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Administrative Policies and Procedures Manual - Policy 1020: Naming Facilities, Spaces, Endowments, and Programs

Date Originally Issued: 12-01-2001
Revised: 09-06-2005, 11-01-2006

Authorized by UNM Regents' Policy 2.11 "Naming Facilities, Spaces, Endowments and Programs"

1. General

The University of New Mexico Board of Regents adopted RPM 2.11 ("Naming Facilities, Spaces, Endowments and Programs") on November 13, 2001, and instructed the President to develop this policy to describe the process for obtaining approval to name a facility, space, endowment, or program in honor of an individual, corporation, or other organization. The University welcomes the opportunity to honor those who have rendered extraordinary service or support to UNM. The criteria listed in this policy may change with economic conditions and University priorities. Their purpose is to set reasonable guidelines which may need to be adapted to each specific situation. The guidelines in this policy on naming in honor of benefactors applies to all prospective donors to any University college, program, campus, or organization and to the UNM Foundation.

2. Criteria for Selection of Honorees

Naming a facility, space, endowment, or program for an individual, organization, or corporation is one of the highest honors that the University can bestow. This recognition is a lasting and powerful affirmation of the honoree's connection to the University's mission. As such, honorees shall have exemplary character, an unqualified reputation for honesty, personal integrity and the highest standards of personal and professional ethics.

2.1. Extraordinary University Service 

Honorees who have been employed by the University shall have given extraordinary service to the institution in a teaching, research, service, or administrative field with such exceptional distinction that their contributions are widely recognized by their peers, both at the University and elsewhere. The recognition afforded the honoree may also include private financial contributions related to the naming opportunity. Honorees may not be current employees, individuals in active service at the University, or those holding elected office at the time of the naming, unless the circumstances are exceptional and approved by the Board of Regents.

2.2. Private Financial Support 

Individuals who have not been University employees, corporations, and other organizations may be considered for such recognition if they have made significant financial contributions to the University. A bequest or legacy gift from a donor who is still alive will not normally be considered for a naming opportunity. Determination of what constitutes a significant financial contribution is made on a case-by-case basis taking into consideration the total cost of the project, the availability of other funds, and the following guidelines:

  • New facilities -- fifty percent (50%) of new construction costs or three million dollars whichever is greater.
  • Renovated facilities -- seventy-five percent (75%) of the cost of renovating a facility.
  • Existing facilities without renovation -- seventy-five percent (75%) of the fair market value of the facility.
  • Portable items -- donation of the collection or at least fifty percent (50%) of the value of the collection.
  • Tribute markers -- fifty percent (50%) of the cost or value of associated items (e.g. trees, gardens).
  • Endowed chairs and professorships -- full funding of the endowment.
  • Programmatic Entities -- determined on a case-by-case basis.

Costs for the determination are defined by the University Office for Capital Projects for physical facilities and by the UNM Foundation for endowed positions.

3. Approval Process

Approval requirements for naming UNM facilities, spaces, endowments, and programs are based on the impact of such action on the University of New Mexico. Whenever there is a fundraising effort for a major facility, a plan must be developed which lists naming criteria and funding amounts for various components of the facility (e.g., rooms, laboratories, offices). This plan must be submitted to the Regents' Finance and Facilities Committee as an information item before specific individuals or organizations are approached for specific naming recognition. Whenever possible for other types of naming opportunities, a plan should be developed before specific donors are approached. Plans must include realistic goals, objective analysis of fund raising potential, lists of prospective donors, timelines specifying when the campaigns will begin and end, budgets for all fundraising activities, and contingency plans if the fundraising goals are not met.

All plans and specific requests for naming must be submitted by the appropriate dean/director or Branch Campus Advisory Committee through the dean's/director's vice president to the Committee on Naming Facilities, Spaces, Endowments, and Programs. If the request involves private funds, the vice president will submit the request to the Associate Vice President for Development who will forward it to the Committee. The Committee Chair will forward the Committee's recommendation and obtain the necessary approvals. Gift commitments must be signed by the donor and the Associate Vice President for Development and submitted in writing to the Committee. Every attempt will be made to make a named gift opportunity decision within sixty (60) days from submission of the plan to the Committee. In the best interest of the University and prospective honorees, information relating to any naming request or plan should remain confidential until appropriate approvals have been obtained.

3.1. Committee on Naming Facilities, Spaces, Endowments, and Programs

The Committee shall have the following members: Provost/Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs, Executive Vice President for Administration, Vice President for Advancement, Vice President for Student Affairs, Executive Vice President for the Health Sciences Center, Associate Vice President for Development, University Secretary (official record-keeper), the Senior Advisor to the President, and a faculty member appointed by the President. The President will name the Chair. The Committee is responsible for:

  • reviewing naming opportunities and associated plans to ensure adequacy/appropriateness of funding proposal;
  • reviewing specific naming requests to ensure they comply with Regents' policy and are in the best interests of the University;
  • ensuring adequacy of funding proposals; and
  • making recommendations to the President or the vice president with approval authority for the specific classification.

3.2. Request for Approval

The level of approval for naming UNM facilities, spaces, endowments, and programs depends on the classification of the item. The plan and each specific naming opportunity must be approved according to the following criteria.

3.2.1. Class I

Class I includes facilities and spaces that are part of the outside environment of the University; for example, buildings, complexes of buildings, roads, walkways, playing fields, parks, gardens, and agricultural or forestry plots. Names in this class must be approved by the Board of Regents upon recommendation of the President following consultation with the Committee on Naming Facilities, Spaces, Endowments, and Programs.

3.2.2. Class II

Class II includes facilities and spaces that are part of interior space of the University; for example, library/reading rooms, laboratories, seminar rooms, galleries, recreational courts, and lounges. Names in this class must be approved by the President following consultation with the Committee on Naming Facilities, Spaces, Endowments, and Programs. Depending on the specific Class II facility (for example, large public spaces) the President may decide to submit the request to the Board of Regents for approval.

3.2.3. Class III

Class III includes collections or groups of portable items, which are identifiable because of a specific focus or purpose; for example, collections of art and/or artifacts. Names in this class must be approved by the Provost/Executive Vice President of Academic Affairs or the Executive Vice President for Health Sciences, depending on the location of the Class III material, following consultation with the Committee on Naming Facilities, Spaces, Endowments, and Programs.

3.2.4. Class IV

Class IV addresses tribute markers, which include plaques, medallions or other markers usually in association with such features as trees, benches, or small monuments. The display of tribute markers must be approved by the Executive Vice President for Administration following consultation with the Committee on Naming Facilities, Spaces, Endowments, and Programs.

 3.2.5. Endowed Chairs and Professorships

The Board of Regents, following consultation with the President and the Committee on Naming Facilities, Spaces, Endowments, and Programs shall approve the establishment of endowed chairs and professorships based on:

  • the endowment levels established by the UNM Foundation;
  • the appropriateness of the specific naming consistent with UNM policy;
  • a plan for raising the full amount required to fund the endowment including the length of time for raising the funds and alternate arrangements if the funds are not raised within the specified time;
  • guidelines for spending prior to full funding of the endowment; and
  • a process for monitoring spending to assure conformance with intent.

3.2.6. Programmatic Entities

Naming of programmatic entities (academic and non-academic programs ) whether separate organizational units or not (departments, schools, colleges, institutes, centers, conferences, symposia, activities, organizational units, etc.) will only take place in exceptional circumstances. The naming of programmatic entities is a sensitive matter and must include acceptance and agreement from many different constituencies on campus with final approval required from the Board of Regents upon recommendation of the President following consultation with the Committee on Naming Facilities, Spaces, Endowments, and Programs. Before recommending any such naming, the President must ensure:

  • the proposed name is consistent with the University policy regarding honorees;
  • the autonomy of the programmatic entity and the academic freedoms to which UNM is committed will be safeguarded; and
  • the level of private financial support has been taken into consideration.

The Board of Regents reserves the right to review for approval, on a case-by-case basis, any naming request not specifically addressed above and not otherwise delegated by the Board of Regents to the President of the University.

4. Formal Recognition

When name recognition has been extended for a gift received, it must be honored in accordance with a written gift agreement signed by University officials and the donor(s). In the event of significant changes in circumstances, the University reserves the right to determine the form of name recognition, in consultation with the donor when possible. The University Secretary is responsible for recording the official decisions on all naming requests and reporting those decisions to the appropriate UNM officials with a copy to University Archives.

 5. Duration of Name

Naming of facilities, spaces, endowments, and programs in honor of individuals is generally expected to last the lifetime of the facility, space, endowment, or program. Naming of facilities, spaces, endowments, and programs in honor of corporations or other organizations will have a set number of years attached to the naming which will be determined on a case-by-case basis and listed in the signed gift agreement; typically the duration of such naming shall not exceed twenty-five (25) years. Naming associated with a particular facility, space, endowment, or program does not preclude further naming within the facility, space, endowment, or program.

 6. Implementation

This policy does not apply to any arrangements that are in existence at the date this policy was adopted, nor to arrangements that may be made pursuant to discussions with donors that had commenced at the date the policy was adopted, even though the arrangements do not conform to this policy.