Keller the wrong type of engineer

by Ted Kaminski and Bryan Song

Recently, the Regents of the University of Minnesota elected to rename the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Building after former University President and professor of chemical engineering Kenneth H. Keller. We strongly disagree with this renaming.
We believe that the Regents have the right to name the building. Over the years, the Regents have approved appropriate names for many of the surrounding buildings. We do not argue that the building should not be renamed at all. We have often remarked that “Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Building” is quite a mouthful. We strongly believe, however, that Keller Hall is not the right choice to name the building.
Looking at the buildings surrounding the EE/CS building, there is Amundson Hall, named for chemical engineer Neal Amundson, Kolthoff Hall named for Izaak Kolthoff, a chemist, and Tate Lab of Physics named for John Tate, a physicist. To this collection, the Regents chose to name a building of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science after a chemical engineer, not an electrical engineer or computer scientist.
The rationale for the naming given is that the EE/CS Building was constructed during his presidency, and is nearby his home building. We believe that these are not sufficiently notablereasons for naming the building after someone whose only real connection to it is that the ground for it was broken while he was president.
If the University wishes to recognize a former president by naming a building after him, we suggest that a more appropriate choice for a former administrator is an administrative/services building, such as the new Science Teaching and Student Services building.
We call upon the Regents to reconsider this ill-conceived naming and select a more appropriate name for the EE/CS building in the future.
Ted Kaminski and Bryan Song, president and vice president of the Computer Science Graduate Student Association