This policy applies to the naming of academic units at UW institutions.


The purpose of this policy is to provide Board oversight of namings which may affect the reputational interests of the UW System by providing criteria to be applied when naming academic units (for example, schools and colleges).

Policy Statement

It is the preference of the UW System Board of Regents to commemorate individuals’ contributions to academic excellence through the naming of scholarships, programs, professorships, and other similar actions.  However, the Board recognizes that the naming of academic units may at times be an appropriate means of recognizing individuals’ service, dedication to academic excellence, or financial contributions.  An academic unit for purposes of this policy is considered to be a school, college, department, program, center, or similar unit within a UW institution.

School or College

Naming of a college or school within a UW institution is subject to prior approval by the Board of Regents.  A request to name or dedicate a college or school shall be made by the Chancellor of the institution.  A Chancellor shall submit support for such a request, demonstrating consideration of the factors below, to the UW System Office for Academic and Student Affairs for review.  Any proposed naming agreement also shall be reviewed by the UW System Office of General Counsel.

Department, Program or Center

The Chancellor of each institution is delegated the authority to name departments, programs, and centers, or other academic units other than colleges or schools.


For all namings under this policy, the following factors shall be considered:

  1. Whether the individual has promoted the purpose and mission of the UW System as expressed in s. 36.01, Wis. Stats.;
  2. Whether the reputation of the individual may reflect negatively or adversely upon the UW System or a UW System institution;
  3. Whether the individual is in compliance with any agreements with the UW System or a particular UW System institution;
  4. Whether any existing agreements prohibit changing or adding a name to an academic unit;
  5. Whether there is a plan for continued recognition of an individual for whom an academic unit was previously named; and
  6. Whether the individual was employed by the UW System or has served as an elected or appointed public official. Normally, a waiting period of at least five years must have elapsed from the time the individual’s UW employment ended or the individual left public office.  Exceptions may be considered under certain circumstances, including when:
    1. The individual is no longer living; or
    2. A gift requests the naming.

Oversight, Roles, and Responsibilities

The UW System Office for Academic and Student Affairs shall ensure all of the requirements of this policy are met prior to a chancellor’s submitting a request to name a college or school within a UW institution to the Board of Regents.

Related Regent Policies and Applicable Laws

Regent Policy Document 19-14, “Naming of University Facilities and Lands”



History:  Res. 10788, adopted 12/08/2016, created Regent Policy Document 4-19.


SYS 102, Policy on University of Wisconsin System Array Management: Program Planning, Delivery, Review, and Reporting (formerly ACIS 1.0)

[UW System Administrative policies are included for reference and are separate from Regent Policy Documents adopted by the Board.]