitter: https://twitter.com/tranngngn]

5. Presidential Assessment Report: Chuck Lillis, Chair; Ginevra Ralph, Vice Chair

6. AY16-17 Tuition and Fee Setting-Process: Scott Coltrane, Senior Vice President and Provost

7. Clusters in Focus
–Center for Genome Function: Eric Selker, Professor of Biology and Member of the Institute for Molecular Biology; Diana Libuda, Assistant Professor of Biology; Jeffrey McKnight, Assistant Professor of Biology
–Health Promotion, Obesity Prevention & Human Development: Beth Stormshak, Professor of Counseling Psychology and Human Services and Director of the Prevention Science Institute

8. Federal Funding at the UO: David Conover, Vice President for Research and Innovation; Jim
Brooks, Assistant Vice President for Enrollment Management and Director of Financial Aid and Scholarships

9. UO Portland – Update: Jane Gordon, Vice Provost for UO Portland

Meeting Adjourned

President Schill denames Dunn, delays Deady decision until students return

Makes sense, he’ll hold some sort of campus conversation in October and whichever way this goes it shouldn’t be done in the dead of summer. Schill’s letter, with an analysis of the Historians’ Report, is posted here. Technically these are recommendations to the Board, which meets Sept 8-9. Full text:

Deady and Dunn Halls – next steps

September 1, 2016

Dear University of Oregon Community,

This letter concerns my recommendation to the University of Oregon Board of Trustees in connection with a demand by some of our students to remove the names from two buildings at the University of Oregon—Deady Hall and Dunn Hall. Prior to announcing my decision, I would like to discuss some of the events that led up to where we are now.

Introduction

Increasing diversity and inclusion at the University of Oregon are among our most important objectives for achieving excellence in academics, access, and student experience. It is central to our mission and embedded in our strategic framework. As I have repeatedly said and written, we must improve our efforts to recruit and retain faculty members and students from underrepresented groups, especially with respect to African Americans, who have been historically underrepresented on our campus. Only 2 percent of our students are Black or African American; among the members of our tenure-track faculty, the proportion is only 1.6 percent. Neither statistic is acceptable. We cannot and should not hide behind the defense that the state of Oregon has a comparatively small population of African American residents. Instead, this fact should cause us to work harder to recruit African American students and faculty members to the university and then, once here, make them feel included and part of our community.

In November of last year, after the racial unrest at the University of Missouri sparked protests throughout the nation, a group called the Black Student Task Force (BSTF) conducted a march on the UO campus and submitted a list of 12 demands that focused on how the university could increase diversity and inclusiveness for African American students. Many of the demands are quite reasonable—consistent with our institutional priorities and the IDEAL diversity framework—and, if implemented, would make our university a better place. Members of our faculty and administration promptly met with members of the BSTF and established 13 separate task forces composed of administrators, faculty members, and students to work on the demands.

In an April 26 letter to the campus community, I stated our commitment to immediately implement six of the demands including (1) expanding efforts to attract and recruit Black students through an African American Opportunities Program, (2) inviting six Black Greek letter organizations to the UO, (3) creating an African American residential student community, (4) creating new African American advisory boards for retention and advising, (5) creating an African American lecture series, and (6) publishing diversity data. We continue to work on remaining demands including committee recommendations to fundraise for a Black cultural center and student scholarships, hire a retention specialist, attract more Black faculty members, and expand or require curriculum offerings that explore the experience of racial and ethnic minorities in the United States. I expect to make an announcement detailing our progress with respect to these requests in the early fall.

The Backdrop to This Recommendation

This letter concerns the demand by the BSTF to “change the names of all of the KKK related buildings on campus. Deady Hall will be the first building to be renamed.” On December 1, 2015, I convened a committee chaired by Charise Cheney, associate professor of ethnic studies, to seek input from a variety of stakeholders and provide advice concerning the criteria the university might use in deciding whether Deady and Dunn Halls should be denamed. I received the committee report on March 14. I then used the advice of the committee to write a set of criteria for denaming Deady and Dunn Halls. On May 6, I empaneled a group of three distinguished historians—David Alan Johnson, professor at Portland State University; Quintard Taylor, professor emeritus and Scott and Dorothy Bullitt Professor of American History at the University of Washington; and Marsha Weisiger, the UO’s Julie and Rocky Dixon Chair in US Western History—to examine the historical record of Matthew Deady and Frederic Dunn and address each of the criteria. The historians report was delivered August 9 and posted on the president’s website. In an all-campus message, I requested that interested students, faculty members, staff, alumni, and members of our broader community submit their comments and suggestions by August 24 so I could take them into account in making a recommendation to our UO Board of Trustees. Outreach efforts included multiple e-mails to all of our students, faculty members, staff, and alumni; articles on the Around the O news website; and contact with members of the news media that resulted in multiple stories about the request for input. In addition, I also sent direct requests for input to members of the BSTF, the Black Student Union, Black Male Alliance, and Black Women of Achievement.

Since August 9, 969 individuals submitted electronic forms voicing their opinions on the denaming issue. Of these submissions, 434 were from students, 186 were from alumni, 143 were from faculty members, 158 were from officers of administration and members of classified staff, and 48 were from other individuals. The participation rate in the comment period by our campus community was much higher than on any other input opportunity at the university in recent history (e.g., tuition, strategic framework, IDEAL). I also received several letters. In addition to these submissions and letters, at least 18 editorials, op-eds, and letters-to-the-editor have appeared in Oregon media on the question of the denaming. I have read each of these submissions and commentaries as well as engaged in conversations with scores of members of the university community.

First Principles

The question of whether to recommend that the Board of Trustees dename Deady and Dunn Halls is one of the most difficult matters I have encountered in my first 15 months as president of the University of Oregon. This is because many of the factors and principles I weighed when applied to the facts were in tension with one another, including (in no particular order):

  • Bigotry and racism have no place in our society or our university. Each of us must value each other based upon individual merit and not the color of our skin, the social status of our parents, our gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, or physical or mental ability.
  • It is vital that all students at the University of Oregon feel valued and included as part of this institution. This is true for every member of our community, but particular attention needs to be paid to members of groups who often feel isolated and alienated as a result of their chronic underrepresentation on campus and the legacy of racism in this state and nation.
  • We must be careful not to obscure our history regardless of whether we like what we find when we study it. The only way we can understand our present and prevent injustice from repeating itself is to study our history and learn from our past.
  • The process of naming or denaming a building has symbolic value. But symbols are less important than actions that affect the material circumstances of members of our community.
  • Naming a building and denaming a building are not identical actions and should be governed by separate decision-making processes and considerations.
    • Naming a building honors an individual either for exceptional contributions to the university and our society or for exceptional generosity. While extremely meaningful, naming a building occurs regularly and is usually done contemporaneously with, or shortly after, the life of the person for whom a building is named. The very purpose of naming is to establish a durable honor that stands the test of time.
    • Denaming a building, on the other hand, is an extraordinary event and should only occur in very limited circumstances. Many decades may have passed since the person whose name is on a building was alive, and information will typically be less complete than in a naming decision. Contemporary decision-makers will often be limited in their ability to evaluate the behavior of people who lived in circumstances and with cultural mores very different from our own. Denaming is also an act associated with ignominy and the destruction of reputation. We should normally be careful when we do this, particularly because the person involved will seldom be available to defend himself or herself.
    • Finally, denaming threatens to obscure history and hide the ugliness of our past, which is contrary to our institution’s values of promoting lifelong learning and sharing knowledge. Therefore, the presumption should be against denaming a building except in extraordinarily egregious circumstances.

Dunn Hall

Frederic S. Dunn was born in Eugene in 1872. He received his AB from the University of Oregon in 1892, a second AB from Harvard University in 1894, and an AM degree from the University of Oregon. He served as professor of Latin until he retired in 1935. For many of those years he was head of the Department of Classics. According to the historians report (pp. 25–26), he was one of the best-known university professors of classics on the Pacific Coast and an active member of the community.

While little is known of Dunn’s personal views, it is clear that he was a member of the Ku Klux Klan and served as the “Exalted Cyclops (leader) of Eugene Klan No. 3 in the 1920s. At its peak (1923), the Eugene Klan had an estimated 450 members” (p. 28). While the national Ku Klux Klan had a notorious record of terrorizing African Americans, in Oregon the primary target of the Klan was the Catholic population. During Dunn’s period of leadership, the Klan attempted to remove all Catholic officeholders and teachers from their positions. They also campaigned against giving Catholic-run Mercy Hospital a tax exemption as a charitable institution and tried to restrict the activities of the Newman Center, a Catholic student organization located near the University of Oregon campus.

According to the historians report, Dunn “made no secret of his dual role as college professor and Klansman. As the leader of the Klan in Lane County, he would have presided over initiation ceremonies for new Klansmen and participated in numerous Klan parades and rallies in the area” (p. 31). During its existence in the state, the Ku Klux Klan was publicly known for at least five physical attacks on Oregon citizens, including threatened lynchings and a probable murder of an African American, though it is not known whether Dunn participated in these attacks (p. 33). The historians conclude that “[w]hile we will never know how Dunn felt about the violence associated with the Invisible Empire, it is certain that he was aware of it and yet continued to lead Eugene Klan No. 3” (p. 33). No evidence was found that Dunn ever repudiated his role in the Klan. The historians conclude, “Thus, we are forced to surmise from the known activities of the organization he led during its heyday in Eugene that Dunn knowingly embraced an organization that, by today’s standards (but also in the view of most of his colleagues and students at the time), violated the core values of the University of Oregon” (p. 33).

In my reading of the almost 1,000 responses to the historians report by members of our community, a strong consensus supported denaming Dunn Hall.

Given the findings of the historians report, I agree with the conclusion of the majority of the comments made by members of our community: Dunn, as the head of an organization that supported racism and violence against African Americans, Catholics, and Jews, is not a man for whom a building should be named on the University of Oregon campus. While Dunn no doubt was a dedicated teacher and scholar, neither of these activities outweigh the harm he did by lending his name to one of the most despicable organizations in American history. Even though I begin with a presumption against denaming university buildings, Dunn’s case is an egregious one. Therefore, I am recommending that the Board of Trustees remove Dunn’s name from the building currently called Dunn Hall as soon as possible.

If the trustees accept my recommendation, I will take two further actions. First, a plaque will be erected in a conspicuous place in the building that indicates that it used to be Dunn Hall and explains why it was denamed. Second, I will recommend to the Board of Trustees that we start a renaming process with the goal of naming the resident hall for a man or woman whose life exemplifies the characteristics of racial diversity and inclusion that Dunn despised. This renaming process will include the views of students, alumni, and the faculty and staff.

Deady Hall

Matthew Paul Deady was born in Talbot County, Maryland, in 1824. He studied law in Ohio and was admitted to the Ohio Bar in 1847. In 1849 he moved to Lafayette, Oregon, and taught school. In 1850, Deady ran for and won a seat in the territorial legislature and quickly became the presiding officer of its upper house. He became active in the Democratic Party and was appointed by President Franklin Pierce to the territorial Supreme Court for Oregon’s southern counties. In 1860, President Buchanan appointed Deady to the US District Court for Oregon, making him Oregon’s first federal judge.

During the course of his life, Deady was deeply engaged with the University of Oregon. He is, in fact, widely regarded as one of the most important figures in the university’s history. In 1873, he was appointed regent by the governor, elected as president, and served in that role until 1892. He participated in selecting the university’s first president, served as commencement speaker at its first graduation, designed its first seal, and founded the university’s law school, where he served as a part-time faculty member. In the 1880s, he famously persuaded Northern Pacific Railroad president Henry Villard to donate $50,000 in railroad bonds to ensure that the university did not close for financial reasons. In recognition of his career and association with the University of Oregon, his name was affixed to Deady Hall in 1893.

The historians report concludes that Deady had a “very complicated intellect” that defies easy summary (p. 22). Deady ran for office as a proslavery delegate to the Oregon Constitutional Convention. The historians report provides a quotation from a letter he wrote to Marion County legislator Benjamin Simpson one month prior to the convention that provides an insight into his motivation: “There are some millions of Africans owned as property in the United States, and whatever shallow-brains or Smatter-much may say about ‘property in man,’ they are just as much property as horses, cattle, or land, because the law which creates all property makes them such.” The historians suggest that at least part of Deady’s support for slavery was tied to his view that the law compelled that result based upon the Constitution’s protection of private property rights. Indeed, this view of slaves as property is behind what many believe is the most calamitous Supreme Court decision of all time—Dred Scott v. Sanford.[1] According to the historians, Deady “did not press the slavery issue in Salem. . . .” (p. 7). Ultimately, the proposal failed with 75 percent of the voters voting against it.

It is questionable that Deady’s support for slavery was solely compelled by his interpretation of precedent and the Constitution. Instead, Deady was a man who had views that were racist and proslavery. Deady supported a constitutional provision that excluded African Americans from the State of Oregon, a provision that won the approval of 89 percent of Oregon voters. Further, in a speech reported in the Sacramento Daily Union, Deady was paraphrased as approving the Dred Scott decision and perhaps went further: “Deady said in Jacksonville that ‘he should vote for slavery in Oregon’ and argued that any constitutional effort to prevent free blacks from immigrating and settling in Oregon would prove to be ‘a dead letter,’ adding ‘If we are compelled to have the colored race amongst us, they should be slaves’” (p. 6).

After secession, however, Deady denounced the Confederacy, left the Democratic Party, joined the Union, became a Republican, and ultimately served as an honorary pallbearer at President Lincoln’s funeral. The historians characterized the change in Deady as a “metamorphosis” rooted in his “allegiance to the rule of law” (p. 9). Deady also embraced the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments, initially designed to uplift and empower Black people, which went on to become the cornerstones of American antidiscrimination law.

In his role as a judge, Deady never ruled on an issue involving discrimination against African Americans. He did decide several cases involving Chinese immigrants and Native Americans. In his rulings, Deady demonstrated an acceptance of the principles embodied in the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments. He opposed the legal or extralegal harassment of Chinese immigrants and interpreted immigration laws in such a way as to protect them (p. 3). He never promoted a policy of internment. With respect to Native Americans, he ruled against citizenship, but also believed that at least one tribe had been unfairly dispossessed of their land (p. 3). These facts do not atone for his views on African Americans, but do establish his contribution to interpreting the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments in ways that led to future antidiscrimination laws, and which show a measure of change in attitude and behavior.

Thus in Matthew Deady we have a complicated man. Like many white men of his generation he had racist views. The exclusion provision he championed was ultimately supported by 89 percent of Oregon voters at a time when only white men were allowed to vote. Yet Deady also supported slavery, which was opposed by 75 percent of white male Oregonians. Was Deady’s willingness to support slavery despite a lack of support among the voting public attributable to racism, or to his legal views about property rights? We will never know for sure, but my reading of the historians report and some of the primary documents cited therein suggest both motivations were at play.

Returning to my first principles, does the evidence amassed in the historians report overcome a presumption against denaming a building?

Deady was a man of great achievement, not the least of which was his pivotal role in the founding and sustaining of the University of Oregon. He was also a deeply flawed man. As stated before, like many men of his generation he held racist views. Regardless of whether his support for slavery and exclusion was attributable to racism or a legalistic interpretation of property rights, in the end he was on the wrong side of history. On the other side of the ledger, following the Civil War, Deady embraced the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments and their principles of equal protection under the law.

The input I received clearly shows our community remains divided on the question of whether Deady Hall should be renamed. Many feel that Matthew Deady’s name on our landmark building is a daily affront and sends the wrong message to prospective and current students. A large number feel that Deady should continue to be honored as one of the university’s founders and not judged by the standards of today. Despite this division, I believe that our community has greatly benefited by confronting some very ugly historical truths about our state and some of the figures who played an important role in the creation of the University of Oregon that we know today. While I have no desire to needlessly prolong the uncertainty over the future of Deady Hall, I also believe that we would miss an important educational opportunity by deciding the matter prior to the return to campus of our students and faculty later this month. Therefore, I have decided that I will refrain from making a decision on Deady Hall until the campus can engage further in a discussion of Matthew Deady and the future of Deady Hall.

To facilitate that discussion, I will reopen the comment period until Friday, October 14. In addition, I plan to work with our Division of Equity and Inclusion; and our students, faculty, and staff  to plan a campus conversation on the subject in October. Following the comment period and campus conversation, I will make my decision regarding whether to dename Deady Hall.

Regardless of what is ultimately decided concerning the naming of Deady Hall, we will not let this educational opportunity be lost in the debate over what we call a specific edifice. We will immediately begin planning a historical exhibition in the building that will educate all who enter on the mixed legacy of its namesake. This exhibit will be created in consultation with students, the faculty and staff, and the Presidential Diversity Advisory Community Council. We will also explore partnerships with the Oregon Historical Society and other entities to create an exhibit in Portland that will examine racism in Oregon. It is my hope that future generations of school children will view this exhibit and link the University of Oregon with fearless exploration of racism and truth, even though that exploration might be painful.

Conclusion

My decision will not be unanimously approved of by all members of our community, and I concede that there is still an important decision to be made. Nevertheless, there must be no doubt that we are unified in our commitment to diversity and inclusion, and we will continue to make progress toward those important ends. In particular, we are grateful to the members of the BSTF for bringing this issue to the fore. Regardless of what names we use to refer to these two buildings, the BSTF’s transformative leadership has already changed our university forever. This debate, along with the initiatives that will arise from their demands, will make our university stronger, better, and more enlightened.

Sincerely,

Michael H. Schill
President and Professor of Law


[1] 60 U.S. 393 (1857). The historians report finds that Deady never accepted the view that slavery was wrong. The report quotes a couple passages from Deady’s diary dating from 1884 and 1890, respectively: “Fifty years will have to roll by before the popular mind recovers its equilibrium on this [slavery] question. The war and the results of it have made a man who owned Negroes or obeyed and respected the injunctions and limitation of the Constitution on this subject, look like a criminal by this generation” (p. 20). “He takes my ground that the slave trade and Negro slavery were the means providential or otherwise by which the negro was educated and prepared for his present career of self-dependence” (p. 20).

President Schill to demote Deady to adjunct, require renaming every 3 years

That’s the rumor down at the Faculty Club tonight. The logic is that we’ve all learned a lot about Oregon’s racist history from the public debates and discussion over the Deady Hall denaming, and we want to make sure that no new class of freshman, or new faculty, ever forget. So Deady’s tenure is revoked, and he’ll be reevaluated every three years according to the rules in the faculty union CBA. Dunn, on the other hand, will be terminated for cause.

Ok, I’m totally making this up. The truth is the faculty are talking about nothing but the fabulous new Mariota Sports Performance Center and the exciting upcoming Duck football season, starting this weekend, three weeks before the students even show up, with a body-bag game against UC-Davis. Rob Mullens is The UO Budget is paying the UC-Davis players the UC-Davis coaches $500K or so for expected damages. Plenty of tickets still for sale on stubhub, starting at $22.

Vanderbilt denames Confederate Hall, and what I learned about my 7th grade Virginia history textbook

Vanderbilt University has just repaid the Daughters of the Confederacy their $50K 1935 donation, plus $1.15M in interest, and has denamed their “Confederate Hall”.

On the topic of what denaming controversies like UO’s over Deady Hall teach us, here’s what I’ve learned, starting with an illustration and quote from my 7th grade Virginia history textbook:

A feeling of strong affection existed between masters and slaves in a majority of Virginia homes . . . The house servants became almost as much a part of the planter’s family circle as its white members . . . The Negroes were always present at family weddings. They were allowed to look on at dances and other entertainments . . . A strong tie existed between slave and master because each was dependent on the other …  The slave system demanded that the master care for the slave in childhood, in sickness, and in old age. The regard that master and slaves had for each other made plantation life happy and prosperous.  Life among the Negroes of Virginia in slavery times was generally happy. The Negroes went about in a cheerful manner making a living for themselves and for those for whom they worked . . . But they were not worried by the furious arguments going on between Northerners and Southerners over what should be done with them. In fact, they paid little attention to these arguments.

Virginia: History, Government, Geography by Francis B. Simkins, Spotswood H. Jones, and Sidman P. Poole

In 1972, when I was 13 and in 7th grade at Buford Junior High School in Charlottesville, Virginia, we had a year of Virginia history. Every 7th grade class in Virginia used the same textbook, provided by the state.

This was only nine years after Charlottesville’s public schools finally reopened after Governor Harry Byrd and his Democratic machine’s “massive resistance” had closed them in response to court ordered integration. Byrd’s followers had replaced them with private all-white “segregation academies” housed in churches and private buildings, sometimes supported by public funds. One of the segregated Charlottesville academies was the Rock Hill Academy:

Screen Shot 2016-08-23 at 9.04.37 PM

From a 2013 C’ville news story:

Lane was Charlottesville’s public high school. Rock Hill was a private school created to avoid integration….

“We were not racist. We were not violent. We just were ignorant. We didn’t know better and we didn’t realize that we were the start of history in the Virginia area,” said Pat Jensen, a graduate of Rock Hill’s class of 1963.

“We did what Mom and Daddy told us to do,” added Helen Hatzenbeler, Lane Class of ’63 Graduate and chair of the reunion. “Most of us grew up in ‘Leave it to Beaver’ homes.”

Students scattered to different places when their school closed. In addition to private schools, some students attended schools in counties relatives lived in or other situations. Before going to Rock Hill, Jensen attended classes held in churches for a period.

The Byrd machine was finally defeated by Republican Linwood Holton, who pointedly bused his children – including Anne Holton, now the wife of Clinton’s running mate Tim Kaine – to the newly integrated Richmond public schools. Yes, Republicans were once on the right side of fights like this, and Democrats were on the wrong side.

Our teacher was new in town. He made us read the official textbook, but along the way he taught us that plantation life was not “happy and prosperous” for everyone, and that not everyone called the Civil War the “War for State’s Rights”. He used books he brought in himself, and magazine and newspaper articles he’d retyped and duplicated in blue with a mimeograph.

I still remember the smell, and I think I had an understanding of how careful he had to be. He knew many of his white students would have gone to the segregated academies, and that many of their parents had supported Byrd. So while we read about Brown v. Topeka, he said nothing about Charlottesville’s own recent history. Looking back I can just imagine how badly he must have wanted to teach it.

Ours was the last year that textbook was used. I don’t know what replaced it, but I wonder if the students afterwards learned as much as we did – about Virginia’s history, and about how badly some people want to control what you learn and how you think.

I never knew the textbook’s own history. This excellent story in The Daily Beast, inspired by the Vanderbilt controversy, and from which the illustration and the quote above are taken, explains the role of the Daughters of the Confederacy in whitewashing the South’s racial history by encouraging the writing and the state government’s adoption of my 7th grade history textbook. Too bad they got their money back.

UO student Emily Olson writes sensible op-ed on Deady and Dunn denaming

In the Daily Emerald:

… There are plenty of people who disagree with me, and that’s fine — as long as they did their civic duty to research, debate and weigh the facts. It’s one thing to respond with a personal decision about Dunn and Deady’s morality; I personally felt conflicted about Deady’s racist actions after reading how they tied to his jurisprudential views as a judge upholding the constitution.

But it’s another thing to skirt around the question using arguments that lack legitimacy, relevancy or evidence. These weak arguments are floating around, and it’s time someone pointed them out: …

Read it all here.

Black Students and Mike Schill give UO & Eugene a history lesson on racism

The RG’s Diane Dietz has the news on the report from Mike Schill’s denaming historians. This story concentrates on former UO Professor and KKK Exalted Cyclops Frederick Dunn:

He was the exalted cyclops of the Eugene chapter of the Ku Klux Klan — “one of the most successful (KKK) klaverns in Oregon” — and a University of Oregon professor.

Frederick Dunn, who taught classics in the 1920s and 1930s, made no secret of his association with the racist and often violent group. ­Leading Eugene citizens of the day also were Klansmen.

These are some of the facts unearthed by a trio of historians the UO commissioned to assess the racial views and ­actions of Dunn and UO founder Matthew Deady — to see whether their names brought dishonor to the ­university and should be stripped from its buildings.

But the overall effect of the report is an indictment of 1920s Eugene, where citizens turned out to watch a Ku Klux Klan ­parade, where the Klan burned crosses on Skinner Butte for all to see, and KKK members worked behind the scenes to harm Catholics.

I thought of this scene from O Brother where Art Thou:

Screen Shot 2016-08-10 at 9.28.15 PM

But I’m sure that, in reality, it took a lot more than good music to run Eugene’s KKK out of town – though presumably self-interested politicians really did help – and obviously its ideas are still far from defeated.

Dietz also has a story on the Matthew Deady part of the historian’s report, here.

 

President Schill releases historian’s report on Deady and Dunn, seeks input

The University has commissioned a thorough, unbiased, blunt, and very interesting report on the racist views and actions of two of its early leaders, prepared by three noted historians. It’s linked to in President Schill’s letter below asking for community input on the Deady and Dunn renaming, and here.

Dear Campus Community,

The University of Oregon is undergoing a self-examination of its policies and practices with respect to race and inclusion, similar to many other universities throughout the nation. Last year, a group of students under the banner of the Black Student Task Force (BSTF) presented me with a set of 13 demands that ranged from creating new programs and increasing African American enrollment to construction of a Black cultural center on or near campus. We continue to make progress on these issues as outlined in a letter to campus in spring. Today, I am providing new information and asking for input regarding the BSTF’s call to change the names of Deady and Dunn Halls because of the racist views and actions of the men for whom the buildings were named. 

Earlier this year, I charged a committee—chaired by Associate Professor Charise Cheney and composed of faculty members, administrators, and students—to provide me with a set of criteria that would guide a decision to dename campus buildings. I considered the committee’s recommendations and, in a letter to the campus dated May 6, announced a set of criteria and processes. I asked three prominent historians to carefully review and investigate the historical records of both Deady and Dunn in relation to these criteria.

These three historians provided me with their report on August 5, which is available here on my website. As I requested, the report does not make recommendations about denaming either building. Instead, it carefully considers each criterion through a painstaking analysis of historical records and archives as well as relevant court cases.

The historians’ report is a sobering account of a tumultuous and difficult period in Oregon’s history. I encourage you to read the report and invite you to provide me with your views on whether one or both of the buildings should be denamed. 

I would greatly appreciate it if you would provide me with your comments using this form by 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, August 24.

Following this comment period, I will carefully consider the report and all the comments before announcing next steps, including the possibility of taking a denaming proposal for one or both buildings to the UO Board of Trustees at some point in the future.

I would like to thank the three historians for their expertise, time, and attention to this important issue. I also would like to acknowledge that the ultimate decision about whether to dename a building is exceedingly difficult and that the historical record in this case is a complicated one. Reasonable people, ethical people, well-meaning people will disagree about the right course of action. One of the things I have been most proud of during my first year as your president is that our community—led by our students—has approached some of the most painful issues facing our society with a tremendous level of commitment, care, and good sense. I am confident that as we move toward a decision on Deady and Dunn Halls, that level of wisdom and sense of community will continue to be in evidence.

Sincerely,

Sincerely,
Michael H. Schill
President and Professor of Law

UO Board meetings video: Senate myths, Divest UO, Deady denaming, etc

The UO BOT does not post videos of the board meetings – so UO Matters operatives will do it for them. More to come. (Links fixed, thanks.)

Randy Sullivan’s farewell speech to the Board: “Six Myths the UO Trustees believe about the University Senate” starts at https://youtu.be/qn1T21TlS_0?t=2h8m2s

Faculty Union President Michael Dreiling explains to the Trustees how UO gives its students education in science, finance, and politics – and they’re now using it to fight for CO2 reductions. Starts at https://youtu.be/qn1T21TlS_0?t=1h8m9s, the students follow Dreiling.

UO alumni and faculty use the Black Students campaign to rename Deady and the Boards public comment period to teach us all a little Oregon history. Starts at https://youtu.be/qn1T21TlS_0?t=1h36m2s. I’m hoping history lessons will become a regular part of the board meetings. I’m working on a talk about Treetops, Phimister Proctor, and Irene Hazard Gerlinger.

ASUO Student Government President Helena Schlegel – chased off the board by Chair Chuck Lillis – returns for a postscript. starts at https://youtu.be/qn1T21TlS_0?t=1h57m45s