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McRobbie recommends removal of former IU president Jordan’s name from Bloomington campus


Water flows between the rocks Thursday in the Jordan River. IU President Michael McRobbie will recommend that all campus landmarks named after David Starr Jordan be renamed Tuesday at the IU Board of Trustees meeting due to increased scrutiny over Jordan's history as a eugenicist. Colin Kulpa

IU President Michael McRobbie is recommending the removal of former IU President David Starr Jordan’s name from Jordan Hall, the Jordan Avenue parking garage and Bloomington’s Jordan River at the upcoming Board of Trustees meeting on Oct. 1 and 2, IU spokesperson Chuck Carney said.

McRobbie will recommend the buildings and river be given placeholder names until new names are selected. Jordan Hall would be temporarily renamed the Biology Building, the Jordan Avenue parking garage would be temporarily renamed the East parking garage and the Jordan River would be temporarily renamed the Campus River, Carney said.

Many people have objected to Jordan’s name on some of these buildings due to the former president’s involvement with eugenics, a movement encouraging the selective breeding of humans, Carney said. 

“It runs counter to the longstanding values and the core visions of IU,” Carney said.

There are no names actively under consideration, nor a timeline on when or if new names will be chosen, Carney said. 

McRobbie called for a committee to be formed in the summer and asked for a report on the renaming around Labor Day, allowing time for consideration in preparation for the IU Board of Trustees meeting.

“We need to have our facilities and the honorifics we bestow represent the values and the mission of IU,” Carney said.

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