New policy allows renaming U of M buildings after 75 years

February 11, 2022 GMT

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The University of Minnesota regents have adopted a new policy that allows them to rename buildings after 75 years or sooner if their namesakes are contentious.

The Minneapolis Star Tribune reported the regents adopted the policy on Friday, saying it will allow more people to be honored over time. A committee will weight whether a building can keep its name beyond 75 years. More than 30 buildings on the university’s five campuses were built before 1946 and will be immediately eligible for renaming. The 75-year span would not apply to buildings named after donors.

The university can revoke building names if their namesakes’ behavior is deemed inconsistent with the university’s mission or hurts the university’s reputation.

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The policy has been in the works since 2019, when students and faculty pushed to rename four buildings whose namesakes were accused of supporting segregation. The regents ultimately rejected any changes, citing their historical contributions and concerns about the quality of the evidence against them.