Policy Statement on Benefactor Naming
CAUT recognizes the risks and dangers associated with the increased commercialization of post-secondary education and opposes any policies that reflect this privatization, such as benefactor naming of buildings, chairs, and faculties. However, since the exchange of financial support for a “name” is already a reality, CAUT proposes the following guidelines for academic staff associations.
1. There must be no compromise of the academic institution’s autonomy. The donation of money should be untied, so that there is no connection to or involvement with the academic policy of the institution. Where the donor “buys” a name for an existing building, chair, or faculty, it should be made clear that the donor has purchased only the name.
2. In consideration of the public nature of the academic institution there should be a donor agreement between the institution and the benefactor with full disclosure to all members of the institution and to the public at large.
3. The donor agreement should provide appropriate provisions for review.
4. As part of the academic institution’s governance structure there should be an elected naming committee whose members are representative of the senior academic body of the institution. Clear guidelines for benefactors should be established and made available to the public at large.
5. Any naming of a building or academic unit should require approval of those who work in the building or the unit.
Approved by CAUT Council, November 2008.