Name Removal Review Advisory Committee Charge & Procedures


The Name Removal Review Advisory Committee is an administrative advisory committee constituted and appointed by the President. The Committee is charged with considering requests, specifically referred to the Committee by the President and the Board of Trustees, for the removal of a name from a University building, location, scholarship, professorship, or award. As an advisory body, the Committee is charged specifically with applying the Naming Principles adopted by the Board of Trustees in March 2022 and making a recommendation to the President and the Board about formal requests for the removal of a name. Ultimate decisions about the removal of any name reside with the Board of Trustees. 

This Committee will not consider questions of new names. Authority for naming resides with the Board of Trustees and the President or their designees, guided by the March 2022 Naming Principles. 

The President shall constitute the Committee annually and may alter the composition and charge of the Committee at any time. 



The Committee will include representation from the University’s key constituencies, who will bring to the Committee’s work a diversity of backgrounds and perspectives. Through appointed members or advisors, who may be members of the University community or external experts, the Committee will include essential administrative and scholarly expertise in its deliberations. The President will appoint the Committee’s Chair. The VP and Secretary to the Board of Trustees will serve as a member of and as Secretary to the Committee.


Procedure to Request Consideration of Name Removal

The VP and Secretary’s Office will maintain and make available to the University community via a website the policies and procedures relating to requests for consideration of name removal and the Committee’s charge and membership. 

Any member of the University community may make a formal request for consideration of removal of a name for reasons consistent with the established Naming Principles. The request should be submitted in writing by the requestor to the VP and Secretary to the Board of Trustees and should include the name and affiliation of the person or persons making the request; the name that is the focus of the request; sufficient specific explanation of the basis for the request; reference to sources from which the information about and evidence for the request is drawn; and the proposed applicability of the Naming Principles to the specific case. 

The VP and Secretary will forward all completed formal requests for consideration of removal of a name to the President and the Board of Trustees. The Board of Trustees, in consultation with the President, will ordinarily determine as expeditiously as possible if a request warrants referral to the Committee to evaluate the name and circumstances. If additional information is required to make a determination, the timeframe may be longer. Additional information from the requestor may be required prior to the Board of Trustees’ determination about whether to refer the request to the Committee. This initial phase of consideration may also include an assessment of any University legal obligations (consistent with Principle 3) associated with a name. Additionally, if a request involves an unproved allegation, the President and/or the Board of Trustees may initiate a confidential investigation of the allegation to determine if sufficient evidence in support of the allegation exists to warrant the Committee’s consideration of the name removal request. 

The determination about whether the request will be referred to the Committee for consideration and action, and the rationale for that determination, will ordinarily be communicated to the requestor; any affected University administrative unit or academic department, through the leadership of that entity (e.g, VP, Dean, Department Chair, Director); and the namesake (or the namesake’s heir(s), if possible and appropriate). The information will also ordinarily be available to the University community. There may, however, be circumstances in which it is not appropriate to make public a request or related allegation, particularly if there is not sufficient evidence in support of the allegation and the request for consideration of name removal.


Committee Procedures for Evaluating and Making a Recommendation with Respect to Potential Removal of a Name

The Committee’s work will be guided by the Naming Principles as approved by the Board of Trustees in March 2022. In deliberating and formulating a recommendation about whether a name should be removed, the Committee may identify specific research or other directly germane information that would appropriately inform its work. This may include expert opinions of relevant scholars or information from offices and individuals with important relevant knowledge in the matter, including knowledge of the namesake’s actions or the original circumstances of the naming. The University’s VP and General Counsel and VP for Advancement will serve as advisors to the Committee as needed in its work. The namesake (or the namesake’s heir(s), if feasible), will also be given the opportunity to provide information for the Committee’s consideration. 

The Committee’s deliberations will be confidential. The Committee may, however, provide periodic public updates on its progress and may invite the perspectives of members of the University community as part of its evaluation of a request. 

The Committee will work as expeditiously as possible and should normally be expected to forward its recommendations to the President and the Board of Trustees within one calendar year of the Board’s referral of a matter to the Committee. If multiple matters are before the Committee in any given year, the Committee will determine and make available to the University community information about the sequence and timeframe in which the matters are expected to be addressed. 

Upon completion of its work, the Committee will provide to the President and the Board of Trustees a written report which will include the Committee’s recommendation; the rationale for the recommendation (with explicit reference to the application of the relevant Naming Principles and the strength of the evidence); and a detailed summary of information considered, including input received from experts, members of the University community, the namesake (or the namesake’s heir(s)), and others consulted in the process of considering the request. The Committee may elect to recommend removal of a name, retention of a name, or some other remedy. 

A recommendation to the President and Board of Trustees to remove a name will require an affirmative vote of at least two-thirds of the Committee’s membership. If the Committee’s recommendation is not supported by a unanimous vote of the Committee, the report will include the minority view and the reasons for that view.


Procedures for Consideration of Committee Recommendations by the President and Board of Trustees

Upon receiving a recommendation from the Committee, the President and the Board of Trustees will consider and act on that recommendation as expeditiously as possible. The President and the Board of Trustees may, at their discretion, request additional information from the Committee or other sources prior to a decision. Consistent with Principle 10, the Board of Trustees may accept or reject the Committee’s recommendation, in full or in part. The Board of Trustees’ decision in all cases is final, absent the discovery of significant additional information or changes in circumstances that could alter the Committee’s original recommendation or the decision by the Board.

As expeditiously as possible, the decision of the Board of Trustees will be communicated to the Committee; the namesake (or their heir(s), if applicable); the unit, department, or program that houses the named entity (via the area’s VP, Dean, and Chair or Director); and the University community.


Decision Implementation

The President or the President’s designee will be responsible for carrying out the decision, including any removal of a name; assignment of any new name or temporary name; and, in the case of buildings, creation of permanent educational information (e.g., plaque, webpage) about the building’s previous namesake and the decision to remove the name (consistent with Principle 9). In cases in which a name is retained, the creation of such permanent educational information may also be appropriate.