Board of Trustees approve removal of Henry Madden name from library

The library on Feb. 3, 2022. As of reporting, the building will be referred to as the Fresno State Library or Library. (Melina Kazanjian/The Collegian)

The California State University (CSU) Board of Trustees voted to approve the renaming of the library during its July 13 meeting.

The decision comes after months of research by the Task Force to Review the Naming of the University Library, and its 74-page report released in April detailing Henry Madden’s antisemitic and pro-Nazi views.

“A name associated with Nazism and racist views is antithetical to a center of learning and academic exploration,” Jiménez-Sandoval said in a letter sent to CSU Executive Vice Chancellor and Chief Financial Officer Steven Relyea in May, formally recommending that the Board of Trustees approve the removal of Madden’s name.

Approval of the renaming of the university library by the Board of Trustees was required due to a CSU policy outlining that the Board of Trustees “retains authority for naming all major California State University facilities and properties.”

As of reporting, the building will be designated as the Fresno State Library or Library. 

The university will begin removing Madden’s name from signs, websites and other locations as soon as possible, according to Fresno State News. 

Madden was the university’s librarian from 1949 to 1979, and the CSU Board of Trustees voted to rename the university library after Madden on Sept. 24, 1980. 

The library task force, composed of Fresno State researchers, scholars and 12 students, reviewed more than 100,000 documents within Madden’s papers, which were curated by Madden and donated to the library. 

The collection contained personal documents detailing Madden’s antisemitic sentiments and pro-Nazi statements, and the task force’s findings on his views were aggregated in its final report released in May. 

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