Donations, Provostial Guidelines on

Revised November 18, 2021

In order to achieve and maintain its place among the world’s leading public research universities, the University of Toronto is fortunate to have the support and commitment of private benefactors. The University welcomes gifts from individuals, foundations, associations, and corporations as a vital addition to strong public support from the Provincial and Federal Governments.

The following guidelines reflect the fundamental academic principles that shape our relationships with donors. These guidelines confirm the commitment of the University of Toronto to a development program of the highest calibre, and to continued productive partnerships with the private sector within a framework defined by the University’s academic mission and its fundamental values.

  1. The Purpose of the University is set out in the University of Toronto Statement of Institutional Purpose (1992). At the heart of the University lies the commitment to academic freedom, which may not be abridged. Academic freedom is described in the University’s Statement on Freedom of Speech and in article 5 of the Memorandum of Agreement between the University of Toronto and the University of Toronto Faculty Association.
  2. The University values and will protect its integrity, autonomy, and academic freedom, and does not accept gifts when a condition of such acceptance would compromise these fundamental principles.
  3. The University only solicits and accepts gifts for academic priorities that are approved by the Provost at the recommendation of Principals and Deans, in accordance with established procedures for academic planning and academic initiatives.
  4. The University’s solicitation of gifts is informed by and consistent with academic priorities established by appropriate University processes. Undesignated gifts must be used for such purposes as the University judges will best advance its mission and approved academic priorities. Designated gifts are used expressly for the purposes for which they are given, which must be consistent with the University’s mission and approved academic priorities.
  5. University funds that are made available from time to time as matches to donations will be allocated to approved academic priorities in accordance with established budgetary procedures.
  6. Gifts for Chairs, Professorships, and other academic appointments and programs must be in full accord with all relevant University policies, practices, and procedures. These include the Policy and Procedures on Academic Appointments and the Provost’s Guidelines for the Selection and Approval of Named Chair Appointments.
  7. The University will not allow any external input, including from donors or alumni, to influence any University hiring decisions, unless this input is part of the established hiring process.  Any staff member or representative of the University who receives an inquiry related to any University hiring process from sources external to the University’s established hiring processes, including alumni, donors and external organizations, will respond that recruiting processes are confidential, and that no information about the search can be shared in accordance with our commitment to uphold and protect academic freedom and institutional autonomy.
  8. Namings in recognition of benefactions are determined in accordance with the University’s Policy on Naming.
  9. The University is committed to the highest standards of donor stewardship and accountability. This includes appropriate acknowledgement and recognition for gifts. Where formal reports are supplied to donors, these reports will conform to University policies, and be forwarded to donors by the appropriate academic office to which the program or chair reports or by the relevant senior University officer.
  10. The terms and conditions governing the use of donations are matters of public record, except for information which is personal or proprietary, in accordance with the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.  A list of all donations of $250,000 or over will be provided by the Vice-President, Advancement, on a quarterly basis to the Business Board and the Academic Board.
  11. Where agreements contain provision for advisory boards and committees, the University will create such advisory bodies with the agreement of the relevant academic unit or units, and these bodies will conduct themselves under the understandings expressed in the Provost’s Statement on the Role of Advisory Bodies. Other forms of advice from donors will respect the policies and procedures of the University.
  12. The University does not accept gifts that require it to provide any valuable consideration to the donor or anyone designated by the donor, such as employment in the University, enrolment in a University program, or a University procurement contract.
  13. The University does not accept gifts that involve unlawful discrimination on prohibited grounds, as defined in its Statement on Human Rights.
  14. Donors and alumni may be subject to confidentiality requirements and/or conflict of interest policies as appropriate to their University activities.
  15. In the course of negotiations concerning formal agreements with donors, these guidelines will be given to donors, and the Policies and Guidelines referred to herein will be referenced in agreements as appropriate.

Appendix: Relevant Policies and Statements

The following University of Toronto policies and statements referenced in these guidelines may be obtained from the Office of the Governing Council, Simcoe Hall, University of Toronto.

Academic Freedom

University of Toronto Statement of Institutional Purpose
University of Toronto Statement on Freedom of Speech
Memorandum of Agreement between the University of Toronto and the University of Toronto Faculty Association

Access to Information

Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act

Advisory Bodies

Provost’s Statement on the Role of Advisory Bodies


Policy and Procedures on Academic Appointments
Policies for Librarians
Clinical Faculty Policies
Part-time Faculty, Policy and Procedures on Employment Conditions of
Policies for Professional/Managerial Staff
Policies for Confidentials
Policies for Senior Research Associates & Research Associates
Academic Administrators, Policy on Appointment of
Policy on Endowed and Limited Term Chairs, Professorships, Distinguished Scholars and Program Initiatives
Provost’s Guidelines for the Selection and Approval of Named Chair Appointments issued as PDAD&C #052, 1995-96 on June 25, 1996

Human Rights

University of Toronto Statement on Human Rights


University of Toronto Policy on Naming

The University of Toronto welcomes the opportunity to name buildings, rooms, endowed chairs, and other things to honour the distinguished contributions of its past members and others to humanity, to Canada, to Ontario, to Toronto, and to the University. It also welcomes the opportunity to honour individuals whose generous benefactions make possible the erection of buildings, the establishment of endowed chairs, and other things.

Conflict of Interest

Conflict of Interest and Conflict of Commitment, Statement
Conflict of Interest – Academic Staff, Policy on
Conflict of Interest, Policy on – Librarians
Policy on Student Awards