Editorials, Opinions

Our View: Universities should tweak rules on campus donors

In an economic climate where funding is hard to come by, universities across the nation must come up with clever ways, aside from raising tuition, to accumulate cash.

Some universities are turning to benefactors for help. In an article by the Kansas City Star last month, it was reported that more universities are changing their rules on campus donations.

To entice benefactors and acquire more donations, universities are offering to sprinkle benefactors’ names throughout their campuses.
Changes, such as allowing benefactors to have their names on more than one building of a given campus and raising the cost for naming an endowed professorship or department chair, are being considered.

The Daily 49er editorial board wonders what lengths some schools will go to in allowing benefactors to place their names on campuses.
Cal State Long Beach already displays donor names on buildings, benches and bricks on campus.

But, in re-evaluating the rules on campus donations, would trees be out of the question? Bathrooms? Or what about the urinals? CSULB and other universities could be sitting on a gold mine if some people would like to have their names emblazoned on different items across university campuses, perhaps their alma maters.

According to the Kansas City Star article, universities across the nation are suffering from a lack of funding, just like CSULB.

So why not throw a few more names on buildings and benches as long as the money is going back to the schools?

A potential problem, though, with allowing donors to place their names on buildings is the fact that they’re still alive. If one of these people shames themselves before they die, their name will still be attached to the campus. Then the university would have to decide whether to take the name down. Look what happened to Joe Paterno’s statue at Pennsylvania State University. It was removed.

Universities should consider expanding their naming opportunities for benefactors. There is nothing wrong in asking for help. 

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