Naming of Campus Assets Policy

Policy Category General
Policy Number 1.7.2018.B
Policy Name Naming of Campus Assets Policy
Responsible Department Advancement Office
Original Approval Date February 2011
Approval Authority Board of Governors
Last Updated May 2018
Review Date 2019





A policy for the philanthropic, honorific or functional naming or renaming of Nipissing University physical assets, academic entities and awards.


Nipissing University welcomes the opportunity to honour individuals, companies or organizations whose philanthropic contributions enhance the University’s facilities, academic programs and/or reputation. This policy addresses the principles and procedures for the approval, establishment and maintenance of naming opportunities.


This policy applies equally to all Nipissing University campuses, departments and faculties.



The following definitions shall apply in this policy:

  • Philanthropic naming: Naming in recognition of an act of philanthropy, generally defined as a charitable gift to the University. The donor may select another individual or individuals for recognition.
  • Honorific naming: Naming to confer or imply honour or respect, generally involving recognition of outstanding individuals distinguished in character or attainments. Gifts associated with honorific naming may be contributed by individuals or groups, or may be supported by designated funds. It may include a major contribution to the development of Nipissing University, which enhances its status as an academic institution. It also may be in honour of a person who has given extraordinary distinguished service to the University.
  • Functional naming: Naming to signify a relationship between the University asset, the academic entity or award and particular activities, functions or uses.


The Policy includes:

  • Buildings (new and existing) or substantial parts of buildings (wings, floors, theatres, lounges, segments etc.)
  • Streets, walkways, gardens and other common and green spaces
  • Rooms and spaces within existing and new buildings
  • Faculties, Departments, Schools
  • Programs of service or recreation
  • Lectureships, special lecture series, fellowships
  • Collections of books, artifacts, manuscripts, maps, works of art and any other collection
  • Research programs
  • Endowed academic positions
  • Scholarships, bursaries and other student awards
  • Other naming opportunities as may be reasonably considered suitable



The following principles shall govern judgments about the naming or re-naming of University campus assets. They reflect and reinforce principles expressed in the University’s Gift Acceptance Policy.

  • Each naming or re-naming shall enhance the mission and priorities of the University while preserving its commitment to academic freedom, autonomy and integrity.
  • Consistency will be sought in making naming choices such that similar service or support of the University will result in comparable levels of naming recognition. Given Nipissing’s shared campus, care should be taken with ensuring relative consistency with campus co-tenants.
  • Market value principles should be applied in assessing the worth of naming rights to University campus assets.
  • Preference will be given to naming that avoids the necessity of change in recognition in light of the possibility that activities associated with the University asset may change over time.
  • Naming or renaming may be established in perpetuity or for a defined and limited period of time.


The following procedures have been developed in order to implement the above-noted principles and to provide opportunity for careful and systematic reflection prior to the naming of campus assets by the University:

  • The authority for the approval of the naming or re-naming of campus assets is vested in the Board of Governors.
  • The Board is the final approval authority for naming associated with gifts in excess of $5 million.
  • For naming associated with gifts in excess of $500,000 and less than $5 million, the Board of Governors delegates authority jointly to:
    • the President, and
    • at least one of:
      • the Vice-President, Finance & Administration, or
      • the Provost & Vice-President, Academic and Research
  • For gifts up to and including $500,000, the Board of Governors delegates authority for naming jointly to:
    • the President, and
    • at least one of:
      • the Vice-President, Finance & Administration, or
      • the Provost & Vice-President, Academic and Research, or
      • the Head of Advancement
  • Additionally, prior approval by specific resolution or motion of the Board is required for naming associated with:
    • any gift which, in the opinion of the President, Vice-Presidents, or Head of Advancement, exposes the University to uncertain and potentially significant liability;
    • any gift which, in the opinion of the President, Vice-Presidents, or Head of Advancement, is precedent setting and involves sensitive issues;
    • any gift which, in the opinion of the President, Vice-Presidents, or Head of Advancement, is of unusual complexity, including potentially gifts involving real property, residual interests, charitable remainder trusts, assets with limited liquidity, or cultural property.
  • Notwithstanding any authority delegated via this policy, the Board of Governors may specify that the naming associated with gifts from certain donors or donor constituencies be reserved for its direct approval.
  • The President, Vice-Presidents, and Head of Advancement may also seek input from the Fundraising Committee of the Board of Governors pertaining to naming associated with a proposed gift.
  • All naming must be in accordance with this policy and with accountability to the Board.

If the President wishes to bring a particular naming or re-naming proposal to the Board of Governors for its direct approval, nothing in this policy shall be interpreted as preventing him or her from doing so.


  • Where no time commitments or limitations are specified in connection with a naming, consistent with the principles of this policy and that of the Gift Acceptance Policy, the University reserves the right to rename an asset at any time, in keeping with the authority specified in Section 3.2 of this policy. In the event of the death of a benefactor or liquidation of a corporation or organization, a period of one year shall lapse prior to a change of name, unless the donor agreement specifies otherwise.
  • In the unusual circumstance that the University determines, in its sole discretion, that the naming of a University asset may directly or indirectly have a negative impact on the University’s mission, priorities, commitment to academic freedom, autonomy, and integrity, (e.g., conviction of a serious offense by the donor), the naming of the University asset may be changed or discontinued irrespective of time commitments in related gift agreements, decision support documents or announcements in keeping with the authority specified in Section 3.2 of this policy.
  • Notwithstanding any other provision of this policy, no naming shall be approved or continued that calls into question or constitutes a significant challenge to the public respect or reputation of the University.
  • Should key elements of a donor agreement associated with a naming commitment not be fulfilled, discontinuance of the naming and/or renaming may be required in keeping with the authority specified in Section 3.2 of the policy.
  • When a University asset is proposed for renaming or discontinuance, reasonable efforts will be made to inform any related benefactor or honoree in advance. If the benefactor or honoree is deceased, reasonable efforts will be made to inform the closest family members in advance of the change.



The following procedures have been developed to support this policy:

Honorific Naming or Renaming:

  • Proposals may originate from any member of the University community. Members shall forward their recommendation in writing to the appropriate executive leader(President, Vice-President, Dean, Associate Vice-President, Head of Advancement) in accordance with the terms of the policy.
  • The executive leader, receiving such a proposal, shall evaluate it, and consider concerns that stakeholders may have. If deemed worthy of further consideration, the proposal shall be forwarded to the Fundraising Committee for deliberation.
  • Upon review by the Fundraising Committee, the proposal will either be:
    • Declined
    • Returned to the executive leader who originated the proposal for further consideration
    • Forwarded to the Advancement Office for additional input
    • Forwarded to Senate with respect to endowed chairs, professorships, fellowships and lectureships in accordance with Senate requirements
    • Recommended for approval as defined in keeping with Section 3.2 of this policy

Philanthropic Naming:

  • In the context of major campaigns and annual fundraising, from time to time the Advancement Office shall propose a schedule of naming opportunities to the Fundraising Committee.
  • In all instances, the President shall advise all members of the University Board of Governors, in confidence, of naming decisions prior to being announced publicly.
  • The President shall ensure that appropriate agreements with external parties are in place prior to any public naming announcements. The terms of such agreements concerning naming shall be consistent with this policy, and open to review by the Board.



  • The Advancement Office shall oversee the maintenance of all named asset records, agreements and supporting documents.
  • The Finance Department shall be responsible for maintaining and updating a complete inventory of named University assets.
  • At any time, the Fundraising Committee and/or the Board of Governors may request that the President provide a report on a specific named asset or a report of a general nature.


In order to ensure that this Policy continues to be effective, it shall be reviewed annually by the Fundraising Committee of the Board of Governors. The Head of Advancement is responsible for initiating this review.

Resolution 2011-02-03: Moved by P. Goulet, seconded by C. Dennis that the Board of Governors accept the recommendation of the Advancement Committee that the Board approve the revised Naming of Campus Assets Policy dated January 2011. CARRIED.

Revised May 3, 2018 – Resolution 2018-05-08