Building Renaming Controversy at the University of Minnesota

Guests: University of Minnesota History Department Chair Ann Waltner & Adjunct Professor Joseph Haker

The student government at the University of Minnesota’s Twin Cities campus recently led a charge to rename four campus buildings whose namesakes were accused of racism, anti-Semitism and promoting eugenics. Former U President Eric Kaler, who stepped down on July 1, created a task force to research the actions of the men after whom the buildings are named. The panel released its findings earlier this year, and recommended that the buildings be renamed. In late April, the University’s Board of Regents voted against renaming the buildings. This fall semester, a class titled Prejudice and Protest at the U of M will take a critical look at the University’s history. History Department Chair Ann Waltner and course instructor Joseph Haker discuss the renaming controversy and the challenges of dealing with past injustices.

James du BoisComment