The Department strongly supports renaming the building. Individual members of the department have sent the following letter to the President and the Regents:
Dr. Mark. S. Schlissel
Office of the President
University of Michigan
March 27, 2018
Dear President Schlissel,
With the upcoming Board of Regents vote on Thursday, we would like to express our collective support for renaming the C. C. Little Building. Many of us signed the petition as individuals last Fall; the importance of this issue now compels us to act as a unit to lend our collective voice to this cause. We encourage you and the Board of Regents to rename the C.C. Little Building as soon as possible.
We understand that the building received its name as part of an effort to honor all former University of Michigan presidents. We do not find this a compelling rationale for naming a building, nor do we think that Clarence C. Little was deserving of this honor.
We cringe that the building in which we work and teach is named for an active and vocal eugenicist. As scientists, we are also disgusted by Little’s other dangerous legacy, as a representative of the tobacco industry, in cultivating doubt in the causal links between cigarette smoking and cancer.
Both of these issues are incredibly relevant today.
The University of Michigan supports a diversity of voices, backgrounds and cultures. It supports science and public policies based on evidence. It must take continued and meaningful action to demonstrate its support of these principles. Renaming the C.C. Little Building is an easy and meaningful way to do this.
When the building was renamed in 1968 to bear C.C. Little’s name, our predecessors in the Geology Department opposed it. C. C. Little’s legacy was not worth recognizing in 1968 and is still toxic today.
As occupants of the building, we carry an additional burden by our association with its name. A name that we print on our letterhead, send through our correspondence, and project on our website and social media. We do not want our identity to be defined any longer by the repugnant actions and beliefs of our building’s namesake. It is time for a change.
We put our full support behind re-naming the C.C. Little Building.
Individual members of the faculty, students and staff
Department of Earth & Environmental Sciences
University of Michigan