Authority: Vice Chancellor for Advancement
History: First Issued: August 11, 2020.
Contact: Associate Vice Chancellor for Development (919-515-9086)
1.1 NC State University is dedicated to ensuring a welcoming, diverse, and inclusive campus environment for all students, faculty, staff, alumni, and visitors. We are devoted to ensuring the freedom of thought and expression while respecting cultural and intellectual diversity. We are further committed to engaging with our students, alumni, faculty, staff, and trustees regarding how to effectively enhance a culture that values and advances diversity, equity, and inclusion. NC State takes responsibility for our past and is committed to transparently reviewing and acknowledging our university’s history and traditions in light of our current values.
1.2 NC State will consider the removal of a naming from buildings, spaces, streets, monuments, and other named spaces on campus when strong evidence exists that the name is in opposition to the current mission and values of NC State.
1.3 This regulation outlines the process for the review of recommendations for the removal of facility namings as referenced in university policy POL 03.00.02 – Criteria and Procedures for Naming Facilities, Programs, and Funds.
2. Initiating Review
2.1 Removing a facility naming is a significant endeavor requiring careful consideration. Reviewing a facility naming for removal requires following an approved process to ensure requests are treated consistently and fairly. The process must allow for thoughtful deliberation balancing the past and present while still being true to the university’s mission and values. Consistent with the university’s commitment to academic freedom, care should be taken that either removing or retaining a facility naming does not restrict free and open inquiry.
2.2 The Chancellor will initiate the review of a facility naming. The review may be upon the Chancellor’s discretion, by request of the Board of Trustees, or in response to a written request to the Chancellor.
2.3 A written request to the Chancellor should include:2.3.1 Submitter’s name, affiliation with NC State, and contact information.
2.3.2 The facility name being proposed for review.
2.3.3 Why the university should review the facility name.
2.3.4 A compelling statement on how the facility’s name does not align with NC State’s current mission and values.
2.3.5 The social impact of retaining the facility’s name.
2.3.6 Any other relevant information.
2.3.7 The Chancellor may make further inquiries of the submitter.
2.3.8 Upon review of the request, at their discretion, the Chancellor may refer the written request to a committee (as described in Section 3 below) appointed by the Chancellor to thoroughly review and investigate the request. The committee will provide a report to the Chancellor with the findings.
2.3.9 The Chancellor will review the committee’s report, using the Principles and Criteria outlined below as a guide, and determine whether to formally recommend that the Board of Trustees take action on the request to remove the facility naming.
2.3.10 Per university policy POL 03.00.02 – Criteria and Procedures for Naming Facilities, Programs and Funds, only the Board of Trustees has the authority to approve either naming a facility or removing a naming from a facility at NC State where an individual or organization is being recognized.
2.3.11 Regardless of outcome, the university should take the opportunity to contextualize, educate, and preserve the historical knowledge to contribute to a full, honest and transparent telling of the history of the naming and its relationship with NC State.
3.1 Committee members will be composed of students, alumni, faculty, and staff, who can provide expert opinions and unique perspectives as to whether a facility naming abides by the university’s current mission and values.
3.2 Members will be selected and appointed by the Chancellor.
3.3 The committee should use the Principles and Criteria outlined below as guidance while reviewing and investigating claims in a consistent approach weighing and balancing all relevant factors.
3.4 The committee may invite comment from all interested parties including the original honoree or their heirs during its research and investigation.
4. Guiding Principles
The committee will abide by the following guiding principles to ensure that the legacy of a facility’s namesake aligns with the mission and values of NC State. These principles should be taken into consideration while conducting and analyzing research related to the facility naming.
4.1 The Principle of Due Diligence. As a Tier 1 Research University, it is the responsibility of the committee to conduct high quality academic research of the named facility that should be focused on public history with an interdisciplinary and holistic approach.
4.2 The Principle of Historical and Institutional Context. It is the responsibility of the committee to utilize historical context when reviewing named facilities and to have an understanding of the time period with which the facility was named and approach that past university officials took to honor a person.
4.3 The Principle of Interpretation. It is the responsibility of the committee to take a holistic and interdisciplinary approach to understanding facility namings. Important considerations should include, but are not limited to, historical reasons behind naming as well as the impact on today’s university community and the larger society.
4.4 The Principle of Respect. When evaluating namings, it is the responsibility of the committee to consider social change and the impact of the named facility on the students, alumni, faculty, staff, and the community as a whole today and in the future, while also balancing respect for previous decision maker’s decisions.
4.5 The Principle of Transparency. To ensure that the university is taking responsibility for past namings and to educate students, alumni, faculty, staff, and the community about NC State’s past and the impact of history on society, it will be the responsibility of the committee to be transparent about their research and investigation.
5. Criteria for Review
When reviewing a proposed facility naming for removal, the committee should take the following into consideration.
5.1 Timing. A case will be made for the time in which the facility was named. The committee will determine if: the facility was named after the individual or organization during the time they lived to honor their accomplishments to further NC State’s mission and values at the time; the facility was named at the time without regard to its potential negative impact on underrepresented populations or to its real effect on encouraging white supremacy, racism, slavery, racial injustice, or discrimination of any type; or whether the facility was named to encourage individual systemic racism, slavery, racial injustice or discrimination of any type including but not limited to, sexism and the LGBTQ+ community at that time. The committee will take into consideration the timing of the naming and NC State’s mission and values at that time.
5.2 Individual or Organization’s Relation to the University. A case will be made for the individual or organization’s relationship to the university. The committee will take into consideration whether the individual or organization had any ties to the university or made a significant contribution to furthering the mission and values of NC State. If the individual or organization’s representation does not align with NC State’s current mission and values and they had no prior relationship with the university, a stronger case for removing the individual or organization’s name from the facility could be made.
5.3 The Behavior of the Individual or Organization. An in-depth documented case will need to be made on the actions and behavior of the individual or organization which conflicts with the current mission and values of the university. A stronger case can be made if the conduct was central to the namesake’s career, public persona, or life as a whole and can be supported by documented evidence demonstrating the extent and intentionality of the behavior. Ambiguous, inconclusive, or minimal evidence would present a weaker case.
5.4 The Historical Context of the Individual or Organization. Consideration should be made for the behavior of the individual or organization in relation to how their actions and behavior align with the approved social behaviors, norms, and politics in historical context of the time. However, this does not mean the committee condones the individual or organization’s behavior and actions but rather is committed to providing transparent context and education to the NC State community.
5.5 The Current Social Impact to the University. A case will be made for the social impact the naming has upon the university, including how the facility name may encourage systemic racism, slavery, racial injustice, or discrimination of any type including but not limited to, sexism and the LGBTQ+ community.
5.6 Possibilities for Mitigation. In consideration whether to retain or remove a name, the committee should consider whether the harm and social impact can be mitigated while retaining historical knowledge by acknowledging and addressing the individual or organization’s wrongful actions and behavior.
6. Committee’s Report to Chancellor
The committee will prepare a comprehensive report of a facility naming for review and present it to the Chancellor. The Chancellor will review the committee’s report using the Principles and Criteria above as guidance and determine whether to recommend that the Board of Trustees take action to remove the facility naming.
6.1 The following should be included within the committee’s report:6.1.1 The facility naming the committee is reviewing.
6.1.2 The history of the individual or organization that the facility is named after.
6.1.3 The history of the facility itself.
6.1.4 When the facility was named.
6.1.5 The reason the facility was named after the individual or organization.
6.1.6 The relationship between the individual or organization and the university.
6.1.7 The impact that the individual or organization has made to the mission and values of the university.
6.1.8 The actions or behavior of the individual or organization that is in question and how it impacts the mission and values of the university.
6.1.9 The historical context of the individual or organization’s actions or behavior to their respective time period.
6.1.10 The current social impact that the naming has upon students, alumni, facility, and staff.
6.1.11 A statement on the impact retaining the naming of the facility will have on students, alumni, faculty, staff, and the community as a whole.
6.1.12 Opportunities for contextualization, education, and preservation of historical knowledge.
7. Review of Donor-Funded Named Facilities, Programs, Professorships and Funds
Donor-funded named facilities, programs, and named funds, including professorships and endowments, are tied to philanthropic gifts. As such, these gifts have a documented agreement between the donor and the university, and the university must abide by additional protocols and other legal requirements when reviewing such names. These agreements must abide by state and federal regulations. Philanthropic named facilities, programs, named professorships, and named funds that do not align with NC State’s mission and values can be reviewed by the Chancellor, University Advancement and General Counsel. Any philanthropic naming removals of facilities or programs will be presented to the Board of Trustees for the consideration for removal.