University of Texas

Breaking this morning, there’s been a shooting at the Perry-Castaneda Library on the University of Texas – Austin campus. The Houston Chronicle reports:

A man opened fire with an automatic weapon on the sixth floor of the Perry-Castaneda Library early Tuesday, UT police spokeswoman Rhonda Weldon said.

“He subsequently shot himself. He is deceased,” she said, adding that no one else was injured.

Police and university officials urged students to stay indoors.

“A suspected shooter in PCL library is dead. Police are searching for possible second shooter. Lock doors, do not leave your building,” the alert said.

Based on reports we’ve received from students at the UT Law School, the potential second shooter might still be at large…

WE HAVE POSTED VARIOUS UPDATES BELOW.

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The University of Texas Board of Regents has agreed to rename Simkins Hall. Simkins Hall was named for a former UT Law professor and Ku Klux Klan leader.

The Board of Regents voted unanimously to change the name. The Houston Chronicle reports:

“There has never been any doubt in my mind about what direction they were going to go,” said regent Printice L. Gary of Dallas, the only African-American to serve on the board.

The new names will be Creekside Residence Hall and Creekside Park.

The hero of this story is former UT law professor Thomas Russell. It was his paper that forced UT to confront its past….

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A couple of months ago, we brought you the story of Simkins Residence Hall at the University of Texas. The dorm is named in honor of a former UT law professor — a professor who was a Ku Klux Klan leader and organizer. University officials claim they only became aware of Simkins’s KKK past when former UT law professor Tom Russell did some research.

After months of debate, a 21-member advisory group has recommended that UT change the name of the dorm. The proposal will now go up to UT’s Board of Regents. CNN reports:

Gregory Vincent, the university’s vice president of diversity and community engagement, told CNN affiliate KXAN that naming a public building after a self-proclaimed racist compromised the university’s image.

“We’re certainly not erasing Professor Simkins from the annals of UT history,” said Vincent. “All we are saying is that honorific is a very special designation and it should not harm the university’s reputation.”

Sorry Klansmen and Klan sympathizers, Texas needs y’all to be a little less prominent…

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