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Naming of Facilities and Programs

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Policy 103.3

1 Introduction

1.1 Naming Responsibility

The authority for naming a facility or program at Appalachian State University rests with the Board of Trustees, acting after receiving the recommendation of the Chancellor. Benefactors or honorees should be informed throughout the naming discussions that final naming approval for all University facilities and programs rests with the Board of Trustees.

1.2 Chancellor’s Responsibility

Subject to the responsibilities of the Board of Trustees, the Chancellor shall have responsibility and authority with respect to all naming actions.

  1. No facility or program may be named without the early knowledge and prior approval of the Chancellor. The Chancellor shall endeavor to determine that the proposed action is consistent with the interests of the University, to assure that the amount of the contribution warrants the action proposed, and to maintain equity in the relationship of donations for similar naming actions.
  2. For academic programs or units, the Chancellor shall assure that representative members of the faculty, staff, and students of the program or unit that is directly affected by the naming have been consulted before acting on the proposal.
  3. The Chancellor may recommend exceptions to any of the following naming policies, subject to approval of the Board of Trustees and after consultation with University leadership when appropriate.

2 Scope

2.1 This policy applies to all property owned or controlled by the State of North Carolina and allocated to Appalachian State University, all property owned or controlled by the Board of Trustees of the Endowment Fund of Appalachian State University, and all operating units and programs of Appalachian State University.

3 Definitions

4 Policy and Procedure Statements

4.1 Proposed Contribution Levels

Proposed contribution levels for naming facilities and units, as well as information about potential benefactors or honorees, must be routed through the responsible dean or equivalent officer to the Vice Chancellor for University Advancement (with a copy to the Provost when the proposal involves academic facilities, units or programs) before naming opportunities and/or gift levels have been discussed with prospective benefactors or honorees. The Vice Chancellor will ensure that appropriate University Advancement giving levels and policies are being followed. Instructions for submitting naming requests to the Vice Chancellor are available from the Office of University Advancement.

4.2 Communications Plan

Depending upon the nature and scope of the naming of a facility, operating unit, or program, a communications plan will be initiated by the requesting unit or program to ensure that other areas on campus are aware of the new or changed name. If the message is to be communicated broadly externally, the requesting unit or program should coordinate with the Office of University Communications.

4.3 Nomination Process

The procedure for accepting, screening and approving persons who are nominated for the honor of having a facility, operating unit, or program named for them is as follows:

  1. Nominees must meet established criteria.
  2. Individuals may be nominated by faculty, staff, students, alumni or friends of the university. Each nomination shall be presented to the Chancellor or Vice Chancellor for University Advancement in written form and shall include the name of the nominator(s), a vitae or brief biography of the proposed honoree, a description of accomplishments making the honoree worthy of naming, and any other supporting documentation deemed appropriate to assist in the deliberations.
  3. The Vice Chancellor for University Advancement will check the credentials and eligibility of nominees.
  4. The Vice Chancellor for University Advancement shall review nominations with an advisory committee known as the Advisory Committee on Naming Facilities, Operating Units, and Programs and composed of the following:
    1. The Vice Chancellor for University Advancement, serving as chair;
    2. A faculty member appointed by the Chancellor from nominations made by the Faculty Senate;
    3. A staff member appointed by the Chancellor from nominations made by the Staff Senate;
    4. A student member appointed by the Chancellor from nominations made by the Student Government Association;
    5. A member of the Appalachian State University Alumni Association appointed by the Chancellor;
    6. A Director of Development appointed by the Chancellor;
    7. The Vice Chancellor for Business Affairs;
    8. A member of the Appalachian State University Foundation, Inc. Board of Directors appointed by the Chancellor.
  5. The Advisory Committee on Naming Facilities, Operating Units, and Programs shall make recommendations to the Chancellor regarding naming. The Chancellor shall select nominees for presentation to the Board of Trustees.
  6. Following approval by the Board of Trustees, the Chancellor will announce the naming. The Vice Chancellor for University Advancement will coordinate the naming and ensure that all applicable contribution levels continue to be met.
  7. The naming policy shall be reviewed periodically by the Office of University Advancement. All recommended changes must be approved by the Chancellor and Board of Trustees.

4.4 Naming Facilities, Units and Programs

4.4.1 The act of naming a University facility or unit for a person, a family, or an organization is the conferral by the University of a high honor, bestowed upon those who have made a substantial and sustained contribution to the University or have brought special distinction to the University, to the State, or to society at large by services rendered. The act of naming a facility or unit is to be taken seriously and with concern for how that action will be viewed in the retrospect of decades. In recommending the conferral of a naming honor on individuals, families or organizations, the Chancellor's Advisory Committee on Naming Facilities, Operating Units, and Programs shall evaluate the whole legacy of those individuals or organizations on the basis of standards relevant to the honoree’s own time.

4.4.2 It is the policy of the University that facilities, operating units, or programs of the University may be named for individuals, families or organizations in consideration of financial contributions made to the University.

4.4.3 A facility or unit may also be named for a University faculty member, staff member, administrator, alumnus or trustee, or for a public servant or elected official, who is being honored solely for services rendered to the University, State, nation, or society-at-large. Great care must be exercised in bestowing this honor because of the large number of facilities and units that require the private financial support that ordinarily generates a naming honor. Moreover, the consideration for a naming solely for service shall not be undertaken by the Committee until the proposed honoree (1) shall have been deceased for not less than one year or (2) shall have been retired, resigned, or otherwise separated from service to the University for not less than one year. If, however, a proposed naming under the provisions of this paragraph is in response to a financial contribution, the requirement of a delay shall not apply.

4.4.4 Corporate or other organization names may be used to name any University facility. As with individuals honored with facility namings at the University, corporations or organizations proposed for namings should have a positive image and demonstrated integrity. Additional due diligence should be taken to avoid any appearance of commercial influence or conflict of interest. Signage reflecting a corporate or organizational naming of a facility must conform to all University signage guidelines.

4.5 Status of Contribution at the Time of Naming

When a facility or unit is to be named in consideration of a financial contribution, the gift shall have been received by the University or affiliated charitable organization or its future receipt shall be assured through the appropriate signed gift agreement, before a naming action shall be taken, as follows:

  1. Pledges to be paid over a period of time, typically up to five years, are acceptable for current naming of facilities and units when at least the first significant pledge payment has been received and a signed pledge payment agreement for the remainder has been received.
  2. Irrevocable planned gifts may generate current naming of facilities and units if current cash flow considerations are not an issue for the requesting facility or unit. Irrevocable planned gifts will be credited at their present value and particular emphasis will be given to the predictability of the long-term value of the irrevocable deferred gift.
  3. Combinations of revocable planned gifts and cash may occasionally generate current naming opportunities under the right circumstances. Each combination request must be explained fully to the Advisory Committee and a case made for the appropriateness of the naming given the specifics of a particular gift. Particular emphasis will be given to the cash flow requirements of the requesting facility, unit or program, the predictability of the long-term value of the revocable deferred gift component, and the predictability of its receipt.

4.6 Duration and Modification of Namings

4.6.1. The duration of a benefactor's or honoree's name on any facility or unit ordinarily continues for as long as the facility or unit is used in the same manner or for the same purpose for which the naming occurred. Upon demolition, replacement, substantial renovation, re-designation of purpose, or similar modification of a named facility or unit, the University may deem that the naming period has concluded. The appropriate University representative will make all reasonable efforts to inform in advance the original benefactors or honorees or their surviving family members when the naming period is deemed to have concluded.

4.6.2. In the event of a corporate or organization naming of a facility, unit or program, if the corporate or organization name changes, the University may deem that the naming period has concluded.

4.6.3. When the benefactor's or honoree's naming period has concluded, the facility, unit or program may be renamed, with the original name removed, in recognition of new gifts, subject to any specific terms and conditions set forth in the original naming agreement.

4.6.4. In exceptional circumstances, additional names may be added to a facility, unit or program in recognition of an additional gift even if the prior benefactor's or honoree's naming period has not concluded, subject to any specific terms and conditions set forth in the original naming agreement. Hyphenation is one method for jointly naming a facility or unit.

4.6.5. In appropriate instances, most often involving a corporate benefactor, a naming may be granted for a pre-determined fixed term. At the end of the term, the name of the facility or unit shall expire but may be renewed with the same or a new name. The gift agreement should clearly specify the period of time for which the facility or unit will be named.

4.6.6. In certain circumstances, the University reserves the right, on reasonable grounds, to revoke and terminate its obligations regarding a naming, with no financial responsibility for returning any received contributions to the benefactor. These actions, and the circumstances that prompt them, may apply to an approved naming that has not yet been acted upon or to a conferred naming.

4.6.7. If the benefactor's or honoree's reputation changes substantially so that the continued use of that name may compromise the public trust, dishonor the University's standards, or otherwise be contrary to the best interests of the University, the naming may be revoked. However, caution must be taken when, with the passage of time, the standards and achievements deemed to justify a naming action may change and observers of a later age may deem those who conferred a naming honor at an earlier age to have erred. Namings should not be altered simply because later observers would have made different judgments.

4.6.8. If the benefactor fails to maintain payments on a pledge upon which the naming was bestowed, the naming may be revoked. If a planned gift upon which the naming was bestowed does not result in the value agreed upon, the naming may be revoked.

4.6.9. A naming may be revoked in the same manner that it was approved.

5 Additional References

6 Authority

Delegations of Duty and Authority to Boards of Trustees, Appendix I, The Code of the Board of Governors of the University of North Carolina

7 Contact Information

Vice Chancellor for University Advancement, (828) 262-2090

8 Original Effective Date

Approved 03/11/90

9 Revision Dates

Revised: 12/08/06
Revised: 03/24/17