AD05 Naming University Facilities and Academic Units
Subject Matter Expert:
Policy Steward:Vice President for Administration>
- Policy Implementation
- Authority To Name
- Further Information
- Cross References
To state the University's policy on naming University facilities and academic units.
It is the policy of the University to name certain of its facilities (buildings, parts of buildings, roads, and plazas) and academic units (campuses, colleges, schools, departments, centers and institutes), in honor of benefactors (individuals, corporations, and private foundations), and persons or other parties who have made substantial contributions to the University or to education in general.
The following guidelines apply:
- Ordinarily, University facilities and academic units will not be named for persons who are actively involved in or related to University operations. This includes members of the faculty and staff, board of trustees, advisory boards, legislators, and governmental officials. University facilities may be named for persons who have retired from active employment with the University after a sufficient time has elapsed from the date of the individual's retirement. This date should be determined by the Facilities and Academic Unit Naming Committee.
- When naming University facilities for corporations, the appropriateness of the corporate name in a public context should be taken into consideration. If the name of a corporation changes after a University facility is named for the corporation, the name of the University facility would remain the same unless a change is recommended by the Facilities and Academic Unit Naming Committee in accordance with this policy. Corporate names may not be used for academic units.
- When possible, building names should include a designation of their primary function:
- Student living and dining quarters are designated as "halls" or "commons."
- Buildings occupied by laboratories are designated as "laboratory."
- Buildings primarily occupied by offices and classrooms are to be designated "building."
- Special-use buildings may bear the name of that use separately or in combination with a person's name; for example, McCoy Natatorium or Pattee Library.
- Parts of a building or area may be named separately to recognize benefactors who wish to underwrite the cost of the sub-unit or portion thereof, or persons who have made substantial contributions to the University or to education in general. In such cases, an appropriate plaque may be installed to acknowledge the naming. In such cases where the actual naming of the sub-unit may not be appropriate (individual faculty or staff office), an appropriate plaque may be installed outside of the office to acknowledge the contribution by the benefactor.
- A uniform system of external marking of buildings is to be used University wide. These external markings should be approved by the Office of Physical Plant. In instances where buildings are named for benefactors or others, a plaque may be located in the lobby or other appropriate area of the building giving the full name and brief identification of those honored.
- It is the general University policy to name buildings for benefactors (or parties benefactors are seeking to honor) only with the required minimum gift commitment of 50 percent of the cost of the funding needed for new construction or major renovations. Such a gift commitment must be payable over a five-year pledge term.
- It is the general University policy to name academic units for benefactors (or parties benefactors are seeking to honor) only when the minimum gift establishes an endowment, the payout from which generates income for the named unit equivalent to at least 10 percent of the unit’s General Funds expense budget at the time the gift is consummated. These requirements should be viewed as minimum guidelines. The University President has authority to make exceptions and recommend the naming action to the Board of Trustees for approval.
- It is the general policy of the University that roads, plazas, parts of buildings, and other appropriate areas shall be named after benefactors (or parties benefactors are seeking to honor) only with the required minimum gift commitment of 50 percent of the cost of the funding needed for new construction or major renovations.
- Gifts made through an irrevocable deferred gift technique -- including, but not limited to a charitable remainder trust, pooled income fund, charitable gift annuity, deferred pledge agreement (estate note), or contract to make a will -- have special considerations as follows:
- Such gifts generally will not be accepted for the purpose of naming new University buildings or parts of new buildings for which contributions from private sources are needed for construction costs.
- Ordinarily, such gifts may be accepted for the purpose of naming existing University buildings, or parts of buildings, provided there is no current need of funds for building renovations or expansion and that the face value of the gift is at least 75 percent of the replacement value of the building.
- Such gifts shall be accepted for the purpose of naming existing buildings, or parts of buildings, only if they are unrestricted. When received, the gift may be used by the then current college/campus dean or chancellor for worthy priorities of the college/campus.
- Such gifts may be accepted for the purpose of naming an academic unit when the face value of the gift creates an unrestricted endowment for the unit that generates the equivalent of 25% of the unit’s budget at the time the gift is consummated.
- Blended gifts (i.e. gifts that consist of both an outright component and an irrevocable deferred gift) will also be considered for naming of facilities or academic units. Taking into consideration the outright and deferred amounts, the Office of Gift Planning, in conjunction with the Vice President for Development and Alumni Relations, will provide the gift values need based upon the outright and deferred formulas set forth herein.
- Under no circumstances may a university building or part of a building, nor an academic unit, be named in recognition of a revocable deferred gift.
- The duration of the benefactor's name association with any building, or part of a building, be that benefactor an individual or an organization, shall remain in place for the useful life of that building, or part thereof so designated, subject to conditions set forth in the Authority to Name section of this Policy. In the event that a building, or any part thereof, named for a benefactor is removed or replaced at the expiration of its useful life, the University shall not be obligated to continue the name, nor shall it be obligated to name any new construction intended to replace the building, or any part thereof, after the benefactor. The University may seek other means to recognize the benefactor after the useful life of the building.
- In general, the university will not accept gifts that are contingent on specific donor requirements that do not follow the university’s design standards. Specific encumbrances that have an enduring maintenance cost will require the donor to support the maintenance and operations with endowed gifts for the purpose. In general, we discourage gifts that come with a required covenant with respect to the named physical assets.
The administrative committee on naming University facilities and academic units advises and makes recommendations to the President of the University on appropriate names for facilities and academic units at all University locations. The committee is composed of the following members:
- Vice President for Administration, Chair of the Committee
- Vice President for Development and Alumni Relations
- Senior Vice President for Commonwealth Campuses
- Chair-Elect of the Council of Academic Deans
- Chair of the University Faculty Senate
- Vice President for Physical Plant
Communications with the committee should be through the Office of the Vice President for Development and Alumni Relations. Recommendations for naming an academic unit or a facility assigned to a specific academic or administrative unit will normally originate from the dean, chancellor, or administrative officer of that particular unit. The committee will work closely with the dean, chancellor, or administrative officer to ensure that recommendations reflect University policy. In the case of facilities not assigned to specific units, the committee may generate the initial recommendations, based on available information.
Committee recommendations to the President should conform to the objectives outlined above. The committee shall keep a current list of all existing facilities and academic units that are appropriate for naming, if accompanied by a gift, deferred gift, or pledge commitment. This list should be reviewed annually by the Vice President for Development and Alumni Relations and other appropriate University officials.
After receiving the committee recommendation for naming parts of buildings and plazas, the President of the University has the authority to make the final decision on the naming opportunity and apprise the Board of Trustees of his/her action.
In situations where parts of buildings and plazas may be funded by gifts, final negotiation with potential benefactors should not take place without first seeking the approval of the Facilities and Academic Unit Naming Committee. The President, through the committee, will charge the appropriate dean or administrative officer to negotiate with potential benefactors.
After receiving the committee's recommendations for naming buildings, roads, or academic units, the President makes final recommendations to the Board of Trustees for their consideration and action.
Under no circumstances should negotiations take place between a dean or an administrative officer of the University and a potential donor with respect to naming a building, road or academic unit without first seeking the approval of the Facilities and Academic Unit Naming Committee and the President of the University.
If a building name is not forthcoming at the time the building has been completed, and a name is needed for identification purposes, only a generic name should be used, thus reserving the prerogative to bring forward a name that meets the established criteria at a later date. Examples of such generic names are: Oak Hall, Electrical Engineering East, Research West Building, North Hall, University Library, Music Building, etc. Generic names may appear on the Board of Trustees consent agenda for approval.
The Board of Trustees shall have the authority to revoke the name of a University facility or academic unit in the event that the benefactor for whom the facility or academic unit was named:
- is later convicted of a felony; or
- engages in conduct which, in the sole discretion of the Board of Trustees, is significantly detrimental to the reputation of the benefactor, such that continued name association between such individual and a University facility or academic unit would be contrary to the best interests of the University.
If the benefactor is a corporation, the authority to revoke the name of a University facility bearing such corporation's name shall be exercisable by the Board of Trustees, upon recommendation of the President, in the event that any of the officers or directors of such corporation are later convicted of a felony or incur civil sanctions in their capacity as officers or directors of such corporation, which crimes or sanctions, in the sole discretion of the Board of Trustees, are significantly detrimental to the reputation of the corporation, such that continued name association between such corporation and a University facility would be contrary to the best interests of the University.
Prior to the approval of a name revocation by the Board of Trustees as provided in this paragraph, the University shall provide the benefactor, or a representative of the benefactor, the opportunity to voluntarily relinquish the name from the University facility or academic unit, as the case may be.
For questions, additional detail, or to request changes to this policy, please contact the Office of the Vice President for Development and Alumni Relations.
Other Policies in this manual may also apply, especially;
FN03 - Substantiation, Disclosure, and Accountability for the Receipt of Contributions from Non-Governmental Sources, and the related Guideline,
FNG01 - Flow and Accountability of Gifts and Grants from Non-Governmental Sources.
See also Faculty Senate “Guidelines for Review of the Establishment, Reorganization, Naming, or Discontinuation of Academic Organizational Units”, which provides for an advisory and consultative role on the academic impact of proposals that involve the establishment, reorganization, naming, or discontinuation of academic organizational units.
Most recent changes:
- July 30, 2021 - Minor editorial changes to correct titles of committee members.
Revision History (and effective dates):
- September 27, 2019 - Changes made: changed the name of AD05 to “Naming University Facilities and Academic Units"; editorial changes have been made throughout the policy changing the name of the committee to “Facilities and Academic Unit Naming Committee”; Addition of policy related to naming academic units; addition of policy related to blended outright and deferred gifts; minor style edits and reordering of guidelines have been made.
- February 1, 2017 - Editorial changes have been made throughout the policy, changing references of Senior Vice President for Development and Alumni Relations TO Vice President for Development and Alumni Relations.
- February 17, 2015 - Editorial changes. Addition of policy steward information, in the event that there are questions or requests for changes to the policy.
- May 11, 2012 - Editorial change in AUTHORITY TO NAME section, 5th paragraph; added last sentence to clarify particulars about the use of generic names on the Board of Trustees agenda.
- July 1, 2009 - Editorial change; In POLICY IMPLEMENTATION section, "Associate to the President for Administration, Chair of the Committee” has been changed TO “Vice President for Administration, Chair of the Committee.”
- May 5, 2008 - Significant changes to the GENERAL, GUIDELINES, POLICY IMPLEMENTATION and AUTHORITY TO NAME sections, as approved by the Board of Trustees.
- May 1, 2007- Changes made in the POLICY IMPLEMENTATION section. "Vice President for University Relations," has been changed to "Associate to the President for Administration," and "Vice President for Development and Alumni Relations" has been changed to "Senior Vice President for Development and Alumni Relations."
- July 1, 2005- Editorial change in the POLICY IMPLEMENTATION section; the title "Dean of the Commonwealth College" has been changed to "Vice President for Commonwealth Campuses" to reflect administrative reorganization changes, effective July 1, 2005.
- October 1, 2002- Title changes for committee members listed under the section POLICY IMPLEMENTATION: "Vice President for Administration" is now "Vice President for University Relations," and the "Assistant Vice President for Physical Plant" is now "Associate Vice President for Physical Plant" and is no longer designated the Secretary of the committee.
- May 16, 2001 - Under the guideline "Gifts made through an irrevocable deferred gift technique," added the special provision that such gifts shall be accepted for the purpose of naming existing buildings, or parts of buildings, only if they are unrestricted. When received, the gift may be used by the then current college/campus dean or chief executive for worthy priorities of the college/campus.
- November 11, 1999 - Title changes and allowance for naming parts of buildings under Guideline 7.
- January 27, 1998 -
- Updated position titles.
- Added guideline dealing with naming buildings, parts of buildings, roads and plazas for corporations.
- Editorial changes.
- January 17, 1997 - Revised the required gift commitment for naming buildings for benefactors. Added 'Cross References' section.
- October 17, 1994 - Changed title of 'Vice President for Administration' to ' Senior Vice President for Administration."
- August 30, 1993 - Changed title of 'Chair of the Council of Academic Deans' to 'Chair-Elect of the Council of Academic Deans.' Removed Ritenour Building from the list of examples of special-use buildings that bear a person's name.
- May 13, 1992 - Changed ' Facilities Naming Committee' to 'Administrative Committee on Naming University Facilities.' Other editorial changes.
- January 21, 1992 - Substantial changes involving naming of University facilities (buildings, roads, and plazas), naming of sub-units of buildings, system of external building marking, policy implementation, and the authority to name. Added guideline for gift commitment levels for building named for benefactors.
- September 20, 1990 - Added guideline for gifts made through an irrevocable deferred gift technique.
- December 7, 1989 - Regarding the naming of sub-units or areas of a building - excluded individual faculty and staff offices, and provided for plaques for offices constructed or furnished with gift money.
- September 5, 1989 - Title of ' Senior Vice President for Administration' changed to 'Vice President for Administration.'
- May 11, 1989 - Added the use of metallic, non-corrosive letters to the system for external building markings. Changed title of 'Vice President for Business and Operations' to 'Assistant Vice President for Business, Housing and Food Services.' Changed VP for Development to Senior SP. Changed VP for Commonwealth Educational System to Senior VP. Removed Vice President and provost from naming committee.
- May 1987 - Editorial changes such as "he" to "he/she." Removed 5-year waiting period for naming buildings after University-related persons. Added guideline to refrain from naming after living persons. Removed guideline for naming particular college or campus buildings after person who distinguished themselves in the related work of that college or campus. Added Vice President and Provost to naming committee. Added provision for committee to keep a list of buildings available for naming. Where donor relations are sensitive, president may seek concurrence from President and VP of the Board.
- March 8, 1985 - Removed provision for President making final recommendations to the Board regarding the naming of building sub-units. Added section "Authority to Name.'
- August 1, 1984 - Added provision to contact VP for Development for guidelines regarding naming building sub-units and commemorative plaques. Other editorial changes.
- September 14, 1983 - Changed title of ' Provost of the University' to ' Executive VP and Provost of the University.'
- October 27, 1982 - Changed title of 'Assistant to the VP and Dean for the Commonwealth Educational System' to 'VP and Dean for the Commonwealth Educational System'
- August 10, 1982 - Changed title of 'Executive Director of the Office of Gifts and Endowments' to 'Vice President for Development.'
- December 8, 1980 - New policy.
Date Approved:May 2, 2008>
Date Published:May 2, 2008>