'Howe' Now: UVM Drops 'Bailey' From Library Name Over Eugenics Ties | Off Message

'Howe' Now: UVM Drops 'Bailey' From Library Name Over Eugenics Ties


  • Courtesy Of University Of Vermont
  • Guy Bailey
University of Vermont trustees voted Friday to remove former UVM president Guy Bailey's name from the Bailey/Howe Library because of his ties to the Vermont eugenics movement of the 1920s and 1930s.

The new name will be the David W. Howe Memorial Library. Howe was a UVM alumnus and a publisher of the Burlington Free Press who died in 1969. A dedication plaque in the library says that Howe's "lifelong interest in the progress of his newspaper, community, state and university helped stimulate others to greater achievements."

The decision is subject to another vote Saturday by trustees, and is expected to pass.

University President Tom Sullivan praised the move, which was recommended by a campus Renaming Advisory Committee.

"The committee’s report is clear and well-reasoned," Sullivan explained in a statement Friday. "It is a testament to the fair and deliberative process we have implemented to consider proposals to remove names from UVM facilities. I fully support the committee's recommendation to remove the Bailey name from the library.”

Students protesting for racial justice pushed to strip Bailey's name from the building last winter as part of a host of demands.

The Vermont Eugenics Survey ran from 1925 to 1936. It was founded and directed by UVM professor Henry Perkins, with fundraising and encouragement from Bailey when he was president.

"We reached our recommendation based primarily on the fact that Bailey’s active involvement as president of the University in supporting and promoting the Eugenics Survey of Vermont is fundamentally at odds with the University’s mission," trustee and Renaming Committee chair Ron Lumbra said in a statement. "We also considered Bailey’s mismanagement of University financial resources.”