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FSU President Thrasher: Francis W. Eppes statue will be immediately placed off campus

FSU President announces decision on Eppes statue, Roberts building.jpg
Posted at 11:09 AM, Jul 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-23 11:14:10-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — FSU President John Thrasher says the Francis W. Eppes statue will be removed from campus as the President’s Task Force on Anti-Racism, Equity & Inclusion makes final recommendations on the names of certain buildings on campus, including Doak S. Campbell Stadium.

Thursday, Thrasher announced that he appointed 30 members of the university community to serve on that task force.

"I am grateful to each of these individuals for agreeing to contribute their time and attention to these topics during this crucial time in the nation’s and university’s history, and I’m confident they will help the university address racial and ethnic disparities on campus and accelerate our goal to strengthen FSU’s diversity," Thrasher wrote in a letter sent to all students, faculty and staff.

The task force will be led by a three-person executive committee chaired by Professor of English Maxine Montgomery.

As part of the announcement, Thrasher also said that the Francis W. Eppes statue will be immediately placed off campus.

The panel members will make final recommendations on specific symbols and names of buildings on campus, including the Eppes statue, Eppes Hall and Doak S. Campbell Stadium. They are tasked with examining how to best reflect FSU’s values in relation to its historical connections to race and ethnicity.

The group has also been asked to identify racial and ethnic disparities on campus and to implement a range of initiatives, like developing mandatory diversity and inclusivity training for all campus employees and students.

"We have a long history of addressing difficult racism and inclusion issues on this campus, and we know there is still much work to do," Thrasher wrote. "As the nation faces great unrest and an urgent call for change, we, as a university, will continue to listen, learn and evolve."

The task force members will produce bimonthly progress reports on actionable issues, as well as a final report at the end of the 2020-2021 academic year, Thrasher said.

The university will announce the group’s first organizational session in mid-August.

"I’m looking forward to hearing input from the task force on a range of important items connected to racial inequity. This task force will be results-driven, and I know the work they do now — with the full support of the administration — will result in a stronger future for Florida State University," Thrasher wrote.