Naming Opportunities

University Policy 602.9, Naming Opportunities

I.  Policy Statement and Purpose

It is the practice of UNC Charlotte to recognize donors and friends of the University through the naming of certain Facilities and Programs. Naming opportunities provide a chance to recognize key individuals or entities that have made significant contributions in various forms to the University.  Naming opportunities also provide a chance to honor donors who are enthusiastic about the University’s mission and importance to the region, as well as those who wish to leave a legacy to the University.

Gifts in support of naming opportunities may be deductible in accordance with IRS guidelines. Each gift will be treated in accordance with the requirements applicable to the particular form that the gift takes.

II. Definitions

Facilities include buildings, rooms, exterior spaces, interior spaces, architectural features, streets, athletic courts, athletic fields, open spaces, as well as landscape materials or objects and associated exterior furnishings which may be marked by a tablet or plaque and all other areas owned, operated or controlled by UNC Charlotte, unless otherwise specified. 

Programs include colleges, schools, departments, degree programs, archives, collections, and other units associated with University functions.

III. Applicability

This policy applies to naming opportunities for Facilities and Programs that arise after its initial date of approval and, except for the provisions in Sections IV(a)(4) and (5) below, is not applicable to previously named Facilities or Programs at UNC Charlotte.

IV. Procedures

A. Naming Requirements

1.   Naming Facilities or Programs in honor of individuals who have provided significant service

  1. No Facility or Program may be named for any elected public official or any official of the State, the UNC system, or of the University while he/she is currently serving in his/her official capacity, unless recommended and approved by the Chancellor and the Board of Trustees.
  2. If a Facility or Program is to be named for a living individual, the factors to be considered include, but are not limited to:  length and quality of service to the University; impact on and significance to the University; professional and/or academic achievement.

2.  Naming Facilities or Programs that are funded with state funds, fees, and/or private gifts

  1. When naming a Facility or Program in recognition of a gift, the size of the gift should be relative to the cost of constructing the Facility and the relative visibility of the Facility or Program, regardless of the actual source of construction funds.
  2. The present value of a future gift will be used when considering a naming opportunity in recognition of an irrevocable deferred gift.  No Facilities or Programs will be named in recognition of revocable gifts unless authorized in writing by the Chancellor.
  3. When the University is considering naming a Facility or Program for a corporate entity where the Facility or Program is or will be funded in whole or in part by the proceeds of tax-exempt bonds, any naming must be reviewed by the Office of Legal Affairs prior to approval.
  4. When naming a Facility or Program in recognition of a gift, such gift shall be in accordance with University Policy 602.2, Solicitation and Acceptance of Gifts.

3.  Naming spaces within Facilities

  1. Rooms or other spaces within Facilities may be named in recognition of (1) service to the University, (2) gifts to Programs, or (3) funding the construction or upfit of a room or space.
  2. When naming a space in recognition of a related programmatic gift, the required size of the gift should take into consideration the public visibility; the intended use of the space; the size of the space; any special technology, equipment or furnishings that will be part of the space; and relationship to similar named spaces owned or controlled by the University.
  3. Proposals to name space within an academic facility require review and recommendation pursuant to Section IV.B.1(a) below.

4.  Names of Facilities that become obsolete or are demolished, or Programs that are discontinued or dissolved

a.   When a Facility becomes obsolete or is demolished:

  1. The Division of University Advancement will determine suitable recognition that acknowledges the previous gift, which most closely approximates the intent of the original gift. If possible, University Advancement should work with the original donor or an heir to determine suitable recognition.
  2. If the original Facility is replaced by a new Facility, a space within the new Facility should be considered to be named for the original donor, taking into consideration the amount of the original gift relative to the size and scope of the new Facility.
  3. To allow for flexibility in use of spaces over time, naming opportunities should avoid designations that would appear to restrict the use of spaces whenever possible. (For example, the Smith Classroom is preferable to the Smith Sociology Classroom.)

b.   When a Program is discontinued or dissolved:

  1. University Advancement will work with the donor or his or her heirs (or successor corporation if donor is a corporation) to identify a new naming opportunity that is consistent with the intent of the original gift. 
  2. If neither the donor nor his or her heirs (or successor corporation if donor is a corporation) can be located, the University will identify an appropriate new naming opportunity consistent with the intent of the original gift.

5.   Circumstances under which a Facility or Program name may be changed or removed

  1. The name of a Facility or Program that was named in recognition of a charitable gift may be removed at the discretion of the appropriate approval authority set forth in Section IV.B.2 below if the donor defaults on the gift payment.
  2. Without in any way affecting the general rule regarding the use of a corporate entity’s name for a building (as set forth in Section IV.A.2(c) above), in the circumstance where a Facility is named for a corporation or other organization in recognition of a charitable contribution, and the corporation/organization subsequently changes its name, the Facility’s name generally will not be changed, but will be preserved to recognize the historical donor. However, the name may be changed if: (1) a name change is requested by the corporation/organization, (2) the change is acceptable to the University as determined by the Chancellor or his or her designee, and (3) the corporation/organization pays the complete expense of making the change (e.g., signage, printed materials, etc.). 
  3. If an individual for whom a Facility or Program is named is convicted of illegal activity or otherwise engages in conduct that, in the sole discretion of the University, is injurious to the reputation of the University, the name may be removed, and any gift made in connection with the naming will be retained by the University.
  4. In the case of a donor’s name change, divorce, or other family dissolution, the name of a Facility or Program associated with that donor may be changed at the request of the donor or family, at the sole expense of the donor or family, provided the donor or family provides legal documentation of the name change and of the concurrence of all affected parties.

6.   Gift levels for named endowed funds, scholarships, chairs, and professorships

  1. The minimum endowment level required for scholarships and all other funds, except faculty positions, will be established by the UNC Charlotte Foundation Board upon the recommendation of the Vice Chancellor for Business Affairs, in consultation with the Vice Chancellor for University Advancement. Minimum endowment levels for faculty positions will be established by the Board of Trustees of the Endowment Fund of The University of North Carolina at Charlotte upon recommendation of the Vice Chancellor of Business Affairs, in consultation with the Vice Chancellor of University Advancement.
  2. This minimum endowment level does not preclude higher endowment levels when programmatic needs dictate a necessary higher level of annual income.
  3. In order to take advantage of the matching funds provided by the State Distinguished Professors Endowment Trust Fund to establish endowed professorships and chairs, minimum gifts must be given in accordance with UNC Board of Governors Policy 600.2.3, “Distinguished Professors Endowment Trust Fund.”

B.  Naming Approval Process

1. Nominations

  1. Any individual may nominate the naming of a non-athletic Program or Facility and submit that nomination to the Dean or director of the unit in which the naming is proposed.  The Dean or director will then review the proposal, and if appropriate, recommend to the Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, who, upon review, may recommend it to the Vice Chancellor for University Advancement or his/her designee. If the proposal has implications for the curriculum, the Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs should consult with the faculty prior to making any recommendation. At any time, the Chancellor, in consultation with the Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and the Vice Chancellor for University Advancement, may consider a nomination to name a non-athletic Program or Facility.
  2. Any individual may nominate the naming of an athletic Program or Facility and submit that nomination to the Executive Director of The Athletic Foundation of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.  The Executive Director will then review the proposal in consultation with the University’s Director of Athletics, and if appropriate, recommend to the Vice Chancellor for University Advancement or his/her designee. At any time, the Chancellor, in consultation with Executive Director of The Athletic Foundation, the Director of Athletics, and the Vice Chancellor for University Advancement, may consider a nomination to name an athletic Program or Facility.
  3. The Vice Chancellor for University Advancement or his or her designee shall then review the recommendation, ensuring it follows the Named Gift Standards (supplemental to this policy) or has a reasonable cause for deviating from those Standards, and decides whether to recommend to the Chancellor for further review and/or approval.

2. Authority

a. Chancellor

The Chancellor has final authority to establish the names of Programs (other than colleges and schools) and Facilities including rooms, interior spaces, exterior spaces, landscape materials, benches, sculptures or other objects, and associated exterior furnishing that may be marked by a tablet or plaque. The Chancellor will report any such naming to the Board of Trustees at its next regular meeting. The Chancellor must submit a request to change the name of an existing degree Program to University of North Carolina General Administration for authorization. (See UNC Policy 400.1.1.1[G], Guidelines for Academic Program Development.)

b. Board of Trustees

The Board of Trustees has final authority to establish the names of buildings, streets, and other Facilities other than those Facilities explicitly delegated to the Chancellor, as well as colleges, schools, centers, and institutes.

V.  Roles and Responsibilities

The Vice Chancellor for University Advancement is responsible for establishing and maintaining supplemental Named Gift Standards for naming Facilities and Programs consistent with Section IV.A above and the Bylaws of the Board of Trustees of The University of North Carolina at Charlotte, in consultation with the Named Gift Committee.

The Named Gift Committee will be chaired by the Vice Chancellor for University Advancement and will include the Executive Director of University Development, the Provost or designee, the Vice Chancellor for Business Affairs or designee, the Executive Director of The Athletic Foundation of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, and the Associate Vice Chancellor for Facilities Management or designee. The Committee will meet at least annually to review the Named Gift Standards and update them as needed.