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420 - Building and Space

Section: 420-1
Effective: 11/08/2018
Supersedes: 07/01/2017
Next Review Date: 10/19/2024
Issuance Date: 10/19/2021
Issuing Office: Chancellor's Office, Advancement

PPM 420-1 Policy [pdf format]
PPM 420-1 Appendix A [pdf format]


I.              SCOPE

The complexity of UC San Diego and UC San Diego Advancement operations and the increasing availability of naming opportunities necessitate the issuance of formal cohesive guidelines to ensure UC San Diego's adherence to University-wide naming policy and naming best practices.



This policy is for namings that are for namings in recognition of a charitable gift or that are solely honorific in nature.




UC San Diego has a long-standing tradition of naming facilities, programs, and properties in recognition of persons or entities that have made important charitable gifts to UC San Diego or that have personally devoted their careers to enable the teaching, research, and public service mission of the University or society as a whole. The requirements for naming recognition are different depending upon whether or not a charitable gift is involved.


In March 1996, and reaffirmed in December 2013,The Regents delegated responsibility for naming University land reserves, buildings, major centers of activities and other highly visible properties, and major or multi-campus programs or facilities to the UC President, with partial re-delegation to the UC Chancellors.


The Chancellors are responsible for the naming of streets and roads, portions of buildings, small outdoor areas and other minor properties, and single-campus programs or facilities.


All naming in recognition of a donor or honoree must be consistent with the University's role as a public trust. Accordingly, all naming proposals shall be reviewed by the Chancellor and approved in accordance with this policy and related University policies.




Chancellor's Office


·         Receives and facilitates all honorific naming requests directly

·         Works with the Office of Donor Stewardship for all namings related to a charitable gift

·         Notifies the requisite vice chancellor and others involved of approvals (campus and presidential).

·         Notifies Physical Plant Services and Campus Planning of approved names.


Deans or Directors


·         Works with development officers to propose a name that recognizes a donor for a charitable gift.

·         Works with the Chancellor's Office to propose a naming in recognition of honorific merit.


Development Officer


·         Ensures all relevant senior administrators have been notified and agree with the naming proposal for a charitable gift.

·         Contacts Donor Stewardship for assistance and creation of the naming request, including a draft letter of request to the Chancellor or UC President (see item 3 below). This letter will ultimately require the highest level administrator’s signature (dean and vice chancellor) of the area to benefit.

Naming Committee (coordinated by Chancellor's Office)


·         Evaluates the naming proposals for consistency with the university's role as a public trust and ensures a broad campus perspective with regard to naming activities

·         Forwards naming recommendations to the chancellor for final approval.


Office of Donor Stewardship


Chancellor approval items for gift related namings


Donor Stewardship will work with the Development Officer to draft a letter from the appropriate Vice Chancellor requesting Chancellor approval. This approval is required for streets, roads, portions of buildings, small outdoor areas, other minor assets, and single-campus programs or facilities.


UC President approval items


If the naming will also require Presidential approval, Donor Stewardship will work with the development officer to draft an Item for Action requesting UC presidential approval in the proper format. This approval is required for land reserves, major centers of activities, other highly visible assets, and major or multi-campus programs or facilities.


After the chancellor signs a recommendation letter for presidential-level approval, Donor Stewardship submits these items to UCOP:


·         Electronic naming file

·         Gift agreement and/ or list of donors

·         Supporting documents

·         Item for Action


Donor Stewardship maintains central historical files for all gift-related namings.

Chancellor's Office maintains central historical files for all honorific namings.


Office of the President – via Institutional Advancement


·         Obtains Presidential approval and notifies the Office of the Chancellor.


University Communications and Public Affairs


·         Works with involved parties to coordinate a public announcement. Public announcement can be made only after names are approved by the chancellor or UC president as authorized by approval level and UCOP policy.






1. Pre-approval:


Terms and commitments for naming University properties, programs, and facilities as an honorary recognition, or in recognition of a gift are not to be discussed or negotiated with interested parties or donors until they are vetted and pre-approved by the Chancellor or Chancellor’s designee(s) noted below. 


As a matter of general practice, the majority of namings will be granted in recognition of a gift. Gift minimums are noted in Section II below. Gift namings should be in conformance with standards and precedents established in Advancement and should be pre-approved by the Vice Chancellor Advancement (VCA) or the Chancellor when a VCA is not in place.


Honorary namings are exceptional in nature and may be granted only under special circumstances, giving credence to precedents, stature and reputation of the person, and the significance of their impact to society and/or the university consistent with UC policy. All honorary namings should first be discussed, justified and endorsed by the Executive Vice Chancellor (EVC). Final approval will be determined on a case-by-case basis by the Chancellor in consultation with the EVC and VCA, other Vice Chancellors as needed, and the respective requesting unit. Please see Appendix A to this policy for procedures related to special cases related to campus housing naming.


Consistent with UC policy on naming for a member of the University faculty, University administrator, or an individual serving the community, state or nation in an elected position, a naming proposal may be made two years after the individual's retirement, separation or death. However, when such a request is accompanied by a gift, the naming may take effect upon approval.


As is customary, the Chancellor may nominate and endorse a building naming in honor of a former Chancellor at any appropriate time, and per policy standards for active service.


2. Official Naming Request Submission:

Once pre-approval has been obtained and the naming has been negotiated:


·         Requests for namings of property, facilities or programs in recognition of a gift are managed and submitted by the Office of Donor Stewardship, Advancement Services. Donor Stewardship will prepare a request to the Campus Naming Committee and submit it via the Chancellor's Office, who will convey proposals to the Naming Committee for its advice and recommendation.


·         Requests for honorary namings of facilities, programs, and properties should be submitted directly to the Chancellor's Office by the requesting unit. The Chancellor's Office will convey proposals to the Naming Committee for its advice and recommendation.


3. Naming Committee Review:


The Campus Naming Committee will review naming proposals and make recommendations concerning the naming of all campus buildings, streets, and facilities to the Chancellor with consideration given to: 


       the eminence of the individual whose name is proposed; 

       the individual's relationship to the University; and

       In the case of a gift, the significance of the proposed gift as it relates to the realization and/or success of the program or project or to the enhancement of the project's usefulness to the University, and the urgency of need for the project and/or supporting funds.



4. Chancellor Approval and Presidential Approval:


Gift Related


·         For cases in which the President must take action on a recommended name for a University land reserve, building, major center of activity or other highly visible property, or major or multi-campus program or facility, and the recommendation is associated with a gift to the University, the Office of Donor Stewardship, Advancement Services will prepare the required information to be approved by the Chancellor and presented to the President to secure approval of the proposed name.




·         For cases in which the President must take action on a recommended name for a University land reserve, building, major center of activity or other highly visible property, or major or multi-campus program or facility, and the recommendation is an honorary naming, the Chancellor's Office will prepare the required information that is to be presented to the President to secure approval of the proposed name.


For cases in which the Chancellor is authorized to approve names (i.e., streets and roads, portions of buildings, small outdoor areas and other minor properties and single-campus programs or facilities), whether honorary or gift-related, the Chancellor's Office will document and notify the appropriate offices in writing.


For cases in which a proposed generic name is advanced through the Capital Improvement Program (CIP) process (e.g., Biomedical Library, Social Science Building), the Chancellor's approval of the CIP will suffice.


The Chancellor's Office is responsible for informing Physical Plant Services and Campus Planning of all approved names to enable implementation and installation of appropriate signs and to be assured that the campus capital inventory is updated.


Public announcement or publication of names shall occur only after authorized approval of the proposed name by the President or Chancellor.




The following are the general guidelines for UC San Diego campus gift requirements and minimums for naming opportunities. 


1.     General Requirements for all Naming Gifts


·         Naming gifts should be in amounts that are comparable to similar gifts made to private and public institutions of comparable stature.


·         All naming gifts need to be documented in the form of an outright gift or an irrevocable pledge, to be fulfilled within five years or less with annual payments.


·         While namings are expected to exist far into the future, naming terms should be described in the gift agreement or other documentation as limited to the life/use/existence of the building, facility, or programs. This permits renaming to occur far into the future should the building be demolished, rendered functionally obsolete, or require major renovation. In the case of a program, center or institute, this permits the program to be eliminated if no longer effective.


·         Namings must have the approval of the honoree if it is not the donor.  If the honoree is living, then documentation of permission to name is required.  If the honoree is deceased, then the family of the honoree should indicate permission for the naming with appropriate documentation.


·         When the naming recognizes an individual(s), then the complete name of the individual(s) must be used in the official documentation. The last name of the individual may be used informally to reference the facility or program and may be used in signage. Ex: John A. and Susan P. Triton Hall becomes Triton Hall


2.     Buildings and Facilities Naming Gift Minimums


To qualify for approval, a naming gift for an entire building should have the following conditions:


·         Be at a minimum amount that constitutes a meaningful portion of the total cost of the project whether the building or facility is new, existing, or to be renovated.


·         If the building or facility is:


1.     New construction: the naming gift should constitute approximately 20% of the cost.


2.     Existing buildings: the naming gift should constitute approximately 20% of the estimated replacement cost*.


Interior space naming minimums in buildings should be determined on a case by case basis, using the estimator tool available in the office of Advancement Operations and Campaign.  Square footage, location, utility, use and amenities, and the public nature of each area of the building should be considered related to the naming value, and then pre-approved and placed on a menu of giving options for donors.


*replacement value should be determined by the appropriate campus department – such as Facilities Design and Construction


3.     Programmatic Naming Gifts


Naming gifts for institutes, centers, schools, divisions, departments, and programs, (and similar operations as defined by academic policy and organizational structure in place from time to time) should be endowed, and should be sufficient to substantially support and sustain the operation. Significant consideration should be given to reputation and stature of the operation, as well as budgetary resources and needs to determine and justify the naming gift. The naming gift should provide highly advantageous discretionary resources for the creation of new operations, or greatly improve discretionary resources for existing operations. Judgement will need to be applied to these cases and may vary widely.


4.     Signage, Plaques and Commemorative Displays 


Implicit in naming approval is the approval of the installation of signage, plaques, cornerstones, inscriptions, and other suitable commemorative displays in recognition of the naming. Many times a gift agreement will prescribe required donor approvals of such displays. All signage and other types of displays should be in keeping with design and signage requirements as stated in UC San Diego PPM 420-10.


Advancement Operations and Campaign, Campaign Office will maintain an inventory of building, facilities and programs that are eligible for naming as priorities, and the estimated amount of the required naming gift.


A variety of case-by-case factors as determined appropriate by the Chancellor may warrant special circumstances





A.    University of California, Office of the President, Policy on Naming University Properties, Academic and Non-Academic Programs and Facilities (12/2002)


B.    University of California, Office of the President Delegation of Authority 2002, Policy on Naming University Properties, Programs and Facilities (reaffirmed December 17, 2013)


C.    Regents Policy 8201: Policy on Naming Facilities to Include Full Name of Individual


D.    230-8 Endowed Chairs and Professorships


E.    420-10 UCSD Signage Policy




For information related to the naming processes please see Name a University Property, Program, or Facility in Recognition of a Gift on BLINK.




2017/09/27        This policy combined previous policies PPM 420-1 Naming UCSD Facilities, Program, and Properties, 7/1/2004 (honorific) and 410-4 Policy and Guidelines for Gift Naming Opportunities for University Property and Programs, 6/22/1992, 10/1/2011 (410-4 has been rescinded)


2018/11/08        This policy was revised to include Appendix A.


2021/10/19        Policy was routinely reviewed by policy owner and reissued with no updates.



Appendix A – PPM 420-1  Naming UC San Diego Facilities, Properties and Programs


Campus Housing Buildings –Special Naming Protocol


November 2, 2018




The purpose of this protocol is to provide standard guidelines for obtaining permission to identify campus housing buildings or significant areas with namings related to virtues or concepts.  This protocol does not apply to naming opportunities granted in recognition of distinction and/or in recognition of charitable financial support.


Criteria for Naming:


From time to time Housing, Dining and Hospitality, via request from a College for undergraduate housing, or a request from other sources for graduate student housing, may want to identify housing buildings or significant areas for a namings tied to a virtue or concept relevant to the College’s or graduate housing theme.  When a significant area or building is proposed for a naming, the College or other referring source, in conjunction with the Executive Director of Housing, Dining and Hospitality and the Campus Architect, shall first communicate a proposal to the Chancellor’s Office, through the Assistant Chancellor, for consideration.


General Provisions:


No naming will be approved or (once approved) sustained that will call into serious question the public respect of the College, or graduate student housing.


Names of buildings or significant areas should lend prestige to the College and campus, and to staff, students and community.


Nominations submitted for consideration must include a written request stating the purpose for the naming request and how it ties to the College or the graduate housing.


When a building or significant area has been named, the College or campus will continue to use the name so long as the building or area remains in use and serves its original function. When the use of the building or significant area has changed such that it must be demolished, substantially renovated or rebuilt, the College or campus may retain the use of the name at the renovated or rebuilt location, apply it to another comparable building or significant area, or discontinue the use of the name.  As long as names in use under this protocol do not include donor names or other persons or entities being honored, these names related to virtues or concepts may be changed in honor of a donor and in recognition of a gift.




All proposals for naming will be forwarded to the Assistant Chancellor for discussion with the Chancellor to determine whether the proposed naming conforms to this protocol, is otherwise appropriate, and is of sufficient merit.


Commitments made prior to adoption of this policy shall be honored.


Naming Conventions:


A uniform system of signage should be adopted by location. Plans for building or neighborhood signage reflecting new names should be submitted to the Campus Architect’s Office for endorsement to ensure a consistent look with neighborhood and campus standards.


Plaques and signage should be tasteful, discrete and consistent with other campus signage.


Revision History


2021/10/19        Policy was routinely reviewed by policy owner and reissued with no updates.