Inside Higher Ed has “Ten Rules for Naming Names” and includes things like:
Don’t name a building after a corporation.
Name buildings only after dead people.
Don’t name things after departing administrators.
Why I noticed
I paid attention to this article because SLAC, where I am adjuncting this semester, has a new building with naming rights available on it.
Problem with corporate naming
I was appalled when Enron Park was changed to Minute Maid Park. It wasn’t because I thought Enron Park was such a great name. It wasn’t. I am sure the city was thrilled when Enron asked to be let out of that contract.
I was appalled because the city had put the name on all the surrounding street signs, so not only did the stadium itself get a new sign (hopefully paid for by Minute Maid) but all the street signs had to be changed.
Dead and not departing administrators
The article argued against naming buildings for departing administrators, saying that financial giving was better encouraged through building names.
One of my alma mater’s had a president who created a 50% turnover in the faculty. When he left, they named a building, a road, an office, and something else after him. Then the school found out that he had covered up a $25 million or so loss to the college, with clever accounting.
I don’t know what they did with the named objects, but I hope they changed them.
About those dead folks
I think anyone dead should only be named twenty years after their death. What if they did something you didn’t like and you don’t find out about it right away?
Just recently famous people were outed as having worked with the OSS. (That would have been something I would have wanted to talk to them about. I’ve always loved the OSS.) That’s sixty years after the fact.