Naming of Campus Assets


1.1     SUBJECT

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

1.2     PURPOSE

Nipissing University welcomes the opportunity to honour individuals or organizations whose generous philanthropic contributions of time, talent and treasure enhance the opportunities for personal and academic development available for students and faculty as well as add to the profile and reputation of the communities where Nipissing has campuses. The purpose of this Policy is to address the principles and set out the procedures for the approval, establishment and maintenance of naming opportunities.

1.3     SCOPE

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.  Can include a major contribution to the development of Nipissing University, which enhances its status as an academic institution. Also 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. 

2.2     ASSETS

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 thought 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 service or support of the University of a similar nature will result in comparable levels of naming recognition.  Given Nipissing’s shared campuses, care should be taken to ensuring some 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 a naming that could avoid 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.  


Authority for the approval of the naming or re-naming of campus assets is vested in the Board of Governors, which has delegated this responsibility to the President according to the terms set out in this Policy.  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. 

Notwithstanding the authority delegated to the President by this Policy, the Board of Governors may specify that the naming or re-naming of particular University assets be reserved for its direct approval.


  • 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 the University asset at any time in keeping with the Authority specified in Section 3.2 of this Policy.  In the event of death of a benefactor or liquidation of a corporation or organization, a period of one year should lapse before the change of name. 
  • 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, (i.e. conviction of a serious offense), 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 will be approved or (once approved), continued that will call into serious question, or constitute a significant and continuing challenge to, the public respect or reputation of the University. 
  • Also if key elements of the terms of a donor agreement associated with the naming commitment are not fulfilled, discontinuance of a naming and / or renaming may be required in keeping with the Authority specified in Section 3.2 of this Policy. 
  • When a University asset is proposed for renaming, 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 next generation of family members in advance of the renaming. 



The following procedures have been developed in order to uphold the above-noted principles and to provide opportunity for careful and systematic reflection.

  • Naming or renaming proposals may originate from any member of the University community.  Members shall forward their recommendation in writing to the appropriate Executive (Vice-President, Dean, Executive Director) in accordance with the terms of the Policy. 
  • The Executive receiving such a proposal will evaluate the proposed naming or renaming including concerns that pertinent stakeholders may have and, if it is deemed worthy of further action forward to the Fundraising Policy and Advisory Committee (FPAC) comprised of the President, Vice-President Academic & Research, Vice-President Finance & Capital Projects, Dean of Arts & Science, Dean of Applied and Professional Studies, Dean of Education and the Executive Director External Relations and Advancement (to act as Chair). 
  • In the context of major campaigns and otherwise, the Office of External Relations and Advancement will propose a schedule of naming opportunities to the FPAC.  
  • Upon review by the FPAC, the proposal will either be: 
    • Declined 
    • Returned to the Executive that originated the proposal for further negotiation / review 
    • Forwarded to the Office of External Relations and Advancement for additional input 
    • Forwarded to Senate i.e. Endowed Chairs, Professorships in accordance with Senate regulations 
    • Recommended for approval as defined in keeping with Section 3.2 of this Policy 
  • In all instances, the President will advise all members all members of the University Board of Governors in confidence of naming decisions prior to their public announcements. 
  • The President will ensure that appropriate agreements with any external parties are in place prior to any public announcements about the naming. The terms of any such agreements concerning naming shall be consistent with this Policy. 



  • Once named, the Office of External Relations and Advancement will 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 Advancement Committee and / or the Board of Governors can request of the President 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 Board of Governors Advancement Committee. The Executive Director External Relations and Advancement is responsible for initiating this review.

The open session of the regular meeting of the Board of Governors was held on February 3, 2011 in the Nipissing University Boardroom F303.

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.

Naming of Campus Assets Policy - January 2011