When you want to change or introduce a name for a University academic or administrative unit or for a physical space, the Office of Marketing and Creative Services can help you communicate it effectively and efficiently.
Why is it so important to use a formal name?
The formal names of offices, divisions, departments, centers and physical spaces are used for countless purposes, from publications and Web pages to campus signage and letterhead. They are not only an integral part of our professional image but also a vital component of effective customer service.
That’s why it’s so necessary to maintain a consistent approach when establishing new departments, renaming existing areas or implementing any organizational changes that could alter existing names. Doing so will result in increased consistency across various databases, websites, publications and other communication vehicles.
This process ultimately benefits the end user, who—whether internal or external, prospective student or new faculty member—should always be kept in mind.
Process: Naming a Space or Unit
- Confirm internal approval: Any unit or office proposing a new name or name change must first obtain internal approval from the appropriate dean or vice president or from the provost.
- Submit the request: Complete the Naming Request Form once internal approval has been granted.
- Obtain official confirmation: The Office of Marketing and Creative Services will review your request and either provide official confirmation or respond with feedback and recommendations.
- Complete the checklist: Once the Office of Marketing and Creative Services has confirmed your naming request, use the Naming Checklist to ensure appropriate offices and personnel are notified and to communicate your name change effectively. The Office of Marketing and Creative Services is happy to provide guidance and to support you in any of these communication functions.
Consultation across areas and suitable market comparisons are encouraged whenever possible and appropriate.
Our campus constituents will benefit most from a consistent, organized and logical naming process. These guidelines can help us all achieve that goal.
Unless there is an overwhelming reason to warrant an exception, any administrative area not directly related to an academic program or school/college should follow the “Office of” structure.
- For example: Office of Freshman Admission, Office of the President, Office of Human Resources.
- Avoid the following structures: The Office of Marketing and Creative Services, Marketing and Creative Services Office, MCS Office.
Acronyms should be avoided except in informal instances. Exceptions include longstanding, recognizable acronyms such as OTS and CSEI, whose full proper names should still appear on first reference.
Please also consider whether there are other, similarly named units on campus and whether or not your new or changed office name might create confusion.
Programs that do not refer to specific degree programs and which involve a designated office location and contact person/information function as offices and therefore should be named as such.
- For example: the Office of the Helen P. Denit Honors Program.
Such programs are distinct from academic programs, for which we would not use the “Office of” structure.
Centers are typically nonadministrative units and accompanying spaces that provide specialized services or benefits.
- Recommendation: Any new or updated center names should adhere to the following format: Achievement and Learning Center, Recreation Center, where “center” falls after the description of the unit’s function.