Embattled rector at University of Richmond steps down

Four other Board of Trustees members are also resigning from their posts.
By: | June 29, 2022

The head of the University of Richmond board of trustees, Paul Queally, will step down from his position Thursday at the conclusion of his term. Last year, Queally was at the center of debate regarding the names of two campus buildings and their ties to racism.

At the time, Queally was opposed to changing the names of Ryland Hall and Freeman Hall despite protests from students and faculty. Robert Ryland owned slaves, and Douglas Southall Freeman supported segregation and eugenics. Altering the names would be equivalent to submitting to cancel culture, Queally said, according to professors.

Faculty and staff criticized his comments. Professors said he referred to students as Black, brown and “regular students,” and a former UR staffer, Jessica Washington, accused him of interrupting her and being condescending toward her. She called it “the single most horrific and traumatizing work experience I have ever had.”

The faculty censured Queally and ratified a vote of no confidence in him, saying the board had perhaps fallen out of step with the university community. Queally did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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