University of Oregon President Michael Schill is recommending changing the name of Deady Hall. This after renewed calls from a member of the UO Board of Trustees last week to remove the name of a man who was known for his pro-slavery views.
Matthew Deady was a delegate to the Oregon Constitution and helped found the U of O. In a letter announcing his decision to rename the university’s oldest building, Schill also said he’d ask the Committee on Recognizing Our Diverse History to consider some statues and monuments on campus, including the Pioneer statue.
Schill in 2017 declined to change the name of Deady Hall despite calls to do so from the Black Student Task. That year, he did agree to remove the name of a KKK leader from a student residence hall.
Last week, UO Board of Trustees member Andrew Colas urged the board to consider removing the name Deady from the UO building. As the only Black member of the board, Colas said he couldn’t accept a campus building that bears the name of someone, “that would see me and believe that I am as good as a ‘horse, cattle or a piece of land. That wrecks me inside.” Citing quotes from Deady’s historic writings.
In a statement on the UO website, Schill said, “continued violence against black Americans by police, the disproportionate effects of COVID-19 on people of color and accelerating racial inequality “have pushed us over a tipping point” and prompted him to reconsider.”
Schill’s recommendation goes to the UO Board of Trustees which is holding a special meeting later this month. The date has not been announced yet.