ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) - The University of Michigan has revealed a new process for naming buildings and spaces on campus during its ongoing bicentennial celebration.
The university announced Monday that the new process gives the university community an opportunity to submit proposals to the president’s office for review and possible reconsideration of an officially-named facility.
“The university has a long history of drawing broadly upon the many intellectual resources to consider complex issues from different perspectives, and that’s what our committee set out to do during this review,” said Terry McDonald, a professor of history and chair of the President’s Advisory Committee on University History, which made the recommendations.
The advisory committee has outlined guideline principles for proposals under consideration. Those guidelines include pedagogy, interpretation, due diligence, commitment, revision, historical and institutional context and consistency.
“We do not believe that historical questions about the names of buildings or spaces can be answered by means of a checklist,” McDonald wrote in the committee’s final report. “Indeed, given the nature of our institution and its history, such questions bring into play principles that already exist - sometimes in tension - with the university.”
McDonald said he hopes the new process serves as an accurate review behind the names of the university’s buildings.
The new process comes after students opposed the renaming of a multicultural center, which is named after a racial justice activist.
University president Mark Schlissel said it’s important that the school take a scholarly approach to any review of historical building names and put them into context.
“The new process is fully in keeping with our bicentennial commitment to examine our institution’s past more broadly - and will guide us as we seek to become an even better University of Michigan in our third century and beyond,” Schlissel said.
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