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CSU Board of Trustees votes to remove Madden name from Fresno State library

At its July 13 meeting, the California State University Board of Trustees voted to remove Dr. Henry Madden from the library at Fresno State, following revelations last fall that Madden had deeply anti-Semitic views and Nazi sympathies.

Madden was the University’s librarian from 1949 to 1979. The CSU Board of Trustees voted to rename the library after Madden in 1980.

For now, the library will be referred to as the Fresno State Library or the Library. Efforts to remove Madden’s name from signage, websites and other locations on campus will begin as soon as possible.

“I tasked the task force with determining whether there was a development of thought that led Dr. Madden to shed the hateful views he held in his twenties and thirties,” Fresno State president Saul Jimenez-Sandoval said. “Since Dr. Madden personally curated the materials before handing them over to the library, he was fully aware of their contents and knowingly included the disturbing letters and documents in the collection. While Dr. Madden had occasion later in life to reflect on these views, there is no evidence that he renounced them. It is unfortunate that the undercurrents of his racist views remained palpable throughout his life. The naming of a building or any key area of ​​campus should align with our shared values ​​and reflect our shared spirit of discovery, diversity and distinction. “

A library naming task force will be established to review CSU’s naming policy to determine the course for library recognition. The CSU Board of Trustees will ultimately approve any name change, which may not happen for another year or more.

“The library offers quality information, access and services for learning, regardless of the name that hangs on our walls,” said Del Hornbuckle, dean of Library Services. “We look forward to moving forward, providing a welcoming space for intellectual inquiry in the heart of Fresno State’s campus.”

The action to remove the name followed a formal request to the board on May 18 by President Saúl Jiménez-Sandoval, following a five-month investigation by a task force that examined 53 boxes of material containing more than 100,000 letters and documents that Madden had donated to the University’s Special Collections in 1982.

A team of Fresno State researchers and scholars, assisted by 12 Fresno State history students, conducted an analysis of the content and materials. Madden personally edited the materials before handing them over to the library, and was fully aware of their contents and knowingly included the disturbing letters and documents in the collection.

In addition, the task force’s work included a community comment period where findings were detailed through two open forums. The task force issued it 74 page final report in May.

“As a member of the task force, I can assure our Fresno State community that the committee was thoughtful and inclusive and acted with the utmost integrity,” said Jerry H. Mann, a member of the task force who also serves as chairman of the Chair Jewish Leadership Council. “The dedication of our scholars, students and library staff who have contributed to this enormous undertaking deserve our thanks and appreciation for a job well done.”

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CSU Board of Trustees votes to remove Madden name from Fresno State library Source link CSU Board of Trustees votes to remove Madden name from Fresno State library

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