Faculty at Washington and Lee University voted to drop Robert E. Lee’s name from the school. Three tenured African-American faculty members voted to drop both Lee’s and Washington’s names from the school.
Economics professor Jim Casey explained the rationale behind the faculty’s vote, “We feel like we’re going to end up on the wrong side of this as an institution and that it will harm us.” While we don’t want to imply this is an easy decision to undertake, we certainly don’t believe a decision of this magnitude should be made on the basis of bandwagon emotions.
Name changes are certainly in season right now. In fact, we just posted about the faculty vote to drop Frankin Pierce’s name from the law school at University of New Hampshire. Additionally, we blogged about Princeton’s decision to remove Woodrow Wilson’s name from its campus last month.