UMAA Statement On Building Name Recommendations

March 1, 2019

On March 1, University of Minnesota President Eric Kaler, after studying a task force report, recommended that the University remove the names from four buildings on its Twin Cities campus: Coffman Memorial Union, Nicholson Hall, Middlebrook Hall, and Coffey Hall. In a message to University students and employees, President Kaler said:

“I entered this process with an open mind, and at this stage I believe that changing the names is the right path for the University of Minnesota. However, I describe my recommendations as preliminary because I would like to continue hearing from the University community and engaging with the descendants of the individuals after whom the buildings were named.”

President Kaler’s recommendations were informed by a report from the University of Minnesota’s Task Force on Building Names and institutional history that was released on February 20. The 11-member Task Force conducted exhaustive research of historical documents, news articles, and letters, and carefully considered public input before composing its 125-page report. The Board of Regents will make the final determination regarding building names.

As a valued part of the University family -- a community that is vested in the U’s past, present and future -- alumni have offered thoughtful and insightful perspectives on this matter. Their input has been integral to this process and was considered in the Task Force report.

There is still an opportunity to provide feedback. Your voice matters! Please read and reflect on the report, then submit your feedback online via the the University History website or by emailing uhistory@umn.edu.

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