The University of Cincinnati is taking a number of initiatives that include the removal of a slave owner’s name from the College of Arts and Sciences.
On Tuesday, the board of trustees approved the recommendation to strip Charles McMicken from the McMicken College of Arts and Sciences.
The recommendations were made by the university-level working group that was formed earlier this year by the UC President Neville Pinto to examine the life and legacy of McMicken and the use of his name in affiliation with the university.
Over the last two years, the representative faculty and student bodies have been advocating for the removal of McMicken’s name fro the college.
McMicken, who was involved in slave-owning and trading had in his last will and testament called for, “establishing and maintaining…two Colleges for the education of white Boys and Girls.” The university was found in 1870 due to his bequest.
“So what happens to our Arts and Sciences alumni when that prized possession causes pain or resentment because it memorializes McMicken? Would you want a daily reminder of this on your wall? And how can our future possibly be brighter if members of our Bearcats family feel the need to hide that diploma because of McMicken and his desire to fortify exclusion at our institution?” President Pinto said in a statement to the campus community.
The working group has also called for the continuous use of his names and designations of physical structures and spaces such as McMicken Hall, McMicken Circle, McMicken Commons and ‘Mick and Mack’ statues and restaurant but with digital displays that more fully and fairly represent the histories associated with McMicken.
It also recommended creating “an established process that permits proposals for assessment of a tradition, practice or symbol for possible change to be considered in a respectful, deliberative and orderly fashion.”
In August, the University of Georgia announced an initiative to explore the early links of slavery with the institution from its founding in 1785 through the end of the Civil War in 1865.