Skip to Main Content
Mobile Menu

Policy Title: Naming Procedures

Boise State University BSU Policy #11000

Effective Date: November 14, 2005

Revised: February 2008, May 14, 2010, April 2013, March 2018

Purpose: To provide guidelines for requesting that a University facility or program be named after an individual, group of individuals, or organization, and lists the criteria for such naming. These guidelines are cited and applied by the University Naming Committee when making recommendations to the President for the naming of a permanent University facility, or program. The policy also applies to naming rights that are not permanent in nature and come in the form of advertising or sponsorships.

Additional Authority: Idaho State Board of Education Policy, Naming/Memorializing Building and Facilities
University Policy #11030 – Endowed Positions
Boise State University Foundation Gift Acceptance Policy

Scope: These guidelines and procedures apply only to the naming of University facilities, and Programs. The guidelines in this document do not apply to the naming of scholarships, fellowships or professorships.

Responsible Party: Vice President for University Advancement,  (208) 426-3276
Naming Committee Chair

Definitions: Programs – Colleges, departments, centers, institutes and other functional non-physical areas of the University.
Major Facility – Buildings, building additions, roads, and significant open spaces.
Minor Facility – Spaces within Major facilities.


I. Policy Statement

It is the practice of Boise State University to recognize donors and friends of the University through the naming of certain structures, facilities and/or Programs. Naming opportunities provide a chance to recognize key individuals or entities that have made significant contributions, in various forms, to the University. Naming opportunities also provide an opportunity to solicit donors who are enthusiastic about the University’s mission and importance to the region, as well as opportunities for donors to leave a legacy. The University reserves the right to refuse a naming request.

II. Naming Committee Membership

Committee membership is composed of University representation as indicated:

  1.  Dean (appointed by the president, will also serve as chair of the committee);
  2.  ASBSU President (or designee);
  3.  Association of Classified Employees President (or designee);
  4.  Professional Staff Association President (or designee);
  5.  Faculty Senate President (or designee);
  6.  Vice President for University Advancement (or designee);
  7.  University Counsel (or designee);
  8.  Director of Government Relations (or designee);
  9.  Associate Vice President for Planning (or designee);
  10.  Department Chair (appointed by the provost);
  11.  Athletic Director (or designee);
  12.  Associate Vice-President of Communications and Marketing (or designee)

III. Review

Naming Committee: All naming in recognition of an individual, corporation or other entity must be approved by the University Naming Committee in accordance with the guidelines below.

The VPUA establishes gift-related naming opportunities and associated gift amounts in consultation with Architecture & Engineering Services and the Dean or Vice President overseeing the area to be named, and in accordance with the guidelines below.

Facilities Planning Council (FPC): All naming not in recognition of an individual, corporation, or other entity, but rather naming that falls within the approved naming conventions of mountain ranges, rivers, and trees must be approved by the FPC. The FPC is chaired by the Associate Vice President of Campus Operations and consists of the University executive leadership team.

IV. Naming Guidelines

The following are the circumstances under which naming generally occurs.

Naming in recognition of individuals who have made substantial contributions to the University

Naming in recognition of individuals who have made substantial contributions to the university as member(s) of its faculty, staff, administration or governing board; or alumni of highest distinction in an academic professional, or public service role, while maintaining close ties with the university.

No facility or program may be named for an elected public official or State or governing board member while (s)he is currently serving in his/her official capacity.

No facility or program may be named for a faculty, staff or administration member while (s)he is employed by the university.

If a facility is to be named for a deceased individual, 3 years should pass between the date of death and the naming, so that the naming may be considered more objectively.

If applicable, an individual’s rank or title shall be taken into consideration when choosing an appropriate naming opportunity. For example, a former President may warrant a more significant space than a former department chair.

If a facility or program is to be named for a living individual, the factors to be considered include, but are not limited to:

  1.  Length and quality of service to the University
  2.  Impact on and significance to the University; and
  3.  Professional and/or academic achievement.

Naming facilities for individuals or organizations when the facilities are funded with state funds, fees, charitable gifts or a combination of these.

When naming a facility in recognition of a charitable gift, the size of the gift should be relative to the cost of the facility, regardless of the actual source of construction funds.

A substantial financial contribution equivalent to fifty percent (50%) of the replacement or construction cost of the facility is recommended. Higher amounts may be required on a case-by-case basis if the facility is to be constructed entirely with gift funds.

No facilities will be named in recognition of deferred gifts.

When the University considers naming a building for a business entity (or an individual whose name is commonly affiliated with a business entity) and the building is or will be funded in whole or in part with tax-exempt bonds, naming must be approved by the Vice President for Finance & Administration (VPFA) to avoid jeopardizing the tax-exempt status of the bonds. If, in the VPFA’s sole and unfettered judgment, this cannot be accomplished, the business or individual’s name may not be used. See also section IV(C)(2).

Naming spaces within buildings in recognition of service or gifts

Rooms or other spaces within buildings may be named in recognition of service to the University or in recognition of charitable gifts to Programs that are related to the space being named or for actual construction/upfit of the space being named.

In the case of named spaces within named facilities, the assigned name of the facility shall appear on the facility face and external sign with named units indicated as dictated by signage standards of the University Facilities Planning Council.

When naming construction/upfit of a space, the naming gift should be equal to or greater than 50% of the actual cost is recommended.

When naming in recognition of a related programmatic gift, the required size of the gift should take into consideration the public visibility; the intended use; the size; any special equipment, technology or furnishings that will be part of the space; and relativity to similar named spaces on campus.

Generally, rooms or other spaces within buildings will not be named when the donor already has been recognized for the same gift with the establishment of a named endowment or funding order to avoid a duplicative naming recognition.

When the University considers naming a space within a building for a business entity (or an individual whose name is commonly affiliated with a business entity) and the building is or will be funded in whole or part with tax-exempt bonds, naming must be approved by the VPFA to avoid jeopardizing the tax-exempt status of the bonds. If, in the VPFA’s sole and unfettered judgment, this cannot be accomplished, the business or individual’s name may not be used.

Naming Programs in Recognition of Charitable Gifts

In consultation with the Provost and VPUA, Vice Presidents, Deans, Department Chairs and Institute/Center Directors may develop naming proposals for transformational gifts based on the needs of the particular program.

Program naming proposals will take into consideration long-term financial needs of the program, the importance of the program to the University’s strategic objectives, and the levels of similar naming gifts at peer institutions.

Program naming proposals will comply with the guidelines otherwise outlined in this document.

 Naming in the Form of Advertising or Sponsorship

  1.  This form of naming is coordinated by the Director of Sponsorships.
  2.  The terms of such naming are determined by a contractual agreement between the University and the advertiser/sponsor.
  3.  All such naming contracts must accord with University Policy #6030.
  4.  Naming Programs and Major or Minor facilities in the form of advertising or sponsorships must be reviewed by the Naming Committee prior to execution of any contract.

V. Lifespans of Named Entities

Duration of Names

In general naming of facilities or Programs, for individuals or organizations, in recognition of service or charitable gifts is intended to be permanent unless circumstances under Section C are met, causing the name to be removed.

Functional names of Major and Minor facilities should be avoided to account for the fact that functions within Major facilities may change over time; however, Major facilities may be assigned temporary names to indicate function until a permanent name is assigned.

Once a facility name for a person or organization is approved, all University communications and published materials will use the approved name. If the name must be abbreviated for administrative reasons, the abbreviation will contain some form of the honoree’s name (e.g. the Micron Business & Economics Building could be stated as the Micron Business Building.)

Naming in the form of advertising or sponsorships is temporary in nature, with the duration determined by the contractual agreement.

Names of facilities that become obsolete or demolished

Suitable recognition should be found that acknowledges the gift, in recognition of which the facility is named that most closely approximates the intent of the original donor.

If the original facility is replaced by a new facility, a space within the new facility should be considered to be named for the original donor taking into consideration the amount of the original gift relative to the size and scope of the new facility.

Circumstances under which a facility name may be changed or removed

A name on a facility or other space or program that was named in recognition of a charitable gift may be removed at the discretion of the President, in consultation with the chair of the Foundation Board, if and when the donor defaults on the gift payment.

Without in any way affecting the general rule regarding the use of a corporate entity’s name for a building [see section III(B)(4)], in the circumstances where a facility is named for a corporation or other organization in recognition for a charitable gift and the corporation/organization subsequently changes names, the facility’s name will not be changed unless change is requested by the corporation/organization. If such a request is made, the name will be changed if (a) the change is acceptable to the University in its sole and unfettered discretion and (b) as long as the corporation/organization pays the complete expense of making the change.

If an individual for whom a facility is named subsequently is convicted of illegal activity or otherwise engages in conduct that, in the sole discretion of the University, is injurious to the reputation of the University, or is shown to have rejected values that preserve human dignity or the educational ideals of the University, the name may be removed, and any gift made in connection with the naming will be retained by the University.

In the case of divorce or family dissolution, a naming may be changed at the request of the couple or family, at the sole expense of the couple or family, provided the couple or family provides legal documentation of name change and of the concurrence of all affected parties.

VI. Procedure for Naming a Major Facility

All requests to name a Major Facility, Minor Facility or Program shall be directed to the Chair of the Naming Committee and include the following:

  1. A memorandum giving the particulars of the naming request that includes rationale for the naming, referring to the relevant criteria above;
  2. Supporting information about the individual or group for which the facility is to be named;
  3. Letters of support for the request from unit administrators, faculty, staff, students, or alumni as appropriate;
  4. Written approval of the Vice President and Dean (when applicable) who oversees the facility or program intended for naming. Additionally, if the facility to be named is financed with tax-exempt debt, written approval from the VPFA; is required. If the facility to be named involves a charitable gift, written approval from the VPUA is required.
  5. Any other information that may be relevant to the potential implementation of the request.

No formal proposals or commitments involving naming should be made to donors without prior approval of the Naming Committee

Upon receiving a naming request, within thirty (30) days the Chair of the Naming Committee will convene the committee to consider the request and, if the request involves a facility, the committee will make a recommendation to the Facilities Planning Council in due course. The Facilities Planning Council will then forward the recommendation to the President with comments as necessary. Recommendations for Programs will be made by the Naming Committee to the President.

Recommendation of University President: The President will confer with or respond to the recommendation from the Naming Committee and Facilities Planning Council as he or she deems appropriate and forward a recommendation, as necessary and appropriate, to the State Board of Education (SBOE).

Conveyance of University President’s Recommendation: The President will convey the decision on the proposed naming recommendation to the Chair of the Naming Committee, who will in turn inform the party who made the request.

Implementation: Implementation of the naming request will be directed by the Office of the President.

The director of Donor Relations will coordinate with the Facilities Planning Committee (or its designee) regarding signage involving charitable gifts alumni and donors.

VIII. Record Keeping

Because of the long-term historical significance of the recommendations of the Naming committee and the decisions of the University President, the results of each naming decision shall be documented by the Committee and such documents shall be retained in the University Archives. Additionally, namings involving gifts, alumni and donors are recorded on the honorees’  permanent records in the Boise State University Foundation’s database that serves as the alumni and donor database of record for the University.