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UO trustees rename Dunn Hall over namesake's role in KKK

University of Oregon President Michael Schill told the board of trustees he recommends denaming Dunn Hall. The dorm building is named after a man who was a leader in the Eugene KKK years ago. (SBG photo)

EUGENE, Ore. - EUGENE, Ore. - Removing the name of a former Exalted Cyclops of the Ku Klux Klan from a campus residence hall is the first order of business on the agenda for the University of Oregon Board of Trustees Thursday.

The trustees met at 2 p.m.

The first resolution on the agenda: Renaming Dunn Hall.

"It's my view that it would be inconsistent with our ideals as a school to have a building named after the Exalted Cyclops of the Ku Klux Klan," President Michael Schill told the board.

The board voted unanimously to strip Dunn's name from a campus residence hall.

"I don't believe that we are changing history," said Andrew Colas, a member of the board. "I think we're no longer honoring people that did egregious actions."

Whereas, Mr. Frederick S. Dunn was the head of an organization that supported racism, persecution and violence against Oregonians because of the color of their skin and religious beliefs;
Whereas, because of his egregious actions and his leadership within the Ku Klux Klan, the university recommends removal of his name from the building with which it is associated; and,
Whereas, Section 1.7.1 of the University of Oregon’s Policy on the Retention and Delegation of Authority requires approval by the Board for the naming of any university building or outdoor area in recognition of individuals, and the removal of a name currently recognizing an individual from a building or outdoor area is of such significance and extraordinary circumstance that it should only be done upon affirmative action of the Board;
NOW THEREFORE, the Board of Trustees of the University of Oregon hereby orders the removal of Frederick S. Dunn’s name from its associated residence hall effective immediately and hereby temporarily renames the wing Cedar Hall. The Board further authorizes the President or his designee(s) to take all actions necessary and proper to execute this decision. The Board intends to consider a recommendation from the President regarding a new, permanent name for the facility within the current fiscal year.

President Michael Schill made the recommendation to the board after reviewing the findings of a panel of historians he tasked with investigating Dunn's history.

The report and action was part of Schill's response to demands from the Black Student Task Force.

The group also asked for the name of University of Oregon founder Matthew Deady to be removed from Deady Hall.

The historians found that Deady supported slavery prior to abolition. But he also held views they called "progressive for his time."

Schill has asked for additional public comments on Deady Hall through 5 p.m. on Friday, October 14.

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