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The message below was sent to all faculty involved in faculty governance on April 1, 2015:


Dear Esteemed Colleagues in Faculty Governance,

I’m writing to ask you to visit before the April 25th deadline to offer your thoughts and suggestions to the Board of Trustees on whether to rename Saunders Hall and how we can better interpret and curate our University’s complicated history.

This call for ideas is the culmination of a year-long process in which the Board of Trustees has been considering proposals to rename Saunders. The Trustees’ University Affairs Committee heard comments from several faculty members, students, staff, and members of the community about this complex issue at its meeting on March 25. That day the committee announced that the Trustees would invite additional comments and suggestions about how to handle the issue — and more generally about how to ensure that we all better understand the university’s history — through the web form available at the link above.

This is an area where I believe faculty insights, experiences, knowledge, and creativity can offer significant contributions and many good ideas that may not have yet been considered.

We promised the Trustees we would encourage as many faculty colleagues as possible to submit their thoughts, so I hope you will join me in responding at before the April 25th deadline. While this message is being sent only to faculty involved in campus-level faculty governance, please feel free to share with as many colleagues as possible.

Thank you for your consideration,

Bruce Cairns
Chair of the Faculty

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2 Responses to “Cairns urges faculty to comment on Saunders renaming issue”

  1. Genna Rae McNeil

    East Carolina has set an example for UNC Chapel Hill.
    History may be recognized in ways other than maintaining the name of a building that in the 21st century so clearly symbolizes not only disrespect for Black lives and those whose labor built the university, but also A FAILURE TO RECOGNIZE THE INTENTIONAL FORWARD MOVEMENT OF THE UNIVERSITY TOWARD AN INSTITUTION THAT UPHOLDS THE IDEALS OF EQUALITY, EQUITY, ACADEMIC EXCELLENCE, AND JUSTICE. How is it possible that an institution that teaches critical thinking must continue to have meetings about meetings to discuss that which any critically conscious 21st century progressive individual knows can be resolved peacefully and swiftly? The students and others have spoken in unambiguous language. Unless there is some ambivalence on the part of the powers that be on the KKK and that for which it stood, the name Saunders should be placed with other archival memorabilia and documents with the appropriate care taken to write the history of BOTH how the building came to be named after Saunders AND how it came to be re-named in 2015. We have university archives and that is where recognition of Saunders belongs.

  2. Genna Rae McNeil

    Colleagues and students-scholars: I hit post in advertently before I was able to delete the last lines of my post. Please excuse me and ignore those lines after “Saunders belongs.” Thank you.
    Genna Rae McNeil, Professor of History

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