06-04.00 – Policy on Naming of Facilities and Academic Programs

  1. Policy Statement:

    To ensure that Towson University facilities, buildings and programs are named consistently with the University’s principles, ideals and values and in accordance with the USM Policy VI-4.00, Policy on the Naming of Buildings and Academic Programs.

  2. Definitions:

    1. “Honorific” is defined as the use of a name for a Facility or program named after a distinguished person who has made a significant contribution to or impact on Towson University community or the state of Maryland.

    2. “Philanthropic” is defined as the use of a name for a Facility or program named after an individual or organization whose charitable contribution(s) enhances the vision and mission of Towson University.

    3. “Facilities”: Planned and existing University buildings of all types, major new additions to existing buildings, as well as University grounds and athletic facilities, all major outdoor campus areas including streets, entrances, gates and landscape features such as quadrangles, gardens, lakes, fountains and fields. Rooms within buildings, interior spaces, benches, and walkways are not considered Facilities for the purposes of this policy.

    4. “Programs”: Units, colleges, schools, departments, centers, and institutes within the University.

  3. Responsible Executive and Office:

    Responsible Executive:
    Vice President of Administration and Finance and Chief Fiscal Officer

    Responsible Office: Administration & Finance

  4. Entities Affected by this Policy:

    All divisions, colleges, departments and operating units, University faculty, staff, students and donors.

  5. Applicability:

    This policy will be applied in the naming (for individuals, corporations, or foundations) of University Facilities or parts thereof. No commitment regarding naming shall be made prior to approval in accordance with these guidelines by the University and by the USM Board of Regents as may be required. Sponsorships and other temporary naming rights may be exempted from this policy as determined by the Vice President for Advancement and in accordance with USM Board of Regents Policy.

  6. Procedures:

    1. The Responsible Executive shall convene a committee composed of students, faculty, staff, alumni, and other individuals deemed appropriate (the “Committee’).

      1. The Committee must include representatives nominated by the Academic Senate, the TU Staff Senate, the Student Government Association and a representative from the Office of Inclusion and Institutional Equity.

      2. The Committee shall solicit, vet, and recommend prospective names for Facilities and Programs in accordance with USM Policy VI-4.00, Policy on the Naming of Buildings and Academic Programs.

      3. Recommendations shall be forwarded to the Academic Senate for review and be accompanied by a summary of the process used, the participants involved, and a description of how the recommended name(s) meets the criteria outlined below:

        1. Facilities and programs should be named for scholars and other distinguished individuals who are/were prominent in their field or endeavor and/or have contributed meaningfully to Towson University or to the State of Maryland.

        2. One year must pass before the name of an individual who is formerly affiliated with the University, or held public office and/or has been employed by the USM or the State of Maryland may be considered for honorific naming.

        3. The legacy of the namesake should be aligned with the mission and values of the university.

        4. The individual’s work inspires effective, ethical leaders, and engaged citizens.

        5. The individual’s work crafts solutions that would enrich the culture, society, economy, and/or environment of Maryland, the region, and beyond.

        6. Facilities and programs can also be named for prominent geographic landmarks in the State of Maryland.

      4. The Academic Senate shall vote to approve or reject the Committee’s recommendation and then forward the results of the Senate vote, the Committee’s recommendation, and all supporting materials to the President for final consideration.

      5. The President shall approve or deny the recommendation. Upon acceptance of the recommendation, the President shall forward the recommendation to the University System of Maryland Office of the Chancellor for final approval.

    2. The Committee shall use its best efforts and will maximize use of available resources to extensively research the appropriateness of names based on the following factors:
      1. Philanthropic efforts of an individual;

      2. Profession of an individual;

      3. Activities/opinions as they relate to diversity and inclusion;

      4. Unethical, immoral and illegal behavior of an individual;

      5. Public financial holdings/activities of an individual;

      6. Historical activities that occurred at a given place (included for proposed names inspired by prominent geographic entities); and

      7. Locations and landmarks where heinous acts occurred shall not be considered.

    3. To initiate the process for consideration of the withdrawal and renaming of a Facility or program, a formal request approved by the majority of its constituents must be forwarded to the President by the Academic Senate, the Student Government Association and/or the Towson University Staff Senate. From there, the process outlined in this policy shall be followed.

Related Policies:

USM Policy VI-4.00, Policy on the Naming of Buildings and Academic Programs

Approval Date: 09/21/2017

Effective Date: 09/21/2017

Amended Date: 01/25/2023

Approved By: President’s Council 09/21/2017

Signed By: President’s Council

How to Request the Policy PDF

This online version of the policy may include updated links and names of departments. To request a PDF of the original, signed version of this policy, email the Office of the General Counsel, .