Naming of University Facilities

Recommended By
Ruben Armiñana, President
Issue Date
Friday, May 24, 1996
Current Issue Date
Wednesday, September 22, 1999
Effective Date
Monday, September 13, 1999
Contact Office
University Affairs
Policy number
  1. Authority 
    The Board of Trustees of the California State University has the authority to approve the naming of facilities and properties on CSU campuses. The Board has retained the authority to name major facilities; it has delegated to the Chancellor the authority to name minor facilities, and the Chancellor has delegated that authority to presidents. The Chancellor also has delegated authority to presidents to approve temporary namings for a facility or property, reflecting natural or geographic features, or reflecting a traditional theme of a university. Sonoma State University's (SSU) policy is based on the Board of Trustees' policy adopted in January of 1995, as amended July 3, 1999. 
    This policy is intended to encourage private support through opportunities to name campus facilities and properties, and only under extraordinary circumstances should facilities and properties be named without a gift. 
    Each proposal for naming a CSU facility or property shall be considered on its own merits. No commitment for naming shall be made prior to Trustee approval of the proposed name.
  2. Major Facilities
    1. Definition 
      Major facilities are defined as all buildings; major portions of buildings; university or college streets or roads; stadium and baseball fields and other areas of major assembly or activity; plazas, malls and other large areas of campus circulation; and all other highly visible facilities and properties.
    2. Criteria for Selection of Name 
      The name of a major facility or property presented for Trustee approval must honor an individual or an organization and must meet the following criteria:
      1. When a donor gift is involved:
        1. It is desirable for the CSU to name facilities and properties in honor of significant contributors of funds to the university.
        2. The Board will take into consideration the significance and amount of the proposed gift as either or both relate to the realization or completion of a facility of property or the enhancement of a facility's or property's usefulness to the university.
        3. Facilities and properties may be named for individuals or organizations responsible for a "substantial gift" benefiting the California State University. The term "substantial gift" in this context is deliberately not defined by arbitrary standards or by a specific dollar amount. Its interpretation is meant to be flexible so that each situation may be judged on its own merits and may take into account significant contributions of personal services as well as monetary or in-kind gifts. It is expected that each naming opportunity will recognize the donor according to the level of gift and size of facility.
        4. A donor gift can provide the funding for that portion of the total cost which would not have been available from any other sources (such as federal or state loans of appropriations, student, fees, bond issues, etc.).
      2. In the rare instance when no donor gift is involved:
        1. It should honor a person who has achieved unique distinction in higher education and other significant areas of public service, or who has served the CSU in an academic capacity and earned a national or international reputation as a scholar, or who has served the CSU in an administrative capacity and who, during administrative service, made extraordinary contributions to a CSU campus or the system which warrant special recognition.
        2. A proposal to name a facility or property in honor of an individual, who has served the university in an academic or administrative capacity, shall not be made until the individual has been retired or deceased at least two years.
        3. No more than one facility or property in the system shall be named after any one individual.
        4. No facility or property will be named after seated, elected or appointed officials.
    3. Special Circumstances: 
      In special circumstances, the Board of Trustees may waive any or all of the above criteria.
    4. Procedures
      1. Proposals for naming a major university facility may be initiated by any university office or recognized university organization. The proposal shall be formulated in accordance with the criteria set forth in this policy and shall include a detailed justification for the proposed name.
      2. The initiating unit shall submit the proposal to the Campus Planning Committee (CPC). The CPC shall consider the proposal and decide whether the proposal merits further consideration. The CPC shall either accept the proposal for consideration or return it to the initiating unit with a written explanation for the rejection.
      3. If the CPC accepts the proposal for consideration, the president shall appoint a subcommittee to evaluate the proposal. The subcommittee, in its deliberations, shall take into consideration the functions of the facility, the history and the traditions of the facility and its occupants, the relationship of the facility to the campus as a whole, the relationship to the university of any individual being honored, any financial implications, and any other ramifications. The subcommittee shall consist of one to three members of the CPC, one of whom shall serve as chair, and three to five members selected at large from the faculty, administration/staff, and students. The subcommittee should include at least two university employees who are directly associated with the facility.
      4. At the conclusion of its study, the subcommittee shall recommend to the CPC whether or not the proposed name ought to be adopted and shall set forth the complete rationale for the recommendation.
      5. The CPC as a whole shall review the subcommittee's report and recommendation, reach its own decision, and then forward its recommendation and rationale to the president.
      6. The president shall review the CPC's report, consulting in a timely manner with the Executive Committee of the campus Academic Senate, and with other appropriate university constituencies.
      7. If the president does not approve the proposal, he/she shall return it to the CPC and the CPC shall communicate the decision to the initiating unit. If the president approves the proposal, he/she shall forward it to the Vice Chancellor for University Relations.
      8. If the Board of Trustees approves the proposed name, the president shall take all necessary steps to implement that decision.
      9. Confidentiality is to be maintained throughout the process until a decision is announced.
  3. Minor Facilities and Temporary Namings
    1. Definitions
      1. Minor facilities are defined as individual rooms, limited areas and individual items or features within buildings, individual landscape items or features, limited outdoor areas, and other minor properties.
      2. Temporary namings of facilities or properties are those that reflect natural or geographic features or a traditional theme of a campus.
    2. Criteria for Selection of a Name 
      The name of a minor facility or property presented to the Campus Planning Committee and president must honor an individual or an organization and must comply with II.B. above.
    3. Procedures 
      Procedures 1 through 6 listed in II.D. above apply in the naming of minor facilities or temporary namings. Furthermore,
      1. If the president does not approve the proposal, he/she shall return it to the CPC and the CPC shall communicate the decision to the initiating unit. If the president approves the proposal, he/she shall take all necessary steps to implement that decision.
      2. Confidentiality is to be maintained throughout the process until a decision is announced.

Updated September 22, 1999 by