AUSTIN – Acting on the recommendation of The University of Texas at Austin President William Powers, Jr., the UT System Board of Regents today (Thursday) unanimously approved the new name of a residence hall and park on the UT Austin campus.
Creekside Residence Hall and Creekside Park will replace the current names of Simkins Hall and Simkins Park, respectively. The residence hall, which was built in the 1950s to house male law students and graduate students, was named for William Stewart Simkins, who taught at the UT Austin School of Law from 1899 until his death in 1929.
The adjacent park was named for his brother and former UT System Regent Eldred J. Simkins. Both Simkins brothers had ties to the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) after the Civil War.
Powers brought forward the recommendation of a 21-member campus advisory committee charged with making recommendations on the naming issue. The new names are effective immediately and the campus will install new signage as soon as possible.
The University of Texas System is one of the nation’s largest higher education systems, with nine academic campuses and six health institutions. The UT System has an annual operating budget of $11.9 billion (FY 2010) including $2.5 billion in sponsored programs funded by federal, state, local and private sources. Preliminary student enrollment exceeded 202,000 in the 2009 academic year. The UT System confers more than one-third of the state's undergraduate degrees and educates nearly three-fourths of the state's healthcare professionals annually. With more than 84,000 employees, the UT System is one of the largest employers in the state.