Changing our Name

Sep 24 2020
Cecilia Elena Rouse, Dean

As of July 1, 2020, we are the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs. As I noted in an earlier message, I supported this decision 100%. Removing Wilson’s name, in my opinion, sent the message to our community and the broader world that our School will not tolerate racism, sexism, or discrimination of any kind.

Hours after the announcement (on a Saturday!), my team started on the surprisingly complex work of changing the name in all places where it exists. A framing logic for this effort is that we are not Orwellian — the goal is not to pretend we never had the name Woodrow Wilson School. But the name needed to be changed on digital and print assets where the current name should be reflected.

And wow, the old name was everywhere. Who knew how detailed this would be? Hundreds and hundreds of hours have gone into this effort: Every website on campus, every database (and there are many), every listserv, every newly printed publication needed to be changed. Our logo needed updating. Social media handles had to be reconfigured. 

Why am I sharing this? Because even now, almost three months in, there is still work to be done. TigerNet is on the list, but actually a sticky wicket to fix, so it’s not yet completed. So, if you see WWS or Woodrow Wilson School in your digital travels, I want you to know it isn’t because changing the name is not a priority. It is a very high priority — but one, I have to tell you — that surprised me in its complexity. Thank you for your patience as we work through it all.