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This online version is for convenience; the official version of this policy is housed in the University Secretariat. In case of discrepancy between the online version and the official version held by the Secretariat, the official version shall prevail.

Naming of University Assets

Approving Authority: Board of Governors

Original Approval Date: January 27, 2005

Date of Most Recent Review/Revision: November 24, 2016

Office of Accountability: Vice-President: Development and Alumni Relations

Administrative Responsibility: Office of Stewardship and Donor Relations


1.1 The purpose of this policy is to set out the principles that guide the naming of University assets.

1.2 It is a long standing tradition at universities to name university assets after individuals or organizations that have made outstanding contributions to the institution and its mission, or to the broader local, national or international community. These associations with members of the community and ceremonies held to mark such recognition represent significant events in an institution’s history, and strengthen the ties between the university and community at large.


  • 2.1 Intangible Assets: are university assets that are not physical in nature, including:
    • Academic units (e.g. faculties, departments, schools, institutes, and centres);
    • Academic programs;
    • Lectureships, chairships, professorships, fellowships;
    • Scholarships, bursaries and other funds to support or recognize University students;
    • Administrative posts (deanships, chairs, directorships, etc.);
    • Events both academic (e.g. lectures, symposia, conferences, etc.) and non-academic (e.g. athletic and other extracurricular events);
    • Student services and other services;
    • Prizes and other awards to recognize outstanding achievements by members of the University community.
  • 2.2 Tangible Assets: are university assets that have a physical form, including:
    • Buildings, and parts thereof (e.g. wings, floors, lecture and seminar rooms, laboratories, reading rooms, atria, and foyers);
    • Land, including outdoor spaces, gardens, fields, roads, walkways;
    • Collections of books, archives, art and other documentary and/or cultural materials;
    • Fixtures and/or equipment;
    • Memorials, medallions or plaques.
  • 2.3 University Assets: means tangible and intangible assets of the University, existing or proposed.


3.1 This policy applies to the naming of all University assets, in accordance with established processes and procedures.

3.2 This policy does not apply to sponsorship agreements negotiated with the University.


4.1 General

4.1.1 The decision to accept, decline or revoke the naming of a University asset rests with the Board of Governors, except as may be delegated by the Board of Governors to one of its committees or the University President.

4.1.2 Naming recommendations to the approving authority under section 4.1.1 will be based on appropriate due diligence, including consultation with those impacted where appropriate, as well as the standards for each level of naming opportunity or particular asset as determined from time to time by the University.

4.1.3 The following principles guide decisions made under this policy:

  • Each proposed naming should advance the reputation, mission and priorities of the University in accordance with its values, guiding principles, governing documents and the law.
  • Individuals or organizations after which University assets are proposed to be named must be of such a reputation and standing that an association with that individual or organization would not reasonably compromise the University’s reputation, mission, priorities, values, guiding principles, autonomy, integrity or legal compliance.
  • Decisions under this policy are independent of appointment, admission, curriculum and other academic and business decisions.
  • Decisions under this policy are strictly confidential until the University makes a public announcement.

4.1.4 Naming of University assets will be in accordance with University policies and procedures. Without limiting the generality of the foregoing, if the naming of a University asset is associated with the acceptance of a gift, approval and acceptance shall be consistent with Policy 13.6 (Gift Acceptance Policy), and the procedures associated with that policy.

4.1.5 Provisions in this policy and associated procedures that refer to naming for a donor also apply to naming for a third party at the wish of a benefactor.

4.1.6 The Office of Development and Alumni Relations is responsible for maintaining an accurate inventory of named University assets as described in this policy’s procedures.

4.1.7 Any signs or plaques associated with the naming of a University asset shall adhere to all applicable policies, regulations and brand standards with regard to signage and visual identity.

4.2 Renaming University Assets

4.2.1 A naming will normally be for the useful life of an asset. No commitment to a naming shall extend beyond the life or existence of the asset named. If an asset must be replaced or substantially altered in its form, nature or use, the University reserves the right to rename the asset. The University may retain the use of the name, name another comparable asset, or discontinue the use of the name.

4.2.2 Without limiting the generality of section 4.2.1, if a named asset is supported by an endowment and the endowment income is no longer sufficient to support the asset, the University is not obliged to support the asset out of if its funds and may replace, alter, dispose of or discontinue the asset and invoke section 4.2.1 above.

4.2.3 Where a naming is for a limited period of time, the University reserves the right to rename the asset on the expiration of that time, or to ask the donor for renewed support.

4.2.4 Any renaming of a University asset shall adhere to the principles of naming as outlined in this policy and its associated procedures.

4.3 Revocation of the Naming of University Assets

4.3.1 The University reserves the right to revoke a naming decision if it constitutes a significant and continuing impairment to the University’s reputation or if the agreed-upon philanthropic contributions are significantly reduced.

4.3.2 The authority to revoke a naming decision rests with the Board of Governors.

Related Policies, Procedures and Documents


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