UVM president apologizes for eugenics research

Published: Jun. 25, 2019 at 3:56 PM EDT
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The outgoing president of the University of Vermont is apologizing for the school's involvement in eugenics research in the 1920s and 1930s that helped lead to sterilizations.

President Thomas Sullivan released a statement on Friday, calling it "unethical and regrettable."

Last year the university decided to remove a former school president's name from the library because of his support of the Eugenics Survey of Vermont and its leader, a UVM professor.

Some Vermonters of mixed French Canadian and Native American heritage, as well as poor, rural whites, were placed on a state-sanctioned list of "mental defectives" and degenerates and sent to state institutions. Some had surgery after Vermont in 1931 became one of more than two dozen states to pass a law allowing voluntary sterilizations for "human betterment."

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