POL - 20.00.2 Naming of Facilities and Academic Programs Policy

Board of Trustees
Responsible Office:
Institutional Advancement
Vice Chancellor for Institutional Advancement
Approved: November, 2004; Effective: September 23, 2015


1.  Purpose

This policy sets forth the procedures and criteria to be used in naming North Carolina Central University facilities and academic programs

2.  Scope

2.1   Facilities refers to permanent features of the campus that are owned, operated and controlled by North Carolina Central University.  These include new or existing buildings and their interior spaces such as wings, halls, laboratories, auditoria, classrooms and gymnasia, exterior spaces such as tennis courts, stadia, streets, tracks, fields and other landscape features and amenities.

2.2   Programs broadly refers to academic colleges, schools, departments, libraries, centers, institutes and other units associated with University operations. 

3.   Review

3.1   The naming policy shall be reviewed periodically by the Division of Institutional Advancement with all recommended changes requiring approval by the Chancellor and Board of Trustees.

4.   Roles and Responsibilities

4.1   Board of Trustees

4.1.1   The act of naming a facility or program shall be the responsibility of the Board of Trustees, acting after they receive a recommendation from the Chancellor.  Honorees should be informed throughout the naming discussions that final naming for all facilities and programs requires the approval of the Board of Trustees.

4.2      Chancellor

4.2.1   The Chancellor must approve any naming prior to submittal to the Board of Trustees.

4.2.2   The Chancellor will determine the following:  Whether the naming is consistent with the interests of the University;  Whether the honor is warranted by the contribution; and  Whether there is equity among the naming opportunities established for similar contributions.

4.3   Chancellor’s Advisory Committee on Naming Facilities and Academic Programs

4.3.1   When it appears that a contribution to the University or to the NCCU Foundation will result in a request to name a facility or academic program for a donor of individuals, the Vice Chancellor for Institutional Advancement should be notified.  The Vice Chancellor should be provided with a profile of the donor and of the honoree, the area of interest, any proposed stipulations and information on how the gift will be paid.  The Vice Chancellor will discuss the potential naming with the Chancellor, who may choose to convene the Chancellor’s Advisory Committee on Naming Facilities and Academic Programs. 

4.3.2  The committee shall be a permanent committee established to guide the development of recommendations to the Chancellor and Board of Trustees regarding the naming of university facilities and programs. 

4.3.3  Membership  The committee shall consist of between 6 – 12 current or former members of the university’s faculty, staff and administration who possess a thorough knowledge of the University’s past, present and plans for the future.  The Chancellor shall appoint committee members to a 2 year term that may be renewed once, according to the fiscal year calendar.  A member appointed to fill a vacancy shall serve for the remainder of that term and may be eligible for appointment to one 2 year term.  The Chancellor may remove any member at his/her discretion.  There are three ex-officio members who serve permanently: Vice Chancellor for Institutional Advancement and is a voting ex-officio member, A representative from the Office of Facilities Management and is a non-voting member, and a representative from the Division of Institutional Advancement and is a non-voting member.  The Secretary of the Committee shall be a representative of the Division of Institutional Advancement and provide support for the committee’s activities.  The Secretary is not a voting member  Ex-officio members are permanent members of the committees and serve as long as they hold their positions with NC Central University. 

4.6   Meetings

4.6.1   The chair shall schedule meetings as required to efficiently perform the duties of the committee.  A simple majority of the membership of the committee shall constitute a quorum.

5.   Naming Requirements

5.1   It is the policy of the University that facilities or programs be named primarily on the basis of financial contributions.  In these cases, there is no requirement that the honoree be deceased or separated from the university or public service.  However, a facility or program also may be named for services rendered to the university, state and nation by a university graduate, former public servant or member of NCCU’s faculty, staff administration or Board of Trustees. Great care must be exercised in bestowing the honor for service as the university forfeits the potential for considerable financial support with these nominations.  Consideration for naming based on service shall not be undertaken by the committee until:  (1) the prospective honoree has been deceased for not less than one year or (2) The prospective honoree retired, resigned or otherwise left the university or public service not less than one year prior to consideration.

5.2   Naming Facilities

5.2.1   Corporations and organizations are eligible prospective honorees for the naming of facilities.  However, additional due diligence must be taken to avoid any real or apparent conflict of interest or administrative/academic influence.  All signage must conform to university guidelines and may not include the organization’s logo or other branding components.

5.2.2   A gift for naming a facility should equal at least one-third of the total project cost or the portion of the total project cost that must be raised from the private sector. Donors also may provide at least one-third of the total replacement cost of an existing facility not scheduled for renovation. In these cases, an endowment for the facility will be established with at least 75 percent of the value of the gift.

5.2.3   Such an endowment would be managed by the North Carolina Central University Foundation, Inc. At such time as the University moves forward with the construction or renovation of the facility, the funds will be transferred to the University.

5.2.4   When a facility to be named is closely related to a school or department, representative members of its faculty, staff and students shall be consulted prior to the Committee’s submittal of a naming recommendation to the Chancellor and Board of Trustees.

5.3    Naming Programs

5.3.1    “Programs” broadly refers to academic colleges, schools, departments, libraries, centers, institutes and other units associated with University operations. Corporations or organizations are not eligible to name a University program.

5.3.2    A gift for naming a program should equal at least 75 percent of the existing endowment or operating budget for that program, whichever is greater; and

5.3.3    Reflect the size, national ranking or visibility of the program, as well as the gift values accepted for naming comparable programs in the discipline or on the University campus; and

5.3.4    Be substantial and significant, even transformative in nature, enabling the unit to improve its competitiveness or distinction, or perhaps establish a new program within its existing framework.  The program’s faculty, staff and students will be consulted prior to the Committee’s submittal of a naming recommendation to the Chancellor and Board of Trustees. The North Carolina Central University Foundation will manage these funds.

6.   Gift Types

6.1    When a facility or program is to be named in consideration of a financial contribution, the University or affiliated foundation shall have received the gift, or its future receipt shall be assured through the appropriate signed gift agreement, before a naming action shall be taken.

6.2    Pledges to be paid over a period of time, typically up to five years, are accept- able for current naming of facilities and programs when at least 50 percent of the pledged amount has been received and a signed pledge payment agreement for the remainder is also in hand. If the pledged donation is to name new construction, renovation or other projects with cash-flow considerations, the timing of the pledge payments should be such that sufficient current dollars are available to cover project costs.

6.3    Irrevocable planned gifts may be used for the naming of facilities and programs if current cash flow considerations are not an issue. Irrevocable planned gifts will be credited at their present value and particular emphasis will be given to the predictability of the long-term value of the irrevocable deferred gift.

6.4    Combinations of revocable planned gifts and cash may occasionally qualify for current naming opportunities under the right circumstances. The combination must be explained fully to the Committee and a case made for the appropriateness of the naming given the specifics of a particular gift. Particular emphasis will be given to any cash flow requirements, the predictability of the long-term value of the revocable deferred gift component, and the predictability of its receipt.

7.   Duration and Modification of the Naming

7.1    The honoree’s name shall remain as long as the facility is in use or the program remains active for the same purpose. Upon demolition, replacement, substantial renovation, or change of the purpose of a named facility or the ending of a program, the University may deem that the naming period has concluded.

7.1.1   The appropriate University representative will make all reasonable efforts to inform in advance the original benefactors or honorees or their surviving family members when the naming period is deemed to have concluded.

7.1.2   The University may, but is not required to, provide for the appropriate perpetuation of the previous name. Perpetuation of the original name in an equivalent naming is not required. Appropriate perpetuation of a previous name may include, for instance, a plaque in or adjacent to a new and renovated facility.

7.1.3   In cases in which the facility is named for a corporation or organization and the corporation or organization changes its name, the University may deem that the naming period has concluded.

7.2    When the benefactor’s or honoree’s naming period has concluded, the facility or program may be renamed in recognition of a new gift, subject to these guidelines and to any specific terms and conditions set forth in the original naming agreement.

7.3    In exceptional circumstances, additional names may be added to a facility or unit in recognition of an additional gift even if the prior benefactor’s or honoree’s naming period has not concluded, subject to any specific terms and conditions set forth in the original naming agreement. Hyphenation is one method for jointly naming a facility or unit.

7.4    In appropriate instances, most often involving a corporate benefactor, a naming may be granted for a pre-determined fixed term, usually three to five years. At the end of the term, the name of the facility or unit shall expire but may be renewed with the same or a new name. The gift agreement should clearly specify the period of time for which the facility or unit will be named.

7.5    If a benefactor or honoree requests a change to the name of a facility or unit (e.g., due to divorce or corporate merger), the University will consider the request. If approved, all replacement signage and other related costs shall be at the donor’s or honoree’s expense.

7.6    In certain circumstances, the University reserves the right, on reasonable grounds, to revoke and terminate its obligations regarding a naming, with no financial responsibility for returning any received contributions to the benefactor. These actions may apply to an approved naming that has not yet been acted upon or to a conferred naming. Circumstances that may give rise to such an action include the following:

7.6.1   If the benefactor’s or honoree’s reputation changes substantially so that the continued use of that name may compromise public trust, dishonor the University’s standards, or otherwise be contrary to the best interests of the University, the naming may be revoked. However, caution must be taken when, with the passage of time, the standards and achievements deemed to justify a naming action may change and observers of a later age may deem those who conferred a naming honor at an earlier age to have erred. Namings should not be altered simply because later observers would have made different judgments.

7.6.2   If the benefactor fails to maintain payments on a pledge upon which the naming was bestowed, the naming may be revoked.

7.6.3   If a planned gift upon which the naming was bestowed does not result in the value agreed upon, the naming may be revoked.