Paul L. Caron
Dean



Thursday, July 9, 2020

UNH Law School Faculty Votes To Drop Franklin Pierce Name

Following up on my previous post, UNH Franklin Pierce Law School May Drop Name Of 14th U.S. President (1853-57) Because He Did Not End Slavery:  Concord Monitor, Law Faculty Vote For Removal of Pierce Name:

UNH FP (2020)The faculty of the University of New Hampshire Franklin Pierce School of Law have voted to support the removal of “Franklin Pierce” from the law school’s name.

This comes less than a month after UNH announced it would evaluate the name, in light of concerns raised by students about racism at the school and Franklin Pierce’s ties to slavery.

On Monday, faculty members released a statement saying President Pierce’s reputation as a pro-slavery Northerner was counter to the school’s commitment to racial justice.

“While he may have been a product of his time, he is not a historical figure worthy of the honor of having New Hampshire’s only law school, part of the state’s flagship public university, named after him,” the statement reads.

Not all faculty are in agreement. Dean Megan Carpenter says that of 25 full-time law school faculty, twelve supported the resolution, six voted against it, one abstained, and six didn’t vote.

“This is a great example where we see reasonable, well-intentioned reasonable people with very different opinions on the matter,” Carpenter told NHPR.

Prior TaxProf Blog coverage:

https://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/2020/07/unh-law-school-faculty-votes-to-drop-franklin-pierce-name.html

Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Comments

“It is easy to show that everything we think to be wrong has at one time or another thought to be right by whole communities.”. Thomas Nixon Carter, “Essays in Social Justice”, 1915.

Posted by: William | Jul 9, 2020 6:37:04 AM

Honestly I live one state over and I thought they dropped the Franklin Pierce name when UNH absorbed or bought them or whatever the mechanism was.

It's funny how when the famous Massachusetts prep school Governor Dummer Academy (often called GDA) changed its name to Governor's Academy because - and this is real - people would sometimes snicker at that name which kinda sorta sounds like "dumb" if someone mumbles it - no one complained that this was erasing Governor William Dummer from history.

Posted by: Unemployed Northeastern | Jul 9, 2020 6:53:55 PM

No one wants to be associated with a terrible ex-President, which is why everything named after Trump will be renamed come next year.

Posted by: Justin | Jul 10, 2020 11:50:52 AM

@Justin: You seem to be implying that Trump won't be in office come January 2021. You may be mightily disappointed to realize otherwise this November.

Posted by: Justin | Jul 14, 2020 8:54:50 PM

@2nd Justin,

You likewise may be mightily disappointed to see weeks' worth of polling data showing Biden and Trump tied in TEXAS, and Trump several points behind in every. single. battleground. state.

But I'm sure his strategy of [checks notes] ignoring a pandemic and letting tens of thousands more needlessly die while tens of millions lose their jobs and their homes between now and Election Day will keep him in office. Yup.

Posted by: Unemployed Northeastern | Jul 15, 2020 8:10:23 AM

UHT: "Ignoring a pandemic and letting tens of thousands more needlessly die..."

That actually sounds exactly like President Obama in 2010, during the swine flu pandemic. They stopped testing, and 19,000 people died, including 1,500+ children.

As someone who has been negatively impacted by my business being shuttered, I actually blame the politicians who literally caused unemployment in my community, by force and by choice: My mayor and my governor.

Posted by: MM | Jul 17, 2020 9:13:43 PM

MM,

Oh look! Obama deflection. If only Obama were still in office, amirite? But Trump is the president and that position actually entails responsibility. If he doesn't want it, he shouldn't run again. I'm old enough to remember when sextuple-bankrupt game show host Donald Trump tweeted that Obama should be forced to hug every American who got Ebola. You can look that up for yourself; I assure you he wrote it. Well, what's good for the goose is good for the gander.

Posted by: Unemployed Northeastern | Jul 18, 2020 11:48:52 AM