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Committee to Establish Principles on Renaming

In November 2020, President Julie Sullivan created the Committee to Establish Principles on Renaming to consider amending the current University policy on naming with a focus on the potential need for a coherent set of principles to use when considering the renaming of a building, program, or other asset at the University.

The Committee seeks input from a broad range of stakeholders and community members via listening sessions and written input. The goal is learn from the experiences and research of others, gain additional perspectives and insights, and surface issues and concerns related to renaming.

Ultimately, the Committee will utilize the information it learns during the listening sessions in generating a list of principles that can serve as a workable framework for future renaming decisions. (Note that the work of this Committee is drafting over-arching principles to guide the renaming process, not to address any specific cases.)

Email the Committee to Establish Principles on Renaming: stthomasrenamecmte@stthomas.edu

Gathering Input

  • Scheduled Listening Sessions
  • Questions Asked
  • Open and Honest Listening
  • Written Comments
  • Scheduled Listening Sessions

    Listening Sessions are scheduled for:

    • St. Thomas Staff: Wednesday, February 24, 12:00 Noon
    • St. Thomas Faculty: Monday, March 1, 12:15 PM
    • St. Thomas Alumni Council: Tuesday, March 9, 7:00 PM
    • St. Thomas Students: Wednesday, March 10, 12:00 Noon

    Please watch for an email from the St. Thomas Renaming Principles Committee that will have the link to your scheduled listening session.

    Also note these listening sessions will not be recorded, nor will there be a summary or findings released after the sessions. The input will all be considered as part of the final report issued by the committee.

    Questions Asked

    The Committee encourages listening session participants to think broadly, guided in part by the following questions:

    • What kinds of issues should cause the University to consider renaming an asset?
    • What specific factors should be examined when determining whether to rename or pursue an alternate option? How should those factors be weighted or considered relative to one another?
    • What actions, in addition to or separate from renaming, should be considered on a sustained/systemic level to address the concern or issue (e.g. reparations, reconciliatory acts)?
    • What should the University’s process for considering renaming entail?
    • How does/should this process reflect the University’s mission and convictions?

    Read the full Community Call for Participation in Listening Sessions (PDF)

    Open and Honest Listening

    St. Thomas community members and other stakeholders should know that any views expressed by individuals within listening sessions will not affect their relationship with the institution or its leadership. The committee welcomes open and honest responses to the questions above.

    For these listening sessions, the committee’s purpose will truly be to listen rather than to comment or answer questions for which we do not yet have answers. We have made no recommendations and are holding these listening sessions at an early stage in our process. We will try to ensure that at least one of the co-chairs and a critical mass of the committee members are present.

    Written Comments

    We are also creating a space for written submissions, open to the larger community. The content of the submissions will not be made public, but will be distributed to all members of the committee.

    Open the form to provide written comments to the Committee to Establish Principles on Renaming

    Scheduled Listening Sessions

    Scheduled Listening Sessions

    Listening Sessions are scheduled for:

    • St. Thomas Staff: Wednesday, February 24, 12:00 Noon
    • St. Thomas Faculty: Monday, March 1, 12:15 PM
    • St. Thomas Alumni Council: Tuesday, March 9, 7:00 PM
    • St. Thomas Students: Wednesday, March 10, 12:00 Noon

    Please watch for an email from the St. Thomas Renaming Principles Committee that will have the link to your scheduled listening session.

    Also note these listening sessions will not be recorded, nor will there be a summary or findings released after the sessions. The input will all be considered as part of the final report issued by the committee.

    Questions Asked

    Questions Asked

    The Committee encourages listening session participants to think broadly, guided in part by the following questions:

    • What kinds of issues should cause the University to consider renaming an asset?
    • What specific factors should be examined when determining whether to rename or pursue an alternate option? How should those factors be weighted or considered relative to one another?
    • What actions, in addition to or separate from renaming, should be considered on a sustained/systemic level to address the concern or issue (e.g. reparations, reconciliatory acts)?
    • What should the University’s process for considering renaming entail?
    • How does/should this process reflect the University’s mission and convictions?

    Read the full Community Call for Participation in Listening Sessions (PDF)

    Open and Honest Listening

    Open and Honest Listening

    St. Thomas community members and other stakeholders should know that any views expressed by individuals within listening sessions will not affect their relationship with the institution or its leadership. The committee welcomes open and honest responses to the questions above.

    For these listening sessions, the committee’s purpose will truly be to listen rather than to comment or answer questions for which we do not yet have answers. We have made no recommendations and are holding these listening sessions at an early stage in our process. We will try to ensure that at least one of the co-chairs and a critical mass of the committee members are present.

    Written Comments

    Written Comments

    We are also creating a space for written submissions, open to the larger community. The content of the submissions will not be made public, but will be distributed to all members of the committee.

    Open the form to provide written comments to the Committee to Establish Principles on Renaming

    The Committee includes representatives from the St. Thomas community: students, faculty, staff, trustees and alumni

    The Members of the Committee

    • Gregory Sisk, J.D.

      Faculty; Professor, School of Law

      Committee co-chair

    • Dr. Yohuru Williams

      Faculty and Staff; Distinguished University Chair and Professor of History and Founding Director of the Racial Justice Initiative

      Committee co-chair

    • Judge Wilhelmina (Mimi) Wright

      Trustee; U.S. District Court

    • Amy Goldman

      Trustee; Chairman and Executive Director, GHR Foundation
    • Dr. David Williard

      Faculty; History Professor, College of Arts and Sciences

    • Dr. Bernie Brady

      Faculty; Theology Professor, College of Arts and Sciences

    • Dr. Jayne Sommers

      Faculty; Professor, School of Education

    • Joe Plante ’86

      Staff; Associate Vice President, University Advancement

    • Danielle Hermanny

      Staff; Title IX Coordinator, Office of the President

    • MayKao Y. Hang

      Staff; VP Strategic Initiatives, Founding Dean of the Morrison Family College of Health

    • Viridiana Martinez

      Current Undergraduate Student; '21

    • Jesse Addo

      Current Graduate Student; '17, J.D. '22

    • Ann Kenne

      Archivist (non-voting)

    • Erica Oswald

      Administrative support (non-voting)