University of Oxford cuts ties with Sackler family, removes name from buildings, staff posts
The University of Oxford has decided to remove the Sackler name from its buildings and staff posts following an investigation of its relations with the Sackler family. The move is in line with several other institutions of severing ties with the Sackler family in recent years due to their involvement in the US opioid crisis.
Following the investigation, the Sackler Library in Oxford, as well as some galleries and staff positions at the city's Ashmolean Museum, will be renamed.
Controversy has plagued the Sacklers due to their ties to Purdue Pharma, which manufactures OxyContin, a medication that has been at the centre of many litigation linked to the US opioid crisis.
The institution stated that gifts from the Sackler family and their trusts will be "retained by the university for their intended educational purposes."
It further said that no fresh donations have been received from the family or their trusts since January 2019.
The Sackler name will be removed from six university buildings, spaces, and staff positions, although it will remain on the Clarendon Arch and the Ashmolean Museum's donor board for "the purposes of historical recording" of donations.
According to a statement on the university's website, "Oxford University has undertaken a review of its relationship with the Sackler family and their trusts, including the way their benefactions to the University are recognised."
“Following this review, the university has decided that the university buildings, spaces and staff positions using the Sackler name will no longer do so,” it added.
On Monday, the university council adopted the review findings.
For many years, the Sackler name was linked with massive charitable donations given by the family to galleries and museums all around the world.
In recent years, the institution has been under pressure to remove the Sackler name from one of its libraries, two galleries, and many staff posts.
The Sackler name was omitted from "galleries, rooms, and endowments they supported" by the British Museum in March 2022.
The National Portrait Gallery, Tate, and the Roundhouse are among the UK entities that have discontinued ties with the Sacklers in recent years.