UC Hastings will legally change school name


The University of California Hastings College of the Law Board of Directors voted Nov. 2 to authorize UC Hastings leadership to work with state legislators and other stakeholders to change the school’s name. UC Hastings was founded in 1878 by Serranus Hastings, who perpetrated genocidal acts against Native Californians in the 1850s in the Round and Eden valleys. 

“UC Hastings has collaborated with the Yuki People and members of other affected tribes for the last four years in pursuit of restorative justice,” said Carl W. “Chip” Robertson, chair of the Board of Directors. “The goal of our collaborations with the tribes is to bring the educational resources of the College to help address the generational trauma inflicted by Serranus Hastings. That work has raised our awareness of the wrongs committed by the College’s namesake and the ongoing pain they cause, and our decision is that we can no longer associate our great institution with his name.” 

Because the Hastings name is written into state law, a change to the school’s name requires legislation from the California State Legislature. 

In 2017, upon becoming chancellor and dean of UC Hastings, David Faigman began to investigate Serranus Hastings’ legacy. Finding little information, he commissioned a historian to conduct a thorough study and established the Hastings Legacy Review Committee—and later—the Restorative Justice Advisory Board to recommend steps toward restorative justice. 

Since then, UC Hastings has collaborated extensively with members of the pertinent tribes, including the Yuki, on restorative justice actions including founding an Indigenous Law Center, experiential opportunities for UC Hastings students to assist residents of Round Valley, as well as a public memorial to the Yuki people on the campus. 

 “The time has come to recognize that changing the College’s name is an important step in that process,” Faigman said. “I am committed to working diligently to do so.” 

According to reports, January 2022 is the earliest that legislation can be introduced to change the school’s name and there are no new potential names at this time.

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