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University History

Naming Criteria

The naming criteria, approved at the Feb. 12, 2021 commission meeting, is the basis of future discussion for renaming buildings. The commission will utilize this criteria when presenting recommendations to the President and the Board of Trustees.

Methodology

Deliberations and analysis of names on the campus landscape will be undertaken using a consistent set of standards, as outlined in the criteria herein. Deliberation and analysis of namesakes using these criteria will utilize a preponderance of evidence approach that acknowledges the complex intersection between the lessons of our past and present.

This balanced approach will directly consider namesakes’ offensive behavior or viewpoints, noteworthy contributions to the University or greater community, evolution and moderation of behavior and views over time, and intentional and unintentional impacts of behavior or viewpoints on members of the University or greater community in the past and present.

In this deliberation and analysis using the criteria outlined herein, the merits and faults of the individuals named on the university landscape will be considered in light of the present-day norms of our university, most directly outlined in the Carolinian Creed and the university’s mission to create and sustain an inclusive learning, living, and working environment where all members of the university’s community feel that they are welcomed, valued and supported.

Criteria for building names recommendations

  1. The namesake’s actions/behaviors sought to, or had the effect of, oppressing groups of people based on their race, ethnicity, gender or sexual orientation, and the oppressive action, behavior or viewpoints in question are inextricably connected to the namesake’s career, public persona, or life as a whole.

  2. Though other aspects of the namesake's life and work are noteworthy to the University or the greater community, the namesake exhibited offensive behavior or viewpoints outside of their career or public persona.

  3. Documentary evidence demonstrates both the extent and the intentionality of a namesake’s actions regarding allegations of oppressive behavior.

  4. Documentary evidence demonstrates a significant level of evolution or moderation of the namesake’s behavior and/or views.

  5. Honoring the namesake demonstrably jeopardizes the University’s integrity and materially impedes its mission of teaching, research, and public engagement for all community members.

  6. Honoring the namesake does not align with the Carolinian Creed, the University of South Carolina’s values statement which discourages bigotry, and emphasizes respect for the dignity and rights of all persons.

  7. Honoring the namesake significantly contributes to an environment that excludes some members of the University community from opportunities to learn, thrive, and succeed and contradicts our mission of diversity, equity, and inclusion.

  8. Removal of the name would not impede viewpoint diversity or fail to acknowledge the historical complexity or holistic contributions of the individual to the University or the public.

  9. The namesake was found to have committed a serious violation of a state or U.S. law during that individual’s lifetime, prior to or following the naming recognition.


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