USM NAMING AND RECOGNITION GUIDELINES
This document outlines the procedures for naming facilities and programs and lists the recommended minimum levels of support for endowed funds to be named. These minimums may be re-evaluated at regular intervals as the President of the University or Vice President for External Affair deems necessary.
Reason for Policy/Purpose
This policy is required for the effective communication of university policy regarding the guidelines for gift naming opportunities and service recognition naming opportunities at The University of Southern Mississippi.
Who Needs to Know This Policy
All members of The University of Southern Mississippi community. Those directly involved with these guidelines: president, provost, vice presidents, deans, directors/department heads, development staff of the USM Foundation, other faculty and staff as appropriate.
Website Address for this Policy
The University of Southern Mississippi has established procedures for naming certain items covered by these guidelines for reasons other than private giving. This occurs when an individual merits recognition due to his/her academic, research or service contributions and accomplishments. Generally, individuals and groups for whom University facilities are named must have made a significant contribution to the field of education, government, science, the humanities or social progress.
Special consideration shall be given to:
Requests to name a building, facility or other space on campus in recognition of service or achievement should be made to the President’s Office and will be subject to the approval of the President and/or the Executive Cabinet.
GIFT NAMING OPPORTUNITIES
Significant gifts benefiting The University of Southern Mississippi will provide opportunities for donors to designate the name of a University program, facility (or building), unit, professorship, scholarship or other item in honor of the donor or donor’s designee.
For The University of Southern Mississippi to properly expend funds related to naming opportunities, each gift must be accompanied by a gift agreement that has been approved by representatives of the donor and the USM Foundation. The Southern Miss Athletic Foundation, the Southern Miss Alumni Association and the USM Research Foundation may put forth opportunities for naming space as well but will be subject to these guidelines for the University. Naming opportunities through the Southern Miss Athletic Foundation, the Southern Miss Alumni Association or the USM Research Foundation are also subject to their own internal guidelines and final approval of the President and Executive Cabinet.
Listed amounts are minimum guidelines for named gifts to The University of Southern Mississippi. Gift amounts must be approved by the Vice President for External Affairs and the appropriate Vice President and/or Dean/Director prior to discussion with any donor.
In special cases where contributions for a named gift are less than the suggested minimum or where the minimum amount is to be paid in multiple payments, some of which are to be made subsequent to acceptance of the gift, the President of the University may recommend and the Institutions of Higher Learning Board of Trustees may accept such gifts as exceptions to the minimum guidelines, upon such conditions, if any, as the President of the University may deem appropriate.
Opportunities for naming facilities and programs shall be forwarded to the Vice President for External Affairs for review. The opportunities for naming will then be sent to the President of the University for final approval. This procedure is not required for scholarships, professorships, lectureships, research awards, etc., as long as the recommended minimums have been met as outlined in this policy.
Naming opportunities involving buildings must be approved by the President of the University and the Institutions of Higher Learning Board of Trustees based upon the recommendations of the Vice President for External Affairs and the Provost or other appropriate Vice President and/or Dean/Director.
A proposal to name a building must be approved formally by the University President before the proposal is delivered to a prospective donor.
If a building name is not forthcoming at the time the building has been completed, and a name is needed for identification purposes, a generic name should be used, thus reserving the prerogative to bring forward a name that meets the established criteria at a later date. Examples of such generic names are: Music Building, East Hall, and Biology Building.No facilities will be named in recognition of revocable deferred gifts. In all cases, a minimum contribution of $1 million in cash, stock or other property that may be liquidated reaching a total of no less than $1 million is required to name a building. An irrevocable charitable lead or remainder trust may be combined with an acceptable current gift determined by the President of the University, with the recommendation of the Vice President for External Affairs, for naming purposes.
Other Physical Facilities/Space
Private Fundraising Goal / Total Usable Square Footage = Fundraising Value Per Square Foot
Fundraising Value Per Square Foot x Programming Space Available = Space Naming Opportunity Sub-Amount
Space Naming Opportunity Sub-Amount x Location Index* x Utility Index* = Space Naming Opportunity Total
* The Location Index and Utility Index are based on an average of “1.” Lower floors in a building will have a Location Index higher than “1” in most cases. Public spaces in buildings with high traffic patterns will have a higher Utility Index due to their increased usage.
Space Naming Opportunity Total is then compared to all other spaces and the Private Fundraising Goal by the Vice President for External Affairs, the Associate Director for Development and the Dean/Program Director for best fit in the campaign and the campaign goal. Final approval is given by the Executive Cabinet of the University.
Naming opportunities such as benches, fountains, works of art, plantings or other structures will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. Approval must be granted by the President of the University in conjunction with the Executive Cabinet. Funding requirements will be based on location, structure and function. Gift funds must cover the entire cost of structure or installation, and if significant ongoing costs will be incurred, an endowment sufficient to cover these costs may also be required.Major gifts to name buildings or other physical space must be paid in full within five years (e.g., cash, cash equivalents, marketable securities, or pledges with not more than five-year duration) unless a longer period of time for payment of the gift or pledge is approved by the Vice President for External Affairs. Planned gift commitments, with the exception of charitable lead trusts, which must be funded with cash or marketable securities, may not give rise to an opportunity to name buildings or physical space; however, exceptions can be made by the Institutions of Higher Learning Board of Trustees at the recommendation of the President of the University under extraordinary circumstances. Gift agreements for the naming of new or renovated buildings or physical spaces must allow for the unrestricted use of the donated funds for the specified project. This practice allows the University the flexibility to use bonds or other funding mechanisms for construction.
Any private gift associated with the naming of any of the above units should be of a level that will transform the very nature of the unit involved, enabling that unit to reach a level of excellence that would have been extremely difficult using state or University funds alone. It is preferred that the gift be in the form of an endowment, and income from the endowment should be used to provide a margin of excellence for the unit involved, and should not replace state funds previously made available to that unit.
Major gifts to name academic or other major University units must be paid in full within five years (e.g., cash, cash equivalents, marketable securities or pledges with not more than a five year duration), unless a longer period of time for payment of the gift or pledge is approved by the Vice President for External Affairs. Irrevocable planned commitments may be considered.
All naming opportunities involving academic or other major University units must be approved by the President of the University and the Institutions of Higher Learning Board of Trustees based upon the recommendations of the Vice President for External Affairs and the Provost or other appropriate Vice President and/or Dean/Director.Any proposal to name an academic or other major University unit should be approved formally by the University President before the proposal is delivered to a prospective donor.
Endowed Faculty Positions
Endowed faculty positions are intended to provide the University with the resources it needs to recruit and retain top-performing faculty to lead the academic enterprise of the University through teaching, research, and service. Annual faculty endowment allocations may be used for salary supplement, research and travel for academic purpose, etcetera.
The endowed chair designation will be linked to a select faculty position filled by a distinguished, outstanding scholar and teacher, as determined by nationally accepted standards.
A faculty position designated with a named professorship will be occupied by an exceptionally gifted and promising scholar. Named professorships typically are held by faculty members whose accomplishments indicate potential for national and international leadership and distinction in their field and whose current efforts are focused on honing teaching skills and/or establishing a superior record of research or other scholarly activity.The University President may consider, upon recommendation of the Vice President for External Affairs, named gifts supported by pledge commitments to be expended annually for a designated purpose. Such gifts shall be designated as “sponsored” gifts (e.g., Sponsored Academic Chair). If such pledges are discontinued or decreased or become inadequate to provide for the designated purpose, the Executive Cabinet shall consider whether the designation should be continued.
Lectureships and Lecture Series
The designation of a distinguished lectureship is reserved for a select position to be filled by a top scholar who becomes a part of The University of Southern Mississippi community for a specified period, but who typically does not accept a permanent position on the faculty. Special compensation packages usually are required to support distinguished lectureships whose holders typically are in the forefront of their academic discipline.
Approval for a distinguished lectureship must be granted by the President of The University of Southern Mississippi based on the recommendations of the Vice President for External Affairs and the Provost or other appropriate Vice President and/or Dean/Director.
A visiting lecture series will bring to The University of Southern Mississippi, for short stays, a variety of individuals with experience and expertise relevant to the special interests of a particular college or school. Allocations from the endowed fund will provide resources for honoraria, travel expenses, and other costs associated with presenting such speakers.An annual lecture series will bring to The University of Southern Mississippi, once per year, an individual with experience and expertise relevant to the special interests of a particular college or school. Allocations from the endowed fund will provide resources for honoraria, travel expenses, and other costs associated with presenting such speakers.
Fellowships and Scholarships
Fellowships are a form of educational assistance typically intended to provide the resources necessary to recruit the most accomplished graduate students. The awards will provide support that will attract and enable capable and deserving students to complete their educational experience at The University of Southern Mississippi. Specific criteria for eligibility may be established in consultation with the donor.
Presidential scholarships are intended to provide significant financial assistance in most cases to academically talented students. They are prestigious in nature but are not intended to fully cover the cost of tuition.Scholarship support is primarily intended to aid talented undergraduate students or students with notable financial need. Specific criteria for eligibility may be established in consultation with the donor.
Other Naming Opportunities
An endowed research fund may be established in support of a general academic area. Priority may be given to a specific field of study. Endowed fund earnings are intended to make available the resources necessary to support outstanding research to enhance the research activity of the University’s most deserving faculty. Research endowments may also be specified for graduate or undergraduate student research awards, if the donor wishes.
An endowed fund for excellence may be established in support of a college, school, department, academic discipline or other University program of interest to the donor. Allocations from such funds may be used to enhance the selected program in a variety of ways, including support for research, faculty development, travel or for other educational enrichment activities.
Allocations from such funds designated for teaching, service, research and staff awards will be used to recognize outstanding performance by faculty, professional or support staff members in the specified college, school or division. The college, school or unit will typically choose recipients.Endowed support funds may be established to provide enhanced discretionary support to colleges, schools, departments or divisions.
GENERAL GUIDELINES FOR NAMING
It is recommended that a given surname may be assigned to only one building.
No University building, part of a building, college, school, center, organizational sub-unit, road or plaza may be named in honor of a current University employee or a former employee who has been separated from the University for less than two years, except in extenuating circumstances.
If a facility is to be named for a deceased individual, it is recommended that a minimum of two years pass between the date of death and the naming.
University buildings, parts of buildings, colleges, schools, centers, organizational sub-units, roads and plazas shall not be named for anyone convicted of a felony.The appropriateness of a corporate or family name in a public context should be taken into consideration when naming buildings, parts of buildings, colleges, schools, centers, organizational sub-units, roads and plazas.
If at any time following the naming of a building, part of a building, college, school, center, organizational sub-unit, road or plaza, etcetera, circumstances change substantially so that the continued use of that name may compromise the public trust, the University President will consult with the University’s general counsel, the Executive Cabinet, and with the USM Foundation Board of Directors as appropriate, regarding future action. The University reserves the right to remove any name that would reflect poorly on the University or would conflict with the purpose or mission of the University.
If an individual for whom a facility is named subsequently is convicted of a felony or otherwise engages in conduct that, in the sole discretion of the University, is injurious to the reputation of the University, the name may be removed; however, any gift made in connection with the naming opportunity will be retained by the Foundation.
A name on a facility or other space that was named in recognition of a charitable gift may be removed at the discretion of the University President if and when the commitment is unfulfilled by the donor at the completion of the agreed payment period. The removal of a name requires the approval of the Executive Cabinet. The donor or his/her designee will be informed of the change in writing, notice of which shall be mailed by certified mail to the person or designee identified in the gift agreement 60 days prior to removal of the name from the facility or unit.
Generally, the naming of a facility will remain in perpetuity for the duration of the existence of the building; however, in some cases, the University and the donor may find it appropriate to assign a time limitation on named buildings or parts of buildings, colleges, schools, roads or plazas, with a recommendation to review at the end of a defined period of time. Time limitations on buildings and parts of buildings, roads and plazas, etcetera, may be at the discretion of the University and the donor.
In the case of a divorce or other family dissolution, a naming opportunity 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 and approval of the University President.
If the name of a corporation/organization changes after a facility is named for the corporation/organization, the name of the facility would remain the same unless a change is requested by the corporation/organization and/or recommended by the Executive Cabinet in accordance with this policy. If such a request is made, the name will be changed as long as the corporation/organization pays the complete expense of making the change.Should a building be demolished or replaced and the former name is no longer warranted, the Executive Cabinet, along with the USM Foundation, will consider new naming opportunities. When possible, the USM Foundation will contact a family member and/or the appropriate contact person for the former namesake to inform them of the demolition or replacement of the current building. It may be appropriate to place a plaque in, or on, a new building to indicate that it occupies the site of a building formerly known by another name.
The Vice President for External Affairs is responsible for the review of this policy every four years (or whenever circumstances require immediate review).
Amendments: Month, Day, Year – summary of changes
03/20/13: Formatted for template. Minor editing throughout.
05/11/16: Edited for title change from Vice President for University Advancement to Vice President for External Affairs.