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Policy Details

5 -13.2

Administrative policy regarding naming facilities and endowments

(A)       Policy statement. Kent state university is honored to name facilities and academic programs in order to recognize donors who make gifts which significantly advance the university’s ability to carry out its instruction, research and public-service missions.  It should be recognized that naming such a program or facility is a partnership between the donor and the university, and should be undertaken with careful thought and planning, and in such a way that brings distinction to both parties.


(B)       Types of gifts, named facilities and endowments. The following descriptions correspond to certain naming opportunities provided for in paragraphs (B) and (C) of rule 3342-5-13 of the Administrative Code.


(1)       Naming of facilities. While university buildings and spaces are designed to last for generations, over time they will require significant renovation and eventually replacement.  In order to attract the funds necessary to complete this work, the university retains the discretion to rename buildings and spaces when renovation or replacement is required while continuing to acknowledge the donor’s original gift in the appropriate way.


(2)       Endowed chair. The designation of “chair” will be accorded to that select number of faculty who are determined to be truly outstanding scholars and teachers according to rigorous, nationally accepted standards. The title “chair” is the highest honor Kent state university may award to a faculty member. The reputations of individuals recruited as chairs will reflect their special understanding of their particular field of study and their nurturing of the leading scholars of the future. Chairs at Kent, as at other prestigious universities, will constitute that small cadre of exceptionally-gifted professors whose names evoke immediate acknowledgement and respect in academic circles. This award typically supplements existing budgeted salaries.


 Areas such as science or other academic programs, which require laboratory equipment, may require additional funding.


(3)       Endowed professorship: The designation of “professorship” will be accorded to those position held by exceptionally-gifted scholars. Professorships are typically held by those faculty members whose accomplishments indicate great potential. Their efforts are focused on honing their teaching skills and carving out areas of research performance. This award typically supplements existing budgeted salaries and may be awarded at the professor, associate professor or assistant professor levels with qualifications for each endowment to be determined on a case-by-case basis.


(4)       Undergraduate endowed scholarship, founder’s medallion scholarship, or graduate endowed fellowship. These three funds will be used to endow significant fellowships and scholarships at Kent. Fellowships are reserved for graduate students, and scholarships are generally given to undergraduate students. Depending on the donor’s preference and the magnitude of the gift, these named funds will provide deserving students, some of whom may need to meet specific criteria, with financial assistance of a portion or all of their educational experience.


(5)        Library endowments.


(a)       Library endowment fund. Income from the principal will provide unrestricted support to the annual operation of the Kent state university libraries. This endowment is very valuable because of the critical nature of the library as it serves a technical and research-oriented university.


(b)       Unrestricted scholarship or other endowment: Named unrestricted scholarship endowments rank as top priority in establishing scholarship endowments at Kent due to the flexibility they present. These scholarships can be used to recruit and retain the brightest and most capable students without any restrictions.


(c)       Library book fund. This unique endowment program is established as a naming opportunity in the Kent state university libraries. Interest from the library book fund will be used to place new volumes in the library in perpetuity. Each year, income from this fund will be used to purchase books in honor or memory of those who have elected to endow a library book fund in the Kent state university libraries.


(C)      Procedures.


(1)       Board approval required. All gift naming proposals for university buildings, other structures of a permanent nature, roads, and other specific areas must be approved by the Kent state university board of trustees. To this effect, all potential donors will be informed that the naming honor is contingent on the approval of the board of trustees.


(2)       Review of publicly available information.


(a)       In order to protect the reputation and best interests of the university, reasonable review of publicly available information on donors will be conducted prior to submitting the naming resolution to the board of trustees. By charter, the board’s external relations and development committee is responsible for reviewing such requests and making recommendations to the full board for action. The committee chair will be consulted as gift negotiations are being conducted, to facilitate the naming process. 


(b)       It is recognized that from time to time, issues may arise concerning the history of an individual donor.  Kent state university subscribes to the association of fundraising professionals (AFP) recommendation that when considering a naming gift, “except in rare circumstances, organizations should avoid sitting in judgment of people who have served their time, paid their penalties, etc.


(4)       The annual allocation of funds to support paragraphs (C)(1), (C)(2), and (C)(3) of this rule will be authorized by the dean of the school with which the funded position will be associated, subject to the approval of the provost. Unspent funds will be returned to the principal or held for expenditures for the following year.


(5)       Circumstances may vary relative to campus facilities in that there may be new projects, renovations of existing space, or simply existing structures for which there may be additional naming opportunities than those provided for in rule 3342-5-13 of the Administrative Code.



Effective: March 1, 2015  

Prior Effective Dates: 10/5/2012  

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