About This Policy
- Effective Date:
- Date of Last Review/Update:
- Responsible University Office:
- VP for Capital Planning and Facilities
VP for Diversity, Equity, and Multicultural Affairs
- Responsible University Administrator:
Board of Trustees / President, Indiana University
- Policy Contact:
Capital Planning Project Specialist, Office of the Vice President for Capital Planning & Facilities
- Policy Feedback:
- If you have comments or questions about this policy, let us know with the policy feedback form.
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- This policy applies to the naming of all permanent physical facilities and permanently established organizations of Indiana University for the purpose of commemorating persons, for administrative description, and for temporary or working use.
- This policy does not apply to (i) the designation or announcement of the availability of organizations or facilities for naming (that is, naming opportunities); (ii) organizations or facilities that are intended to be temporary; (iii) forms of individual recognition, such as faculty chairs, professorships, scholarships, fellowships, awards, and other individual honors; or (iv) sponsorship agreements governed by the Licensing and Trademarks policy (FIN-LT-01).
- Authority for Naming
- Authority for the naming of organizations and facilities within Indiana University rests with the Trustees of Indiana University upon the recommendation of the President of Indiana University, except for the areas specifically delegated to the President or other university officers for final approval.
- Final approval authority for the initial naming, change of names, or removal of names of organizations and facilities shall be assigned as follows:
The President may reassign the responsibilities of university officers in the event of a reorganization.
Objects of Naming / Types of Names Facility – Major Facility – Minor Organization – Major Organization – Minor Working VPCPF Dean (or administrative head) President Provost/Chancellor or EVP Clinical Affairs (specific to naming related to IU School of Medicine) Administrative President Dean (or administrative head) Trustees Provost/Chancellor or EVP Clinical Affairs (specific to naming related to IU School of Medicine) Commemorative – Memorial Trustees President Trustees President Commemorative – Benefactor Trustees President Trustees President
- The Vice President for Capital Planning and Facilities shall annually provide to the Facilities Committee of the Board of Trustees a list of all complete naming proposals received during the preceding year, the classification of each proposal (as major, administrative, etc.), and the current status of each proposal in the approval process.
- Criteria for Names and Types of Names
- The criteria for naming in this policy constitute minimum standards; i.e., the criteria are necessary but not sufficient for approval. The Naming Committee, President, designated university officers, and Board of Trustees retain full discretion to decline to recommend or adopt a naming proposal that otherwise appears to meet the criteria.
- Working Names
- Working names are temporary and will be replaced either upon the formal dedication of a facility or organization, or if there is no formal dedication, upon commencement of the operations of an organization or completion of a building.
- Working names should be unique, short, and descriptive of the facility or organization being named.
- The use of multiple working names for a single facility or organization is strictly to be avoided.
- Administrative Names
- Administrative names are intended to be permanent. They must be unique on the campus on which the facility or organization is located and, where possible, they should be unique within the university. They should describe the use or purpose of an organization, facility, or exterior space (e.g., Botany Greenhouse, Department of English); indicate a location (e.g., North Street Garage); or adopt some other neutral designation, such as the name of a tree, flower, animal, or geographic or geologic feature (e.g., Meadow Lodge).
- Administrative names should be dignified, appropriate for permanent use, suitable for the facility or organization and, where possible, have some obvious relevance to the facility or organization.
- Commemorative Names
- The commemorative naming of organizations and facilities recognizes those who have made significant contributions in service to, support of, or honor of Indiana University. Such naming seeks to recognize the best Hoosier values and traditions, with a special emphasis on those who have been strong advocates of the pursuit of knowledge and the enhancement of higher education.
- Major academic facilities and major academic organizations should be permanently named for individuals and not for corporate entities.
- There are two categories of commemorative names:
- Memorial Recognition
- Memorial naming recognizes individuals who have made extraordinary contributions to Indiana University, the state of Indiana, the nation, or the world, and whose lives and personal qualities deserve to be remembered and emulated. The individual or the individual’s contribution should usually have a relationship to the facility or organization being named.
- To maintain the significance of the honor, the memorial naming of any facility or organization shall remain a rare method of honoring individuals. Other prestigious university honors should be considered before a memorial naming is proposed. Ordinarily, a memorial honoree would have previously received (including posthumously) such an honor, and there would be a compelling reason that the further recognition of a memorial naming is appropriate.
- For memorial naming of major facilities and major organizations, a five-year waiting period shall be observed after the death or retirement of the individual before consideration for such distinction, unless specifically approved by the Board of Trustees.
- Benefactor Recognition
- Benefactor naming recognizes substantial financial contributions by donors to the university in accordance with applicable university and IU Foundation policies on the value of gifts. In determining the appropriateness of naming as benefactor recognition, the following factors may be considered, in addition to the personal qualities described above: the net present value of any and all gifts to Indiana University or the IU Foundation from the donor to be honored, and, in particular, of the gift (if any) that motivates the naming; the appropriateness of associating the donor's name with Indiana University; and the donor's other contributions to the university, including volunteer activities, awards, and assistance with other projects.
- In no case will a benefactor naming be approved by the Trustees before the execution of a legally enforceable gift agreement.
- A benefactor may ask the university to name a facility or organization for an individual other than the benefactor, or the benefactor’s immediate family, provided that the proposed individual exhibits the personal qualities described above, the individual's permission is obtained as required by paragraph (d) of this section, and the individual is not otherwise disqualified from naming based on paragraph (e) of this section.
- Memorial Recognition
- A dossier (typically prepared by the proponent of the naming in the originating unit) which contains the information required by this section, appropriately verified, shall accompany all proposals for commemorative naming. The dossier shall also include the written permission of the individual to be named (or an appropriate representative, in the case of memorial naming) to use the name as proposed.
- Major facilities and major organizations may not be named for public officials while they continue in office.
- University Naming Committee
- The University Naming Committee, appointed by the President, will advise the President concerning all names to which this policy applies. The President will appoint university vice presidents to chair and/or co-chair the committee, and the committee’s membership shall include the Vice President for Capital Planning and Facilities, the Executive Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Multicultural Affairs, the President of the IU Foundation, and others selected from among senior officers of the university with responsibility for legal, public affairs, facilities, financial, and academic affairs. The President may appoint additional members of the committee as needed to perform its duties.
- The offices of the Vice President for Capital Planning and Facilities and the Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Multicultural Affairs shall jointly staff the committee and coordinate all aspects of the naming process.
- All naming proposals that require approval by the President or the Board of Trustees must be presented first to the Vice President for Capital Planning and Facilities (for facilities) or the Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Multicultural Affairs (for organizations). If the appropriate vice president finds that the proposal and dossier are complete and appear to meet the relevant criteria, that vice president may refer the proposal to the University Naming Committee. The appropriate vice president may also seek additional information from the proponent of the naming or consult with the President or the co-chair of the University Naming Committee in determining whether to refer a proposal to the committee. The President, provost, a chancellor, or a vice president may refer other naming proposals to the committee through this procedure.
- The committee will be responsible for assuring that naming proposals include a thorough, factual investigation of the proposed honoree and that the proposal otherwise meets the stated criteria, making recommendations to the President on naming proposals, and advising on naming policy and procedures, as needed. The committee may establish such subcommittees as it deems appropriate to carry out its duties and responsibilities. The committee will meet at the call of the chair.
- Changes to or Removal of Names
- The removal of or change in the name of a facility or organization may be initiated only by the provost, a chancellor, a vice president, the president of the IU Foundation, the president of the university, or a trustee.
- In the absence of an express delegation by the President to a special committee appointed and charged by the President, the same process for naming a facility or organization in the first instance shall be implemented for changing or removing the name of a facility or organization, and the Naming Committee shall retain the authority for administration of this process.
- When a facility or organization ceases to exist, the university will make every effort to continue to commemorate memorial or benefactor recognition in an appropriate way; however, the university will not usually transfer a name to another facility or organization.
- In the case of a benefactor naming, the university may remove a name upon the failure of a financial commitment to be satisfied.
- The university reserves the right to remove a name from a facility or organization under extraordinary circumstances when the continued use of the honoree’s name would compromise the public trust and reflect adversely upon the university and its reputation. The removal of an honoree’s name from a facility or organization must not be undertaken lightly, and it must be approached with respect for the considered judgments of the past, especially when exercised by the contemporaries of the honoree, and with an awareness of the fallibility of our own judgments. The decision-making process must include, at a minimum, the following:
- An articulation of specific behavior(s) or course(s) of conduct on the part of the honoree on which the request for the removal of the honoree’s name is based;
- A fact-finding investigation of the specific behavior(s) or course(s) of conduct, including an examination of contemporaneous records related to the consideration of the naming, and the historical, personal, and (if relevant) academic context, of the behavior(s) or course(s) of behavior;
- Thoughtful consideration of the impact on the university and the university community of both retention and the removal of the honoree’s name from the facility or the organization, including but not limited to the following:
- The nature of the specific behavior(s) and course(s) of conduct;
- The centrality of those behavior(s) and course(s) of conduct to the honoree’s life as a whole;
- The prominence or role of named facility or organization in the daily life of the university;
- The relationship of the honoree to the university’s history;
- The degree to which retaining the name will interfere with the ability of the university community to teach, work, learn, and live in the community;
- Whether retention of the honoree’s name compromises the university’s mission or conflicts with the university’s fundamental values.
The university may also consult with immediate relatives and heirs of the honoree, as well as individuals involved in the initial naming decision, before making a recommendation.
- Upon the removal of a name under this section, the name of the facility or organization will revert to name immediately previous. If there is no previous permanent name, an administrative name will be adopted. The process for an initial naming will be utilized if the facility or organization is subsequently renamed.
Reason for Policy
- This policy is established to provide for an orderly, coordinated, and informed practice of naming Indiana University facilities and organizations in such a manner as to ensure the appropriate recognition of the traditions of the institution, including the opportunity to honor and recognize its distinguished alumni, benefactors, and friends.
- Careful consideration must be given to associating any name with the excellence and reputation of Indiana University. Therefore, this policy is designed to ensure the proper vetting and consultation before making such decisions.
- Approval to Proceed for Commemorative Names
- For the commemorative naming of major facilities and major organizations, all initial approaches to, or serious discussions with, a benefactor or representative of an individual to be memorialized must have the prior approval of the chief development officer of the university; the responsible provost, chancellor, or vice president; and the President.
- The purpose of preliminary approval is to ensure that the contemplated naming is likely to be consistent with university and campus goals and priorities, with university and campus development plans, and with the terms of this policy. The approval to proceed permits the approach or discussions to begin and a proposal and dossier to be prepared; approval to proceed does not assure approval of the completed proposal and dossier.
- Requests for the President's approval to proceed shall be routed through the Vice President for Capital Planning and Facilities (for facilities) or the Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Multicultural Affairs (for organizations). The request should contain sufficient information to reflect the approvals in paragraph (1) and address the purposes of paragraph (2) of this section.
- Approval Process for Names Requiring Presidential or Trustee Approval
- The University Naming Committee will only accept naming proposals from the provost, a chancellor, a vice president, the president of the IU Foundation, or the President of the university.
- Proposals for benefactor naming will only be accepted upon approval from the chief development officer of the university.
- A complete proposal includes a dossier that addresses and verifies all of the applicable criteria in this policy, including:
- A precise description of the facility or organization to be named
- The exact name to be adopted
- The basis or reason for the naming; for commemorative names, why the proposed name is appropriate to the facility or organization
- For memorial naming, whether the five-year rule is applicable
- For commemorative names, whether the individual is currently a public official
- For benefactor names, analysis and approval by the IU Foundation. The Foundation's analysis should usually include consideration of the net present value of the gift, other contributions and activities of the donor, consistency with announced gift opportunity amounts, consistency with other university gift amount policies, and other naming opportunities
- Approvals by the relevant department, school, and campus leadership (as appropriate)
- If the naming is for someone other than a donor, formal permission of that individual or authorized representative.
- In considering a naming proposal, the University Naming Committee may seek additional information or recommend approval or disapproval to the President.
- After receiving the recommendation of the University Naming Committee, the President may seek additional information, disapprove the recommendation, or approve the recommendation and, when appropriate, forward the recommendation to the Board of Trustees. The Board will consider proposals according to its normal operating procedures.
- In order to ensure adherence to consistent naming conventions, and to avoid confusion due to duplication, the Naming Committee must be notified of working and administrative namings of minor facilities or organizations which that are covered by this policy but do not require action by the University Naming Committee, President, or Trustees.
- A dean, provost, chancellor, or vice president may seek the informal advice of the Vice President for Capital Planning and Facilities (for facilities) or the Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Multicultural Affairs (for organizations) on any question concerning a proposed name to which this policy applies or may potentially apply. Either may choose to refer such questions to the University Naming Committee.
A.Objects of naming:
Facilities: All permanent physical structures, in whole or in part, including interior spaces of structures and exterior spaces, whether or not connected with a particular structure.
Organizations: All permanent units of organization, including schools, colleges, academic and non-academic departments, centers, institutes, offices, academic programs, and administrative and auxiliary units.
B.Types of facilities and organizations:
Major Facility: Any large or prominent facility. Examples include large or well-known structures, academic buildings, facilities that receive frequent visits by the general public; prominent interior spaces, such as a main atrium or entrance, auditorium, library, the floor of a building, a playing surface; and prominent exterior spaces, such as a street, plaza, park, quadrangle, or open atrium. In case of doubt, a facility should be considered major.
Minor Facility: A facility to which this policy applies and which is not major. Examples include small structures; facilities designed for service or incidental purposes or that are rarely visited by the general public; most interior spaces, including classrooms, offices, lounges, laboratories' physical space, and work spaces.
Major Organization: Any formally established, prominent academic unit of the university, including schools and colleges. Any organizational unit that must be approved by the Board of Trustees or by the Indiana Commission for Higher Education is a major organization. In case of doubt, an organization should be considered major.
Minor Organization: A permanently established organization to which this policy applies and which is not major. Examples include most departments, centers, institutes, clinics, laboratories (as organizations), divisions, and administrative and auxiliary units.
C. Types of names:
Working Name: A temporary name which will be replaced by a permanent administrative or commemorative name. Working names are typically used in the planning, development, and construction phases of a facility or organization.
Administrative Name: A permanent name for a facility or organization, which is primarily descriptive or decorative. The name of an individual or corporate entity may not be considered an administrative name.
Commemorative Name: The name of an individual person or persons which is assigned as a permanent name for a facility or organization.
Memorial Name: A commemorative name for a facility or organization that recognizes an individual (or individuals) who has made extraordinary contributions to Indiana University, the state, the nation, or the world.
Benefactor Name: A commemorative name for a facility or organization that recognizes substantial financial contributions by a donor or donors to the university.
Permanent: Expected to continue in existence for at least ten years or indefinitely. An administrative name is considered permanent even if it is hoped or expected that it will be replaced by a commemorative name.
Temporary: Not permanent.
- This policy is founded on the values and principles of the late University Chancellor Herman B Wells, who throughout his life repeated his conviction that every aspect of the environment of a university campus should provide an aesthetic and educational dimension. He believed that wherever the eye rested, it should see something beautiful, something uplifting. He also urged that the utmost care go into the selection of a name. Even though these sentiments often were associated with facilities, they apply equally to the excellence in programs and services across the university thus the naming of such units and activities deserve equal attention and diligence.
- Approved by Board of Trustees, May 7, 2010.
- The policy adopted on May 7, 2010 superseded the Naming Policy for Buildings and Grounds dated June 2, 2006, and any amendments thereto.
- Updated August 19, 2011.
- Updated October 4, 2019, to provide further guidance on changes to and removal of names.
- Updated July 1, 2021, to provide updates to the makeup of the committee chairs.
- Naming Proposal Memo was updated August 5, 2021.
- Naming Proposal Memo was updated April 27, 2022.