Board of Trustees Statement on President William F. Slocum
In the fall of 2017, members of the Colorado College community raised allegations that William F. Slocum engaged in sexual misconduct while he was president of the college. President Jill Tiefenthaler fully investigated this matter and then brought it to the CC Board of Trustees for their consideration. Based upon its review of the matter, the board finds that there is overwhelming and uncontroverted evidence that Slocum engaged in instances of sexual misconduct and egregious sexual assault while he was president of the college. Such behavior was reprehensible and is in direct conflict with the mission and values of Colorado College.
Accordingly, the board decided unanimously to rescind the honorary degree bestowed on him in 1917 and has ordered the immediate removal of his name from the residence hall and commons building on the corner of Nevada and Cache la Poudre. Those facilities will be known temporarily as South Hall and South Commons. After a period of one or two years has elapsed, the board will initiate a naming process and solicit input from the community for a new name for the building.
Because Slocum also accomplished important and necessary achievements for the college during his tenure, for which he had been recognized as one of our greatest presidents, the board has asked President Tiefenthaler to form a committee of students, faculty, staff, and trustees to recommend ways to represent his full legacy on campus. This should include considering the appropriate placement of his portrait that currently hangs in Palmer Hall. Consistent with our mission and values, the college should neither ignore his accomplishments nor his disturbing flaws.
The board has taken these actions because sexual assault and sexual harassment are unacceptable today, and were unacceptable in Slocum’s time. Such behavior is in direct conflict with our mission and values, and must neither be tolerated nor overlooked.
We are grateful to Professor Joe Dunn of Converse College, Professor Robert Loevy, Jessy Randall, and the late Professor John Fauvel, for providing important information on this matter, and members of the CC community for the care they have taken in bringing this issue forward.