Policy Consultation – Proposed Amendments to the Naming Policy (GA6)

The UBC community is invited to comment on proposed amendments to the Naming Policy (GA6) (the “Policy”).

The Policy was first approved by the Board of Governors (“Board”) in March 1998, and was revised with the addition of procedures in September 2009. In 2020, it was determined that the Policy should be updated to ensure it remains current, and a Policy Development Committee (“Committee”) was convened to develop proposed amendments. The Committee has prepared a draft proposal. The proposed amended Policy is to be a joint policy of the Board, the Vancouver Senate and the Okanagan Senate.

The proposed amendments expand the scope of the Policy to cover all naming at UBC. The amendments recognize the integral importance of names in creating a welcoming and inclusive environment at UBC and to advancing Indigenous reconciliation. Among the proposed amendments are:

  • a principle-based Policy that articulates the foundational principles that define UBC and the role those principles play in guiding naming decisions, and the factors to be considered;
  • a requirement that UBC strive for an appropriate balance between all the roles that naming plays at UBC and all the benefits that it can bring;
  • a requirement that, through engagement with Indigenous Nations, UBC explore naming opportunities to use words from the languages of the Indigenous Nations upon whose traditional, ancestral territories UBC’s places or spaces are located, where that use is supported by the applicable Indigenous Nation;
  • expansion of the scope of the Policy to all naming at UBC, and setting out specific decision making procedures for UBC’s places, spaces, other physical assets, academic units, awards, honorifics, and activities; as well as the prominent display of a name or likeness of an honouree in UBC’s campus environments;
  • specific processes for removing or changing a name, including a process for a proposal to remove a name where the name undermines a welcoming and inclusive environment at UBC;
  • providing that the President may appoint one or more members of faculty or staff to the Naming Committee whose role involves advancing inclusive excellence, Indigenous reconciliation or other strategic priorities.

The proposed amendments include feedback from the Academic Policy Committees of each Senate and the People, Community & International Committee of the Board. For more information, please see the information package provided to the Board at https://bog3.sites.olt.ubc.ca/files/2022/11/5_2022.11_Proposed-Amendments-to-the-Naming-Policy-GA6.pdf (this includes the latest presentation to the People, Community & International Committee and links to prior packages provided to this Committee).

The proposed amendments are now being published and all members of the UBC community are encouraged to provide their comments. Please submit feedback to the Office of the University Counsel at university.counsel@ubc.ca by February 15, 2023.

Feedback received by the Office of the University Counsel from the UBC community will be provided to the members of the Committee for review and consideration. The Committee does not provide individual responses to persons submitting feedback. However, the feedback received will be summarized, along with the Committee’s response, in a Community Consultation Summary that will be included in the submission materials that are generally shared in open sessions of meetings of the responsible Board and Senate committees, and the Board and the Senates.