Naming of University Schools and Other Academic Entities

Recommended By
Ruben Armiñana, President
Issue Date
Thursday, March 15, 2001
Current Issue Date
Thursday, March 15, 2001
Effective Date
Thursday, March 15, 2001
Contact Office
Academic Affairs
Policy number
  1. Authority
    The Board of Trustees of The California State University (CSU) has the authority to approve the naming of colleges, schools, and other academic entities at CSU campuses. The Board of Trustees policy on this subject was approved as of July 8, 1999. This policy is intended to encourage private support through opportunities to name colleges, schools, programs, centers, institutes, and other academic entities. Opportunities to name these entities are for fund-raising purposes only. Each proposal for naming a CSU college, school, program, center, institute, or other academic entity shall be considered on its own merits. No commitment for naming shall be made prior to Board of Trustee approval of the proposed name.
  2. Criteria for Selection of a Name 
    A name of a CSU college, school, program, center, institute or other academic entity presented for Board of Trustees' approval must meet the following criteria:
    1. It shall honor an individual or an organization.
      1. It is desirable for the CSU to name colleges, schools, programs, centers, institutes or other academic entities in honor of significant contributors of funds to the university.
      2. The Board of Trustees will take into consideration the significance and amount of the proposed current gift and future potential giving with regard to the academic prestige and recognition of the proposed college, school, program, center, institute, or other academic entity.
    2. In special circumstances, the Board of Trustees may waive any or all of the above criteria.
  3. Procedures
    1. Proposals for naming a college, school, program, center, institute or other academic entity 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 naming proposal to the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs and the Deans' Council. The Deans' Council shall consider the proposal and decide whether the proposal merits further consideration. The Deans' Council shall either accept the proposal for consideration or return it to the initiating unit with a written explanation for the rejection.
    3. If the Deans' Council accepts the proposal for consideration, the Provost will submit the proposal to the President. The President shall appoint a committee to evaluate the proposal.
    4. The evaluating committee shall consist of one to three members of the Deans' Council, one of whom shall serve as chair, and three to five members selected at large from the faculty, administration, staff, and students. The committee should include at least two university employees who are directly associated with the college, school, program, center or institute for which a name is being proposed.
    5. The evaluating committee, in its deliberations, shall consider the function of the college, school, program, center or institute, its history and traditions, the relationship of the entity to the campus as a whole, the relationship to the university of any individual being honored, the financial implications, and any other ramifications.
    6. At the conclusion of its study, the evaluating committee shall recommend to the Deans' Council whether or not the proposed name should be adopted and set forth the complete rationale for its recommendation.
    7. The Deans' Council as a whole shall review the committee's report and recommendation, reach its own decision, and forward its recommendation and rationale to the President.
    8. The President shall review the report of the Deans' Council, and consult in a timely manner with the Executive Committee of the Academic Senate and other university constituencies, as appropriate.
    9. If the President approves the naming proposal, he/she shall forward it to the Vice Chancellor for University Relations for presentation to the CSU Board of Trustees. Each naming proposal must:
      1. Be submitted at least six weeks prior to the Board of Trustees' meeting at which it is to be presented;
      2. Demonstrate compliance with Board of Trustees' policy;
      3. Succinctly state the reasons for the proposed name;
      4. Name the constituent group(s) or individual(s) initiating the proposal; name the constituent group(s) or individual(s) recommending the proposal to the President; and confirm that the President has consulted, in a timely manner, with the Executive Committee of the campus Academic Senate;
      5. Include complete biographical information about the individual or organization;
      6. Ensure that all participants involved in the process remember that strict confidentiality is required; and
      7. Identify the special circumstances, if any, when requesting a waiver of the policy.
    10. If the President does not approve the naming proposal, he/she shall return it to the Deans' Council and that body shall then communicate the decision to the initiating unit.
    11. If the Board of Trustees approves the proposed name, the President shall take all necessary steps to implement that decision.
    12. Confidentiality is to be maintained throughout the process until a decision is announced by the Board of Trustees.

Updated March 14, 2001 by