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  • Approval Dates:  March 1993, January 2003, March 2006, August 2007
  • Approved by:  Board of Governors
  • Jurisdiction:  Vice President, University Advancement

Purpose

This policy sets out the University’s guidelines for granting the honour of naming Ryerson University’s Faculties, schools, buildings, rooms, endowed chairs, programs and other initiatives.  The purpose of naming opportunities is to honour individuals, corporations, foundations, organizations and other entities whose generous contributions make possible the major advancement of the University’s Faculties or schools, the erection of buildings, the renovation of facilities, the establishment of endowed chairs, scholarships, bursaries or awards, and other important initiatives.

Application

This policy applies to the naming of the following entities:

1.         Faculties, departments or schools;

2.         Buildings or substantial parts of buildings (wings, lecture halls, classrooms, laboratories, etc.) or other locations on campus;

3.         Endowed programs of research, teaching or service;

4.         Chairs, professorships, lectureships, lecture series, awards for excellence in teaching, research, or performance of other academic responsibilities.

5.         Library services, collections of books or information resources in a range of formats;

6.         Endowed and annual scholarships, awards and bursaries for graduate, undergraduate and Continuing Education;

7.         Series of publications by the University or a division or department, endowed publication grants for books not designated as part of a series, and awards for outstanding publications;

8.         Other initiatives the University may see fit to name in order to perpetuate the name of a benefactor.

Principles

1.         Notwithstanding any other provision of this policy, no naming will be approved or (once approved) be continued if such a naming will call into question the integrity or reputation of the University.

2.         No naming should infringe on academic integrity or be deemed to imply the University’s endorsement of a partisan political or ideological position or of a commercial product or service.  This does not preclude a naming with the name of an individual who has at one time held public office or with the name of an individual, foundation, company or other entity that manufactures or distributes commercial products or provides commercial services.

Policy

1.         Where a building, or a part thereof or a facility has been name, the University will continue to use the name so long as the building, or a part thereof or facility remains in use and serves its original function, unless there is a separate agreement with a donor with respect to a specific period of time.  When the use of a named building, or a part thereof or a facility is changed such that it must be demolished, substantially renovated or rebuilt, the University may maintain the use of the name on such renovated or rebuilt building or part thereof or facility, designate another comparable building, or a part thereof or facility with such name, or discontinue the use of the name.  Where it is proposed that the use of the name not be maintained by the same name, the discontinuation will require the approval of the Board of Governors or of any committee thereof charged in its terms of reference with responsibility for naming.      

2.         Where an endowment has been established with a donation to continue or preserve an entity that has been named, the University will use its best efforts to maintain the capital value of the endowment in order to perpetuate what has been named (see Investments, dated March, 2002 and Establishment of a Stabilization Fund policy, dated April, 1999).

3.         A decision to erect a building, to establish a Faculty, school, department, chair or professorship, to begin a new academic program, etc. is to be taken on the basis of the usual academic and other criteria, and approved in the usual manner, as prescribed by the Senate and the Board of Governors.

4.         For recognition by naming of an entity, it will be expected that the benefactor, or other contributors wishing to honour an individual benefactor, will provide all or a substantial part of the cost of such entity:

a.         For the naming of a new or existing building, a contribution in the range of 30% of the total private sector support would be required.  The University would also encourage the benefactor to consider endowing the maintenance costs.

b.         For the naming of facilities within buildings, (i.e. classrooms, laboratories, etc.) or for renovated facilities, a donation in the range of 50% of the total cost of construction including furniture and equipment will be required.

c.         For the naming of chairs, professorships, lectureships and programs, the support from the donor, in most instances, will represent full funding whether in entirety from the donor or a combination of majority support from the donor with the balance of funding from other private, public or University sources.

d.         In determining the appropriate level of naming of an existing Faculty, school or department each naming opportunity should be recommended based on a process that includes a comparison of the practices of other universities and the division’s positioning compared with similar faculties, schools or department at other universities.

Two conditions must be met before the University will permit the naming of an academic unit after a benefactor, or at the request of a benefactor:

i.          That, after an investigation conducted with due diligence and consideration, the naming is believed to be consistent with the nature and mission of Ryerson University and will enhance the University; and

 ii.          That the tenure-stream or permanent faculty of the concerned academic unit support the naming.

These principles are operationalized as follows:

When the Vice President, University Advancement has a proposal for the benefactor naming of an academic unit (Faculty, school, department or program), the Provost and Vice President Academic, in consultation with the Executive Group, shall undertake an investigation to determine if said naming is in the interests of Ryerson University.  The investigation shall be conducted with due diligence and shall include, but not necessarily be limited to, consideration of the financial terms of the naming, consideration of whether the naming is likely to enhance or damage Ryerson’s reputation, and consultation with any faculty members whose field of expertise is likely to have given them knowledge of the benefactor’s activities and character.

When the unit in question is a school, department or program, the Provost and Vice President Academic shall undertake to determine whether the tenure-stream faculty in that unit support the naming.  The term “support” shall not be construed so broadly as to require perfect consensus, nor so narrowly as to consist of a bare majority of the tenure-stream faculty.  The Provost must give careful consideration to the nature and vehemence of any opposition to a naming proposal.

When the unit in question is a Faculty, the Provost will again determine whether the faculty in the affected Faculty support the naming, but it is noted that informal methods of doing so which may be adequate in the case of a school/department, are likely to be less reliable and less practical where the larger numbers in an entire Faculty are concerned.  Where a Faculty Council exists, that body’s decision should be taken as reflecting the views of the faculty.

e.         For naming of special collections or services in the University Library, the minimum endowment is $100,000.  This amount is subject to future change by the President and Vice President, University Advancement, in consultation with the Chief Librarian.

5.         For the naming of endowed scholarships, awards and bursaries, the minimum endowment for a named undergraduate scholarship, award or bursary or a Continuing Education scholarship, award or bursary is $25,000 and the minimum endowment for a named graduate scholarship, award or bursary is $50,000.  These amounts are subject to future change by the President and Vice President, University Advancement.

6.         For the naming of annual expendable scholarships, awards and bursaries, the minimum annual donation for a named undergraduate scholarship, award or bursary or a Continuing Education scholarship, award or bursary is $1,000 a year for five years, and the minimum annual donation for a named graduate scholarship, award or bursary is $2,500 a year for five years.  These amounts are subject to future change by the President and/or the Vice President, University Advancement.

7.         This policy does not apply to the recognition of contributions by the placing of plaques or other memorials where such recognition does not involve the naming of an entity as indicated above.  The President, or an officer or committee designated by the President, will have responsibility for approving all matters in connection with the size, design and location of plaques.

8.         Individuals representing the University will make clear to potential benefactors that naming may be subject to final approval by the Board of Governors.

9.         Where the commitment of a benefactor which desires to be recognized by a naming, does not meet the full cost of the entity but otherwise meets the substantiality thresholds set forth above, the naming is subject to completion of satisfactory funding arrangements, and the naming will take place only after that is achieved.  If the University is unable to proceed, the potential benefactor will be entitled to redirect or withdraw its contributions.

10.        All benefactors establishing endowments will be asked to give the Board of Governors the authority to amend the use of their gift if the original use becomes inappropriate or impossible to implement.  The University will undertake to use its best efforts to ensure that the endowment is maintained as a separate entity and that the naming in recognition of the benefactor is maintained.

Authority

1.         All proposals for naming in respect of gifts of less than $25,000 shall be forwarded to the Vice President, Administration and Finance for approval, who shall make a determination whether the proposed naming conforms to this policy, is otherwise appropriate, and is of sufficient merit.

2.         All proposals for naming in respect of gifts in excess of $25,000 shall be forwarded to the President for approval, who shall make a determination whether the proposed naming conforms to this policy, is otherwise appropriate, and is of sufficient merit.

3.         All naming proposals for buildings will be referred to the Board and when naming proposals raise issues that in the Presidents judgment require the Board’s consideration, the President will bring such proposals to the Board.

4.         Approval of this policy and subsequent revisions to the policy rests with the Board of Governors.

Jurisdiction

This policy is under the jurisdiction of the Vice President, University Advancement.