University Policy: 04-015 Architectural and Academic Unit Naming
Policy Category: Governance and Administration
Responsible Office: University Relations and Marketing
Responsible Executive: Vice President for University Relations and Marketing
Download the Policy: (PDF)
Effective Date: 10/26/2017
Last Revised: 11/30/2022
1. Policy Statement

1.1. This university policy describes the authorities and processes for naming or renaming buildings, streets, landmarks, structures, and property, as well as major academic units, centers, institutes and colleges that are owned or operated by Oregon State University (“university”).

2. Reason for Policy

2.1. The university desires to have a thoughtful process in considering and making decisions on naming university buildings, property, and major academic units.  The university strives to remember individuals or groups who have special significance to the university, as well as to honor the mission and history of the university, the state of Oregon, and the regions in which the university operates.

3. Scope & Audience

3.1. This policy applies any time a request is made to name university property, buildings, or major academic units.

4. Definitions

4.1. Major academic units: Colleges, schools, departments, centers, institutes, and any other academic units as determined by the President.

4.2. Property: Any campus, structure, street, landmark, or subpart thereof, or any other physical improvement owned or operated by the university. 

5. Responsibilities & Procedures      

5.1. Architectural Naming Committee

5.1.1. To carry out the goals described in Section 2 above, the university forms the Architectural Naming Committee (“committee”).  The committee is chaired by the Vice President for University Relations and Marketing and consists of the Provost, Vice President for Finance and Administration, Vice Provost for Student Affairs, university Faculty Senate President, Director of Government Relations, President of the OSU Foundation, Vice President of Associated Students of Oregon State University, Vice President of OSU-Cascades, president of the Associated Students of Cascades Campus, and other staff, student and faculty members appointed by the President.

5.1.2. The committee will, by its own action or following receiving requests from others, consider to name or rename university buildings, property, as well as major academic units of the university.  Following such review, the committee may recommend to the President to name or rename a building, property, or major academic unit of the university.

5.2. Selection of the Name

5.2.1. When selecting a name, or considering a proposed name, the committee will perform sufficient research to determine whether the proposed name will complement the university and its campuses or facilities and supports the university’s mission and values, and the values of the university community, as well as the goals of this policy.  When the committee reaches a decision on whether or not to recommend a naming request to the President, the committee will promptly inform the requesting party of the decision, in writing.

5.2.2. If the committee does not unanimously agree on a naming request, a majority vote of the members of the committee present at the meeting will determine the majority recommendation, with the vote of the chair of the committee breaking any tied votes.  Members of the committee in the minority may submit a minority recommendation to the President along with the majority recommendation.

5.3. Donor Naming

5.3.1. Significant private gifts to support the university offer an opportunity for appropriate recognition of donors.  Part of this recognition may include naming of buildings or components, property, or major academic units.

5.3.2. Because of its prominent nature, naming a building, property, or a major academic unit for a donor requires great care and sensitivity to the goals and needs of both the donor(s) and the university.  In general, a gift that is greater than 50 percent of the philanthropic goal or 20 percent of the total project cost is required to name a building. 

5.3.3. To ensure these outcomes and to maintain consistently high standards, the following criteria also apply when a building, property, or major academic unit is to be named for a donor.

a. A university unit or the OSU Foundation must consult with and gain the approval of the chair of the Architectural Naming Committee before offering the opportunity to name a building, property, or major academic unit to a donor.

b. When a new facility project is authorized for funding, the sponsoring unit will work with the OSU Foundation President to develop named gift opportunities for the facility.  This plan must be reviewed and approved by the committee prior to marketing the project to donors. 

c. All gift agreements with donors seeking naming opportunities must be reviewed by the chair of the committee and the university’s General Counsel before the agreements can be executed.

d. The actual naming of a building, property, or major academic unit is subject to final review by the committee and approval by the President.

5.4. Approval By and Authority of the President

5.4.1. The President has authority to name, rename, or remove the name from university buildings and property.  A name may not be bestowed on a university building or property without the written approval of the President.

5.4.2. The President has authority to name or rename major academic units, after consultation with the officers of the OSU Board of Trustees (“Board”).

a. The Board officers may refer the President to consult with members of the Executive and Audit Committee of the Board for further discussion.

b. No action may be taken on the naming of a major academic unit until the consultation with the Board officers has occurred.

5.5. Renaming

5.5.1. From time to time, the name of a university building, property, or major academic unit may be changed.  Name changes or renamings may occur if the university deems that the use or purpose of the building or property has changed; if in the consideration of the President, significant private gifts to support the university offer an opportunity for appropriate recognition of donors; or if the university determines that confusion exists between names of buildings, streets, structures, building areas, landmarks, or other property within the university.

5.6. Removal of a Name

5.6.1. The university reserves the right to remove any naming of a building, property, or major academic unit should the President determine that the continued use of this name compromises the public’s trust or image of the university, is inconsistent with the mission and values of the university, and the values of the university community, or if the donor does not perform obligations specified in the gift agreement.

5.7. Exceptions

5.7.1. The President may delegate the naming of certain types of university property to the chair of the committee for review and approval.  This exception does not apply to names of buildings or major academic units.

5.7.2. For university property named under this exception, commitments or obligations for particular names cannot be made until the chair of the committee has approved the name.

6. Forms & Tools 

6.1. None.

7. Frequently Asked Questions

7.1. None.

8. Related Information

8.1. OSU Building and Place Names:

9. History

9.1. Adopted: University Policy 04-015 Architectural and Academic Unit Naming was adopted October 2017.

9.2. Reviewed: University Policy 04-015 Architectural and Academic Unit Naming was reviewed and received housekeeping amendments on November 30, 2022.

9.3 Next scheduled review date: November 2025.

10. Website

10.1. University Policy 04-015 Architectural And Academic Unit Naming Policy:

11. Contacts

          Department: University Relations and Marketing

          Phone Number: 541-737-4875