Taxpayers in the state of Oregon will be pleased to know that over $23,000 of the public university’s funds were earmarked to purchase research at the University of Oregon to determine whether certain buildings on campus need to be renamed because their current names recall racist histories.
The whole kerfuffle began when the UO Black Student Task Force ordered administrators to rename buildings named after Frederick Dunn and Matthew Deady. Last fall, President Michael Schill decided to keep the Deady building’s name in place while instituting a process to rename Dunn Hall that is still underway.
Deady, who was a founding father of the University of Oregon as well as the state at large, was a one-time leader of the Ku Klux Klan. Dunn received a degree from the University of Oregon and taught classical studies in addition to serving as a Ku Klux Klan leader.
Schill was only able to make the decision after spending a whopping $22,500 to pay three researchers to compile a 34-page report, forking out $7,500 to each of them to reimburse them for their labor. Roughly $900 also went to cover one of the historian’s travel expenses.
“The report was one of several inputs the president considered in his deliberations, but he was very appreciative approach taken by the historians,” said campus spokesman Tobin Klinger.
Klinger also claimed that the cost of the report was covered by the University of Oregon Foundation, which uses private donor dollars to cover general purposes.
“They are used at the discretion of the president for a variety of purposes for the advancement of the organization,” he said.