18.10 – Namings

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Scope: NMSU System

Source: ARP Chapter 18 | Community and Governmental Relations

Rule Administrator:

Last Updated: 07/12/2016



RPM 18.00 - Advancement

Revision History:

2017 Recompilation, formerly 2.50
07/12/2016 Major revision approved by Chancellor
10/21/2015 former Policy 2.50 replicated by Board of Regents as initial Rule 2.50
01/30/2012 Amendment to Policy 2.50 approved by Board of Regents


This Rule is adopted pursuant to the authority granted by RPM 18.00 – Advancement. This Rule supersedes former Rule 2.50 – Namings and its corresponding “NMSU Naming Policy Minimum Thresholds”. ARP 18.10 shall apply in all situations in which a gift is given with the intention of creating any of the following:

  1. Named Endowments (e.g. scholarships, lectureships, professorships, chairs);
  2. Named Physical Entity (e.g. buildings, structures, interior spaces, landscapes, outdoor spaces, roads, etc.);
  3. Named Academic Entities (e.g. programs, endowed funds, academic positions, scholarships, academic units (e.g. schools, colleges, departments, libraries, etc.);
  4. Named Collections (e.g. books, archives, art, museum, etc.);
  5. An Honorific Naming; or
  6. Other Recognitions (e.g. electronic book plates, donor walls, named awards etc.).



  1. Academic Entities: All non-Physical Entities, to include: colleges, schools, academic departments, academic centers, institutes, programs, public information presentations, laboratories, clinics, divisions, research centers, chairs, professorships, lectureships, fellowships, teaching awards and prizes.
  2. Collections: Libraries or parts of libraries and other collections of significant size and scientific, historic, artistic, research or cultural value.
  3. Endowments: An endowment is a fund that can be established through gifts from private individuals, corporations, foundations, associations, and other organizations.
  4. Honorific: “Conferring or implying honor or respect; generally defined as recognizing outstanding individuals distinguished in character or attainments”.
  5. Philanthropic: The act of philanthropy; generally defined as gifts to the University that have real or in-kind monetary value.
  6. Physical Entities: All physical facilities and buildings, including portions thereof. Examples include:
    1. Laboratories, classrooms, seminar rooms, meeting rooms, lounges, wings, halls, floors, galleries;
    2. Athletic fields, athletic facilities,
    3. Wings of buildings or substantial parts of buildings, residence halls, large auditoria, concert halls;
    4. Plazas, parks, fountains, gardens, lawns, courtyards, walkways, pathways;
    5. Natural landmarks;
    6. Parking facilities;
    7. Roadways



An Honorific naming may be bestowed to those (e.g. person(s), organization, group, etc.) who have made exemplary or meritorious contributions to the University or society. The recognition afforded the honoree may also include private financial contributions related to the naming opportunity.   Honorees shall not be currently employed within the NMSU System nor currently hold any appointed or elected office.



Any naming may be disapproved by the Board of Regents or the Chancellor, as appropriate, as may be deemed to best serve the interests of the institution.

  1. Permanence of a Naming: The naming of Physical Entities is intended to be in place for the life of the specific physical entity. Should circumstances change so that the purpose for which the physical entity was established is significantly altered or if the physical entity is no longer needed or habitable, the Chancellor and, if appropriate, the Board of Regents, in consultation with appropriate academic and/or administrative leadership and the donor(s), if possible, will determine an appropriate way to recognize the donor’s naming gift in perpetuity. If the University and the donor(s) previously established a Gift Agreement or contract that provides a practicable course of action, then that action shall be followed.
  2. Removal of a Name: NMSU System naming opportunities shall bear only the name of individuals or entities that exemplify the attributes of integrity, moral character, and leadership consistent with the mission of NMSU System. If, in the determination of the Chancellor and, if appropriate, the Board of Regents those attributes are not maintained, the Chancellor and the Board of Regents reserve the right to remove the donor’s/honoree’s name from an entity at any time.



  1. Announcements: NMSU entities shall respect the privacy of involved parties and exercise discretion during the naming process, and under no circumstances shall an announcement about a potential naming be made prematurely and prior to the final approval required by this Rule.
  2. Namings Committee: The NMSU Naming Committee is recognized as an advisory body which reviews and makes recommendations regarding proposed namings.  The Naming Committee shall be chaired by the Vice President for University Advancement. The committee shall consist of the following members, or their authorized designee:
    1. Executive Vice President and Provost;
    2. Senior Vice President for Administration and Finance;
    3. Vice President for University Advancement;
    4. ASNMSU President;
    5. Chair of the Faculty Senate;
    6. Chair of the Employee Council;
    7. Chair of the Campus Planning Committee; and
    8. Academic Deans.
  3. Naming Proposal Approval Process: Naming and Recognition proposal submissions shall be considered by the Naming Committee only upon submission of a Naming Opportunity Approval Request Form. The approval of naming proposals will follow the procedural steps outlined in the flow chart below.




The terms and conditions for namings which are funded as a total gift pledged to be paid over a period of time shall be clearly specified in writing in a formal Gift Agreement, which shall address the timing of the official naming and the consequences for not fulfilling the pledge.  Generally, naming will occur after the pledge has been fulfilled and the total required amount has been received by NMSU Foundation, Inc.  If the situation justifies an earlier official naming, there shall be a clear, documented understanding and agreement by the donor that the naming will be altered or removed if the pledge is not fulfilled within the agreed upon timeframe.



A naming associated with a planned gift will be considered upon realization of the gift or upon receipt of a minimum of 50% of a cash gift.  Any naming requested as a result of a planned gift must adhere to the requirements of this Rule, including but not limited to the provision of the requisite documentation.



A. Endowments – General Provisions

The following applies to all Endowments at NMSU:

  1. Endowments are invested to allow for the principal to remain intact (nonexpendable) in perpetuity, while a portion of endowment earnings are distributed annually to support the purpose designated by the donor(s) through a formal gift agreement with the NMSU Foundation, Inc.
  2. Endowments may be designated to benefit academic or non-academic positions, students, programs, physical spaces or specific academic or non-academic departments and units. They are typically named after their donor(s) or a person(s) the donor wishes to honor.
  3. Endowments may be established by a one-time gift, a series of gifts, a pledge paid over a period of a specific number of years, wills, trusts, gifts of appreciated assets, or by a combination of these. Gifts can be added to an established endowment at any time.
  4. In certain instances, which must be outlined in a gift agreement, a specific amount of the gift commitment must be received prior to the actual naming of the position, program, building, space, or project.
  5. For Endowments matched by the State of New Mexico, NMSU must adhere to applicable state law.
  6. Certain terms are commonly used with Endowments. The National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO) uses the following definitions:
    1. Permanent Endowment: “Endowment funds are funds received from a donor with the restriction that the principal not be expendable.” These Endowments are only subject to modification as may be allowed by law and NMSU System policies.
    2. Quasi-Endowment: “A quasi-endowment fund is a fund that functions like an endowment fund but which may be totally expended at any time at the discretion of the governing board.” This may be gift funds that the donor did not specifically direct for use as an endowment, or funds available to the institution from other sources that can be designated for an endowment. The funds are invested in the same manner as a true endowment and have the same payout provisions.

B. Endowments – Minimum Thresholds

A naming opportunity funded through an endowment must be accompanied by a signed gift agreement and meet university guidelines on endowment minimums by type. The minimum thresholds for Endowments, listed below, are set and amended by the NMSU Foundation.

  1. Endowed Faculty Chair
    1. $1 million minimum threshold required.
    2. To recruit, retain and reward superior faculty members.
    3. To enhance the faculty member’s scholarly efforts and/or research program.
    4. In such cases, the position, not the specific person, is supported by the endowment.
  2. Endowed Faculty Professorship
    1. $250,000 minimum threshold required.
    2. To recruit, retain and reward outstanding faculty members.
    3. To enhance the faculty member’s scholarly efforts and/or research program.
    4. In such cases, the position, not the specific person, is supported by the endowment.
  3. Endowed Graduate Fellowship
    1. $32,000 minimum threshold required.
    2. To support a student working toward an advanced degree in any of the graduate fields.
    3. Academic merit and/or financial need may be a consideration.
    4. A donor may suggest other preferential criteria.
  4. Endowed Lectureship
    1. $125,000 minimum threshold required.
    2. To support expenses associated with planning and implementing a lecture or lecture series in specific areas/or on specific topics.
  5. Endowed Scholarship
    1. $25,000 minimum threshold required.
    2. To support an undergraduate or graduate student.
    3. Academic merit and/or financial need may be a consideration.
    4. A donor may suggest other preferential criteria.
  6. Endowed Library Collections
    1. $25,000 minimum threshold required.
    2. To purchase library materials.
    3. To support preservation of library Collections in all formats.
    4. To support digitization or processing of Collections.
    5. To support increasing access to Collections.



Donor(s) will have a maximum time limit of five (5) years from the date of execution of the gift agreement to meet the minimum funding level requirement. In the event of extenuating circumstances beyond the control of the donor, an exception may be granted at the discretion of the Vice President of Advancement.