40/29 reports that a University of Arkansas committee has recommended the removal of former Sen. J. William Fulbright’s name and from the College of Arts and Sciences and his statue in front of Old Maib.
The recommendation goes to Chancellor Joseph Steinmetz, who’ll decide next month. A name change also would require approval of the University of Arkansas Board of Trustees. The removal of Fulbright has been sought because of his opposition to civil rights.
40/29 reported also;
The committee suggested that the Fulbright statue could be moved to the University of Arkansas museum or elsewhere where it could be contextualized and teach about Fulbright’s legacy.
The committee also recommended removing the name of Charles Brough from Brough Commons.
Brough was governor in 1919 during the Elaine Massacre. He praised the white community and blamed Black people for the violence. He oversaw the process that sent Black men to prison and condemned twelve to death.
The UA received hundreds of comments pro and con received on the matter, including a threat from a wealthy UA donor to stop contributions if the name is removed.
I wonder if it was a coincidence that the decision came after the legislature went into recess. Might this be a teaching moment about divisive concepts that Trent Garner and Mark Lowery and them are so worried about?
UPDATE: Here’s a link the committee’s full report, which includes a comment from Chancellor Steinmetz.
“We appreciate the hard work and time the committee took to complete its process of organizing and studying the historical foundation of the Fulbright and Brough names. The committee work included exploring the historical context in which Gov. Brough and Sen. Fulbright served and their actions in public life as viewed through a contemporary lens. The committee rightfully took time to deliberate and offer its recommendations. As such, we will continue with the next steps in this thoughtful process, gathering feedback on the recommendations, considering additional input and perspectives from a wide range of university stakeholders, including faculty, staff, alumni and students, and further discussing this matter with my executive committee, President Bobbitt, and members of the Board of Trustees.
This matter is complicated by Sen. Fulbright’s deep connections to the state and university, and important international contributions, at the same time acknowledging that the name causes pain for some on our campus, which is unfortunate. I want to emphasize that we are a community, united by our love and appreciation for the University of Arkansas. As a community, we are strong and support each other, recognizing our differences as well as the things that unite us no matter the issue.”
Shorter: Damned if you do; damned if you don’t.
PS: Ridding the campus of Brough should be a no-brainer.