UC Hastings College of the Law, California’s first law school, will be renamed after an in-depth review of the founder’s role in the mass killings and displacement of Yuki Indians in Northern California during the 1850s and 1860s. David Faigman, the school’s dean and chancellor, explained there was a “very disturbing and horrific story of Hastings promoting genocide to his own benefit.” A report delivered to the school’s board of directors two months ago included, “The effects of Serranus Hastings’ crimes against humanity echo in the conditions prevailing today for the descendants of his victims.”
While the board now supports a name change, legislation will be required as a final step. The name “UC Hastings” is codified in state law. While we won’t try to pretend we have any special insight into the California legislature, we are pretty certain at this time that the final step for the renaming will happen by the end of the current legislative session.