After the Charleston, South Carolina, church shooting in June 2015, and with the urging of students, I formed a task force of faculty, students, alumni and university leaders to evaluate six statues on UT's Main Mall that included depictions of four military and political leaders of the Confederacy.
Fenves said Lee and Reagan's statues would be added to the collection of the Briscoe Center for American History for "scholarly study", while former Texas Gov. James Hogg will be reconsidered for another location on campus.
Three of the statues being removed, including one of Confederate general Robert E. Lee, will be relocated to a campus exhibit.
Fenves made the decision to take down the statues following talks with student leaders, faculty, staff and alumni in light of the August 12 clashes in Charlottesville in which the 32-year-old woman was killed and 19 injured when a auto drove into a crowd of people.More news: Sempra Energy to buy Oncor in $18.8bn deal
Fenves made the announcement as crews were in place to begin removing the statues, which are expected to be gone by mid-morning Monday, according to a university spokesperson.
The debate over public memorials for Confederate figures catapulted into national conversation after one person was killed in a clash between white supremacists and counterprotesters in Charlottesville, Va. The decision, announced by University director Greg Fenvos, argues that such monuments are "symbols of the modern superiority of the white race and neo-Nazism", Reuters reported.
The Davis statue, which has been targeted by vandals and had come under increasing criticism, will be moved and placed in the school's Dolph Briscoe Center for American History as part of an educational display.
Fenves noted that that the statues originated during a period of segregation in the United States. A woman died after being struck by a auto driven by one of the protesters. "That remains true today for white supremacists who use them to symbolize hatred and bigotry". It will be considered for re-installation at another university site, Fenves said.