Pol-Naming of University Physical Space, Endowed Funds, and Academic Units
policy modified Tue Jul 11 2023 11:49:30 GMT-0400 (Eastern Daylight Time)
University of Louisville
Naming of University Physical Space, Endowed Funds, and Academic Units
June 22, 2023
This policy applies to naming proposals related to the University of Louisville, University of Louisville Research Foundation, and the University of Louisville Athletics Association.
REASON FOR POLICY
This policy provides criteria and procedures for university advancement proposals that honor donors with opportunities to name physical spaces, endowed funds, and academic units. Physical space naming opportunities include buildings, landmarks, interior spaces (hallways, lobbies, portions of buildings, etc.) as well as exterior spaces (lawns, courtyards, etc.). Endowed fund naming opportunities include endowed positions, scholarships, fellowships/assistantships, awards/recognitions, etc. Academic unit naming opportunities include departments, colleges, schools, centers, and institutes.
In collaboration with the Office of the President, University of Louisville Foundation, Board of Trustees, and other relevant parties, University Advancement has established this policy to ensure that naming opportunities appropriately reflect or enhance the university’s image and reputation; maintain the university’s mission and vision; meaningfully and appropriately honor, recognize, and thank donors; and provide a level of consistency and transparency among colleges, campuses, and university peer groups related to naming standards.
The University of Louisville requires all naming proposals (including re-naming and the removal of names) of university physical spaces, endowed funds, and academic units related to philanthropic contributions to comply with the required approvals, criteria, and the procedures outlined in this policy. The full naming procedures are provided in the Procedures section of this policy.
All naming proposals must first be approved by the Vice President for University Advancement with the endorsement of the vice president whose area is impacted. The Vice President for University Advancement, in consultation with the University President, shall initiate the process for decisions on naming proposals. All proposed contribution levels for naming physical spaces must be routed through the appropriate dean, the Executive Vice President and University Provost, and the Vice President for University Advancement before naming proposals and/or gift levels have been discussed with prospective donors.
The Vice President for University Advancement shall advance the following naming proposals to the University Naming Committee:
- Gifts of $500,000 or higher;
- Renaming opportunities;
- Naming removal request; and
- Naming opportunities related to prominent public spaces, those with heavy usage, or those linked to significant university traditions.
The University Naming Committee replaces the University Advisory Committee on Designations and Awards. This committee is to make decisions regarding the naming of physical spaces, endowed funds, and academic units. The President will designate university stakeholders to serve on this committee, which must include a representative from the Faculty Senate, the Staff Senate, and the Student Government Association, appointed pursuant to their respective by-laws, and a representative from the Board of Trustees (ex-officio and non-voting) appointed pursuant to its by-laws.
For naming proposals that require the Board of Trustees approval, the University Naming Committee will provide a recommendation to the President, who will bring the proposal to the Board of Trustees. The following proposals related to naming require approval by the Board of Trustees:
- Gifts of $1 million or higher;
- Gifts of $100,000 to $999,999 if the nameable space is considered a prominent public space, meaning having high visibility, heavy usage, or linked to significant university traditions; and
- Whenever the President otherwise deems it to be in the best interest of the university to request approval by the Board of Trustees.
Naming decisions related to UofL Health will be determined by UofL Health, in collaboration with the CEO of UofL Health, the Vice President for University Advancement, and the University President.
The criteria below details gift types for which naming proposals may arise, as well as minimum funding levels for each type of proposal. Minimum funding levels are subject to change in accordance with the endowment policies of the University of Louisville Foundation and to the extent required by the Board of Trustees.
All philanthropic gifts associated with naming proposals must be accompanied by a charitable gift agreement signed by the donor, the University of Louisville, and the University of Louisville Foundation. Additionally, those charitable gift agreements associated with the naming of UofL Health facilities, departments, programs, or health specialties shall require the signature of the UofL Health CEO.
Corporate or other organization names may be used to name a physical space, endowed position, or academic unit. As with individuals honored with a name at the university, corporations or organizations with a naming proposal should have a positive image and demonstrated integrity. In the instance of corporate or organizational naming proposals, additional due diligence should be taken to avoid any appearance of commercial influence or conflict of interest. Signage reflecting a corporate or organizational name that is displayed on university property must conform to all applicable university policies and guidelines.
Recommended names must comply with the following criteria to be considered for naming or renaming physical spaces, endowed funds, or academic units:
1) There are no conflicts with other names on the particular campus.
2) The name does not call into question the public respect of the university.
3) Acceptance of the name does not imply the university’s endorsement of a partisan political or ideological position or of a commercial product.
1) Naming Physical Spaces
The Vice President for University Advancement, in collaboration with the University Naming Committee, will recommend what percentage of a gift must be fulfilled prior to the commencement of construction or renovation of a particular physical space. The committee, when determining required minimum gift amount for naming physical space construction or renovation, may consider:
1) Costs of sufficient maintenance and operations of the physical space.
2) Costs of previous construction, as appropriate.
3) Amount needed to begin construction or renovation.
All costs associated with naming a physical space, including signage materials, shall be covered by the donor as part of the naming gift.
a) New Facilities and Campuses
If a building is to be constructed entirely through private funds, the naming proposal requires a minimum gift amount of 50 percent of the total construction costs of the building. If a building is to be funded through a combination of private funds and other funding sources, the minimum gift amount of the naming proposal must equal 50 percent of the private fundraising goal and no less than 20 percent of the total construction costs of the building.
b) Existing Facilities, Spaces, Monuments, and Campuses
Proposals to name existing unnamed physical spaces, portions of physical spaces, or renovations to physical spaces shall be presented to the Vice President for University Advancement. Proposals to name existing physical spaces in need of renovation may be named with a minimum gift amount of 50 percent of the cost of renovation of the particular physical space.
2) Naming Endowed Funds
Naming endowed funds (positions, scholarships, fellowships/assistantships, awards, etc.) shall require a minimum gift as outlined below and are subject to the requirements outlined in the policy statement above.
A named endowed position will not follow a person to any other institution, organization, or college or institute within the University of Louisville. Named endowed positions will be transferred to subsequent faculty or administrators, or left vacant, in collaboration with the relevant dean and the provost.
a) Named Endowed Deanships: This philanthropic support will provide deans additional resources to meet special needs or implement certain priorities of their college or unit. Once an endowed dean has been named, all successors will be accorded this title. With Provost approval, funds can support compensation, research, valuable learning opportunities, and/or the expansion of academic programs. Minimum level: $5 million.
b) Named Endowed Directorships and Department Chairs: This philanthropic support will assist in the recruitment and retention of exceptional scholars by providing dedicated resources for innovative research and teaching. Endowed positions may also provide a flexible resource to meet the special needs and priorities of an academic department. Once an endowed department chair or director has been named, all successors shall be accorded this title. With Dean approval, funds can support compensation, research, valuable learning opportunities, and/or the expansion of academic programs. Minimum level: $3 million.
c) Named Endowed Faculty Chairs: This philanthropic support will enable the most distinguished faculty members to excel in their academic discipline by providing dedicated resources for innovative research and teaching opportunities. With Dean approval, funds can support compensation, research, valuable learning opportunities, and/or the expansion of academic programs. Minimum level: $2 million.
d) Named Endowed Professorships: This philanthropic support will enable faculty members, particularly early career faculty, to excel in their activities by providing dedicated resources for innovative research and teaching opportunities. With Dean approval, funds can support compensation, research, valuable learning opportunities, and/or the expansion of academic programs. Minimum level: $1 million.
e) Named Endowed Staff Positions: With relevant Vice President or Dean approval, this philanthropic support will provide compensation support for strategic staff positions. Minimum level: $1 million.
f) Named Endowed Visiting Professorships: With Dean approval, this philanthropic support will provide compensation support for outstanding visiting faculty for a specified duration. Minimum level: $500,000.
g) Named Endowed Scholarships, Fellowships/Assistantships, and Awards/Funds: Donors have opportunities to support existing endowed scholarships, fellowships/assistantships, or awards/funds, or they may choose to establish a new endowed opportunity. The minimum amount for all named endowments is $25,000 (subject to changes by the minimum endowment policies of the University of Louisville Foundation and to the extent required by the Board of Trustees). Minimum level: $25,000.
h) Named Endowed Faculty Research or Teaching Fellowships: This philanthropic support will establish an endowed research or teaching fellowship to recognize the leadership potential of talented faculty and encourage professional growth by providing funding to pursue new ideas, creative research projects, or innovative teaching. Minimum level: $300,000.
i) Named Endowed Graduate Fellowships: This philanthropic support will establish graduate fellowships to help UofL recruit and retain the highest-achieving, creative, and innovative advanced-degree candidates. Typically covering tuition, stipend, and/or basic living expenses, including health care benefits, fellowships ensure graduate students remain focused on their studies rather than the cost of education. Minimum level: $100,000.
j) Named Endowed Lectureships: This philanthropic support will provide an opportunity to engage and educate community members, current students, alumni, and friends of the university through the appearances of national and global experts on campus. Minimum level: $100,000.
k) Named Endowed Student Scholarships: This philanthropic support will establish named endowed scholarships and offer donors the opportunity to create scholarships and establish criteria for recipients. Minimum level: $25,000.
l) Named Other Endowed Funds: This philanthropic support will establish named endowed funds used to support students, faculty/staff, research, program support, or faculty/staff recognition. Minimum level: $25,000.
3) Naming Academic Units
The naming of academic units (departments, centers, colleges, schools, and institutes) may contribute significantly to the defraying operating costs, etc. of the particular academic unit, while enhancing student enrollment, student retention, research, and/or other revenue-generating activities. These naming opportunities are non-physical only and do not include the physical spaces in which these academic units are housed. Gift amounts may vary by academic unit. Proposals should be submitted to the Vice President for University Advancement following consultation with the vice president for the relevant area. The Vice President for Advancement will present the proposal to the University Naming Committee.
4) Planned or Deferred Gifts
The conditions for conferring a naming on the basis of a planned or deferred gift commitment may vary based on factors such as the kind of physical space or academic unit which is proposed to be named and when the naming is proposed to be conferred.
a) Funding Level
Minimum funding level requirements may increase over time. Naming opportunities made on the basis of deferred gifts (e.g., bequests) will be conferred only if the gift meets the minimum funding level requirements when the gift is realized. All deferred gifts and affiliated naming opportunities shall be outlined in a charitable gift agreement that is fully executed by all required signatures.
b) Requirements for Deferred Commitments
Present-day naming opportunities may be reserved and named based on a gift commitment that defers payment (i.e., with a will commitment or deferred-gift vehicle) to a date more than five years from the agreement date only when the following conditions apply:
i) The donor appropriately documents that their commitment is irrevocable and that current cash flow considerations are not an issue for the requested naming;
ii) Actuarial and financial calculations indicate the net present value of the donor’s commitment will be no less than if an outright gift in the full amount of the naming value were received on the date of the gift commitment; and
iii) The Vice President for University Advancement, in consultation with the University President and the Executive Director/Chief Operating Officer of the University of Louisville Foundation, when applicable, determines whether the conditions of the gift are beneficial to the university.
5) Duration of Names
a) The duration of a donor’s name on any physical space, named endowed fund, or academic unit continues for as long as it is used in the same manner or for the same purpose for which the naming has occurred. Upon demolition (of a physical space), replacement (including of equipment), substantial renovation, redesignation of purpose or similar modification of a named physical space, endowed fund, or academic unit, the University Naming Committee may deem that the naming period has concluded.
i) The appropriate university representative will make all reasonable efforts to inform the original donors or their surviving family members in advance of when the naming period is deemed to have concluded.
ii) In the event a physical space, endowed fund, or academic unit is named after a corporation or organization that changes its name, the university may deem that the naming period has concluded, subject to terms of the charitable gift agreement.
b) The duration of a name on a named endowed fund continues as long as is stated in the charitable gift agreement.
c) In some instances, most often involving a corporate donor, a naming may be granted for a pre-determined term, usually 3-5 years, as outlined in the charitable gift agreement.
d) If the donor’s naming period has concluded, the named physical space, endowed fund, or academic unit may be renamed, with the original name removed. Appropriate acknowledgement of previous names may be made, including, for instance, a plaque in or adjacent to new and renovated physical spaces, at the discretion of the university.
e) If a donor or honoree requests a change to the name of a physical space, endowed fund, or academic unit, the university will consider the request. If approved, all replacement signage and other related costs shall be at the donor's expense.
f) In certain circumstances when continuation of the name may compromise the public trust or reputation of the university, the university has the sole discretion to revoke and terminate its obligations regarding a naming, with no financial responsibility for returning any received contributions to the benefactor. These actions, and the circumstances that prompt them, may apply to an approved naming that has not yet been acted upon or to a conferred naming.
i) If the donor fails to maintain payments under a charitable gift agreement, including an unrealized bequest, upon which the naming was bestowed, the naming may be revoked.
ii) If a planned gift upon which the naming was bestowed does not result in the value agreed upon, the naming may be revoked.
The following procedures must be followed for all opportunities related to the naming of university physical space, endowed funds, and academic units.
1) Prior to any discussions with donors, a representative from University Advancement or an administrator from the appropriate unit will first present the naming opportunity to the Vice President for University Advancement.
2) The Vice President for University Advancement will review the opportunity and determine approval. If necessary, the vice president will forward the request to the University President or the University Naming Committee.
3) A representative of University Advancement will submit the naming proposal to the donor. If accepted, University Advancement will work with the University of Louisville Foundation to finalize a charitable gift agreement.
4) Gifts over $1 million or high-visibility naming opportunities, as determined by the Vice President for University Advancement in consultation with the University President, will be forwarded to the Board of Trustees for final review and approval.
POLICY REVIEW AND REVISIONS
This policy and the minimum funding requirements shall be reviewed a minimum of every three years from the date of approval. The Vice President for University Advancement will review this policy in consultation with the Office of the President, the University of Louisville Foundation, the Office of University Counsel, and any other appropriate university departments. The Vice President for University Advancement will present any proposed changes to the Board of Trustees for their review and approval.
The Office of University Advancement is responsible for the implementation of this policy. The University of Louisville Board of Trustees and employees are responsible for following this policy and associated procedures.
Vice President for University Advancement
RESPONSIBLE UNIVERSITY DEPARTMENT/DIVISION
Office of University Advancement
2301 S. Third Street
Grawemeyer Hall, Suite 203
Louisville, KY 40292
This policy replaces the University Designations and Awards Policy, Naming Guidelines, and associated procedures approved by the Board of Trustees on June 24, 2021.
This policy was approved by the University of Louisville Board of Trustees on June 22, 2023.
The University Policy and Procedure Library is updated regularly. In order to ensure a printed copy of this document is current, please access it online at http://louisville.edu/policies.