About the Committee
Commissioned by Chancellor Gene Block in September 2020, UCLA’s Campus Honorary Naming Advisory Committee was tasked with considering how honorifically named buildings and other major physical spaces on the UCLA campus can better reflect both the diversity and the values of our institution.
Among the committee’s main tasks was to conduct a review of buildings and other physical spaces with generic names on the campus and to make recommendations on principles and criteria for how certain such spaces might be named or renamed after deserving individuals and groups from UCLA’s history. The committee also recommended a process by which the UCLA community can consider whether to remove the names of buildings and other physical spaces whose namesakes left complicated legacies that may not align with our values and principles.
The committee issued its final report (PDF) in June 2022. The report was informed by input from seven community hearing sessions hosted throughout 2021 listed below, rigorous research of best practices at other institutions, an inventory analysis of our own campus buildings and spaces, a 30-day public review and feedback period and a virtual campus forum held on May 24, 2022 to present highlights of the report and collect feedback.
2020-22 Committee Membership
Mary Osako (Chair), Vice Chancellor, Strategic Communications
Jessica Alexander, President, Staff Assembly (2020-21)
Peter Angelis, Assistant Vice Chancellor, Housing and Hospitality
Stephen Aron, Professor of History (2020-21)
Jessica Cattelino, Chair, Academic Senate; Professor of Anthropology
Ana Esquivel, President-elect, Staff Assembly (2021-22)
Mishuana Goeman (Tonawanda Band of Seneca), Professor of Gender Studies and American Indian Studies Interdepartmental Program; Special Advisor to the Chancellor on Native American and Indigenous Affairs
Carole Goldberg, Jonathan D. Varat Distinguished Professor of Law Emerita
Peter Hendrickson, Associate Vice Chancellor, Design and Construction
Musibau Francis Jimoh, President, Graduate Students Association (2021-22)
Joy Kruger, President, Staff Assembly (2021-22)
Vickie Mays, Professor of Psychology and Health Services; Special Advisor to the Chancellor on Black Life
Alicia Miñana de Lovelace, UCLA Foundation Board Member
David Myers, Professor and Sady and Ludwig Kahn Chair in Jewish History; Director of the UCLA Luskin Center for History and Policy
Johnathan Perkins, Special Assistant to the VC Equity, Diversity and Inclusion
Naomi Riley, President, Undergraduate Students Association Council (2020-21)
Jean Paul Santos, President, Graduate Students Association (2020-21)
D’Artagnan Scorza, President, UCLA Alumni Association
Eileen Strempel, Inaugural Dean, Herb Alpert School of Music
Rhea Turteltaub, Vice Chancellor, External Affairs
Abel Valenzuela Jr., Professor of Chicana/o and Central American Studies, Urban Planning, and Labor Studies; Director of UCLA’s Institute for Research on Labor and Employment
Breeze Velazquez, President, Undergraduate Students Association Council (2021-22)
David Yoo, Vice Provost, Institute of American Cultures; Professor of Asian American Studies and History
Anne Marie Burke, Executive Director, Strategic Communications, UCLA School of the Arts and Architecture (Subcommittee on Memorialization)
Amy Landau, Director of Education and Interpretation, Fowler Museum (Subcommittee on Memorialization)
Taleen Ananian, Associate Director, Internal Communications, UCLA Strategic Communications (Staff)
Robert Cox, Senior Project Manager, UCLA Strategic Communications (Staff)
Michael Dirda, Director of Executive and Internal Communications, UCLA Strategic Communications (Staff)
Pamela Liu, Senior Project Manager, UCLA Strategic Communications (Staff)
Shilo Munk, Chief of Staff, UCLA Strategic Communications (Staff)
Susan White, Associate Director, Special Events and Protocol, UCLA Strategic Communications (Staff)
Development of Criteria and Processes
In its charge to develop criteria and processes to guide when and how honorific names are given to and removed from campus buildings and spaces, the committee viewed meaningful engagement with the UCLA community as essential to this work. It created a set of discussion questions to encourage campus input in 2021. Feedback was encouraged via email or during one of the committee’s community hearing sessions listed below.
Community Hearing Sessions:
Throughout spring and early fall of 2021, the Campus Honorary Naming Advisory Committee worked with different campus constituencies to host hearing sessions related to building and space naming and unnaming at UCLA. Feedback gleaned from these discussions was used to develop the criteria and processes to govern naming decisions. We invited members of the community to join us for these sessions.
Below are brief summaries of the 2021 hearing sessions and topics of discussion that were covered:
Wednesday, April 28, 2021
Undergraduate Students Association Council (USAC)
Graduate Students Association (GSA)
- This meeting began with a review of existing campus naming policies, which decisions are made at the UC system level and which are made at the campus level, and the committee’s charge. The discussion touched upon the holistic review process the university uses to make decisions about naming buildings after major donors, a process that is separate from honorific naming. The conversation also focused on students’ expectations of the naming committee and the symbolic power of naming buildings and spaces after those historically underrepresented in higher education. The committee agreed to provide additional avenues for student feedback on this topic.
Monday, May 17, 2021
- This meeting began with a review of existing campus naming policies, which decisions are made at the UC system level and which are made at the campus level, and the committee’s charge. Discussion then focused on costs and other logistical hurdles to changing a name, as well as on the separate process for determining building names connected to a philanthropic gift. The meeting addressed a need to have an equitable process to give weight to student, staff, faculty, and alumni voices when making a decision to change a name. Conversation also addressed naming issues at other universities, including Yale and Harvard.
Wednesday, May 19, 2021
Student Organization Focus
- This discussion focused on the symbolic power of building and space names, and how they enhance or harm the ability to build an inclusive community. Students shared the value of using names to increase recognition and awareness of marginalized groups, and expressed a particular desire to name buildings or spaces after the region’s Native groups to honor them as the original caretakers of the land UCLA’s campus sits on. The group mentioned the importance of acknowledging the history and previous name of a building or space even once its name is changed. Discussion mentioned the need to conduct a vetting process even when new names are put in place.
Wednesday, June 16, 2021
- This discussion, between naming committee chair and Vice Chancellor for Strategic Communications Mary Osako and naming committee member and UCLA Alumni Association President D’Artagnan Scorza, focused on the committee’s work to this point. Chair Osako’s also shared an overview and her perspectives on building and space name issues.
Wednesday, October 6, 2021
Interested Campus and Community Groups
- This discussion touched upon the need for representation from different communities (specifically retirees, people with disabilities, and LGTBQ+ people) in discussions of naming issues. Several speakers advocated for naming campus buildings after alumni Winston Doby and Tim Ngubeni. Other recommendations related to specific building namings included renaming Campbell Hall after “Bunchy” Carter and John Huggins, renaming Janss Steps to Tongva Steps, and naming campus buildings or spaces after those who helped establish the southern branch of the California State Normal School (the precursor to UCLA). Other comments addressed whether UCLA should name buildings after deserving individuals even if they did not have direct connections to UCLA and whether the campus should conduct regular reviews of campus names to see if they meet the current needs of the campus (whether or not their namesakes committed transgressions). The naming committee co-chair noted that the committee hopes to share draft principles and processes for namings early in 2022.
Thursday, October 7, 2021
- This session began with a discussion of a particular philanthropically named building, and committee members drew a distinction between donor-named buildings and the naming committee’s focus on honorific named buildings. Committee members discussed our survey of campus buildings to determine potential naming opportunities. The session’s participants examined whether generic names (“The Student Activities Center”) are better for campus buildings and spaces in that they are unlikely to offend any community — though they are also unlikely to inspire. The committee and participants discussed policy questions such as whether buildings could be named for multiple people, whether building names existed for the life of the building, and whether buildings could be named for those who served UCLA in ways other than in a strict academic or administrative capacity.
Monday, October 11, 2021
Academic Senate Leadership
- The final hearing session focused on whether the recommendations that will emerge from the naming committee will constitute guidelines or strict policy that the university must follow, the distinction between when buildings are designated for philanthropic naming versus honorific naming, and the role that the faculty will play in future naming decisions. Conversation also focused on the history of naming issues on campus and how building and space naming decisions differ from endowed chair decisions. The discussion also touched the possibility of regularly sunsetting building or space names after a certain time period has passed.