Policy Engagement Naming of Professorial Chairs, Facilities, Scholarships and Prizes Policy

Naming of Professorial Chairs, Facilities, Scholarships and Prizes Policy

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To specify the requirements for the establishment and naming of professorial chairs, facilities, scholarships and prizes, and for any associated procedures.


All Named Professorial Chairs, facilities, scholarships and prizes (hereafter called Entities) of the University.


Named Professorial Chair - an academic position, created at the level of Professor, in recognition of a significant contribution to scholarship and research and/or the development of the University or the northern Queensland community, and awarded to a person who has distinguished himself/herself in the discipline they represent.

Facility - a building, part of a building (eg a lecture theatre), infrastructure, equipment, road, location, garden or other physical feature.

Policy and Procedures

1. Overview

1.1 Principles of Naming

a. The University routinely names facilities or other Entities at the University to assist with the identification of those Entities.  On occasions however, the University may enter into an agreement with a third party in which an Entity is named after a person, company or other organisation.

b. The naming of an Entity after a person, company or other organisation will only be in recognition of particularly distinguished service, or a major benefaction, to the University.

c. An Entity will not normally be named after a person who is still actively associated with the University.

d. The University will not disclose the name of the person to be honoured through the naming of an Entity until the permission of that person or a family representative has been obtained by the Vice-Chancellor.

e. The reputation of the person, company or other organisation concerned will be carefully considered before a recommendation is made to name an Entity after that person or organisation. Where the reputation of a person or organisation, after whom an Entity is named, suffers substantially, the Vice-Chancellor may cancel the name.

1.2 Sponsorships and Donations

a. Sponsorships and donations are treated differently by the Australian Tax Office and should be recognised and treated differently by the University.

b. Donations:  Donors’ contributions can be tax deductible as a gift where no material benefits are given to the donor apart from public acknowledgement through the naming of an Entity.

c. Sponsorships:  Where a set of specific benefits is offered in return for a contribution, the arrangement is a sponsorship, which attracts GST and is not legally a tax-deductible gift.  All sponsorships must be formalised with a written agreement identifying the financial arrangements and benefits, the term of the agreement and the naming of the Entity.

2. Named Professorial Chairs

2.1 Creation of a Named Professorial Chair

a. A Professorial Chair may be named after an individual, organisation or business in the following circumstances:

  • where an individual has excelled in a discipline or research area, preferably through work at JCU or as a JCU alumnus, and is considered worthy of recognition through the naming of a Professorial Chair; or

  • where a donor offers funding for the establishment of a Professorial Chair, the Chair may be named in honour of a person, organisation or business who/which has contributed at a high level to the development of the University or the northern Queensland community.

b. Approval for the establishment of a Named Professorial Chair rests with the Council in accordance with this policy.

c. A decisions by the Council to approve the naming of a Chair will take into account the following:

  • the size of the contribution relative to the value and cost of the Chair;

  • the compatibility of the proposed name with the function of the Chair;

  • community, cultural and ethnic sensitivities. Where necessary, input will be sought from relevant University and community representatives; and

  • any potential risk to the reputation of the University from association with the name of an individual, organisation or business whose reputation may vary over the term of the naming agreement.

d. A Professorial Chair may be named after a donor or sponsor where:

  • the Professorial Chair is fully endowed - ie if a large contribution is provided to the University for perpetual investment, the interest from which will be sufficient to cover the salary and on-costs of the appointment in perpetuity; or

  • the salary and on-costs of the Professorial Chair will be met for at least 3 years with the Professorial Chair to be named for that period only.

2.2 Appointments to a Named Professorial Chair

a. Where a donor or sponsor makes a substantial contribution to the salary and other costs of a Named Professorial Chair, the donor or sponsor, or a representative of the donor, may be invited by the Vice-Chancellor to suggest selection criteria for the position and may, at the sole discretion of the Vice-Chancellor, be invited to nominate one or more nominees on the selection committee.  The Vice-Chancellor, however, retains the ultimate authority in designing criteria for the selection of staff, for deciding whom to appoint to the position and for the period of appointment, within the constraints of the funding arrangements.

b. Only a person who has made a significant contribution to the discipline is eligible to be appointed to a Named Professorial Chair.  Applications for a Named Professorial Chair may be received from internal or external applicants and must be made to the Vice-Chancellor.  In applying for a Named Professorial Chair, an applicant would need to demonstrate that he/she would be regarded by the University as a distinguished Professor within the faculty.

c. An appointment to a Named Professorial Chair is to be for a period of up to 5 years.  The initial period of appointment may be extended for additional periods of up to 5 years, provided that the incumbent can demonstrate to the Vice-Chancellor that they have made and will continue to make significant contributions to the field of study, discipline and faculty.  Any extensions are at the discretion of the Vice-Chancellor.

d. In instances where the appointee being recognised has a tenured appointment at the University, and it is determined that the individual should continue to be recognised while associated with the University, then the appointment may be linked to the tenure.

e. Approval of appointments into a Named Professorial Chair position rests with the Vice-Chancellor.  The Vice-Chancellor will determine the recruitment process to be used for a Named Professorial Chair.

f. If the appointment to the Named Professorial Chair resigns, retires, is removed for otherwise vacates the position, the Vice-Chancellor will consider what action is required in relation to the vacancy.

3. Named Facilities

3.1 Creation of a Named Facility

a. Names of facilities, including buildings and other physical features, shall normally be concise and descriptive of function and/or location.

b. A building shall be known by the discipline or function carried out with it - irrespective of any honour name given to it (e.g. the Kevin Stark Research Building).

c. A facility may be named in recognition of distinguished service or major benefaction to the University, or to recognise the history of northern Queensland (indigenous and non-indigenous).

d. If more than one half of the capital cost of a facility is met by a donation, with the agreement of the donor or sponsor, the facility may be named after a particular person, company or other organisation.

e. More commonly, areas within buildings, such as lecture theatres, rather than entire buildings would be named  in recognition of distinguished service or  significant benefaction to the University.

f. Where a donation is made for a significant item of equipment, this would normally be recognised by a plaque rather than naming of that equipment.

g. Approval of the Deputy Vice Chancellor, Services and Resources must be obtained before variations to section 3 of this policy will be considered (e.g. to conduct a naming competition).

3.2 Procedures for the Naming of a Facility

a. All individuals within, or elements of, the University may make recommendations for the naming of facilities.

  • Recommendations for standard, or non-honorary, names shall be submitted to the Director, Estate, who shall consult with stakeholders as appropriate and provide details of any proposed names, together with advice, to the Estate Advisory Committee.  The naming of a facility shall be considered by the Vice-Chancellor on the recommendation of that Committee.

  • Recommendations for names to honour people, companies or organisations shall be submitted, in confidence, to the Vice-Chancellor, who shall consult with stakeholders as appropriate.  The Vice-Chancellor shall, in confidence, recommend any proposed honorary names to the Awards and Ceremonies Committee, which shall consider the recommendation under its delegated authority from Council.

4. Named Scholarships or Prizes

4.1 Creation of a Named Scholarship or Prize

a. A scholarship or prize may be named after an individual, organisation or business where the donor or sponsor contributes the full cost of that Entity.

4.2 Procedures for the Naming of an Scholarship or Prize

a. The establishment and naming of a scholarship or prize shall be in made in conjunction with the Coursework Scholarships, Bursaries,Grants and Prizes Policy as appropriate.

Related documents

Coursework Scholarships, Bursaries, Grants and Prizes Policy

Approval Details

Policy DomainEngagement

Policy Sponsor

Vice Chancellor

Approval authority


Date for next Major Review


Modification History

Version no.

Approval date

Implementation date


19-120/06/201913/11/2019Administrative amendments to update Committee names and align with current University structureQuality, Standards and Policy
18-130/04/201830/04/2018Changes made to reflect headline restructure 30/04/2018Quality, Standards and Policy

Policy sponsor and approval authority amended to reflect approved policy framework. Published 25/06/2015

Quality, Standards and Policy




Minor amendment – reference to disestablished University Scholarships Policy and University Prizes Policy removed and replaced with current Coursework Scholarships, Bursaries and Grants Policy.


Keywordsprofessorial chairs, facilities, prizes, scholarships, bursaries
Contact personUniversity Secretary