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AUSTIN, Texas — In 1954, the University of Texas named a dorm after William Stewart Simkins, who taught law there for three decades. Simkins has been dead for more than 80 years but now his past — as a leader of the Ku Klux Klan — has come back to haunt the school.

The disclosure of Simkins’ past in a recently published article has the UT administration considering whether to remove his name from the dorm — Simkins Residence Hall.

William Stewart Simkins fought for the Confederacy in the Civil War and taught law at the University of Texas.

“Simkins was a mask-wearing coward, a night-riding Klansman who admitted committing violence against freed slaves,” legal historian Tom Russell told AOL News.

Russell, a former UT law professor, wrote the scholarly article, which was published on March 22 in the online journal, Social Science Network. Russell currently teaches at the University of Denver. His article describes Simkins as a Klansman who boasted to UT students about his activities and how he assaulted African-Americans.

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