This policy applies to the naming of facilities, buildings, and land owned or otherwise controlled by the University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents.
The purpose of this policy is to protect the assets and reputation of the UW System by providing criteria to be applied when naming a building, a facility that constitutes less than a building, and land within the campus boundaries. In addition, the policy clarifies expectations as related to the continued recognition for previously named buildings, facilities, and land.
It is the preference of the 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, from time to time, there may be a desire to name university facilities or portions of the university’s buildings or land after an individual or individuals.
Naming of an entire building is subject to prior approval by the Board of Regents. A request to name or dedicate a building 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 of Capital Planning and Budget for review. Any proposed naming agreement shall also be reviewed by the UW System Office of General Counsel.
The chancellor of each institution is delegated the authority to name:
- facilities, when the naming involves less than an entire building, such as rooms, wings, or exterior amenities; and
- parcels of land.
For all namings under this policy, the following factors shall be considered:
- Whether the individual has promoted the purpose and mission of the UW System as expressed in s. 36.01, Wis. Stats.;
- Whether the reputation of the individual may reflect negatively or adversely upon the UW System or a UW System institution;
- Whether the individual is in compliance with all agreements with the UW System or a particular UW System institution;
- Whether any existing agreements prohibit changing or adding a facility name;
- Whether there is a plan for continued recognition of the individual for whom a building, facility, or land was previously named. A plan for continued recognition is required unless an institution can demonstrate why such recognition is no longer needed. Examples of continued recognition include such methods as a plaque, an appropriately placed monument, or incorporation of a cornerstone; and
- 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:
- The individual is no longer living; or
- A gift requests the naming.
Oversight, Roles, and Responsibilities
The Board of Regents is responsible for the physical assets of the UW System and for considering requests to name an entire building.
The UW System Office of Capital Planning and Budget shall ensure all of the requirements of this policy are met prior to a chancellor’s submitting a request to name a building to the Board of Regents.
Related Regent Policies and Applicable Laws
- Regent Policy Document 19-5, Authorization to Remove Unneeded Structures
History: Res. 53, adopted 12/17/1971, created Regent Policy Document 71-6; Res. 674, adopted 02/08/1974, created Regent Policy Document 74-1; Res. 2112, adopted 03/07/1980, revised Regent Policy Document 71-6 and created Regent Policy Document 80-1; Res. 5205, adopted 04/07/1989, amended Regent Policy Document 80-1; Res. 5415, adopted 02/02/1990, rescinded Regent Policy Documents 74-1 and 80-1, and created Regent Policy Document 90-1; Res. 7166, adopted 03/08/1996, rescinded Regent Policy Document 90-1 and created Regent Policy Document 96-1; subsequently renumbered 19-14; Res. 9154, adopted 03/10/2006, amended Regent Policy Document 19-14; Res. 10686, adopted 06/10/2016, amended and renamed Regent Policy Document 19-14, “Naming of University Facilities and Lands.”