Stop the Name Change of SAAHP
Stop the Name Change of SAAHP
Why this petition matters
The faculty, staff, and students of the School of Art Architecture and Historic Preservation, petition to stop the name change of the school from the “School of Art Architecture and Historic Preservation” (SAAHP) to the “Cummings School of Architecture and Real Estate”. We the students, faculty, and staff of this prestigious school petition to stop this change, be given a vote and our voices be heard.
This change was brought on by the generous $20 million donated by the Cummings Foundation, a foundation founded by the Cummings family, who are in the real estate profession. The donation accompanies the new real estate certification that will be offered.
While appreciative of the donation, the students, faculty, and staff are opposed to the name change announced by RWU President Yannis. The decision was decided and announced without prior mention or consultation with faculty, staff, and students. While we are grateful for the donation, the new name does not represent the mission of the school. The name adds “real estate” a business profession critiqued by architects. As students, we have been taught the importance of affordable housing, sustainable development, urban planning, and preservation. The words “real estate” do not represent these important topics, principles, and the mission of our school.
Taking out, “Art and Historic Preservation” discredits the Historical Preservation and Art History core concentrations, minors, and majors, not to mention the dedicated staff who teach these courses. This is the name our school, our home, was founded on. As members of SAAHP, we do not take this decision lightly.
The donation should not determine the representation of our school. The $20 million, with endowments, translates to roughly $1 million a year, with the possibility that the money will be dispersed to different departments. The students of SAAHP should have a say in this matter, accounting for $15+ million of revenue a year for the school.
This is our name, our school, our reputation. This is our home. We are SAAHP.
Some words from the students of The School of Art Architecture and Historic Preservation:
“We [the money of the students] are worth more than $1 million a year.” - Anonymous
“The Tuft’s Veterinary School is named after the Cummings and they don’t have real estate.” - Anonymous
“I thought about coming back here and teaching, but if that’s the name, I’d rather go somewhere else” - Anonymous
“‘Real Estate’ belongs in the Business School.” - Anonymous
“It is undermining to put our profession that takes 6 years to master with a profession that takes a certification.” - Anonymous
“Real Estate is about money, just like this decision is, it is not what we stand for, it is not what our students stand for.” - Anonymous
“If this was the name [The Cummings School of Architecture and Real Estate] when I was looking at colleges, I wouldn’t have applied.” - Anonymous