The Task Force on Historical Representation of Statuary at UT Austin presented its final report to President Greg Fenves on August 10. The task force presented five options for consideration.
The report presents five options for Fenves’ consideration. Four of the options include relocating one or more of the statues and an inscription west of the Littlefield Fountain to the university’s Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, the Blanton Museum, the Texas Memorial Museum, the Harry Ransom Center, the Littlefield home, or an exhibit elsewhere on campus. The inscription pays tribute to the Confederacy and Southern patriotism, which swept the South during the early 1900s.
- Option 1: Leave all statues in place and add explanatory plaques that would enhance the educational value of the statues and provide historical context.
- Option 2: Relocate the statue of Jefferson Davis and the inscription near the Littlefield Fountain to an exhibit elsewhere on campus.
- Option 3: Relocate the statues of Davis, Robert E. Lee, Albert Sidney Johnston and John Reagan and the inscription near the Littlefield Fountain to an exhibit elsewhere on campus.
- Option 4: Relocate the statues of Davis, Lee, Johnston and Woodrow Wilson and the inscription near the Littlefield Fountain to an exhibit elsewhere on campus.
- Option 5: Relocate six statues — Davis, Lee, Reagan, Johnston, Wilson and James Hogg — and the inscription near the Littlefield Fountain to an exhibit elsewhere on campus.
“The task force discussed many options for the statues on the Main Mall. We considered a number of options for statue relocation — some presented by task force members, others by members of the public,” said Gregory J. Vincent, the university’s vice president for diversity and community engagement and head of the task force. “In the end, the majority of task force members believed that if the statues were to be relocated, the Briscoe Center for American History offered the best solution for keeping the statuary on campus as the donor wished but placing them in a more educational setting.”
The task force held two public hearings on the UT Austin campus in July at which students, alumni, staffers, faculty members and members of the public offered their suggestions for the statues. In addition, more than 3,100 individuals completed an online questionnaire about the statues, with 33% in favor of removing the statue of Jefferson Davis; 27% in favor of removing multiple statues; 33% in favor of retaining the statues in their current locations; and 7% presenting other options or comments for the task force.