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UPPS 08.03.01 - Criteria for Namings

Criteria for Namings

UPPS No. 08.03.01
Issue No. 8
Effective Date: 1/12/2023
Next Review Date: 7/01/2028 (E5Y)
Sr. Reviewer: Vice President for University Advancement


Texas State University will recognize donors and friends of the university through the naming of certain structures, facilities, or programs, as deemed appropriate.


    1. Campus facilities and outdoor areas on both campuses, including athletics, may bear the names of deserving individuals, organizations, and businesses that have made outstanding or meritorious contributions to Texas State University, The Texas State University System (TSUS), or that have attained the highest distinction in their respective fields of endeavor. This policy outlines the procedures for namings, erecting full-size statues or monuments, and establishing donor recognition displays, consistent with The TSUS Rules and Regulations, Chapter III, Section 9.

    2. Authority for Prominent Namings – All prominent namings, whether for an individual or an entity, are the prerogative and responsibility of The TSUS Board of Regents.

    3. The TSUS Board of Regents must approve public art and memorial projects, including erecting of statues and monuments, per UPPS No. 08.03.03, Campus Memorials, and UPPS No. 08.03.04, Public Art and Memorials.


    1. Benefactor Naming – naming opportunities in recognition of substantial financial contributions by donors to the university in accordance with applicable university policies on the value of gifts.

    2. Honorific Naming – naming opportunities considered in recognition of the dedication and extraordinary service to the university by an individual or entity, without consideration of financial contributions.

    3. Facilities – all physical facilities, buildings, outdoor spaces, statues, monuments, and other items to be named. The categories below shall be used to classify types of facilities:

      1. Prominent Facilities – all buildings and other major components of academic, athletics, and arts facilities, large auditoria, concert halls, wings, atria, clinics, prominent outdoor spaces, statues, monuments, and building plaques.

      2. Less Prominent Facilities – laboratories, classrooms, seminar or meeting rooms, and other rooms that the vice president for University Advancement (VPUA), in consultation with the president, determines are less prominent and, therefore, not within the category of prominent facilities.

    4. Programs – all non-physical entities. The categories below shall be used to classify types of programs:

      1. Prominent Programs – major entities, such as colleges, schools, academic departments, academic and health centers, programs, institutes, and organized research units.

      2. Less Prominent Programs – academic or student programs and institutes that the VPUA, in consultation with the president, determines are less prominent and, therefore, not within the category of prominent programs.


    1. Honorific Naming – The individual or entity being recognized by an honorific naming must have exhibited values consistent with the mission and vision of the university and should usually have a relationship to the facility or program being named. Naming facilities or erecting statues or monuments in honor of the university or The TSUS administrative officials, faculty, staff, or elected or appointed public officials shall normally occur only after the employment or public service has concluded.

    2. Corporate Naming – To avoid any appearance of commercial influence or conflict of interest, due diligence should be taken before recommending the naming of a facility or program that involves the name of a corporation, corporate foundation, or organization. Physical signage reflecting a corporate or organizational naming may not include the organization logo or other components of branding. In most cases, a naming associated with a corporate or organizational sponsor will be granted for a predetermined fixed-term. The gift agreement should clearly specify the period of time for which the facility or program will be named.

    3. Qualifying Gifts – In determining the appropriateness of naming as benefactor recognition, the university may consider the value of all gifts to the university in addition to matching gifts or any gift that motivates the naming. If naming is associated with a cash contribution, the gift must be paid in full before the naming recommendation is presented to the Board of Regents for final approval. If a gift is made as a multi-year commitment, a naming opportunity may be granted in the interim but would be considered an interim naming until the gift is fully paid. At the time the gift is fully paid, the TSUS Board of Regents will confer the name. Gifts other than cash and secured pledges will be considered on a case-by-case basis, such as planned or deferred gifts.

    4. Minimum Gift Levels – The minimum value of gifts associated with a naming opportunity will be determined by the VPUA, in consultation with the president, taking into account:

      1. actual costs associated with the construction or renovation and ongoing maintenance of the facility to be named;

      2. the prominence, visibility, and annual operating revenue required to sustain the program to be named;

      3. consistency with other similar naming opportunities at the university or peer institution;

      4. the visibility, function, and square footage of the space to be named; and

      5. the total giving of the donor to the university, as well as consideration of any matching gifts that may be made for the facility.

      For existing facilities or programs, the following guidelines are provided. Exceptions will be considered on a case-by-case basis according to the criteria listed in Subsections 03.04 a.-e.

      $10,000,000 minimum

      School or Department
      $5,000,000 minimum

      Center or Institute
      $2,500,000 - $5,000,000

      $1,000,000 minimum

      Large Teaching Theatre
      $500,000 minimum

      Small Teaching Theatre
      $250,000 minimum

      Large Rooms/Classrooms
      $100,000 minimum

      $100,000 minimum

      Medium Rooms/Classrooms
      $50,000 minimum

      Small Rooms/Classrooms
      $25,000 minimum

      Small Reception Areas
      $25,000 minimum

      Prominent Outdoor Areas
      $250,000 - $1,000,000 (depending on location and square footage)

      Grounds or Landscaping Namings
      $10,000 minimum

    5. Grounds or Landscaping Gifts – Gift thresholds for naming university grounds or landscaping such as green spaces, benches, fountains, athletic fields, gardens, or other similar items will be determined on a case-by-case basis by the VPUA, in consultation with Facilities, taking into consideration the visibility and accessibility of the location, scope of the project, initial costs, and ongoing maintenance. Gifts to name university grounds or landscaping must align with campus master plans.

    6. Statues and Monuments – Statues or monuments for the purposes of honorific or benefactor recognition will be erected only for persons that have made outstanding or meritorious contributions to the university or The TSUS, or have attained the highest level of distinction in their respective fields of endeavor.

    7. Designation of Funds – The designation of funds received in association with a naming opportunity will be determined based on the donor’s intent and the priorities of the university as determined by the president.

    8. Consistent Signage – The design, fabrication, and installation of all recognition signage must be approved by the VPUA and the president and coordinated with the executive vice president for Operations and Chief Financial Officer. The VPUA will ensure consistency in design and placement, while also allowing for appropriate variation corresponding to the architecture and design of the space where the signage is located. Standard benefactor recognition signage will include the name of the space or a donor wall listing the donors to be recognized. Other plaques featuring the name of an award or scholarship, recipients, historical or biographical information, or other deviations from the standard for benefactor recognition will only be permitted within faculty and staff offices, with exceptions approved by the president on a case-by-case basis.

    9. Declining a Naming Opportunity – At all times, the university will consider the potential naming ramifications relating to a gift. If, after consideration of a potential philanthropic naming opportunity, it is determined that a naming opportunity is not in the best interest of the university, the university retains the right to decline the naming opportunity and a gift associated with a naming opportunity.

    10. Changing a Name at Donor Request – If a benefactor requests a change to the name of a facility, program, or other physical donor recognition (i.e., due to marriage or corporate merger), the university will consider the request. If recommended by the VPUA and approved by the president, all replacement signage and other related costs may be at the donor’s expense.

    11. Removing a Naming Opportunity – The university affirms its commitment to donors to honor their philanthropic legacy and historical connection to the university. A naming in recognition of a gift shall be for the life of the facility or program being named unless otherwise agreed to in the gift agreement. The use of academic disciplines or other functional names for major buildings should be avoided. Over time, functions within a building will change and the name could result in confusion. The university reserves the right to remove a benefactor naming if one of the following conditions occurs:

      1. a donor does not fulfill a pledge obligation as outlined in the written gift agreement. In such cases, the university reserves the right to consult with the donor, where possible, to restructure the purpose for the funds; or

      2. the continued use of the name would compromise the public trust and reflect adversely upon the university.

      If the university terminates the naming rights for benefactor namings based on these conditions, the university has the right to retain the gifts previously made pursuant to the gift agreement. When a facility or organization ceases to exist, the university will make every effort to continue to commemorate memorial or benefactor recognition in an appropriate way; however, the university will not usually transfer a name to another facility or program.


    1. Prior Approval – Any discussions with a representative of an individual about an honorific naming requires the prior approval of the provost and executive vice president for Academic Affairs and the president. All initial approaches to, or serious discussions with, a donor about a benefactor naming opportunity must have the prior approval of the VPUA and the president. The purpose of preliminary approval is to ensure that the contemplated naming is likely to be consistent with university goals and priorities, master plans, and with the terms of this policy. The approval to proceed permits the approach or discussions to begin and a proposal to be prepared; approval to proceed does not assure approval of the completed proposal. The prospective donor or representative shall be informed that any naming is subject to approval by the president and the TSUS Board of Regents.

    2. Proposal Approval – A complete proposal includes a dossier that addresses and verifies all the applicable criteria in this policy, including:

      1. a precise description of the facility or program to be named;

      2. the exact name to be adopted;

      3. the basis or reason for the naming, and why the proposed naming is appropriate to the facility or program;

      4. a description of the due diligence that has been performed on an individual or entity for whom the facility or program is to be named, including legal review and criminal background check where appropriate;

      5. the status of any existing relationship to the university;

      6. for benefactor naming opportunities, an analysis by University Advancement including consideration of the recognition value of associated gift in accordance with the university gift acceptance policy, other contributions and activities of the donor, consistency with other naming opportunity amounts, and other factors covered under this policy;

      7. approvals by the relevant department, school, and university leadership (as appropriate); and

      8. if the naming is for someone other than a donor, formal permission of that person, or their authorized representative.

      In considering a naming proposal, the VPUA may seek additional information related to a benefactor naming opportunity, or the provost and executive vice president for Academic Affairs if honorific, and will decide whether to recommend approval or disapproval to the president.

      After receiving the recommendation of the VPUA or provost and executive vice president for Academic Affairs, the president may seek additional information, disapprove the recommendation or approve the recommendation and, when appropriate, forward the recommendation to the TSUS Board of Regents for authorization. The TSUS Board of Regents will consider proposals according to its normal operating procedures.


    1. Reviewers of this UPPS include the following:

      Vice President for University AdvancementJuly 1 E5Y
      Associate Vice President for Budget and PlanningJuly 1 E5Y

    This UPPS has been approved by the following individuals in their official capacities and represents Texas State policy and procedure from the date of this document until superseded.

    Vice President for University Advancement; senior reviewer of this UPPS