University spent $23,000 to determine fate of Deady and Dunn Halls

The University of Oregon spent $23,397.29 commissioning the historical report on Frederic Dunn and Matthew Deady, documents show.

Three historians worked on the 34-page report released last August. The team of historians included David Alan Johnson, professor of history at Portland State University; Quintard Taylor, professor of history at University of Washington; and Marsha Weisiger, associate professor of history at UO. The university paid the historians $7,500 each for their work.

Yale and Georgetown are other notable universities that have changed building names in recent years. The Emerald attempted to obtain records showing the actual cost of renaming those buildings but employees at Yale said that the school had no such records to share. Georgetown did not return emails pertaining to similar records.  

In addition to the fixed fee of $7,500, the historians would be reimbursed for travel to and from UO, materials for research, along with meals and lodging expenses up to $2,500. Weisiger was the only historian who was reimbursed for any travel, documents show. Last July she went to Portland to meet with the other researchers and conduct research at the Oregon Historical Society.

UO President Michael Schill announced that a panel would be assembled to determine whether Deady and Dunn Halls should be renamed in 2016. Gregg Stripp, senior adviser and chief of staff in the president’s office told the historians they had been selected as the panel via email on June 29, 2016. In that email, Stripp set a deadline of Aug. 5 for their work to be completed.

With the bulk of the work and cost out of the way, UO is now tasked with the on-the-ground work of converting Dunn Hall to Unthank Hall.

While the sign on the building now reads Unthank Hall, digital and physical versions of campus maps must be updated as well. Ken Kato, the director of Campus Geographic Information Services (GIS) and Mapping Program says the digital maps change in seconds, while updating the physical maps take longer. Kato said there were already plans to update campus maps before the Board’s decision to rename the building.

We were planning to update them this summer regardless of the name changes,” Kato said. “If we weren’t doing the full map updates this summer, we would create an adhesive overlay that covers a building with the changed name.”

He noted that it would cost a couple hundred dollars for Campus Planning and Facilities Management to print, install and update the maps, but this would not be billed to the university. According to Philip Carroll, a landscape supervisor at the university, the costs to install the new maps are not exorbitant.

“It’s not a $5,000 project but it’s not a $100 project either,” Carroll said. “I would say that installing the new maps should cost anywhere between $300-$600.”

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Max Thornberry

Max Thornberry

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