The Board of Trustees approved the removal of the Gish Film Theater’s name, promotions for 53 faculty members and other resolutions in its final meeting of the school year.
The Gish’s name has been a controversial issue during this semester, with students describing the name as supportive of political views expressed in “The Birth of a Nation.” Lillian Gish, whom the theater was named after, starred in that film.
The film is said to have brought around the revival of the Ku Klux Klan.
A task force was created in February to assess the conflict with the Gish Film Theater name.
“On April 17, 2019, the task force issued it’s finding referencing BGSU policy on naming and creating an inclusive learning environment. The task force recommended the removal of the Gish Film Theater,” President Rodney Rogers reported.
In a unanimous vote, the Board of Trustees voted to approve the removal of the Lillian and Dorothy Gish Film Theater title from the screening room in the Bowen-Thompson Student Union. However, the resolution stated that “other honors bestowed on Lillian Gish by BGSU, including an honorary degree, a scholarship in her name and the archival collections, should remain unchanged.”
The Board of Trustees also approved promotion and tenure statuses for 53 faculty members, both at Main Campus and at Firelands Campus. All faculty members receiving a promotion or tenure status were recognized by the deans of their colleges.
“The commitment you all show to teaching and to Bowling Green is commendable,” trustee Marilyn Eisele said regarding the faculty members receiving promotions.
The Board of Trustees also said goodbye to two of its current trustees, Steve Daley and Kyle Johnson.
Daley had served nine years on the board. Many trustees thanked Daley for his enthusiasm, dedication to BGSU and willingness to work with others to make the best choices for BGSU in their final comments.
Johnson had served on the board for two years as the Undergraduate Student Trustee. In final comments, many of the trustees spoke of Johnson’s bright future and expressed hope they would stay in touch with him and see him on BGSU’s campus in the future.
The Board of Trustees also approved several other resolutions during the event.
Rogers, each committee head within the Board of Trustees and leaders of other constituent groups at BGSU gave year-ending reports throughout the meeting.
The next Board of Trustees meeting will take place on June 27 at 1:30 p.m. in Room 308 of the Bowen-Thompson Student Union.