Suzanne Mubarak Conference Hall renamed
As of April 17th, the University will suspend the use of the name of the Suzanne Mubarak Conference Hall. It will be known as Waleed Building P071. In the fall, we will organize a conference on the question of “Public Names, History and Memory in Political Transitions,” to which we will invite scholars and activists to reflect with us on the meaning of names, and name changes, in contexts like post-apartheid South Africa, post-Communist Eastern Europe, and post-dictatorship South America. In doing so, we intend to honor both the sentiment of our community today and our enduring mission as an institution of reflection, debate and learning.
At that time, we will make a final decision about this named hall, and about the policies that will govern names that are, or may be, associated with University buildings, scholarships, professorships, or other programs. In the meantime, I appreciate the patience and persistence of those who have been seized with this question, and I hope they will join us as we plan the fall conference. Anyone who is interested in doing so should feel free to contact Dina Abulfotuh, director of special initiatives in the Office of the President.
The process I outlined in an earlier message to review complaints against members of the administration is now underway. We have received two formal complaints, and we are in the process of constituting the panel to review these complaints. We hope they will be able to complete their work within a month, allowing us to release the results of their deliberations before the end of the academic year. In the meantime, both the specifics of the complaints (including the identities of both the subjects and authors of the complaints) as well as the composition of the committees will remain confidential. This should reassure the accused that unfounded complaints will not be circulated, the accusers that there will be no room for retaliation and the panelists that they will be able to conduct this process on our behalf undisturbed.
We are also beginning to work on the design of the permanent Ombuds Office that will replace these panels as the “one-stop shop” for resolving complaints, grievances and conflicts arising in classrooms, workplaces, or other environments on campus. We welcome participation in this process as well and once again anyone interested in working with us on this project should feel free to contact Dina Abulfotuh.