9.5 Naming of Places, Colleges, or Schools

9.5

Naming of Places, Colleges, or Schools

Last Update Approved: June 5, 2015

Edited/Revised: July 8, 2015

Revised Effective: August 7, 2015

Middle Georgia State University, in cooperation with the Middle Georgia State University Foundation, seeks private funds to enhance the University’s ability to meet the higher education needs of the middle Georgia region and to achieve a level of excellence that would otherwise not be possible through state funding levels and student tuition. To that end, the University seeks to provide appropriate recognition to donors for their generosity.

Although such recognition may take many forms, this policy establishes guidelines for the naming of Colleges, Schools and places, including facilities, streets, and identifiable areas of campus landscape and interior spaces.

Reason for Policy

The University System of Georgia Board of Regents (BOR) approved a revised policy on Place Naming at its October 2013 meeting. The new Policy 7.4.1, “Naming of Places, Colleges or Schools” applies to the naming of all Board of Regents real estate and facilities and includes all property owned or leased by the USG, including facilities constructed, donated or acquired by affiliated organizations of the institution.

Per BOR Policy Manual, Section 9.1:

The term “Real Estate” will have the same meaning as “Real Property” and includes:

  • Land and anything permanently affixed to or growing upon the land;
  • All rights issuing out of, annexed to, and exercisable within or about land; or
  • Any estate or interest in land.

The term “Facility” or “Facilities” includes buildings and structures and improvements of all types, outdoor areas, campus grounds and athletic venues.

  • BOR Policy Manual, Section 7.4.1 requires Board of Regents approval of all proposed namings of Places, Colleges or Schools to be named in honor of a living or deceased individual, corporation, foundation or organization.
  • Section 7.4.1 grants authority to System presidents to name certain interior spaces.
  • Section 7.4.1 does not address the naming of functional buildings on campus-utilitarian spaces which are not to be named in honor or memory of a particular person, but which nonetheless need to be uniformly identified.

Procedures

Each naming opportunity category on the Middle Georgia State University campuses follows unique procedural steps for approvals at the institutional level.

For naming a place or unit in honor of a living or deceased individual, corporation, foundation or organization:

  1. Detail the request on the “Request  to Name/Rename a Place, College or School” form which includes a brief justification for the naming;
  2. Submit the form to the appropriate dean, unit director, associate vice president or vice president for approval;
  3. Forward to Advancement for verification that philanthropic giving criteria has been satisfied and confirmed by signature of VP for Advancement;
  4. Forward for administrative approvals by the Provost , EVP for Finance and Operations;
  5. The EVP for F&O will present for Cabinet approval, obtain President’s signature, and submit to the BOR for final consideration.

For naming an interior space:

  1. Detail the request on the “Request to Name/Rename an Interior Space” form which includes a brief justification for the naming;
  2. Submit the form to the appropriate dean, unit director, associate vice president or vice president for approval;
  3. Forward to Advancement for verification that philanthropic giving criteria has been satisfied and confirmed by signature of VP for Advancement;
  4. Forward to the EVP for Finance and Operations for approvals by the Provost, EVP for Finance and Operations;
  5. Final approval shall be given by the President.

The Office of the Executive Vice President for Finance and Operations will coordinate with other campus departments to ensure that the new building name is reflected in all records and publications

General Guidelines

Placing the name of an individual, family or corporation on a building, room, center, institute, professorship, or scholarship at a college or university is a time-honored tradition among institutions of higher education and is one of the highest distinctions to be bestowed. Generally, the naming of facilities and academic programs recognizes an individual’s high scholarly distinction, devotion, distinguished service, and/or giving.

Namings may be authorized for outstanding and distinguished service, for philanthropic giving, or both. The Board will authorize namings to honor a living person only when that person has been disassociated from employment by the USG or from local, state, or federal government employment for at least two years prior to seeking Board approval. In the event that the individual being honored is no longer living, the two year waiting period may be waived.

BOR authorized namings shall not be modified. The namings of facilities and grounds of an institution will endure only for the useful life of the facility or feature and not in perpetuity. If a facility or area is substantially changed, a named building or area may no longer exist. In that event, the president of an institution may determine if maintaining the name for transfer to a new facility or area is appropriate and seek BOR approval as appropriate.

All naming opportunities are negotiable, and the University retains its discretion to make exceptions or alter criteria or conditions as appropriate to the circumstances. While each naming opportunity must be considered individually, the following general principles will be applied:

  • The merits of naming any facility, street, identifiable areas of campus landscape or interior space will be determined by carefully weighing the individual’s high scholarship, devotion, or distinguished service and should be able to stand the test of time.
  • All naming requests should confirm that the honoree or donor meets the highest moral and ethical standards.
  • Naming a facility, street, identifiable areas of campus landscape, or interior space is associated with a significant gift. The University and the foundation should maximize the potential of fund raising in association with any naming. Namings authorized without associated fund raising should be the exception.

Monetary Donation Guidelines

The President of Middle Georgia State University is responsible for ensuring that a proposed naming associated with a monetary gift(s) is consistent with the interests of the institution and the University System of Georgia. Generally, the following schedule will be used to determine the gift required for a naming commitment.

To name a… Suggested Gift Amount
Building
New At least 1/3 cost minimum, but determined according to scale.
Existing At least 1/3 of the private fund-raising goal.
College/School Unit $5,000,000-10,000,000 (At least ¾ of the gift should be unrestricted endowment to ensure flexibility for the overall enhancement of the college, school or unit.)
Department $2,000,000-5,000,000 (At least ¾ of the gift should be unrestricted endowment to ensure flexibility for the overall enhancement of the department.)
Lecture/Performance Halls, or Auditoria
New At least 1/3 cost minimum, but determined according to scale.
Existing $100,000 minimum but determined according to scale.
Classroom, etc. $100,000 minimum but determined according to scale.
Exterior Spaces, Courtyards
New At least 1/3 cost minimum, but determined according to scale.
Existing $250,000 minimum but determined according to scale.

All fundraising initiatives of the University associated with the naming of buildings or facilities will be approved by the President and governed by this policy and the policies of the Board of Regents. The President may appoint an institutional advisory committee which may include representation from the Middle Georgia State University Foundation.

Per BOR Policy Manual, Section 7.4.1, in order for a place or an academic unit to be named based upon a contribution, the gift will comply with the following guidelines:

  1. The gift must be in irrevocable form to be paid within a five-year period and based upon a signed pledge commitment.
  2. Where possible, namings should be associated with endowment gifts; if a gift is to construct a facility, presidents are encouraged to seek at least a portion of the gift for endowment to support the facility or academic programs associated with the facility.
  3. Generally, deferred gifts such as life insurance and bequests are not to be used for current naming opportunities. Institutions should discuss with the interested donor(s) about the possible naming opportunities that may be available when the gift is actually received. No request for a naming should be made to the Board based on a deferred gift.
  4. In cases where a gift is paid over a period of time, presidents should make the formal naming request to the Board only when at least half of the total gift has been received by the institution.

De-Naming/Name Removal

In the event financial commitments are not kept or the honoree fails to maintain the high standards upon which the original naming honor was based, the University reserves the right to remove the name from the facility.

Signage

All signage related to the naming opportunity must be consistent with the University’s Master Plan and will adhere to Board of Regents Policy Manual, Sections 908.03 and 917.