CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (WNCN) – The UNC-Chapel Hill Board of Trustees voted Wednesday morning to end its 16-year moratorium on the consideration of changing the names on buildings and places on campus.
Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz and Board of Trustees Chair Richard Stevens delivered remarks following the vote where they both applauded the move.
Stevens called the removal of the moratorium an important step of many.
“The Board was willing to step up and take this action and it was important to take it now,” Stevens said.
Guskiewicz echoed Stevens’ comments by thanking the board for taking action to lift the moratorium.
Stevens said there is an “involved process” for naming buildings on campus but no full process to rename buildings.
A draft is being worked on that will solidify that process and Stevens hoped to have it before trustees at their July meeting.
“We want to do it carefully, we want to it right and in a timely manner,” Stevens said.
When asked why this move was made now, Stevens said it’s was time to do it although he said it was “not a new item.”
He referenced the board changing the name of Saunders Hall to Carolina Hall at the same time the moratorium was put in place in 2015.
On May 28, 2015, the Board of Trustees voted on three resolutions – one being the moratorium that was slated to run through 2031.
The freeze stopped the renaming of historical buildings, monuments, memorials and landscapes on campus.
Another resolution was the renaming of Saunders Hall, which is named after William L. Saunders, a colonel in the Confederate Army, and later a leader of the KKK in North Carolina.
A third resolution was to create task forces to explore ideas how to display the history of the school.
The board did not discuss specific buildings on Wednesday but Guskiewicz said all names on campus would have to be in line with the University’s values and mission.
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