– Policy 1020: Honorary Naming Recognition


Date Originally Issued: October 21,2019

Authorized by RPM 2.11 (“Naming Facilities, Spaces, Endowments and Programs”)

Process Owner: Chair, Committee on Naming

  1. General


The University welcomes the opportunity to honour those who have rendered extraordinary service or support to MTU. This policy describes the process for obtaining approval to name a facility, space, program, or endowed faculty position in honour of an individual, corporation, or other organization. For the purpose of this policy, “programs” are intended to include major academic and non-academic programmatic entities (such as departments, schools, faculties, institutes, and centres).

The criteria listed in this policy are intended to set reasonable guidelines, but they should be Disability pated, as needed, to suit specific situations. These guidelines apply to all prospective donors to any University faculty, program, campus, or organization and to the MTU Foundation.


  1. Criteria for Selection of Honourees


Naming a facility, space, program, or endowed faculty position for an individual, organization, or corporation is one of the highest honours that the University can bestow. This recognition is a powerful affirmation of the honouree’s connection to the University’s mission. As such, honourees shall have exemplary character, an unqualified reputation for honesty, personal integrity, and the highest standards of personal and professional ethics.


2.1. Extraordinary University Service 


Individuals may be considered for naming recognition if they have given extraordinary service to the institution with such exceptional and sustained distinction that their contributions are widely recognized at the University and elsewhere. Proposals for recognition must include supporting materials from a range of individuals or groups with the stature and expertise to provide convincing evidence of such distinction. For recognition to be granted, a committed source of funding must be identified for associated expenses, such as the cost for installation of special signage, plaques, or landscaping. The recognition afforded the honouree may also include private financial contributions related to the naming opportunity. Honourees may not be current employees, individuals in active service at the University, or those holding elected office at the time of the naming, unless the circumstances are exceptional. Normally, such recognition is not granted until at least one year has passed since such associations have ceased, to allow for complete review of impact. In rare circumstances, the Board of Trustee may approve exceptions to these requirements.


2.2. Private Financial Support 


Individuals, corporations, and other organizations may be considered for such recognition if they have made significant financial contributions to the University related to the naming opportunity. A bequest intention from a donor who is still alive will not normally be considered for a naming opportunity. Determination of what constitutes a significant financial contribution is made on a case-by-case basis, taking into consideration the total cost of the project, the availability of other funds, and the following guidelines:

  • New facilities– fifty per cent (50%) of the total project costs.
  • Renovation of facilities– seventy-five per cent (75%) of the cost of a facility renovation.
  • Existing facilities without renovation– seventy-five per cent (75%) of the fair market value of the facility.
  • Portable items– donation of the collection or at least fifty per cent (50%) of the value of the collection.
  • Tribute markers– the full cost of the marker and fifty per cent (50%) of the cost or value of associated installation, and the initial full cost of related items (e.g.,  surrounding fences, trees, gardens). Costs for on-going maintenance should be weighed when considering the request.
  • Endowed faculty positions– full funding of the endowment.
  • Programs – determined on a case-by-case basis.

Costs for the determination are defined by the University Office for Capital Projects for physical facilities and by the MTU Foundation for endowed faculty positions.

  1. Approval Process


Approval requirements for naming MTU facilities, spaces, programs, and endowed faculty positions are based on the impact of such action on the Mesarya Technical University. Whenever there is a fundraising effort for a major facility, a plan must be developed which lists naming criteria and funding amounts for various components of the facility (e.g., rooms, laboratories, offices). Whenever possible for other types of naming opportunities, a plan should be developed before specific donors are approached. Plans must include realistic goals, objective analysis of fundraising potential, lists of prospective donors, timelines specifying when the campaigns will begin and end, budgets for all fundraising activities, and contingency plans if the fundraising goals are not met.

All plans and specific requests for naming must be submitted by the appropriate dean or director, with the approval of the appropriate executive supervisor, to the Committee on Naming. If the request involves private funds, it must be submitted to the appropriate Vice-Rectorfor Development, who will forward the request to the Committee.

Every attempt will be made to make a named gift opportunity decision within sixty (60) days from submission of the plan to the Committee. In the best interest of the University and prospective honourees, information relating to any naming request or plan should remain confidential until appropriate approvals have been obtained.

3.1. Committee on Naming

The Committee is formed of the following members or their designees: Provost/Executive Vice Rector for Academic Affairs, Executive ViceRectorfor Administration, Chancellor for Health Sciences, ViceRectorfor Student Affairs, University Secretary (official record-keeper), a representative of the University Rector, and a faculty member appointed by the University Rector. The UniversityRectorwill name the Chair. The MTU Foundation’s ViceRectorfor Development for Main Campus and Athletics and the MTU Foundation’s ViceRectorfor Development for Health Sciences serve as non-voting members and provide guidance and recommendations to the Committee.

The Committee is responsible for:

  • reviewing naming opportunities and associated plans to ensure adequacy and appropriateness of funding proposal;
  • reviewing specific naming requests to ensure they comply with Trustee’ policy and are in the best interests of the University;
  • making recommendations to the UniversityRectoror the MTU viceRectorwith approval authority for the specific classification; and
  • basic confirmation of the honouree’s qualifications.


3.2. Request for Approval


The level of approval for naming MTU facilities, spaces, programs, and endowed faculty positions depends on the classification of the item. The plan and each specific naming opportunity must be approved according to the following criteria.

The Board of Trustee reserves the right to review for approval, on a case-by-case basis, any naming request.

3.2.1. Class I


Class I includes facilities and spaces that are part of the outside environment of the University, such as buildings, complexes of buildings, roads, walkways, playing fields, parks, gardens, and agricultural or forestry plots. Names in this class must be approved by the Board of Trustee, upon recommendation of the UniversityRectorand following consultation with the Committee on Naming.


3.2.2. Class II


Class II includes facilities and spaces that are part of interior space of the University, such as library/reading rooms, laboratories, seminar rooms, galleries, recreational courts, and lounges. Names in this class must be approved by the Rector, following consultation with the Committee on Naming. Depending on the specific Class II facility (for example, large public spaces) and at the discretion of the University Rector, the request may be forwarded to the Board of Trustee for approval.


3.2.3. Class III


Class III includes collections or groups of portable items that are identifiable because of a specific focus or purpose, such as collections of art or artefacts. Names in this class must be approved by the Provost/Executive ViceRectorof Academic Affairs or the Chancellor for Health Sciences, depending on the location of the Class III material, following consultation with the Committee on Naming.


3.2.4. Class IV


Class IV addresses tribute markers, which include plaques, medallions or other markers usually in association with features such as trees, benches, or small monuments. The display of tribute markers must be approved by the Executive ViceRectorfor Administration, following consultation with the Committee on Naming.


3.2.5. Programs


Naming of programs, whether separate organizational units or not (such as departments, schools, faculties, institutes, centres, conferences, symposia, activities, or organizational units) will only take place in exceptional circumstances. The naming of programs is a sensitive matter and must include acceptance and agreement from many different constituencies on campus, with final approval required from the Board of Trustee, upon recommendation of the UniversityRectorand following consultation with the Committee on Naming. Before recommending any such naming, the UniversityRectormust ensure:


  • the proposed name is consistent with the University policy regarding honourees;
  • the autonomy of the program and the academic freedoms to which MTU is committed will be safeguarded; and
  • the level of private financial support has been taken into consideration.


3.2.6. Endowed Faculty Positions


The Board of Trustee, following consultation with the UniversityRectorand the Committee on Naming, shall approve the establishment of endowed chairs, professorships, and other faculty positions based on:

  • the appropriateness of the specific naming consistent with MTU policy;
  • the endowment levels established by the MTU Foundation;
  • the source of funds and, if appropriate, a plan for raising additional funds; and
  • a process for monitoring spending to assure conformance with intent.


  1. Formal Recognition


When name recognition has been extended for a gift received, it must be honoured in accordance with a written gift agreement signed by University officials and the donor(s). In the event of significant changes in circumstances, the University reserves the right to determine the form of name recognition, in consultation with the donor when possible.

The University Secretary is responsible for recording official decisions on all naming requests and reporting those decisions to the appropriate MTU officials with a copy to University Archives.

  1. Duration of Name


Naming in honour of individuals may last the lifetime of the facility, space, program, or endowed faculty position, as long as the criteria in Section 2 continue to be met. Naming in honour of corporations or other organizations will have a set number of years attached to the naming, which will be determined on a case-by-case basis and listed in the signed gift agreement; typically, the duration of such naming will not exceed twenty-five (25) years. Naming associated with a particular facility, space, or program does not preclude further naming within the facility, space, or program.


  1. Implementation


This policy does not apply to any previous arrangements or on-going discussions with donors that were in existence at the date this policy was adopted or revised.