Libraries dean responds to vandalism of controversial mural

Knight Library exterior

UO Dean of Libraries Adriene Lim is calling on the university community to engage in “meaningful and constructive dialogue” on controversial art after a mural in the Knight Library was defaced.

The message, posted on the library website, concerns the mural “Mission of a University.” It acknowledges the concerns of those who believe its message is racist while arguing that vandalism ultimately does more harm to the cause of free speech than good.

“I ask community members from all sides of the debate to honor the University’s and the Libraries’ policies, which we have put into place to help us regulate our public spaces,” Lim wrote.

UO Libraries will continue efforts to provide context about the mural and engage with students, faculty members and the university community on issues involving controversial art and artifacts, Lim said. Officials also are trying to determine whether the damage to the mural can be repaired.