Leaders at the University of Texas at Austin decided to keep the name of its advertising school, despite calls by students and faculty to change it after the school’s namesake made racially insensitive comments last year, the Texas Tribune reported.
The Stan Richards School of Advertising & Public Relations is named after the well-known advertising executive who called a Motel 6 marketing campaign “too Black” for “white supremacist constituents.” Richards made the comment in an October 2020 Zoom meeting.
Jay Bernhardt, dean of the Moody College of Communication, explained the decision in an email to the campus Monday.
“While we strongly denounce Richards’ remarks, we also acknowledge his remorse and his condemnation of racism and bigotry in all its forms,” Bernhardt said. “When considering Richards’ offensive comments and subsequent apology on balance with his many significant contributions to the field and the College, we have decided that his name will remain on the School.”
The college initially hired two outside experts to determine how to respond.
Bernhardt said the advertising school will rename some projects, including its “Stan Talks” video series, and will work to increase the number of underrepresented students at the advertising school, among other measures focused on diversity.