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Naming and Symbols Task Force

At WKU, we have affirmed our commitment to do more to ensure we live in a world that is more fair, just and equitable for all. That commitment, however, requires us to also take the time to look inward. The symbols we select and the names we use as a university should communicate our values, honor individuals for exemplary service, and recognize philanthropic investment. In many ways, the names we carve into our buildings and attach to our academic units should define for members of our community the best of what we have been, what we are, and what we aspire to be.


The Naming and Symbols Task Force


In the fall of 2020, President Timothy C. Caboni established a task force, separate from WKU’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Work Group, to conduct a thorough examination of the history of WKU’s namings; explore options for how WKU might address those that might be problematic, and make recommendations for university leadership to consider.


Specifically, Naming and Symbols Task Force was tasked with the following:

  1. Solicit input and perspectives from a broad range of constituencies and stakeholders that will guide us as we examine the origins of the names and symbols used on campus.
  2. Audit the names used on buildings and other campus symbols to determine which may be connected to exclusion, segregation, racism or slavery.
  3. Create a set of guiding principles and a range of options for how we should address any issues raised.
  4. Provide to university leadership a set of recommendations.


Report of the Task ForceResponse from President Caboni


Naming and Symbols Task Force

  • Greg Arbuckle, Dean, Ogden College of Science & Engineering
  • Saundra Ardrey, Associate Professor, Political Science (Co-Chair)
  • Phillip Bale, Board of Regents 
  • Margaret Gripshover, Professor, Earth, Environmental, and Atmospheric Sciences (Co-Chair)
  • Quentin Hollis, Associate Professor, Psychology
  • Michelle Jones, Associate Professor, Mathematics
  • Isaac Keller, Student Government Association
  • David Lee, University Historian
  • Lawrence Snyder, Dean, Potter College of Arts & Letters
  • Aurelia Spaulding, Communications & Marketing Coordinator, Communications & Marketing


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 Last Modified 8/30/22