The University of Arizona logo

Naming of Facilities and Programmatic Units

Policy Information

PDF version
Effective Date: 
May 30, 2000
Policy Number: 
Responsible Unit: 
Executive Office of the President

Purpose and Summary

The naming of a facility or programmatic unit contributes to the University's sense of its own heritage and is a significant event in the history of the institution. Such namings demand due consideration and consultation. The Arizona Board of Regents Policy 1-117 provides the basic and controlling regulations involved in the naming of facilities (defined below) or programmatic units (departments, schools, institutions, centers, or colleges) for individuals or organizations. This document amplifies Regents' policy by stipulating the detailed policies and procedures to be observed at the University of Arizona.


ABOR policy 1-117 states that the University Presidents shall have the authority to approve the naming of University facilities and programmatic units for individuals and organizations. Facilities shall include, but not be limited to, buildings, structures, thoroughfares, areas, classrooms, offices, or other spaces within facilities. The policy further indicates that the University Presidents shall exercise their discretion in providing advance notice, as they deem appropriate, to the Board and the Executive Director of the names of the individuals and organizations who are considered for naming opportunities, and that appropriate Board recognition shall be provided to all naming recipients.

The University Presidents continue to have authority for naming of any facility by department, center, school, college, or functional name.



In naming facilities or programmatic units, due attention must be given to the point that the adoption of names of individuals, families, or organizations prominent in the history of the University will contribute to the campus heritage. The guidelines of the Arizona Board of Regents (see “Related Information”) shall be followed, along with the following additional criteria.

  1. Names of living or deceased individuals may be considered.
  2. A name proposed for a new facility so as to recognize a gift to the University may be considered when the gift represents a substantial component of the project’s total cost. For fundraising purposes, a reasonable objective is 50 percent of the private gift component involved in the project.
  3. A name proposed for an existing but presently untitled facility so as to recognize a gift to the University may be considered when the gift represents a significant proportion of the value of the facility. For fundraising purposes, a reasonable objective is 50 percent of the appraised value of the facility.
  4. A name proposed for all or part of a facility that is to be renovated will normally require that the gift cover the full cost of the renovation.
  5. A name proposed for a programmatic unit so as to recognize a gift to the University may be considered when the gift is similar to donations received for comparable naming at peer institutions or at the University of Arizona.
  6. If a naming is contemplated as part of a fundraising drive or a contractual agreement, the Naming Advisory Committee must be apprised of this fact in advance. The committee is expected to exercise discretion and to respect confidentiality in such cases.


All proposals for the naming of facilities or for the naming of programmatic units for individuals or organizations shall be submitted to the President in writing. They shall contain evidence showing that these criteria are satisfied (including the Regents' Guidelines) as well as indicating the results of consultation with occupants of the facility or members of the unit regarding the proposed naming.

  1. The President shall forward all proposals to the attention of the Naming Advisory Committee, which is to consist of the Vice Chair of the Faculty (Committee Chair), President of the UA Foundation, President of the Arizona Alumni Association, Senior Vice President for University Relations, President of the Associated Students (ASUA), President of the Graduate and Professional Student Council (GPSC), Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost, Chair of the Staff  Council, a representative from the Dean's Council (elected by the Deans), and a representative from the Faculty Senate (appointed by the Chair of the Faculty).
  2. The committee shall give timely consideration to all proposals, weighing them on their individual merits and consulting with others outside its membership when appropriate and necessary.
  3. Based on the merits of the case and the available information, the committee shall provide the President with its recommendations on each proposal. Given the significance of a naming for the University and for the wider community, ideally there should be substantial agreement within the committee. In the event that substantial agreement cannot be attained, the President should be informed of this fact.
  4. The President shall take the committee's recommendation into account in deciding whether to proceed with the naming.
  5. Naming of academic programmatic units shall also require approval of the Faculty Senate. Functional naming of units will not be considered by the Senate until a recommendation from the appropriate Senate Committee has been submitted. Naming of a unit for an individual or organization shall be considered in executive session, and prior committee recommendations are not required.

Term of a Naming

Once approved by the President, the name given to a facility or programmatic unit shall continue in use for the life of the facility or unit unless the President considers that extenuating circumstances might justify a change. In such a case the President shall seek the advice of the Naming Advisory Committee before any decision is made.

Revision History*

07/10/2024: Updated Provost title.

08/03/2023: Removed link to ABOR Guidelines for Assigning the Names of Individual, Families, or Organizations to Campus Facilities or Programmatic Units because ABOR repealed this guideline. Updated link to the ABOR Policy 1-117. Removed reference to SAC and APAC as the two committees were combined into one shared governance body called Staff Council.

02/12/2020: Term of a Naming revised to include extenuating circumstances language.

02/18/2015: Revised to update titles of members of Naming Committee.

* Please note that sections titled Frequently Asked Questions, Sources, Related Information, and Revision History are provided solely for the convenience of users and are not part of the official University policy.

Feedback for this Policy

We want to respond to your policy inquiries as quickly and efficiently as possible.

For questions or comments regarding a particular policy or to notify us of broken links or typographical errors, please provide this information below.

Please Note:

Policy feedback is available to the Policy Office, Policy Sponsor, and elected shared governance representatives, upon request, for policies impacting the populations they represent.

To prevent automated spam submissions, please answer the challenge below.