Naming of Campus Facilities
The naming of a university property, program, or facility is an honor that contributes to the university’s sense of its heritage and is a significant event in the history of the institution. The University President has authority and responsibility for approving the name of buildings and facilities or parts thereof on behalf of the university, and recommending approval by the Institutions of Higher Learning (IHL) State College Board of Trustees in accordance with applicable laws and rules.
The naming of buildings, programs, and other facilities at Delta State University, such as laboratories, classrooms, auditoriums, offices and common areas, is one manner in which the university can honor an individual’s contributions to the institution. Any recommendation for the naming of buildings, parts of buildings or outdoor areas of the campus shall be based on what is in the best interest of the university. Each naming proposal should take into account established criteria and other guidelines.
PROCEDURES and RESPONSIBILITIES
Individuals or groups for whom facilities are named must have made significant contributions to the university. To preserve the integrity of the “naming” process, this honor is reserved for individuals of recognized accomplishments and character. Contributions may be significant financial gifts or distinguished service to or recognition brought to the university.
1. Naming for a Benefactor (financial or in-kind gift required)
The university may recognize a substantial gift benefiting the institution by naming a facility in appreciation of the gift. Each situation should be judged on its own.
A. A facility may be named for an individual or organization benefactor who makes a significant contribution toward the costs of initial construction or renovation of a building, component of a building, or other physical facility on campus. The university will establish and regularly revise a list of available naming opportunities and minimum gift expectations for naming.
B. A naming gift may also be a significant contribution of funds initiating or supporting programs, scholarships, specialized equipment, operations, or other needs of the university. Endowment funding of significance that offers sustained support into perpetuity will be preferred in consideration of naming opportunities.
2. Naming for Service to or Recognition Brought to the University
A naming honor for a building or a major facility may be conferred to recognize individuals who have attained achievements of extraordinary and lasting distinction. Generally, these are individuals who have had direct, substantial, and active association with the university and displayed a distinguished record of scholarship, creativity, leadership, humanitarian service or public service.
A facility, property or program may be named after a member of the university community (faculty or staff) who has been retired from full-time service with the university at least three (3) years or who has been deceased at least three (3) years.
Beginning in 2010 and at each five year interval thereafter, the University President shall convene a Naming Advisory Committee (committee). The president shall charge the group to review naming proposals and make recommendations to him/her for the naming of any university property, program or facility. At a minimum, the committee’s membership shall include one member each from:
- The President’s Cabinet
- University Faculty
- University Staff
- The Delta State University Alumni Association
- The Delta State University Foundation
Any individual or group associated with the university may submit a proposal to the committee for naming a facility for the reasons indicated above. The committee’s principal task is to review proposals and make naming recommendations to the president.
- Each proposal shall include:
- a description of the facility and the name proposed to be honored;
- a biographical summary of the person proposed; and
- a statement of rationale articulating the distinctiveness of the individual’s contributions to the University.
- The committee shall give timely consideration to all proposals, weighing them on their individual merits and consulting with the President when appropriate and necessary.
Considering the sensitivity of the matters under consideration and their potential for creating misunderstanding, all stages of the proposal, review and recommendation process must be conducted in confidence.
While being timely in its consideration and approach, the committee will follow a deliberative approach. Those proposing a “naming” are cautioned that the process may take considerable time and involve an extensive review process. The committee generally will not consider proposals in the immediate aftermath of one-time events, as the passage of time ensures greater objectivity.
In recommending the naming of a facility or programmatic unit for a person, family or organization, the committee shall have a reasonable assurance that:
a. the proposed name will bring additional honor and distinction to the university;
b. the recognition implied by the naming is appropriate for the significance of the contributions by
the individual, family, or organization; and
c. any philanthropic commitments connected with the naming can be realized.
Removal of a Name – The University reserves the right to remove a name from any facility or program covered by this policy. The Naming Advisory Committee may convene to discuss the circumstances surrounding the issue and make a recommendation to the president or the president may act unilaterally as to whether the name should be retained or removed. Circumstances that may lead to the removal of a name may include but are not limited to the examples shown below:
a. the commission of and conviction for a crime by an individual whose name appears on a naming
b. the failure of a donor to fulfill gift commitments as specified in a stated agreement (e.g., estate
gifts, failure to honor pledge, etc.)
If a structure is demolished, there is no assumption that the facility name will be used on the replacement structure or another facility.
The University President shall have the sole authority to make exceptions to these policies and procedures in order to serve the University’s interests.