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Naming of University Facilities and Programs Policy

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Section 1 - Definitions

(1) For the purpose of this Policy:

  1. Academic Entity - Includes faculties and their component academic organisational units, other organisational units, research centres and institutes, and named academic positions.
  2. Facilities, Facility Components - Physical structures (i.e. buildings) and their internal components including, but not limited to wings, floors, classrooms, lecture theatres, laboratories and common areas. Also includes common and special purpose grounds and agricultural and horticultural lands.
  3. Functional - Designed for, or suited to, a particular operation or use.
  4. Honorific - Conferring or implying honour or respect; generally defined as recognizing outstanding individuals distinguished in character or attainments, or by success in any walk of life.
  5. Philanthropic - The act of philanthropy; generally defined as gifts to the University which have real or in-kind monetary value.
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Section 2 - Policy Statement

Part A - Policy Declaration

(2) The Naming of University Facilities and Programs Policy will give clear guidance to the University community about how it determines the name of any building, facility, academic entity, program and any of their component parts. This Policy addresses naming as it relates to functional use, honorary and philanthropic naming as well as the designated authority and process for decision-making.

Part B - Policy Description


(3) Southern Cross University welcomes the opportunity to name buildings, parts of buildings, endowed Chairs, and other things to honour distinguished contributions to Australia, to New South Wales, to the Northern Rivers region, campus regions and to the University. It also welcomes the opportunity to honour individuals whose generous benefactions make possible the construction and renovation of buildings, the establishment of endowed Chairs, and other things. This policy sets out the process for recognising truly outstanding contributions to the University's mission in ways that protect and celebrate the core values of the University.

(4) This Policy applies to the naming of:

  1. buildings or substantial parts of buildings (e.g. wings, rooms, laboratories) or other locations on campus (e.g. parks, roadways, plazas);
  2. special research, teaching, recreational service or other facilities;
  3. endowed programs of research, teaching, service or recreation;
  4. Chairs, lectureships, fellowships, special lecture series, events, awards for excellence in teaching, research, or performance of other academic responsibilities;
  5. library collections of books or other materials;
  6. scholarships, awards and prizes;
  7. series of publications by the University, endowed publication grants for books not designated as part of a series, awards for outstanding publications;
  8. collections of works of art;
  9. trophies and other awards for extracurricular achievement; and
  10. such other things as the University may from time to time see fit to name in order to perpetuate the name of a distinguished person or a benefactor.


(5) This Policy applies to donors to Southern Cross University and its commercial entities.

Part C - Content and Implementation


(6) Southern Cross University will name facilities, facility components or academic entities for functional purposes or to recognize philanthropic gifts or honour eminent persons or personal contributions to the University.

(7) A naming may be time limited or subject to regular review.

(8) Sponsorships which include naming rights associated with it must conform with the guidelines set forth by this Policy.

(9) Notwithstanding any other provision of this Policy, no naming will be approved or (once approved) continued that will call into serious question the public respect of the University or that will cause confusion as to University branding and ownership of an entity.

(10) No name will be approved that will imply the University's endorsement of a partisan political or ideological position or of a commercial product. 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, a company that manufactures or distributes commercial products or an organisation that serves the community in a particular way.

(11) The administration of naming will be subject to certain established institution-wide procedures to be developed, administered and reviewed from time to time as follows:

  1. for functional naming: the Vice President (Finance).
  2. for philanthropic naming: the Vice President (Future Students and Outreach).
  3. for honorific naming: the Vice-Chancellor
  4. for naming of academic entities: the Vice-Chancellor

(12) A decision to construct or renovate a building, establish a Chair, or begin a program is to be taken on the basis of established academic and other operational criteria and approved in keeping with the University's established practices and academic mission.

(13) Naming will be independent of all appointment, admission and curriculum decisions, which the University will continue to make in keeping with its established practices and academic mission. Naming in association with a particular facility or endowment will not preclude further naming with the facility, program or Faculty.

(14) When name recognition has been extended for a gift received, it will be honoured in accordance with the agreement that was entered into. In the event of changed circumstances, the University reserves the right to determine the form of name recognition, in consultation with the donor when possible.

(15) Naming may be offered to those whose generosity or accomplishments advance the academic mission of the University; further the capacity of the University to meet its teaching and scholarly objectives and to serve its community; and enhance the growth and reputation of the University.

(16) Facilities or activities supported by gifts may be named after a donor, or a third party at the wish of a benefactor, provided that the donation represents a significant part of the cost or is regarded as central to the completion of the facility or activity.

(17) The Office of the Vice President (Future Students and Outreach) will maintain a schedule of opportunities and recognition criteria for attributing names of physical assets to benefactors and sponsors.

(18) Only in exceptional circumstances will facilities or activities be named to honour outstanding service to members of faculty or staff while the honouree remains in the full-time employ of the University.

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

(20) All information and related discussions on donors, their contributions and proposals for naming must be held in the strictest confidence.

(21) The naming of Physical Assets of the University falls into four classes:

  1. Class 1 - Facilities that are part of the outside environment of the University such as buildings, complexes of buildings, roads, walkways, playing fields, parks, gardens and agricultural or forestry plots.
  2. Class 2 - Facilities that are part of inside space such as library/reading rooms, laboratories, lecture theatres, galleries and lounges.
  3. Class 3 - Facilities that are made up of portable items such as collections of art, books and/or artefacts that are identifiable because of a specific focus or purpose.
  4. Class 4 - Tribute markers, plaques, medallions or other markers usually in association with such features as trees, benches or small monuments.

Part D - Authority to Approve Naming

Category Recommending Authority Approving Authority
Functional Naming:
Physical Assets: Vice President (Future Students and Outreach) Vice-Chancellor
Academic Entities and Chairs: Executive Dean, College Dean or Senior Deputy Vice Chancellor Vice-Chancellor
Honorific or Philanthropic Naming
Class 1 Physical Assets: Vice Chancellor's Group Vice-Chancellor
Class 2 Physical Assets: Vice Chancellor's Group Vice-Chancellor
Class 3 Physical Assets: Vice Chancellor's Group Vice-Chancellor
Class 4 Physical Assets: Executive member or the Senior Manager, Engagement Vice-Chancellor
Lectureships, Fellowships, Major Awards and Publications: Vice Chancellor's Group Vice-Chancellor
Scholarships, Prizes & Awards, Publications: Executive member, Senior Manager, Engagement or Chief Marketing Officer Vice-Chancellor

(22) The approval of the Vice-Chancellor must be obtained for any name which, in the opinion of the Executive member whose area will benefit from a gift or of the Senior Manager, Engagement, could call into serious question the public respect of the University.

(23) Where it is appropriate to do so, the Vice-Chancellor may vary elements of the policy within the Approved Authority.

Part E - Naming of Physical Assets

Names indicating Functional Use

(24) Criteria for functional naming will generally include:

  1. Consistency with ongoing use/majority occupancy (e.g. Nursing)
  2. Salient geographic features (e.g. Oval Car Park)

Honorific and Philanthropic Naming of Physical Assets

(25) The Vice-Chancellor may approve the name of a physical asset, or parts thereof, by the name of a distinguished person, an organization or a corporation:

  1. Where an appropriate gift or bequest is made to the University, designated for that purpose; or
  2. Where it is the intention to honour a former member of the University community who has made a substantial and/or long-term contribution to the development and status of a faculty or department; or
  3. Where it is the intention to honour a former member of the University community who has made an outstanding contribution to University life and to the spirit of the community within the University.

(26) The naming request may be originated by:

  1. A request by an appropriate group of individuals;
  2. An internal University physical asset development project;
  3. The receipt of a significant gift in accordance with the Recognition Policy; or
  4. When the naming or renaming of a facility or building appears to be in the general Interest of the University.

Part F - Naming of Chairs, Lectureships, Fellowships

(27) Funding arrangements for the establishment of Chairs, lectureships and fellowships are subject to relevant policy

(28) The establishment of a named Chair, lectureship or fellowship shall normally not be tied to the appointment of a particular individual.

Part G - Naming of Academic Entities

(29) The Vice-Chancellor and the Vice Chancellor's Groups must ensure that:

  1. The proposed name is compatible with the broader purposes of the University;
  2. The autonomy of the academic entity in question and the academic freedoms to which Southern Cross University is committed will be safeguarded; and,
  3. In the event of philanthropic naming, a significant proportion of the total operating budget of the academic entity in question will be covered by any donation and subject to the policies of the University.

(30) In bringing forward a proposal for the naming of an academic entity, the Vice-Chancellor shall secure the support of the members of that entity including the relevant Executive member charged with its oversight.

Part H - Recognising Benefactors

(31) Academic or administrative units shall develop, in conjunction with the Office of the Vice President (Future Students and Outreach), a Naming Opportunities Plan (NOP) when seeking private sector contributions for naming facilities, facility components and academic entities.

(32) For recognition by naming, it will be expected that the benefactor, or other contributors wishing to honour a benefactor, will provide all or a substantial part of the cost of the entity. "Substantial" is deemed to mean either a significant majority of the cost or a contribution which, while not being a significant majority, is regarded as central to the completion of the project.

(33) In the establishment of objectives for a major fundraising campaign, the Office of the Vice President (Future Students and Outreach) may establish in advance naming opportunities and the level of benefaction required for each, and may advise potential benefactors that the benefaction will be recognized by naming, subject to approvals and decisions being consistent with this policy.

(34) Individuals representing the University will make clear to potential benefactors that naming is subject to the following:

  1. The proposal must be approved as outlined in this Policy;
  2. Where the benefaction does not meet the full cost of the project in question, 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 benefactors will be entitled to redirect or withdraw their contributions.
  3. In keeping with regulations set forth by the Australian Tax Office, the University cannot provide a charitable tax receipt if one of the criteria for giving is contingent to receiving naming rights. In this case, it is deemed a commercial rather than charitable arrangement and also subject to GST.
  4. Benefactors establishing endowments are asked to include provision giving the University the authority to amend the use of the benefaction if the original use becomes inappropriate or impossible, providing that the University undertakes to make its best efforts to ensure that the endowment is maintained as a separate entity and that any recognition of the benefactor is maintained.

(35) In developing a Naming Opportunities Plan, the following criteria will apply:

  1. Physical Assets
    1. Naming opportunities for Class 1 Physical Assets require a minimum of 50 percent of the targeted private sector contribution;
    2. Naming opportunities for Class 2 Physical Assets require a minimum of 50 percent of the targeted private sector contribution;
    3. Naming opportunities for existing facilities shall be defined on a case by case basis. Consideration will be given to replacement cost, location and marketability of the existing facility;
    4. Naming of Class 3 and 4 Physical Assets shall be defined on a case-by-case basis. Consideration will be giving to the value of the gift (in-kind donations), location and visibility of the recognition marker.
    5. Where the capital cost of a new facility is less than $5 million, a minimum gift level of $1.5 million is required to name the facility;
    6. The calculation of building costs will be inclusive, taking into account all hard and soft costs related to the project.
  2. Academic Entities, Chairs, Fellowships and Programs
    1. Naming opportunities for Academic Entities require a minimum of 40 percent of the targeted private sector contribution subject to full annual operating funding being in place;
    2. Naming Opportunities for Chairs, Fellowships and Programs will require 75% of the operating cost of the appointments, subject to any conditions laid out in relevant policy.
    3. Scholarships, Prizes, Bursaries and Awards must be fully funded.
  3. Sponsorships
    1. Sponsorship valuation is subject to marketing returns based on current market conditions;
    2. Naming rights may not be offered if their "market value" is less than that established to honour benefaction.
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Section 3 - Procedures

Part I - General

(36) All new names shall be filed with the Secretary to University Council and Vice President (Future Students and Outreach) and Senior Manager, Partnerships and Advancement. The Office of the Vice President (Future Students and Outreach) shall be responsible for informing the University community of such new names and ensuring that new names are integrated into the nomenclature of the University in all forms of publications.

Part J - Functional Naming of Facilities

(37) Property Services will form a working group to make recommendations. The group will be Chaired by the Director, Property Services, or a designate, and may include a representative of the primary user group, the Head of Work Unit and others as deemed necessary.

Part K - Honorific and Philanthropic Naming Facilities After Individuals or Organisations

(38) A Naming Opportunities Plan will be established by the Senior Manager, Partnerships and Advancement, within the Office of the Vice President (Future Students and Outreach), in consultation with the Vice Chancellor's Group, subject to the approval of the Vice-Chancellor, and reviewed regularly.

(39) The Naming Opportunities Plan must include a list of available opportunities detailing minimum ask amounts based on this Policy and criteria.

(40) Approval of the Naming Opportunities Plan does not constitute approval of the actual naming opportunities contained therein.

(41) Once academic or administrative units secure private sector contributions for a naming opportunity, they shall submit a Naming Request Proposal to the Vice Chancellor's Group and the Senior Manager, Partnerships and Advancement for  review and endorsement. The Naming Request Proposal must include:

  1. Letter of request for naming from Head of Work Unit indicating divisional support and stating that all gifts meet the requirements of the University's policies.
  2. The approved Naming Opportunity, the minimum required gift, the actual gift amount, donors' names, a brief description of donor and a risk assessment.

(42) Named gift proposals which are judged to have campus-wide implications will be brought forward to the Vice Chancellor's Group for consideration.

(43) Individual named gift proposals which are time sensitive or which may not be listed in the Naming Opportunities Plan may be brought forward at any time to the Vice-Chancellor for approval.