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.
Approving Authority: Board of Governors
Original Approval Date: January 27, 2005
Date of Most Recent Review/Revision: November 28, 2019
Office of Accountability: Vice-President: Advancement & External Relations
Administrative Responsibility: Office of Stewardship and Donor Relations
1.01 The purpose of this policy is to set out the principles that guide the naming of University assets.
1.02 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.
2.01 University Assets: tangible and intangible assets of the University, existing or proposed.
2.02 Intangible Assets: University Assets that are not physical in nature, including:
a. Academic units (e.g. faculties, departments, schools, institutes, and centres);
b. Academic programs;
c. Lectureships, chairships, professorships, fellowships;
d. Scholarships, bursaries and other funds to support or recognize University students;
e. Administrative posts (deanships, chairs, directorships, etc.);
f. Events both academic (e.g. lectures, symposia, conferences, etc.) and non-academic (e.g. athletic and other extracurricular events);
g. Student services and other services;
h. Prizes and other awards to recognize outstanding achievements by members of the University community.
2.02.01 This list is not an exhaustive statement of all assets that may exist from time to time within the University – all of the university’s intangible assets available for naming are governed under this policy.
2.03 Tangible Assets: University Assets that have a physical form, including:
2.03.01 Buildings, and parts thereof (e.g. wings, floors, lecture and seminar rooms, laboratories, reading rooms, atria, and foyers);
2.03.02 Land, including outdoor spaces, gardens, fields, roads, walkways;
2.03.03 Collections of books, archives, art and other documentary and/or cultural materials;
2.03.04 Fixtures and/or equipment;
2.03.05 Memorials, medallions or plaques.
2.04 Gift: means any voluntary transfer of real or personal property, including in kind property, from individuals, organizations or other sources (“donor”) to the university. A gift is made without expectation of return or benefit to the donor or any individual or organization designated by the donor as a result of acceptance of the gift.
3.01 This policy applies to the naming of all University assets, in accordance with established processes and procedures.
4.01.01 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.
4.01.02 Naming recommendations to the approving authority under section 4.01.01 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.
4.01.03 The following principles guide decisions made under this policy:
a. 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.
b. 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.
c. Corporate namings may be made but should be reviewed with additional care. To avoid the appearance of commercial influence or conflict of interest, the University will conduct additional due diligence. An assessment of the corporate history, business practices, reputation, long-term trajectory and any other factor appropriate to considering a long-term naming will be done. Usually, namings that involve corporations shall be limited to 10 years, and shall not involve the naming of a Faculty, Department, or building naming. The size, design, and wording of plaques or other signs acknowledging corporate generosity should avoid creating any appearance of advertising and be appropriately tailored to the nature of the facilities or properties being considered. Namings to honour an individual associated with a corporate gift should be consistent with the principles for honouring an individual.
d. Naming of academic units or programs shall not impede the University from altering its academic and research priorities and shall conform to all University policies and guidelines governing the establishment of such entities.
e. Decisions under this policy are independent of appointment, admission, curriculum and other academic and business decisions.
f. Decisions under this policy are strictly confidential until the University makes a public announcement.
4.01.04 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 13.6 Gift Acceptance Policy, and the procedures associated with that policy.
4.01.05 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.
4.01.06 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.
4.01.07 The University reserves the right to decide on the physical displays that accompany named recognition. Any signs or plaques associated with the naming of a University asset shall adhere to all applicable policies and regulations with regard to signage, and shall be of a generally uniform design and consistent with the University's brand standards. The Office of Stewardship and Donor Relations shall be the lead on all recognition signage displayed within/on a tangible asset in consultation with Facilities & Asset Management.
4.02 Renaming University Assets
4.02.01 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.
4.02.02 Without limiting the generality of section 4.02.01, 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 4.02.01 above.
4.02.03 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.
4.02.04 Namings made for a corporation can be changed upon amalgamation, buy out, merger or other corporate name change at the cost of the corporate entity (which shall include costs for signage and administrative costs for the University to execute on the change), and provided that the new naming will be in accordance with this policy in all aspects.
4.02.05 Where the name of an academic program or unit is modified due to a change in direction in the University’s academic or research priorities, a change of the asset nomenclature for the named asset can occur without amendment to a gift or sponsorship agreement so long as the recognition name remains the same.
4.02.06 Any renaming of a University asset shall adhere to the principles of naming as outlined in this policy and its associated procedures.
4.03 Revocation of the Naming of University Assets
4.03.01 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.
4.03.02 The authority to revoke a naming decision rests with the Board of Governors.
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