Decision to keep or rename Schnatter Center up to Purdue Board of Trustees

The decision to keep or rename Purdue University's John H. Schnatter Center for Economic Research will ultimately be up to the board of trustees, Provost Jay Akridge told News 18 Thursday morning.

Posted: Jul. 19, 2018 9:10 AM
Updated: Jul. 19, 2018 9:16 AM

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — The decision to keep or rename Purdue University's John H. Schnatter Center for Economic Research will ultimately be up to the board of trustees, Provost Jay Akridge told News 18 Thursday morning. Representatives from Purdue said the university is "assessing the situation" regarding the center's name after Schnatter, the founder and former chairman of Papa Johns Pizza, reportedly used a racial slur during a media training exercise phone call earlier this year.

Provost Akridge said Purdue's Board of Trustees has authority over the naming of facilities and centers for major gifts under the university's policy. However, Akridge will receive and relay input from faculty, staff and students. He will share that information, as well as his personal perspectives on the decision. 

He said deliberations on the naming are still ongoing. 

Schnatter's Family Foundation donated $8 million for naming rights of Purdue's Economic Research Center in April. The center is located within the Krannert School of Management.

As of Thursday morning, the center's website was active and signage was still posted on the third floor of Krannert.

The following statement was found on the center's website about the gift and naming:

"The Center’s mission to provide policy research that examines markets and the diverse impacts of regulation has attracted funding from several alumni and philanthropic foundations. Two large gifts from the John H. Schnatter Family Foundation and the Doug and Maria DeVos Foundation enable us to increase and amplify our existing research, teaching, and public outreach efforts. This support will fund additional faculty, events open to the public, and engagement with regulators and other policy makers."

It is still unknown whether the $8 million would be returned if Purdue were to scrap the name. 

Schnatter resigned from the Papa Johns Pizza board and the University of Louisville Board of Trustees last week. Schnatter has since said his resignation from the pizza board was a "mistake." Since his resignation, the companly has kicked Schnatter out of his office, pulled his image from pizza boxes and canceled ads featuring his image. 

CBS News reports Schnatter accused the board of not "doing any investigation" and said the board's decision to remove hime was based on "rumor and innuendo."

WLFI will continue to follow this story.

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