Meek School faculty, university administration set stage for journalism school’s name change

Posted on Sep 21 2018 - 5:48pm by Blake Alsup and Taylor Vance

Meek School of Journalism and New Media faculty met Friday at noon to discuss how to move forward after Ed Meek’s Facebook post received widespread criticism and national attention.

Although no official confirmation has been released, an early draft of a faculty statement acquired by The Daily Mississippian shows that faculty plan to ask Meek to request his name be removed from the School of Journalism and New Media within three days.

Shortly after this meeting, Ole Miss Chancellor Jeffrey Vitter released a statement outlining the process for changing the name of a building on campus.

The letter states the proposal to change the name must be approved by the faculty of the School of Journalism and New Media, the Undergraduate and Graduate Councils and the Council of Academic Administrators.

If those academic organizations approve of the name change, Vitter would then make a recommendation to Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning for a final vote.

“This process is, by design, thoughtful and intentional,” the statement reads. “It is open to input from students, faculty, staff, and alumni, and it meets all accreditation requirements for changing organizational units on campus, including a unit’s name. We will follow this approach to consider any name change.”

Sophomore Seyna Clark directly addresses Chancellor Vitter during the open forum on Thursday night at Nutt Auditorium. (Photo by: Devna Bose)

The Associated Student Body and Black Student Union released a joint statement Friday morning saying the two groups are working together to ensure all student concerns are heard.

“As student leaders at the University of Mississippi we recognize that, along with university administration, together we are responsible for making sure that Ed Meek’s comments are being addressed and solved effectively,” the statement said.

ASB president Elam Miller and BSU president Jarvis Benson both signed the statement which demands the University Senior Leadership Group, which hosted a forum Thursday night, release a timeline of next steps to the entire student body addressing Ed Meek’s “racist and sexist comments.”

In addition, the statement also demands the student body be represented in key meetings and conversations about the matter and calls for transparency and weekly reports from the Senior Leadership Group to the student body throughout the process.

A petition calling for Meek’s name to be removed has received more than 2,500 signatures as of Friday afternoon.

Farley Hall. Photo by Semaj Jordan