Oregon State University community members,
I am writing to invite you to participate in an important meeting Monday, March 13 from 7 – 8:30 p.m., regarding steps that OSU will take beginning spring term to consider the names of university buildings whose namesakes may have held or acted on racist or otherwise exclusionary beliefs inconsistent with Oregon State’s mission and values.
The meeting will be held in LInC Room 268, and will be facilitated by Scott Vignos, director of strategic initiatives in the Office of Institutional Diversity.
The process of evaluating building names – and considering name changes – is part of the university’s efforts to examine and further Oregon State’s goal of advancing inclusivity, diversity and social justice.
On Monday, the co-chairs of the building name advisory committee made up of faculty, staff and students will present the results of their work that began in April 2016. Co-chairs Associate Professor Joseph Orosco and OSU Archivist Larry Landis will share the committee’s recommendations on how and why the name of a university building or place may be changed. The committee’s recommendations also include an extensive commitment to transparency and community engagement.
Monday night’s meeting is an important opportunity for community feedback on the advisory committee’s recommendations and to provide input on how community engagement regarding evaluations of building names can be best achieved. The advisory committee’s recommendations and community feedback will guide the OSU Architectural Naming Committee to immediately undertake a process of evaluation that will result in recommendations to President Ed Ray.
We recognize that there is significant interest among some OSU community members to evaluate the names of four buildings on the Corvallis campus – Avery Lodge, Arnold Dining Center, Benton Hall and Gill Coliseum – and determine whether those names should be changed.
The work of the advisory committee; significant information from OSU’s archives and other research on these buildings and their namesakes; and with community input received Monday night, will guide the process regarding these building’s names that will begin in April at the beginning of spring term.
Please participate in this meeting Monday night, and offer your input on the naming evaluation process and provide suggestions for the best forms of community engagement in this process.
OSU Architectural Naming Committee
University Relations and Marketing