Procedures for Consideration of Removing Names from University Property

The Consideration of Removing Names from University Property policy sets forth the principles by which Iowa State University will address requests for removal of names from university property. This document sets forth procedures for considering the requests.

Terms

Honoree

An honoree is an individual, organization, company, and other entity for which a university property has been named. If the honoree is an individual and is deceased, then a relative or person designated by the honoree’s family may serve on behalf of the honoree during these procedures. If the honoree is an organization, company, or other entity, it may appoint an individual to serve on its behalf during these procedures.

Inquiry Committee

The Inquiry Committee is a subcommittee of the Standing Committee. The Inquiry Committee reviews requests to verify that the requestor has provided all required information in the request and evaluates whether there is sufficient evidence to proceed.

Major Unit

Major units are buildings, wings of buildings, colleges, programs, and large sections of campus.

Minor Unit

Minor units are campus areas or sections of facilities such as rooms, labs, open spaces, streets, structures, and physical features.

Principles

Principles are set forth in the Consideration of Removing Names from University Property policy.

Requestor

A requestor is a person or group of people making a request to remove a name from university property. A requestor must be an individual or group who is affiliated with or connected to the university.

Review Committee

The Review Committee is a subcommittee of the Standing Committee. The Review Committee is responsible for reviewing the request to remove the name from the university property and making a recommendation to the president.

Standardized Rubric

The Standing Committee will issue a standardized rubric to the Inquiry Committee and to the Review Committee to guide their decision making processes. The rubric may include the methods from the social sciences and humanities developed for evaluating subjective information, historical context, changing mores, evolving use of language, and other relevant factors.

Standing Committee

The Standing Committee consists of 12-24 individuals to ensure the availability of a sufficient number of members to serve on Inquiry and Review Committees, including in any situation where such committees may be running simultaneously. The Standing Committee is established to assist in the review of requests to remove a name from university property. The members of the Standing Committee are a diverse group of constituents, including faculty, staff, students, and other members of the community. The members are appointed to two- to four-year terms by the president in consultation with senior leadership and the president may call for nominations. The Standing Committee chair is selected by the President. Members of the Inquiry Committee and Review Committee mentioned in the Process section below are drawn from the Standing Committee. The Inquiry Committee and Review Committee may consult with content experts throughout the process as needed.

Process

1. Initiating the Process

The requestor must submit a request to the Office of the President through an online form. The requestor must include in the request:

  • The requestor’s affiliation with or connection with the university,
  • The property from which the name is proposed to be removed,
  • The specific conduct or behavior by the honoree that the requestor believes is offensive, and
  • Evidence that the requestor has pertaining to the principles.

If multiple requestors submit a request for the same university property, the Inquiry Committee or the Review Committee may consolidate the requests.

2. Inquiry Committee

Upon receipt of the request, the Office of the President will forward the request to the chair of the Standing Committee. The chair of the Standing Committee will appoint three to five members of the Standing Committee to serve on an Inquiry Committee.

The Inquiry Committee will review the request to verify that the requestor has provided all required information in the request and to evaluate whether there is sufficient evidence to proceed. The Standing Committee will provide a standardized rubric for all Inquiry Committees to use to evaluate the sufficiency of the evidence. The Inquiry Committee will make its determination by recorded vote with a two-thirds majority required to proceed. The Inquiry Committee shall make its determination within 90 days of being appointed.

If the Inquiry Committee concludes the request contains the required information and sufficient evidence, the Inquiry Committee will notify the chair of the Standing Committee. The chair of the Standing Committee will log the request on the Consideration of Removing Names from University Property webpage. The chair of the Standing Committee will then appoint three to twelve members of the Standing Committee to serve on a Review Committee. No more than one member of the Inquiry Committee may serve on the Review Committee.

If the Inquiry Committee concludes the request does not contain the required information or does not have sufficient evidence, then the Inquiry Committee will notify the requestor and provide the requestor an opportunity to supplement the request with the required information and/or evidence and establish a deadline to provide the supplemental information. If the requestor does not supplement the request by the stated deadline, then the request will not be further considered.

3. Review Committee

The Review Committee is responsible for reviewing the request and making a recommendation to the president. In reviewing the request, the Review Committee should conduct research and draw upon the expertise of current and former faculty, staff, alumni, noted experts in the field, and others familiar with the honoree. The Review Committee will meet with the requestor, the honoree or designee, and any university departments or units that would be impacted by the decision. The Review Committee should also ascertain whether there are any contractual or other legal implications associated with removing the name. The university may provide staff to assist the Review Committee with research and report development.

3.1 Draft Recommendation

The Review Committee’s initial recommendation shall be taken by a recorded vote. A recommendation to remove a name from university property requires a two-thirds vote. The Review Committee shall prepare a draft report setting forth its recommendation as to whether the honoree’s name should be removed from university property. The draft report shall address the principles and the evidence relied upon by the Review Committee and include the Review Committee’s initial recorded vote. If the Review Committee’s recommendation is not unanimous, the draft report shall also state the reasons for the dissent.

3.2 Feedback and Public Comment

The Review Committee shall share the draft report with, and invite feedback from, the requestor, the honoree, and any university departments or units and other stakeholders that would be impacted by the decision.

The Review Committee shall also seek public written comment if the request pertains to the removal of a name from a major unit. The Review Committee may also seek public written comment for the removal of a name from a minor unit. The Review Committee shall establish a period for seeking public written comment, which shall not exceed 60 days.

3.3. Final Recommendation

After receiving the feedback and public comment, the Review Committee shall conduct a final vote on whether or not to recommend removing the name. A recommendation to remove the name must be approved by a two-thirds vote of the Review Committee members. The Review Committee shall prepare a final report setting forth its vote and the recommendation as to whether the honoree’s name should be removed from university property. The final report shall address the principles and the evidence relied upon by the Review Committee, including any feedback and public comment. If the Review Committee’s recommendation is not unanimous, the draft report shall also state the reasons for the dissent. The Review Committee shall provide the final report to the president and provides copies to the requestor, the honoree or designee, any university departments or units impacted by the decision that participated in the Review Committee’s review, and the chair of the Standing Committee.

4. President’s Decision or Recommendation

The president will review the final report containing the Review Committee’s recommendation. If the request was to remove the name of a minor unit, the president shall make a final decision and notify the requestor, the honoree or designee, any university departments or units impacted by the decision that participated in the Review Committee’s review, and the chair of the Standing Committee of the decision.

If the request was to remove the name of a major unit, the president shall prepare a recommendation for the Board of Regents, which will make the final decision. The president shall provide a copy of the president’s recommendation to the requestor, the honoree or designee, any university departments or units impacted by the decision that participated in the Review Committee’s review, and the chair of the Standing Committee when the president submits the recommendation to the Board of Regents. The president shall inform the requestor, the honoree or designee, any university departments or units impacted by the decision that participated in the Review Committee’s review, and the chair of the Standing Committee of the decision of the Board of Regents.

As needed, the president will also inform university departments and units, the president's Advisory Committee on Naming University Property, and other stakeholders of the decision so that appropriate action may be taken.

5. Record Retention

Meetings of the Inquiry Committee and Review Committee may be attended only by their respective members and those that they invite to appear before them. The committees will provide updates on their progress via the Consideration of Removing Names from University Property webpage.

After the final decision, the chair of the Standing Committee shall forward the request, recommendations, and decision to Special Collections and University Archives. Special Collections and University Archives will preserve the materials, make them available for public access, and post them on the Library website.

6. Reconsideration

If an individual wishes for the university to reconsider a decision previously made through this process, the individual may file a request but must identify in the request significant new evidence not previously considered by the Review Committee. The Inquiry Committee will review the request to verify that the requestor has provided significant new evidence in addition to all other required information.

If the Inquiry Committee confirms the request contains significant new evidence and the other required information, the chair of the Standing Committee will submit the request to a Review Committee for review in accordance with the process set forth above. If the Inquiry Committee concludes the request does not contain significant new evidence and the other required information, then the Inquiry Committee will notify the requestor and provide the requestor an opportunity to supplement the request with new evidence or required information and establish a deadline to provide the supplemental information. If the requestor does not supplement the request by the stated deadline, then the request will not be further considered.

 

Revised: Nov. 25, 2020