Establishing a Named Academic Entity

Any individual(s) seeking to establish a named academic entity (e.g. “Center,” “Program,” “Initiative,” “Institute”) at Yale must apply to the Office of the Provost in accordance with the policy guidelines below.  (Please note that non-academic entities wishing to create a named program should consult the Office of the Secretary regarding use of the Yale name.)

Establishing a Named Research Entity: Administrative Guidelines for Approvals 


The establishment of a named academic entity requires approval by the provost.  Requests should be submitted in writing to the provost.  The provost’s decision concerning the naming of a “Center,” “Program,” or “Initiative” will be reviewed with the University president, and their decision will be final.  Any request to name an “Institute” also requires approval by the Yale Corporation and is submitted by the provost to the Corporation for its vote; at his/her discretion, and in consultation with the officers of the University, the provost may also submit to the Corporation for final approval any proposal for a named entity that is deemed likely to have significant implications for the University overall.


In evaluating any request to establish a named academic entity, the provost will take into consideration the following factors:

  1. Purpose of the proposed entity
  2. Clear and reliable funding source(s)
  3. Expected lifetime (duration) of the proposed entity
  4. Proposed leadership, governance, and succession plan
  5. Physical space (if any) to be occupied


A named academic entity, by its very nature, should act as a locus for collaboration and innovation.  It may serve as an important means of securing outside funding or as mechanism for recruitment or retention of faculty. Although a named entity may be subject to change in scope and charge over the course of time, it is nonetheless expected to have a long-term plan and projected relevance; it is created neither by nor for an individual faculty member.  Successful proposals for naming a center or other entity will reflect these expectations.


All named academic entities are subject to a periodic review that is initiated by the Office of the Provost with external input as appropriate. In most cases, these reviews occur every three to five years, with the schedule and parameters of review established in writing at the time of initial approval by the provost.

Last updated: February 19, 2019