UT Approves New Policy for Naming Buildings

KNOXVILLE — University of Tennessee officials have established new guidelines for naming facilities in honor of individuals.

UT President J. Wade Gilley said university buildings could be named for someone only if that person has a career of distinguished service or has made a gift financing a significant amount of the cost of the facility.

Gilley said the new guidelines, approved recently by UT’s Board of Trustees, include other UT components such as colleges, centers and academic units.

The new policy helps ensure that the names given to UT assets are more carefully chosen to appropriately represent the university, its students and the state over the long term, he said.

“It is appropriate to name a facility for someone as an expression of appreciation for his or her personal accomplishments and generous contributions of time and money,” Gilley said.

“However, historical perspective should be exercised before proposing names. Nominations for these individuals always must reflect an association with either the history of the university, the nation or with the advancement of knowledge and learning that will remain memorable long beyond the lifetime of those who propose the name.”

The new policy seeks to avoid nominations whose claims are parochial, untested by the passage of time or based on personal criteria, Gilley said. Names of persons who have worked at UT or been trustees in the last three years cannot be proposed.

Whenever possible, the person’s name also will grace a facility housing some activity appropriate to that person’s interest or endeavor, he said.