The Advisory Committee on Renaming Jordan Hall and Removing the Statue of Louis Agassiz (the “Committee”) was charged with reviewing two related requests to rename Jordan Hall, one from the Department of Psychology and one from the Eugenics at Stanford History Project. The request from the Department of Psychology also includes a request to remove the statue of Louis Agassiz on the front façade of the building. The Committee was charged with applying the Principles and Procedures for Renaming Buildings and Other Features at Stanford University approved in 2018 (“Principles”) to evaluate the requests to rename Jordan Hall. It was also charged with developing an approach as to how the Principles could be applied to the request to remove the statue of Louis Agassiz.
The Committee met weekly from July 17 through September 11, 2020. It engaged in extensive research. In order to make its own independent assessment of the strength and clarity of historical evidence, the Committee reviewed relevant historical material and verified information by consulting primary materials. It focused principally and substantially on Jordan’s own writings, examining both published and unpublished materials.
The Committee solicited extensive feedback in order to inform its deliberations and recommendations. It hosted a Zoom open town hall on August 10, advertised to all members of the Stanford community as well as surrounding localities, which 206 people attended and at which over 20 people spoke. It hosted a separate town hall that alumni were encouraged to attend, and engaged in specific outreach to those who had majored in Biology and Psychology, the principal departments that have occupied Jordan Hall within the past century. The alumni-focused town hall had 100 attendees and 18 speakers. The Committee additionally met with groups of Psychology faculty members, faculty members from Biology, and others working in genetics and bioethics. It also consulted with several historians working at Stanford on related subjects.
The Committee sought and considered written comments from the community. It received 52 comments from the Psychology Diversity Committee and collected over 200 comments through the firstname.lastname@example.org e-mail address.
The Committee produced two reports, one regarding Jordan Hall and related campus features, and one regarding the statue of Louis Agassiz. The reports have been submitted to President Marc Tessier-Lavigne, who may approve them or ask for additional information, outreach, or analysis. The President will take the final approved recommendations to the Board of Trustees for approval.