It is the preference of the Board of Regents to commemorate contributions to academic excellence through the naming of scholarships, programs, professorships, and other similar actions. However, the Board recognizes that from time to time there may be a desire to name some university facilities or portions of the university's buildings or land after an individual, corporation, or other legal entity. It is expected that UW institutions negotiate naming rights as one facet of a development strategy to leverage private support for the benefit of the university.
Facilities, buildings, and land covered by this policy may be named for individuals, corporations, or other legal entities. For the purposes of this policy, other legal entities include any for-profit business or non-profit organization, foundation, trust, or any similar non-university organization.
Naming of an entire building is subject to prior approval of the Board of Regents. A request to name or dedicate a building shall be made by the chancellor of the institution. A chancellor shall submit support for such request, demonstrating consideration of the factors below, to the UW System Office of Capital Planning and Budget for review (for UW-Madison, via Facilities Planning and Management, see below for details). Any proposed naming agreement for an entire building shall also be reviewed by the UW System Office of General Counsel to ensure compliance with this policy and any applicable laws.
The Chancellor of each institution is delegated the authority to name: facilities involving less than an entire building, such as rooms, wings or exterior amenities; and parcels of land.
For any namings under this policy, including those designated to Chancellors, the following factors shall be considered:
Whether the individual, corporation or other legal entity has promoted the purpose and mission of the UW System as expressed in s. 36.01, Wis. Stats.;
Whether the reputation of the individual, corporation or other legal entity may reflect negatively or adversely upon the UW System or a UW System institution;
Whether the individual, corporation or other legal entity is in compliance with all the agreements with the UW System or a UW System institution;
Whether any existing agreement prohibits changing or adding a facility name;
Whether there is a plan for continued recognition of the individual, corporation or other legal entity for whom a building, facility, or land was previously named. A plan for continued recognition is required unless an institution can demonstrate why such recognition is no longer needed. Examples of continued recognition include such methods as a plaque, an appropriately placed monument, or incorporation of a cornerstone;
Whether the naming represents a potential conflict of interest, appearance of commercial influence, or could compromise the institution’s academic or research autonomy; and
Whether the naming is complaint with applicable laws if the naming will occur in a building financed with tax-exempt governmental bonds.
A naming for an individual shall consider whether the individual was employed by the UW System or has served as an elected or appointed public official. Normally, a waiting period of at least five years must have elapsed from the time the individual’s UW employment ended or the individual left public office. Exceptions may be considered under certain circumstances, including when the individual is no longer living, or a gift requests the naming.
Any individual, corporation or other legal entity for which a UW facility, building or parcel of land is named is prohibited from using the name, logo, or other component of branding of the UW System or any UW institution as a commercial endorsement or for advertising. University exterior or way-finding signage shall not include the logo or other components of branding, with the exception of the corporation or legal entity’s name.
Names shall be for a specified number of years. The term of the agreement shall be determined on a case-by-case basis, which may vary depending on the level of private support received by the UW institution from a donor.
In certain circumstances, it may be necessary to remove or change a name assigned to a facility, building or parcel of land. The UW System Board of Regents retains the authority to remove or change a name of a facility, building or parcel of land if the name presents a risk to the institutions reputation, if the donor or sponsor fails to meet the financial obligations of the naming agreement, or as otherwise deemed necessary by the Board. The Board delegates authority to the Chancellor of the institution to remove or change the name of a portion of the facility, building or parcel of land if the name presents a risk to the institution’s reputation, if the donor or sponsor fails to meet the financial obligations or the naming, or as otherwise deemed necessary by the Chancellor.
If the name of a corporation or other legal entity changes during the term of the naming agreement for a building, the Board of Regents may exercise its discretion to maintain, change or remove the name.
Any naming agreement between the UW System and an individual, corporation, or other legal entity shall include provisions describing the Board or Chancellor’s authority to remove or change a name.
The Board of Regents is responsible for the physical assets of the UW System and for considering requests to name an entire facility or building, as well as for naming portions of facilities or buildings or parcels of land named, except where delegated to chancellors.
The UW System Office of General Counsel and the Office of Capital Planning and Budget shall ensure all of the requirements of this policy are met prior to naming facilities involving less than an entire building, such as rooms, wings, or exterior amenities or parcels of land.
For naming of facilities, buildings, portions of buildings, wings, interior spaces, exterior site amenities or parcels of land at UW-Madison, all of the above Board of Regents requirements must be met per BOR policy 19-14.
When a university program intends to designate specific naming opportunities (buildings, additions, wings, interior spaces or exterior amenities) as part of a capital campaign for a new or renovated facility, the Dean/Director must review the campaign naming opportunities with the Chancellor and Provost prior to the start of the campaign. Past practice on the Madison campus has discouraged corporate naming for entire buildings or wings.
There are occasions when an honorary naming may be deemed appropriate to recognize the significant contributions an individual has made to the university. Donors may also make contributions to programs or projects and the naming opportunity may be a stipulation of the gift. The offices of the Chancellor and the Provost still must be informed of the names and spaces under consideration before a commitment is made and a formal request for approval is submitted to their offices. Auxiliary and support units must submit any naming requests under consideration to the Vice Chancellor for Administration for review and acceptance before submitting to the Provost and Chancellor’s offices. At all times, an effort should be made to sufficiently consider the name of women and minorities in the naming process.
Under no circumstances can a commitment for a naming be made or the formal approval process started before this information is reviewed by those offices.
To start the formal approval process, the Dean/Director should submit a request to FP&M via Christopher "Kip" McMahan (firstname.lastname@example.org). The request should include:
If the naming requires Board of Regent action, the Chancellor may choose to consult with the Campus Planning Committee before endorsing the naming and forwarding the request to the Regents. The chancellor may also choose to have the Campus Planning Committee review naming requests that are delegated to the chancellor. The time for approvals varies depending on the type of naming request under consideration and may take two to three months.