University will retain Weiser Hall name on building

The University of Michigan will retain the name of Weiser Hall, which was named in 2014 as part of a gift agreement to recognize extensive university support from Ronald and Eileen Weiser.

The decision by President Mark Schlissel came in response to a petition seeking to remove the name following Ronald Weiser’s comments earlier this year regarding elected officials. Weiser, an elected member of the U-M Board of Regents, also is chair of the Michigan Republican Party.

Schlissel, Provost Susan M. Collins, the deans of the Ann Arbor campus, and the Board of Regents all condemned Weiser’s comments at the time.

Schlissel said that after considering many factors — the university’s commitment to free speech, the contractual obligations of gift agreements and the university’s naming policy — that he would not recommend changing the name of Weiser Hall. The building is home to several interdisciplinary and international-focused units within LSA and is a center for active and engaged learning.

“Having considered these factors and weighed the difficult questions they raise, I have determined that I will not recommend to the regents that they violate the gift agreement and change the name of Weiser Hall,” Schlissel wrote. “I have opted to continue to build on the shared ground with Regent Weiser in support of core mission work of the university and will continue to assert university values when there is disagreement. 

“I appreciate that this decision may be disappointing, but I do believe it is the right one for the university.”

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