1. Objective

The objectives of this policy are to outline a framework that provides for:

(a) Naming, and renaming, of University property, entities, academic positions, academic programs, and student or staff awards (see section 7 Definitions):

(i) in recognition of a person, group, or an organisation; and

(ii) other permanent naming of University property.

(b) the affixing of memorials to University property in recognition of a person, group, or an organisation.

(c) the affixing of signage to University property to detail the history of a person / people, who are the subject of controversy recognised by the University, after whom the University property is/was named.

2. Scope

2.1 This policy applies to proposers and approvers of:

(a) any naming of, or the affixing of a memorial or signage to, University property,

(b) any naming of entities, academic positions, academic programs, and student or staff awards;

where the proposal and approval support the objective of this policy.

2.2 This policy does not apply to proposers and approvers of:

(a) the naming of University property where the name is based on location or function; or

(b) the temporary affixation of a memorial or signage to University property for a duration that is the same or shorter than the duration of a memorial service or event.

3. Authority

This policy is made under the University of Melbourne Act 2009 (Vic) and the Council Regulation.

4. Policy

4.1. Naming, or the affixing of memorials or signage, under this policy must:

(a) align with the objects, values, strategies and policies of the University and community expectations;

(b) be sensitive to the history and character of the University;

(c) respect and endeavour to reflect the diversity of the University community;

(d) not harm the University’s reputation, or other interests, including the University’s commitment to maintaining high standards of integrity, academic freedom and freedom of speech;

(e) not benefit, directly or by association, any current employee;

(f) be commensurate with the contribution made by any person or organisation recognised by the name; and

(g) where the naming ,or affixing of a memorial, is associated with a philanthropic gift, donation or sponsorship, not occur until a level of benefaction has been agreed in writing between the University and the donor, or sponsor.

4.2. Care will be taken to ensure that there is appropriate diversity in the pool of individuals honoured via naming. In this regard, approvers must carefully consider the impacts of any naming proposal in the context of existing named University property, entities, academic positions, academic programs, and student or staff awards.

Criteria for recognition

4.3. Subject to the terms of any relevant lease, University property may be named for the life of the property or a fixed period not exceeding 20 years:

(a) to recognise a person who has made a distinguished contribution to the University, to community, or to society, or whose international reputation has brought credit to the University.

(b) to recognise a donor (a person or organisation) who has made a significant philanthropic gift to the University, upon a request made in accordance with this policy;

(c) to recognise an Indigenous Elder or respected person or the traditional owners of the land upon which the University property is built; or

(d) to recognise the land of the traditional owners upon which the University property is located.

4.4. University property may be named for a fixed period not exceeding 20 years to recognise a sponsor (a person or organisation) that has agreed to significantly sponsor the University.

4.5. An academic or non-academic entity or, subject to consultation with the Academic Board, an academic program, may be named to recognise a person or organisation that has provided financial or in-kind support to the University.

4.6. A memorial may be fixed to University property provided:

(a) the memorial recognises a person or organisation, who has made a distinguished contribution to the University, or whose reputation has brought credit to the University; or

(b) the memorial recognises a donor (a person or organisation) who has made a significant gift to the University.

4.7. A new or existing academic position, a staff award or a student award may be named to recognise a person or organisation that has supported the University through distinguished effort or substantial financial contribution.

4.8. Naming recognition under this policy must abide by the relevant gift threshold levels set under the Gift Policy (MPF1348).

Prohibitions

4.9. Proposed names must not include:

(a) a person’s titles or post-nominals; and

(b) the name of a corporate entity, where there is an identifiable individual or family name that could be used.

4.10. Proposed names or memorials must not be in recognition of a current employee.

4.11. Unless required by law, proposed names or memorials associated with a philanthropic gift must not include logos, branding, other images or legal entity identifiers.

4.12. Nothing in this policy restricts a proposed name that is associated with sponsorship from including logos, branding, other images or legal entity identifiers.

4.13. A proposed name of a non-academic entity should avoid nomenclature reserved for specific academic entities (for example “institute” or “research centre”) as described in University Regulations.

4.14. Approval of a name, or the affixing of a memorial, under this policy does not:

(a) confer on any person, group or organisation any special privileges or any control or responsibility for the associated University property, entity or academic position, academic programs, and student or staff awards;

(b) allow any person, group or organisation to seek material benefit from the association of the name or the memorial with the University; and

(c) where University property is involved, transfer to any replacement University property.

Renaming or removal of a memorial

4.15. Where there is strong evidence that retention of a name, or a memorial, is inconsistent with the principles of Section 4.1:

(a) the University property, entity, academic position, academic program, student or staff award may be renamed;

(b) a memorial may be removed; and / or

(c) where University property is involved, signage may be affixed to detail the history of a person / people , who are the subject of controversy recognised by the University,  after whom the University property is/was named.

4.16. Council may approve protocols to guide the University’s response to renaming or removing memorials and any decision made under Section 4.15.

4.17. Memorials may also be removed where continued affixation to University property is not practicable or the condition of the memorial is poor.

5. Procedural principles

Who may approve?

5.1. Schedule 1 lists the approvers, under this policy, of:

(a) names for, and renaming of, University property, entities, academic positions, academic programs, and student or staff awards;

(b) the affixing, or removal, of memorials and signage to University property.

5.2. Regardless of the approver listed in Schedule 1, a proposal for naming/renaming University property or a proposal for affixing/removing a memorial or signage to/from University property must be submitted to Council for approval where the proposal involves significant strategic considerations or reputational risk.

Consent & Consultation

5.3. Prior to submission, proposers of names or the affixing of a memorial must:

(a) take reasonable steps to obtain consent from the person (or their next of kin or other appropriate contact), group or organisation, prior to approval of a name or the affixing of a memorial under this policy; and

(b) for proposals involving a philanthropic gift or sponsorship or recognition of a person or organisation, discuss the proposal with the Vice-President (Advancement).

Additional requirements for proposals involving University property

5.4. One or more University staff members may submit a proposal for naming, renaming, or affixing a memorial to, University property provided it is supported by a member of the University Executive Committee.

5.5. Prior to submission, proposals involving prominent University property, the proposer must ensure that the Vice-Chancellor has been consulted in relation to the proposal.

5.6. Proposals involving University property must be submitted in accordance with the process approved and published by the University Secretary.

5.7. Prior to approval, the affixing of the memorial to the University property must be recommended by the Chief Operating Officer, who must consider, with appropriate consultation, whether that the proposed memorial:

(a) is consistent with the University’s master plan and design standards; and

(b) meets legal and policy requirements related to the University property involved, including, but not limited to, planning, building, heritage, occupational health and safety requirements;

(c) where appropriate, meets the threshold for recognition of a donor or donors; and

(d) where appropriate, meets the criteria required for artistic collection by the University.

5.8. Subject to Section 5.7, the Chief Operating Officer may:

(a) decline the proposal and report the outcome to the proposer; or

(b) recommend the proposal, and forward it accompanied by a report on the matters under section 5.7 to the University Secretary for further consideration by the relevant approver listed in Schedule 1.

Naming and memorials register

5.9. The University Secretary must:

(a) maintain a naming register and a memorial register containing details of approvals involving University property under this policy; and

(b) advise the Vice-President (Advancement) upon the approval of name or memorial under this policy. 

Additional requirements for naming proposals where University property is not involved

5.10. Where University property is not involved, the approvers of names must establish a process for naming proposals.

6. Roles and Responsibilities

Role/Decision/Action

Responsibility

Conditions and limitations

Approve naming and memorial/signage proposals for prominent University property

Approve naming proposals for:

  • academic entities
  • academic programs

Review or withdraw a name

Revoke a name

Approve the removal of a memorial

Approve protocols to guide the University’s response to renaming or removing memorials

Council

Council approval is on the recommendation of Governance and Nominations Committee

In accordance with this policy

Accept, naming proposals from proposers and memorial proposals from the Chief Operating Officer, for approval by Council or the Vice-Chancellor.

Establish and publish the process for naming and memorial proposals.

Maintain naming and memorial registers for Council approved names and memorials.

Inform the Vice- President (Advancement) and Chief Operating Officer of Council naming and memorial approvals

University Secretary

In accordance with this policy

Accept memorial proposals

Make recommendations on memorial proposals

Remove memorials

Chief Operating Officer

In accordance with this policy

Approve naming proposals for academic positions lower than Level E 

Establish processes for approval of naming proposals for academic positions lower than Level E

Deans

In accordance with this policy

Approve naming proposals and memorial/signage proposals for less prominent University property

Determine what is less prominent University property

Refer naming proposals for prominent University property to Council for approval

Vice-Chancellor or a committee established and chaired by the Vice-Chancellor

In accordance with this policy 

Approve naming proposals for academic positions at Level E

Approve naming proposals for University-wide staff awards

Establish processes for approval of naming proposals for academic positions at Level E and University-wide staff awards

Provost

In consultation with the President, Academic Board

In accordance with this policy

Approve naming proposals for faculty or graduate school student awards

Establish processes for approval of naming proposals for faculty or graduate school student awards

Deans

In accordance with this policy

Approve naming proposals for University wide student awards

Establish processes for approval of naming proposals for University wide student awards

Academic Registrar or nominee

In accordance with this policy

7. Definitions

Academic entities include, but are not limited to, faculties, departments, schools, research centres and institutes.

Academic positions include, but are not limited to, endowed and fixed-term academic chairs, lectureships, fellowships and research positions at all levels.

Consent includes but is not limited to consent provided by a Will.

Donor(s) means an individual, group of individuals or organisation(s) that makes a gift or pledge to the University.

Faculty includes a graduate school established as a faculty.

Gift is defined in the Gift Policy (MPF1348).

Legal entity identifiers include but are not limited to Proprietary Limited, Limited, Pty Ltd, Pty, Ltd, NL.

Less Prominent University Property means building spaces that are identified internally such as laboratories, classrooms, libraries (inside buildings) seminar or meeting rooms or other facilities that are determined by the Vice-Chancellor to be less prominent.

Memorial means an object, structure, or plaque that commemorates a person, group, organisation or an event. A memorial may include public art where the work commemorates a person, group, organisation or an event.

Person may be read as persons.

Prominent University Property means all buildings; large sports facilities or playing fields; areas and other major externally identifiable features within the University’s public domain such as wings of buildings, arts facilities, large auditoria, building forecourts, plazas, lecture theatres regularly used by the public, concert halls, atria, campuses, other prominent outdoor spaces, thoroughfares bridges, stairs, terraces, courtyards, lawns, gardens and trees.

Replacement University property includes but is not limited to University property replacing a demolished property or decommissioned facility, or a major reconstruction that substantially changes the appearance or function of the property.

Renaming includes withdrawal, variation, revocation of a name.

Sponsorship means a contribution in money or kind with expectation of material benefit to the sponsor, such as naming rights, promotion and public recognition.

Student award means any payment or benefit made on the basis of academic merit and any other criteria and includes scholarships, bursaries, prizes, exhibitions and studentships.

Traditional owners means the Aboriginal people who have ongoing traditional and cultural connections to country

University property includes but is not limited to:

  • precincts;
  • campuses;
  • buildings or discrete parts of buildings that are identified externally;
  • building spaces that are identified internally such as lecture theatres, laboratories, libraries, classrooms and meeting rooms;
  • externally identifiable features within the University’s public domain that may be defined by areas, locations, focal points, building forecourts, plazas, courtyards, lawns, gardens, trees, playing fields, walkways, streets, bridges, stairs and terraces; and,
  • other sites or features that maybe recommended for naming by Council.

POLICY APPROVER

Council

POLICY STEWARD

University Secretary

REVIEW

This policy is to be reviewed by 18 October 2023.

VERSION HISTORY

Version Approved By Approval Date Effective Date Sections Modified
1 University Council 8 July 2013 8 July 2013 N/A
2 Vice-Principal (Advancement) 11 July 2013 11 July 2013 Removal of first dot point under section 3.1 as it refers to the 'Advancement Policy', which is still in development. This content will be reinstated when the Advancement Policy has been approved and published.
3 Vice-Principal (Advancement) 11 November 2013 11 November 2013 Reinstatement of previous content in section 3.1 following approval and publication of Advancement Policy.
4 University Council 22 December 2016 22 December 2016 New policy arising from Policy Consolidation Project.
5 University Secretary 26 March 2018 26 March 2018 Section 6 editorial change
6 University Council 12 October 2018 18 October 2018 Complete re-write to simplify and clarify the policy. Does not substantively change approval authorities or requirements for naming in recognition of individuals or organisations.
7 University Secretary 24 May 2019 3 June 2019

Amended titles in Section 6.
Editorial amendments to correct minor errors or align with the University’s policy style guide.

8 University Secretary 27 June 2019 27 June 2019 Section 6 editorial change
9 University Secretary 28 June 2019 28 June 2019 Editorial changes to: Sections 4.6(b) and 4.7 Section 6
10 University Council 13 March 2020 16 March 2020 Amended sections 4.2, 4.3, 4.4, 5.1, 5.12, 6, 7
Inserted section 4.5
11 University Council 6 May 2020 25 June 2020 Amends to 4.2 and 4.3; 4.8 replaced to reflect new Gift Policy (MPF1348).
Revisions to definitions of donor(s) and gift.
Approval for gift threshold levels now under Gift Policy (MPF1348).
12 University Council 9 December 2020 18 January 2021 Major review. All sections impacted. Scope broadened to include memorials renaming and signage to detail name/renaming. Schedule 1 added. Changes made in tandem with 22 December change, thus not requiring its own version.
12 University Council 22 December 2020 18 January 2021 Editorial change replace ‘Traditional Custodian’ with ‘traditional owner’ in sections 4.3 (c), 7 and Schedule 1.
13 University Council 16 June 2021 22 June 2021 Amended Schedule 1
Back to top