WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Purdue University has removed John Schnatter’s name from its Center for Economic Research at the Krannert School of Management and is offering to return the $8 million Schnatter gave the school in April.
Purdue’s trustees voted Friday to cut ties with Schnatter, the founder of the Papa John’s pizza chain, after Forbes.com reported Schnatter used the n-word during a July 11 conference call.
Before the vote, trustees chairman Mike Berghoff said the university “had put a lot of time into deciding to add Schnatter’s name to the Center for Economic Research” and should do the same with a decision about whether to remove it, reports the Hendricks County Flyer.
Purdue released the following statement Friday afternoon:
The Purdue Board of Trustees has decided that the name of the university’s economics center, named in April 2018 the John H. Schnatter Center for Economic Research at Purdue, should revert to the Purdue University Research Center in Economics. Purdue will offer to return the funds associated with the naming.
The board believes this action is necessary to avoid distraction from the center’s work, counterproductive division on the campus, and any inference of any deviation from the university’s often stated stance on tolerance and racial relations.
The John H. Schnatter Foundation gave $8 million to the school in April 2018.
Purdue President Mitch Daniels said Friday that the school had received $1 million of the $8 million, according to the Hendricks County Flyer. Daniels said the school hadn’t heard back from the Foundation about whether it wants the money returned.
The Foundation has not commented on the trustees’ decision or the removal of Schnatter’s name from the research center.
Schnatter has said several times since July 11 that his comments were taken out of context and the reaction was overblown.
(Photo by Michael Hicks/Getty.)