University Of Texas Proposes Name Change For Dorm Named After KKK Leader

07/09/2010 03:24 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

The University of Texas will seek to rename a dorm named for a former KKK leader.

The school's president, William Powers, accepted the name-change proposal for Simkins Hall from a 21-person advisory committee today.

The dorm was named for William Simkins, a UT law professor from 1899 to 1929 and Klan leader noted for boasting about his KKK past to students.

The Daily Texan has reports the statement explaining school's decision:

"The university's current naming policy addresses renaming in cases when the name compromises public trust and the university's reputation," said Dr. Gregory J. Vincent, vice president for diversity and engagement, who formed the advisory group at Powers' request. "In light of these guidelines, the advisory group strongly believes that renaming is the proper course of action. By his own admission, Simkins engaged in violent behavior against African Americans. These were actions taken outside of the law. Furthermore, Simkins wrote and spoke freely about these activities during his 30-year tenure at the university, promoting the Klan to students and others on campus."

(Read the school's full statement here.)

The university initially refused to consider renaming the dorm, saying it would cost "a great deal of money and time."

What do you think? Did the school make the right decision? Weigh in below.


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