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Policy 4040: Building Naming

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University Policy #4040

Section 1. Policy

University buildings, parts thereof, and grounds may be named or renamed in honor of an individual, individuals, or organizations based on service to the University, achievement of prominence in a field of study or service, or significant donations to the construction of a building or an area within a building. The policy of this University is to limit the naming of buildings to the names of those persons, organizations or communities who were associated with the University or who, by the nature of their activities epitomize the values of the university community. Separate names may be given to rooms, laboratories, lecture halls, or auditoriums within a building that already bears the name of another individual.

Section 2. Authority

This regulation is issued pursuant to the operating authority granted to the President by Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MnSCU) and consistent with MnSCU Board Policy 6.0.2.

Section 3. Effective Date

This policy shall become effective by the signature of the President and remain in effect until modified or expressly revoked.

Section 4. Responsibility

The responsibility for implementation, regulation and approval of this policy is assigned to the Office of the President.

Section 5. Objective

Recognition plays an important role in every culture. In this University culture, the bestowing of honorable name recognition not only compliments the recipients, but it adds vitality to the institution.

The University’s objective is to recognize and honor individuals or organization who have made one or more of the following contributions:

  1. Former elected or appointed state government official instrumental in the development of the University.
  2. An individual, faculty, staff or student, who has left the service of the University, who has achieved prominence in his or her field of endeavor and who has made an outstanding contribution to the University.
  3. Former member of the Board of Trustees, the citizen advisory committee, or Presidents who have served the institution.
  4. A citizen who has provided significant leadership and service to the University.
  5. A citizen or organization who represents the high ideals of the university, state or nation.
  6. A donor whose gift has significantly financed the construction of a structure or area and/or who has consistently supported programs.

Section 6. Implementation

  1. Procedures for naming a building, its parts, or grounds in recognition of persons in the University community.

The University’s policy is to generally limit the naming of buildings, its parts, or grounds to the names of people who were associated with the University. A building should not be named for a person who is currently on the regular staff of the University, but may be named for a person still living who has retired or left the service of MnSCU and/or the University at least one year prior to the recommendation. A building may be named for a person who is deceased provided that it occurs not sooner than one year following death. Recommendations are submitted to the President who may request that they be reviewed by the Building Naming Committee. A recommendation sent to and approved by the Building Naming Committee is submitted to the president and to MnSCU for approval.

  1. Procedures for naming a building or its parts in recognition of philanthropy or community service.

The University will establish procedures to enable the public recognition of donors who finance significantly the new construction or renovations of a university facility or those who have contributed very distinguished service to the university or the community. In recognition of philanthropy or exemplary services; the University will prepare guidelines to ensure consistency between contribution and/or service levels and opportunities to recognize donor generosity through the naming of a building, its parts, or grounds. Recommendations are submitted to the President who may request that they be reviewed by the Building Naming Committee. A recommendation sent to and approved by the Building Naming Committee is submitted to the president and to MnSCU for approval.

Section 7. Building Naming Committee

The University Building Naming Committee will meet, as needed, to review recommendations as the President submits them. Committee membership will be composed of the following representative groups:



Appointed By



Student Executive Council

Unclassified professional staff



Administrative support staff



Classified professional staff












The Chair of the Building Naming Committee shall be appointed by the members of the committee by a majority vote.

Section 8. Conflict of Interest

All recommendations shall be reviewed in a fair manner. When committee member has submitted a recommendation, and that member is related to the person whose name has been recommended, or if that member has a personal relationship with the nominee, a conflict of interest will exist and that member will excuse him or herself during the review of the recommendation. In such an event, the excused member's representative group will appoint an alternate committee member.

Section 9. Recommendations

Any person may make a recommendation to the President and have it considered provided that it is consistent with the requirements identified in this section. It is advisable to not inform the nominee, or persons other than those writing supportive letters, until a decision is forthcoming on the nomination.

Recommendations for the naming of a building, its parts, or grounds will be submitted to the President of the University, who upon determining that it is worthy of consideration, will submit the recommendation to the chair of the Building Naming Committee. Recommendations will normally contain the following elements:

Letter from Nominator – The letter from the nominator to the president should include the reasons for the nomination and focus, from personal knowledge, on the services of the nominee or the philanthropic activities that justify the nomination.

Supporting Letters – Two to four supporting letters focusing as above on the services of the nominee or the philanthropic activities that justify the nomination.

Supporting Materials – May include resumes, articles and other relevant materials. Maximum length of not more than 12 pages.

Number of Copies - All nominations should include 3 copies of each item.

Date of Submission – Normally, materials must be submitted at least 6 months before the naming is to take place.

Submit To - All nomination packets must be submitted to the University President.

Section 10. Approval

Recommendations approved by the Building Naming Committee will be resubmitted to the University President for final approval. When required, the President will forward the recommendation to MnSCU for approval.

Section 11. Review

This policy is subject to review on an annual basis.

Section 12. Policy Approval

Issued on this 7th day of February, 2000

Dennis Nielsen, President