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Stan Richards School of Advertising & Public Relations

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Background Summary 

In October of 2020, Stan Richards — for whom the Moody College’s Stan Richards School of Advertising & Public Relations is named — used language many considered racially insensitive within an internal meeting of his company, The Richards Group. As news of his remarks spread, Richards stepped down from his leadership role at the agency he founded and ran since 1976.

At Richards’ request, the Moody College shared a video he recorded to apologize to the Moody community. Over the next several weeks, the college received a mix of emails and letters condemning Richards’ remarks and demanding that his name be removed from the school and messages defending Richards’ character and urging the college to accept his apology.

The Moody College decided in late October 2020 to begin a systematic process of gathering community feedback and recommendations to inform its decisions on how best to respond to the incident. The response is summarized in a report issued on Nov. 22, 2021.


On November 22, Dean Bernhardt issued a report, “Response and Reflections on Stan Richards’ Racial Remarks of October 2020, and a Path Forward to Strengthen our College’s Community and Culture” (Link to report). Reporters may attribute quotations from the report to Jay Bernhardt, dean of Moody College of Communication. 


November 22 Report: Response and Reflections on Stan Richards’ Racial Remarks of Oct. 2020 and a Path Forward to Strengthen our College’s Community and Culture 


Message from Dr. Jay Bernhardt, Dean, Moody College of Education, Nov. 22, 2021


UT responds to Stan Richards’ comments that ad idea was ‘too Black’ in recent meeting with Motel 6, – KXAN, Oct. 16, 2020 Updated Oct. 20, 2020 by Billy Gates 

The Biggest Agency Implosion of 2020, – Ad Age, Dec. 21, 2020 by Judann Pollack. 


2014 Announcement of Renaming the Department of Advertising & Public Relations in the Moody College of Communications to the Stan Richards School of Advertising & Public Relations 

UT System Naming Policies 

Moody College’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Strategic Action Plan 

Richards’ apology video from Oct. 2020