UT Asks 19 People to Make "No-Brainer" Decision

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    NEWSLETTERS

    This sounds like an Aggie joke. How many people does it take to recommend that a dormitory named after a former professor, who was also a Ku Klux Klan member, be renamed?

    Give up?  The answer is 19.  And it's the University of Texas that needs that many people to make the decision, not Texas A&M. 

    UT's Simkins Residence Hall, opened in 1955, was named for William Stewart Simkins. He taught at UT's Law School for 30 years until his death in 1929. He was a leader of the Klan in Florida after the Civil War.

    UT has appointed a 19-member advisory group of faculty members, students, staff members, alumni and civic leaders to mull over a decision that really seems like a no-brainer.

    Leslie Blair, a university spokeswoman, tells the Austin American-Statesman that the panel will probably meet four times, with the first meeting Thursday. She says the meetings will be closed to the public.

    The panel will make a recommendation to UT President William Powers Jr. at the end of the month.