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Naming Recognition Policy

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Section 1 - Preamble

(1) Charles Darwin University (‘the University’, ‘CDU’) recognises the range of contributions made by people and organisations who have rendered extraordinary service to the University and/or the community or who have made a prominent philanthropic donation to the University.  Where appropriate to do so, the University may publicly recognise the contributions by naming certain University assets after these people, including buildings, places, facilities or intangible assets such as courses, scholarships and awards.

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Section 2 - Purpose

(2) This policy provides a framework to enable CDU to honour those who have rendered extraordinary distinguished service to the University and recognise those who make a significant philanthropic investment in the University.

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Section 3 - Scope

(3) This policy applies to all staff involved in development and fundraising across the University at all campuses; and to all buildings (external and internal parts of buildings), outdoor areas, academic units, academic positions, programs and projects at the University at all campuses.

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Section 4 - Policy

(4) CDU recognises individuals, not-for-profit organisations (including trusts, foundations and other charitable organisations) and corporations who have supported CDU either through extraordinary distinguished service to the University or through substantial philanthropy, and who merit recognition in the University’s history. CDU may honour these people and organisations through naming in their honour tangible or intangible property, units, or activities of the University including but not limited to buildings, parts of buildings, outdoor areas, academic units, academic positions including professorial chairs, programs and projects.

(5) Naming recognition may be applied to a range of University assets such as buildings, places, courses, scholarships and collections, including:

  1. buildings or parts of buildings located on University premises;
  2. features of buildings such as theatres, auditoriums, laboratories and classrooms;
  3. administrative or academic divisions such as departments, schools and centres;
  4. outdoor areas including gardens, courtyards, ovals, playing fields, roads and walkways;
  5. art, library and print collections or other collections of historic or cultural value;
  6. academic positions;
  7. scholarships, medals and prizes; and
  8. any other faculties, equipment or other assets that may be appropriate for naming recognition.

Naming Recognition Principles

(6) The University will consider offering naming recognition to individuals and organsations whose service and/or philanthropy supports and enhances the University’s values, principles and objectives as set out in the Charles Darwin University and Union Enterprise Agreement 2022.

(7) The University will not confer naming rights if the individual or organisation does not reflect the University’s values and principles, or if conferring naming rights is likely to adversely affect the University’s autonomy, reputation and academic freedom.

(8) Naming recognition will always be conferred in line with CDU policies and procedures, particularly the Donations and Gifts Acceptance Policy and Conflicts of Interest Policy.

(9) Naming recognition may be withdrawn if the name is likely to damage the University’s reputation. The Vice-Chancellor will consider whether the naming recognition should be withdrawn and make a recommendation to Council.

(10) Unless otherwise specified in the agreement, naming recognition will be applied for the life of the relevant asset, whether a tangible asset, such as a building or collection, or an intangible asset, such as a scholarship program or professorial chair. Naming recognition will not be extended beyond the life of that asset except at the discretion of the Vice-Chancellor.

(11) If naming recognition is applied to a building, area, or other form of physical infrastructure, it will normally apply for the life of that asset and will not normally be transferred should the asset be remodelled or redeveloped.  Naming recognition may be transferred at the discretion of the Vice-Chancellor.

(12) Where naming recognition is applied to administrative and academic divisions, including departments, schools and centres, it will apply for the lifetime of that division unless otherwise specified in the naming recognition agreement.

(13) Naming recognition for academic programs, projects, and positions, including scholarships and professorial chairs, will remain for as long as funding is provided to support that asset.

(14) Naming recognition may also be conferred for gifts of artworks, in line with the Art Collections Policy and Art Collection Procedure.

(15) Consent must be obtained from the individual or organisation being recognised before naming recognition can be conferred. Where the proposal involves honouring a deceased person, agreement from the next of kin or other relevant contact must be obtained, where practicable. This is not necessary where consent is provided through a will or similar agreement.

(16) An individual or organisation being honoured may nominate someone else’s name to be honoured in place of their own name. As noted above, consent from the individual or organisation being named must be sought before making a naming recognition agreement.

(17) The style of the recognition must be consistent with the University’s identity and brand as specified by the Chief Marketing and Communications Officer.

Extraordinary Distinguished Service

(18) Naming recognition may be conferred as a recognition of extraordinary distinguished service to CDU and/or the community.  Extraordinary distinguished service may include, but is not limited to,:

  1. outstanding achievements in academica, research, scientific discovery or academic innovation;
  2. outstanding or continuous service to the University or the wider community;
  3. extraordinary standing in the Australian and/or international academic community;
  4. outstanding achievements in teaching, leadership and management; and
  5. outstanding achievements in First Nations and traditional knowledge.

(19) The University will not normally consider conferring naming recognition for a current member of the University until after their substantive role with the University is concluded.

Substantial Philanthropy

(20) “Substantial philanthropy” refers to private donations to CDU substantial enough to have a significant positive impact on the University, such as supporting the development of new facilities and assets, or providing ongoing funding for scholarships and professorial chairs. This may include ongoing support, several donations, or a single large donation such as a bequest.

(21) Naming recognition of substantial philanthropy will normally recognise new relationships and encourage future contributions. However, at the discretion of the Vice-Chancellor, past giving may also be considered. All proposals to recognise substantial philanthropy through naming recognition must satisfy threshold gift levels outlined in the Gift Level Matrix.

(22) Naming recognition for philanthropic contributions must be documented in a Gift Agreement agreed by both the University and the donor.  Gift Agreements are managed by the Vice-President Community Connection.

(23) Where funds are pledged over a period of time, the University may revise the agreement or withdraw recognition if the fundings ceases or changes from the Gift Agreement.

(24) Naming recognition may also be part of a benefit negotiated as part of a corporate sponsorship arrangement. All details regarding naming recognition though corporate sponsorship will be detailed in a separate Sponsorship Agreement.  This naming recognition will last for the duration of the Sponsorship Agreement.

(25) The University will respect a request for a gift to remain anonymous as far as is reasonable.

(26) All agreements regarding substantial philanthropy must conform with the Donations and Gifts Acceptance Policy and the Conflicts of Interest Policy and Procedure.

Roles and Responsibilities

(27) The Vice-President Community Connection is responsible for:

  1. for all management and administration of naming rights;
  2. ensuring that naming recognition opportunities are managed in accordance with this policy;
  3. ensuring that appropriate stakeholders are consulted; and
  4. submitting proposals to the Vice-Chancellor.

(28) The Vice-Chancellor is responsible for:

  1. approving naming recognition in accordance with this policy, except for the naming of whole buildings or faculties;
  2. for considering and recommending to Council instances when naming recognition should be withdrawn;
  3. permitting naming recognition to extend beyond the life of an area, or to be transferred when an area is remodelled or refurbished; and
  4. approving a lower minimum contribution for naming of a building that that specified by the Gift Level Matrix.

(29) Council is responsible for considering and approving recommendations by the Vice-Chancellor on naming recognition for whole buildings and faculties and for withdrawing naming recognition where it may have a negative impact on the University’s reputation.


(30) Any application for naming recognition must be submitted to the Vice-President Community Connection.

(31) The Vice-President Community Connection will consult with all appropriate stakeholders, including internal stakeholders and CDU senior executives, and determine if the application has merit.

(32) Discussions with the individuals or organisations being nominated may not commence until the proposal has been reviewed by the CDU Senior Executive Team and recommended to the Vice-Chancellor for approval.

(33) The Vice-Chancellor is responsible for approving all naming recognition except for proposals to name a whole building or Faculty, which may only be approved by Council on the Vice-Chancellor’s recommendation.

(34) Once the proposal has received approval, the Vice-President Community Connection, will consult with the individual or organisation being recognised to receive their consent and to finalise the details of the naming recognition agreement.

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Section 5 - Non-Compliance

(35) Non-compliance with Governance Documents is considered a breach of the Code of Conduct – Staff or the Code of Conduct – Students, as applicable, and is treated seriously by the University. Reports of concerns about non-compliance will be managed in accordance with the applicable disciplinary procedures outlined in the Charles Darwin University and Union Enterprise Agreement 2022 and the Code of Conduct – Students.

(36) Complaints may be raised in accordance with the Code of Conduct – Staff and Code of Conduct - Students.

(37) All staff members have an individual responsibility to raise any suspicion, allegation or report of fraud or corruption in accordance with the Fraud and Corruption Control Policy and Whistleblower Reporting (Improper Conduct) Procedure.