UC Hastings is changing its name to UC College of the Law, San Francisco in 2023. We will be known generally as UC Law SF. Below are some answers to Frequently Asked Questions about our new name and the process leading up to this exciting announcement.
Q: What is UC Hastings’ new name?
A: The new name is UC College of the Law, San Francisco, or UC Law SF, for short. The California State Senate and Assembly passed Assembly Bill 1936 in late August, which revises the California Education Code to the new name. The Governor signed AB 1936 on September 23, 2022. The bill will be effective on January 1, 2023.
Q: When will we start using the new name?
A: The new name will go into effect January 1, 2023. We are gathering resources and implementing a campus-wide plan to effectuate the name change on all of our virtual and physical spaces. Although effective January 1, 223, we will decide on an exact date to “go live” with the new name sometime in 2023. Until then, the school remains known as UC Hastings.
Q: Why did UC Hastings change its name in the first place?
A: In Nov. 2021, the College’s Board of Directors unanimously voted to remove “Hastings” from the College’s name in recognition of the harms done by the school’s founder against the Yuki Indians in the Round Valley and Eden Valley region. Historical research sponsored by the College indicated that College founder and first dean Serranus C. Hastings funded and supported individuals who engaged in mass killings and other atrocities against the Yuki Indians, primarily from 1858 to 1860, around 20 years before he founded the College.
Q: Why is UC Law SF the new name?
A: After numerous meetings, surveys, and hearings that sought input, the large majority of students, staff, faculty, and alumni preferred that the new name reflect the College’s geographic designation. The College has been located in San Francisco since its founding in 1878 and the new name captures the full breadth of what the law school represents. Located two blocks from San Francisco City Hall, at the intersection of the Civic Center, Tenderloin, and Mid-Market neighborhoods, the College is an integral part of the city in which it resides, and San Francisco is an integral part of the experience of studying at the College. It is also the uniform approach of the University of California and the California State University System to name its campuses by their geographic locations.
Q: Is this name final?
A: The name change is effective as of January 1, 2023 and cannot be changed again without further action by the state legislature. The name UC College of the Law, San Francisco (UC Law SF for short) was chosen by the College’s Board of Directors after an extensive process and numerous meetings.
Q: Why didn’t UC Hastings pick a Native American name?
A: After hearing from all of the law school’s constituencies (hundreds of emails and letter), including students, staff, faculty, administrators, alumni, and the California Native community, the Board of Directors believed it would be most appropriate that a geographic name be selected. There was conversation regarding a Yuki language name, which the Board of Directors considered. However, doing so was not agreed upon, even among the Yuki people. Some Yuki descendants preferred no name change, supported a geographic designation, or a Yuki-language name. Additionally, leadership of the Ramaytush Ohlone, on whose ancestral lands the College is located, did not support a Yuki name and said it would cause great offense to name a College on their ancestral land in another tribe’s language.
Q: Once the new name is adopted, can I still refer to UC Law SF by UC Hastings?
A: Until we announce an exact date in 2023 when we will go live with the new name, the College should be referred to as UC Hastings. After that go-live date, it still may be necessary to let someone know that UC Law SF used to be known as UC Hastings, but over time, the goal is to use UC College of the Law, San Francisco, or UC Law SF, exclusively. Our website, logo, seal, and merchandise will all be changed to reflect the new name. Students and alumni will receive guidance on how to reference the law school in relations to its new and old name so as not to create added confusion for employers and colleagues.
Q: I graduated from law school when it was still UC Hastings. What does that mean for me?
A: Your school records, diploma, and alumni status remain the same. There is no need for you to get a new diploma. If alumni are interested in ordering a new diploma with the new name, they will have an opportunity to do so.
Q: I have left UC Hastings in my estate plan (or established a fund including the name) “UC Hastings.” Do I need to update my estate plan or rename the fund I established?
A: It is not necessary to reopen your estate documents merely for this purpose. However, if at any point in the future you are revising those documents, it would be a best practice to make the change then.
Q: Will anything else change at the law school besides the name?
A: Besides changing its name, the College has been working on restorative justice measures with Round Valley Indian Tribes since 2017. That has included offering pro bono legal services to California Native tribes, opening an Indigenous Law Center at the school, and installing a permanent memorial space on the College’s campus. A comprehensive history of the issue and of the law school’s restorative justice efforts are included on the Recognition and Reconciliation page of the law school’s website. The College will continue to work closely with the affected tribes on restorative justice measures even after the renaming is completed.
Q: What if I have more questions?
A: If you have additional questions about the school’s name change, please reach out to the law school’s Chief Communications Officer Elizabeth Moore at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 415-703-8266.