Board of Regents Policy Manual

Official Policies of the University System of Georgia

7.4 Private Donations to the USG and Its Institutions

(Last Modified on February 20, 2013)

The Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia, recognizing that public institutions are dependent, in part, on private funding (just as private institutions are partially dependent on public funding) encourages the institutions under its control to seek the support of alumni, friends, corporations, and other private individuals and organizations that might be interested in contributing to the welfare of the institutions, their students, and their faculties.

Funds raised from private donations may be used in support of the mission and objectives of the institution, including funds for student scholarships, salary supplements, construction of physical facilities, and gifts and grants for other purposes as may be designated by the donor. However, institutions are not authorized to commit any state funds for challenge or matching grants or gifts for the construction of facilities or for other purposes without prior approval of the Chancellor.

The Board of Regents shall not consider gifts, contributions, or income from endowments held for the benefit of any USG institution in determining the allocation of state funds to that institution.

Private donations to separately incorporated cooperative organizations established pursuant to Section 12.5 of this Policy Manual shall not subject to control by the Board of Regents or the college or university administration except as provided in Section 12.5 or by the memoranda of agreement established between institutions and their cooperative organizations.

A USG institution may accept gifts, bequests, agreements, or declarations of trust, except gifts of real property. By accepting such gifts, donations, bequests, or declarations of trust, the president of the institution affirms that the gift or donation carries no obligations to the institution that may conflict with state law or Board of Regents policy. The president also affirms that acceptance of the gift or donation will not impose a financial burden on the institution beyond that which can be managed within its current budget. If acceptance of the gift or donation would require the institution to incur additional cost that cannot be borne within current resources, the institution shall be required to obtain the approval of the Board of Regents before the gift or donation is formally accepted.

Each institution shall provide a summary report as required to the Chancellor on all gifts received by the institution and its cooperative organizations through private donations under procedures established by the USG chief fiscal officer.

Each president is authorized to execute those documents necessary to provide proper fiscal management of those funds accepted under this authorization and, at their discretion, to further delegate the authority to execute such documents to the chief business officers of the institutions. Gifts of real property are addressed in Section 9.9, Real Property Ownership and Asset Management, of this Policy Manual (BoR Minutes, 1980-81, p. 241; January 1997, p. 24).

7.4.1 Naming of Places, Colleges or School

(Last Modified on October 11, 2013)

The Board of Regents considers the naming of a place or an academic unit in honor of a living or deceased individual, corporation, foundation, or organization to be one of the highest and most distinct honors that it can bestow. Naming a place or an academic unit requires prior authorization by the Board of Regents and shall be in accord with Board of Regents procedures and guidelines.

This policy shall apply to the naming of all Board of Regents real estate and facilities, as defined in Section 9.1 of this Policy Manual. This includes all property owned or leased by the USG, including facilities constructed, donated, or acquired by affiliated organizations of the institutions. (Refer to Section 17.0, Affiliated Organizations, of the Business Procedures Manual, for more information on affiliated organizations.) This policy shall also apply to the naming of colleges and schools of all USG institutions.

The president of an institution is authorized to name, without prior approval of the Board of Regents, interior spaces and academic units subordinate to colleges and schools, such as departments. The president is also authorized to remove such names. The term “interior space” includes rooms, hallways, floors, and features, as well as other enclosed or conditioned space(s) within buildings. Institutions shall provide a report on interior namings and naming removals as information only to the USG chief external affairs officer at the end of each calendar year.

Board authorized namings shall not be modified. The namings of facilities and grounds of an institution will endure only for the useful life of the facility or feature and not in perpetuity. If a facility or area is substantially changed, a named building or area may no longer exist. In that event, the president of an institution may determine if maintaining the name for transfer to a new facility or area is appropriate and seek Board approval as appropriate.

Situations may occur that would warrant the removal of a name. Where naming authority lies with the Board of Regents, so does the authority and responsibility to remove a name.

Namings may be authorized for outstanding and distinguished service, for philanthropic giving, or both. The Board will authorize namings to honor a living person only when that person has been disassociated from employment by the USG or from local, state, or federal government employment for at least two years prior to seeking Board approval. In the event that the individual being honored is no longer living, the two year waiting period may be waived.

All proposed namings shall be submitted to the USG chief administrative officer who shall distribute the proposal for integrated review and, in conjunction with the chancellor, submit the request to the Board of Regents for action.

Naming a place or an academic unit is a significant fund raising opportunity. Presidents of institutions should maximize the potential of fund raising in association with any naming. Namings authorized without associated fund raising should be the exception.

In order for a place or an academic unit to be named based upon a contribution, the gift will comply with the following guidelines:

  1. The gift must be in irrevocable form to be paid within a five-year period and based upon a signed pledge commitment.
  2. Where possible, namings should be associated with endowment gifts; if a gift is to construct a facility, presidents are encouraged to seek at least a portion of the gift for endowment to support the facility or academic programs associated with the facility.
  3. Generally, deferred gifts such as life insurance and bequests are not to be used for current naming opportunities. Institutions should discuss with the interested donor(s) about the possible naming opportunities that may be available when the gift is actually received. No request for a naming should be made to the Board based on a deferred gift.
  4. In cases where a gift is paid over a period of time, presidents should make the formal naming request to the Board only when at least half of the total gift has been received by the institution.

USG institutions vary and “outstanding service” and “philanthropic giving” are intended, to a certain extent, to be flexible standards. Each naming situation must be judged on its merits after taking into account the facts that are relevant to the person or entity being honored and the institution involved. The president of each institution should ensure that the proposed naming is consistent with the interest of the institution and the USG.

Institution Policy:
Institutions shall also maintain their own naming policy. The policy should establish minimums for financial commitments corresponding to such naming opportunity. In setting minimums, institutions should benchmark against institutions similar in size, scope and mission. Each institution shall provide a copy of its naming policy to the USG chief administrative officer for approval.

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