June 27, 2017
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.
1.1 The naming of an institution’s “assets” is of considerable significance and a number of factors must be considered:
a) The choice of persons or businesses selected for such recognition reflects how an institution perceives itself, its mission and its values;
b) The institutional assets available for naming are limited while the number of individuals who could potentially be honoured by a naming is much greater – the limited number of naming opportunities must therefore be used judiciously;
c) Names are often attached to a particular asset in perpetuity or for the life of an asset; but may be time-limited by prior agreement with the donor;
d) Care must be taken to ensure consistency in the tribute paid by the University to its benefactors and other meritorious persons;
e) Naming shall not infringe upon academic integrity or be deemed to imply the University’s endorsement of a political or ideological position, or of a commercial product or service.
Tangible Asset: A tangible asset is a physical property that is visible (e.g. a building, wing, room, courtyard).
Intangible asset: A non-capital asset, not visible or physical in nature (e.g. a program, chair, etc.).
Benefactor: The individual or entity making a financial contribution to the University for whom a naming opportunity is given.
Leadership Recognition (i.e. Non-Benefactor): The meritorious person or entity for whom a naming opportunity is given. Such recognition honours leadership or other outstanding contributions, rather than philanthropy.
2.1 Naming recommendations for benefactors will originate with the Development Office. Where a naming recommendation involves a donation of from $250,000 to $1 million, the proposal will be brought to the Development Committee of the Board for consideration. The Vice-President, Development and Alumni Relations shall develop a written Naming Proposal supporting the case for the naming and make a recommendation to the Development Committee. Naming Proposals shall incorporate the principles set out in the Policy, and be prepared in accordance with the requirements for Naming Proposals. A proposal should include the opinions of the appropriate Dean or appropriate Vice-President, though it is not required that the opinions be unanimously supportive. Donations of less than $250,000 will be handled by the Development Office.
2.2 Except where otherwise provided, the Development Committee, once satisfied that the Naming Proposal conforms to this policy and that the recommendation is deserving of support, may approve the naming.
2.3 For naming recommendations involving a donation of $1,000,000 or more, or that is precedent-setting or involves sensitive issues, the Development Committee will recommend its review and approval by the Board of Governors Executive and Governance Committee.
2.4 In the case of the naming of an academic unit or program, or buildings or other significant tangible assets, the President, through the VP, Development and Alumni Relations, shall ensure that Board, Senate and administrative leadership are consulted, including the Dean for naming of a Faculty. Following such consultation, the Development Committee may approve the Naming Proposal or refer it to the Board of Governors, as provided in 2.3.
2.5 Naming proposals associated with benefactors will be acted upon in a prompt manner owing to time sensitivities of the donor. In addition to the matters referred to under the preceding paragraph, a naming proposal shall be incorporated into a gift agreement signed by the relevant parties and also contain:
a) A statement as to the nature and impact of the gift meriting named recognition;
b) A description of the asset being named;
c) The significance of the gift as it relates to the realization and/or success of the project/priority or to the enhancement of the project’s/priority's usefulness to the University;
d) A statement of the gift, the expected schedule of payment;
e) Where the naming is to be of a new unit or program, its relevance, sustainability and impact on the University’s or faculty’s strategic priorities;
f) The period of the naming; and
g) A provision dealing with the contingency that the gift is not received in accordance with the terms agreed to.
3.1 Naming recommendations may originate from any member of the Laurier community, to honour meritorious persons who have demonstrated leadership or made other outstanding contributions. Members shall forward their recommendation in writing to the University Secretary. Naming Proposals shall incorporate the principles set out in the Policy, and be prepared in accordance with the requirements set out in these Procedures (3.3).
3.2 The University Secretary will consult with the appropriate administrative and academic leadership and seek the opinion of the Vice-President, Academic and Provost or the Vice-President, Development and Alumni Relations on the merits of the proposal. Following consultation, the Secretary will refer the recommendation to the Development Committee, as provided in 2.3.
3.3 Naming Proposals to recognize leadership or other outstanding contributions shall be in writing and contain the following:
a) A clear description of the naming recommendation being proposed;
b) A summary of the life, career and meritorious activity of the person to be recognized to ensure consistency with the objectives of this Policy;
c) A clear indication of the importance of the naming to the University;
d) The proposed duration of the naming and its short and long term implications;
e) The implications of the particular Naming Proposal for other naming opportunities associated with the asset where relevant; taking into account the priorities of the particular program, in the context of the mission and priorities of the University;
f) Provision for the future renaming of the asset especially where the asset may be eventually replaced or substantially altered in its form, nature, or use;
g) The level of support for the proposal within the unit involved, where relevant; this requires a reasonable duty to consult.
h) The appropriateness of the timing of the naming (where the naming is in recognition of a retired or deceased individual);
i) Other particular conditions, concerns, or impacts of the naming on the academic unit and/or the University; and
j) A provision incorporating the key elements of this Policy as an integral part of the proposal or agreement.
4.1 Plaques and other signs recognizing a naming shall be consistent with the University’s visual identity guidelines, be of generally uniform design consistent with other University signage, and be prepared in consultation with the Physical Resources Department. They will contain the name of the honouree with appropriate biographical information and the date of dedication.
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