Volume 13, Number 1 July 8, 2005

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Framework set for naming campus assets after donors

By Lawrence McMahen

The University of Saskatchewan has taken an important step to improve its ability to thank major donors for their gifts, and to promote good future relations with donors.

On June 24 the Board of Governors passed a new framework for how the University will handle the naming of campus assets in recognition of donors’ gifts.

While a number of U of S assets have already been named over the years in honour of donations or outstanding service to the University – such as PotashCorp Park, the PCS Centre in the Commerce Building, the Neatby-Timlin Theatre, and a number of computer labs and other rooms in the Agriculture Building – many naming opportunities remain.

These potentially include everything from classrooms, labs, pedestrian walkways and galleries to whole buildings, centres, institutes, roadways, athletic facilities and gardens.

The framework, presented to the Board by Heather Magotiaux, Vice-President of University Advancement, lays out strategies for the equitable calculation of what level of asset could be named for a donor, based on the size of donation made to the University.

But besides financial value, the framework notes that, to be recognized by the naming of a campus asset, donors “should share the University’s mission, ethics and values”.

Kim Robertson, Director of Annual Giving, says the aim of the new framework is “to recognize really significant contributions to the University’s mission.”

Robertson points out that federal charitable gift regulations dictate that there can be no conditions put on a gift to make an institution carry out certain actions in return. Rather, naming assets “is a way the University can say ‘thanks’”.

She points out that no donor company or individual can gain any rights to make decisions about U of S assets – that remains with the University.

The framework states that naming of assets worth up to $5 million can be decided by the University’s naming committee, chaired by President Peter MacKinnon. Naming of assets worth more than $5 million must be approved by the Board.

The framework also says that the University’s academic and administrative units will now work with University Advancement and Facilities Management Division to identify naming opportunities with which to recognize donations.

And, a formal donor recognition policy will be developed and proposed to the Board of Governors, likely by this fall. It will set out fair and equitable recognition standards for donors.

Also, a joint committee on chairs and professorships will have authority to approve the naming of chairs and professorships for which donations have been received.

For more information, contact communications.office@usask.ca

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