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Naming Recognition Policy

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Section 1 - Purpose

(1) This Policy specifies University-wide principles for recognition-based naming of University tangible and intangible assets – including buildings, equipment, spaces, special programs, academic units or positions, scholarships, and projects. 


(2) This Policy establishes the conditions under which naming recognition may occur. It is intended to ensure consistency and to help manage Donor expectations.  Naming gives the University a means of recognising individuals, not-for-profit organisations (including trusts, foundations and other charitable organisations), and corporations who have made an exceptional contribution to the University through service or philanthropy.


(3) This Policy applies to the University, including any entities that it owns, manages or controls. It relates to University buildings and other physical assets, special programs, academic units or positions, scholarships and projects which have the potential to be named as a result of Donations or sponsorship.

(4) The University may also choose to name opportunities for other reasons including, for example, in recognition of exceptional service to the University.

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Section 2 - Policy

Administration of the Policy

(5) Acceptance of any Donation or sponsorship is subject to the University’s Donations and Fundraising Policy.

(6) In accordance with the Reserved Powers of Council and Council Committees, naming of Faculties must be approved by Council.

(7) In accordance with the Delegations of Authority Register naming of senior management portfolios, offices, departments, institutes or University centres may be undertaken by the Vice-Chancellor after consultation with the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) where the centre or institute has a primary research focus. 

(8) In accordance with the Delegations of Authority Register naming of centres and units within Faculties may be undertaken by the Vice-Chancellor on recommendation from the Executive Dean or Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) and after consultation with the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) where the centre or unit has a primary research focus.

(9) Any deviation from the terms set out this Policy may only be made with the approval of the Vice-Chancellor with advice from the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Engagement), and the Executive Director of Advancement. 

Opportunities for Naming

(10) The decision to offer an opportunity for naming will usually be based on one or more of the following:

  1. philanthropy - to recognise a Donor who has made a significant financial Gift; and
  2. honour - to recognise an outstanding individual or entity for distinguished service and / or philanthropy to the University and / or community, and who exemplifies the University’s values.

(11) Naming will not normally be offered simply in recognition of the performance of a formal role within the University structure, for example, serving as a staff member or on a body such as University Council.

(12) Where a naming opportunity is offered by the University, a Donor is under no obligation to associate their own name to the naming opportunity.

(13) Opportunities for naming include, but are not limited to:

  1. tangible assets – buildings, physical spaces or equipment:
    1. buildings or sections of building where the identification refers to the building itself or an external feature such as a wing;
    2. other permanent features on campus;
    3. sections of buildings, such as theatres, laboratories, conference, lecture, seminar and tutorial rooms where the identification refers to an internal feature;
    4. developed outdoor spaces such as gardens, courtyards, playing fields, walkways, ornamental structures, pools, benches and trees;
    5. streets and roads on University property;
    6. major research equipment; and
    7. collections. 
  2. intangible assets - non-physical entities:
    1. colleges, centres and institutes;
    2. departments;
    3. research and teaching programs;
    4. lectureships, lecture series;
    5. scholarships, bursaries;
    6. financial prizes and non-financial awards; and
    7. any positions, including Chairs, fellowships and lectureships.

Minimum Funding Requirements

(14) A proposal to name a building or physical space must be approved by the Vice-Chancellor before any proposal is communicated to the prospective Donor.

Naming of Tangible Assets – Buildings, Physical Spaces or Equipment

(15) Following are the expected Gift levels for naming opportunities of tangible assets:

  1. buildings and physical spaces costing over $100m:
    1. 10% of total contract and fit out costs.
  2. buildings and physical spaces costing between $50m and $100m:
    1. 20% of total contract and fit out costs.
  3. buildings and physical spaces costing up to $50m: 
    1. 40 - 50% of total contract and fit out costs depending on situation and location.

(16) Approval below these levels may be granted by the Vice-Chancellor.

(17) The duration of the naming will take into account:

  1. the prominence of the activities that will be undertaken within the building or physical space or equipment;
  2. the prominence of the location of the building or physical space or equipment;
  3. any non-monetary (in-kind) contributions the Donor has made in addition to the Donation; and
  4. no naming will be made in perpetuity without written confirmation from the Vice-Chancellor prior to any formal acceptance of a Donation. 

Naming of Intangible Assets – Non-physical Entities

(18) Following are the expected Gift levels for naming opportunities for intangible assets.

  1. colleges, departments, centres and institutes:
    1. by agreement of Vice-Chancellor.
  2. endowed Chairs:
    1. $6.8m – Interest earned from investment of capital to fund costs of position, research, seminars and on-costs. Amount may be varied based on the level of the Chair.
  3. fixed-term Chair:
    1. $2.5m for five (5) years - Chair terminates at end of period or continues with further funding agreed by the Executive Dean. 
  4. other academic appointments:
    1. costs must cover the position as agreed by the Executive Dean of the Faculty for the duration of the position.
  5. endowed scholarship funds (funding models are dependent on type of scholarship, needs and term please contact Office of Advancement).
  6. endowed bursary funds (funding models are dependent on type of scholarship, needs and term please contact Office of Advancement).
  7. financial prizes and non-financial awards (minimum $500 per prize for five (5) years).

General Provisions

(19) All naming opportunities must be submitted in writing to the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Engagement), with supporting documentation.

(20) Office of Advancement will be responsible for maintaining a record of all naming opportunities awarded.

(21) Payment of Gifts and terms must be agreed and documented before taking effect.

(22) Appropriate media recognition and / or ceremony will be held once the naming opportunity is official and is the responsibility of the Office of Advancement, supported by Group Marketing and by Events and Domestic Protocol as appropriate.

Gift Terms

(23) When named recognition is a benefit of a Gift, the written Gift Agreement or Pledge Gift Agreement should be signed by both the Donor and an appropriately authorised representative of Macquarie University before naming takes place.

(24) Name recognition will take place following the fulfillment of the pledge, or after at least one instalment of the Gift has been received. If the Gift is to be made over a period of time, these Gifts must normally be made within five (5) years, with payment and completion dates specified in the Pledge Gift Agreement. If named recognition is to be upheld from the first pledge payment, and subsequent payments lapse or are unfulfilled Macquarie University reserves the right to remove named recognition.

(25) Recognition for legacy Gifts / Bequests should only be formalised upon fulfillment of the legacy / Bequest.  Wording in these Gift Agreements must be sufficiently flexible to allow for changes in circumstance between the pledge being made and the Gift being realised. Donors should be made aware that the location or purpose of named buildings, physical spaces, equipment, or non-physical entities may need to change over time in relation to Macquarie University’s priorities.

(26) Named recognition is given to the Donor as the University’s response to a philanthropic Gift, and is not an obligation of Macquarie University unless it forms part of a formal Gift Agreement.

(27) Named recognition is symbolic of the Gift and does not entitle the Donor to any form of ownership or control of the named building, physical space, equipment, or non-physical entity.

(28) Named recognition is subject to satisfactory assessment by the University of the funding arrangements for the cost of the project concerned.

(29) The University will appoint the occupant of a named University Chair in accordance with the policies and procedures of the University. The occupant will have academic freedom in accordance with the University’s Freedom of Speech and Academic Freedom Policy; and will not be required to endorse any of the sponsor’s products or services. 

(30) Agreements with sponsors may establish the terms under which the occupant of a sponsored Chair might participate in joint activities with the sponsor; for example, to publicise research findings.

Term of Naming Rights

(31) As a general rule, all named facilities will be reviewed every ten (10) years. This will not affect a Gift agreement except in the following circumstances.

  1. On occasion a named building or physical space may need to be repurposed or demolished.  Should this occur the University would apply naming rights to another or subsequent appropriate building or physical space for the remaining term of the Gift Agreement in consultation with the Donor.
  2. Term naming - A name may be approved over a set period of time as set out in the Gift Agreement.
  3. Life of Term – Generally the naming of buildings and physical spaces will be granted for a minimum of five (5) years.
  4. Naming in perpetuity will only be considered when a Gift generates sufficient funds in perpetuity.
  5. It is recommended that named recognition of buildings and physical spaces will have a maximum twenty (20) year term. 
  6. Named recognition of buildings and physical spaces will not extend beyond the life of the space. 

Removal of Named Recognition

(32) Macquarie University reserves the right to decline or terminate any named recognition Gift Agreements at any time.

(33) A clause shall be inserted in all Gift Agreements to allow the University to withdraw from such an agreement if the name of the individual or organisation comes into disrepute in the University or in the general community or if the Donor is in breach of the Gift Agreement, for example if pledge payments are missed. 

(34) In such an instance, the Vice-Chancellor would advise University Council that the use of the name be discontinued and the relevant Agreement terminated.


(35) At times it may be appropriate to offer a Donor the opportunity for a small reception or other opportunity to celebrate their Gift.  This should not be a requirement of the Gift, but rather can be offered as an additional benefit when agreed with the Director, Development. The costs of the event should be proportionate to the benefit and size of the Gift.

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Section 3 - Procedures

(36) Nil.

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Section 4 - Guidelines

(37) Nil.

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Section 5 - Definitions

(38) The following definitions apply for the purpose of this Policy:

  1. Bequest means a Gift made by way of a will, a legal declaration of a Donor’s wishes regarding the disposition of their property after death whereby the principal benefit of the gift is not available to the University until some future date, often at the time of the Donor’s death or at the end of a specified time.
  2. Donation means a voluntary contribution, Gift, Bequest or devise, whether in cash or in-kind, or other giftable financial assets or real property that advances the mission of the University and no material benefit is received by the Donor from the University in return. The gift is a donation if the only recognition or benefit given in return is a public acknowledgement of the gift.
  3. Donor means any natural or legal person who provides a monetary or in-kind transfer to the University, whether this is for a specific purpose or not.
  4. Gift means any voluntary donation or Bequest, received monetarily or in-kind.
  5. Gift Agreement means a document finalising an agreement between the University and Donors involved in a planned Gift such as a Bequest.