Gustavus students, faculty, and staff have raised this question about Linnaeus and the current name of the arboretum before without any serious deliberation by an official leadership body.

June 2020: The Radicals (Gustavus Student Organization) generated a petition calling for Gustavus to remove Linnaeus’ name from the arboretum.

This petition was signed by over 200 students, faculty, staff, and alumni.

July 2020: The Radicals sent an email to campus leaders stating their view that it was critical for the College’s antiracism work to include the Linnaeus question.

August 2020: Campus leaders and trustees generated ideas about how to approach this issue as they began to consider what an in-depth investigation could include.

December 2020: Board of Trustees chair Scott Anderson appointed Siri Erickson and Ron White to co-chair the Linnaeus Deliberation Circle.

Anderson, Erickson, and White selected faculty, staff, students, and trustees as stakeholder representatives on the Circle.

January 2021: Phase 1 begins.

Circle members communicated with stakeholders and gathered additional information. During meetings, the Circle generated an initial list of stakeholder impacts, identified key questions, and engaged with the presented findings and ideas.

February 2021: Phase 2 begins.

Circle members discuss possible plans of action to present to the Board of Trustees and explore commonalities between stakeholders to decide overarching topics to include in every action plan.

The Circle begins to outline scenarios based on the impacts previously identified in Phase 1.

March 2021: Phase 2 continues.

The Circle releases an input form to gather additional input from the campus and further develops possible scenarios.

April 2021: Circle Co-Chairs Ron White and Siri Erickson present to the Trustees brief descriptions of themes, scenarios, and action plans.

Board of Trustees give feedback on the plans, informing the Circle of which plans to continue to develop. The Circle continues to develop the scenarios specified by the Board of Trustees.

May 2021: Circle Co-Chairs Ron White and Siri Erickson present written reports of the developed scenarios to the Board of Trustees.

After this meeting, the next steps are decided by the Board of Trustees.