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Cornell University

Facilities Inventory: Facility Naming Guidance

Back to the Facilities Inventory Documentation

Last updated: April 24, 2022

Current Fields in the Facility Inventory System that relate to facility names, include the following:

15-character name: (All capitalized) used by Facilities and CIT in various web pages and web views for other systems’ consumption

25-character name: (All capitalized) required by SUNY; not used at Cornell University

30-character name: (Proper case) the most commonly used name and name field; there are many dependent systems for this field, including the website “Get Info About Your Facility”; limited to 30 characters because that was the character limit in the historic mainframe

Official name (full name):  This is the official, full name of the facility (up to 500 characters); every building should have an official, full name, although many of the buildings do not have an entry in this field at the time of the writing of this document

Nickname:  any previous name, as well as known nicknames; when any other name field gets changed, the replaced name is moved to the nicknames field, so that no name is ever lost

CU directory name:  matches the 30-character name but is only populated when a building is a primary location for staff within Tompkins County

Principles for Naming

  • Fully populate the Official/Full Name Field
  • When possible, use the 30-character limit for the 30-character name as the starting point for the official/full name; i.e., try to use the same name in the 30-character name and official/full name fields
  • Try to use an acronym (1st letter(s) of each word) before an abbreviation (removing letters)
  • When abbreviating:
    • Take out spaces between words as the first preference
    • Take out vowels before consonants
    • Do not use periods
    • Use the list of Recommended Standard Abbreviations (Confluence link, NetID login required) proposed by the Space Planner wherever possible
  • For non-Ithaca facilities, use the first few letters in the name to identify the geographic location, and use these letters consistently, e.g., GNVA Jordan Hall (for Geneva), LI Duck Hatchery Building (for Long Island)
  • Small buildings within Tompkins County with highly changeable programs should be named by named as follows:  street name, street number, program name; e.g., Thurston Ave 534, Zeta Psi
    • Naming facilities by address is restricted due to redundancies created within “Who I Am”; when in doubt, ask Facilities Inventory for guidance before using an address in a name  (“Who I Am” is fed from the CU directory name)

Naming Convention for Cooperative Extension Locations
The paperwork to assign the facility code and the appropriate name will be completed by the college occupying most of the space.  In order of appearance in the name:

  1. First three characters are:
    • CCE – if the facility is a county seat extension (not located in New York City)
    • Ext – if the facility includes extension but is not the county seat
    • Ext – if the facility is located in New York City
  2. Followed by college abbreviation
    • CHE, CALS and including all occupying colleges in order of most space occupied at the time of the facility name assignment
  3. Followed by the name of the location
    • County if it is in the county seat and not in New York City
    • City if it is not in the county seat
    • Borough if it is located in NYC
  4. Followed by street number; if there is more than one facility in the location

Special Considerations:

  • A name should not have both CCE and Ext.
  • The ILR School is now using “Outreach” instead of “Extension” when referring to the ILR school’s off campus activities – ILR Extension = ILR Outreach.

Examples (assigned in FIS):

1441:  Ext CHE_Queens_164 = extension location for CHE in Queens borough, location includes more than one address so 164 is included as street number

1004H:  ILR MAIN ST 237, BUFFALO = ILR outreach location.

3960Q:  CCE Delaware = Cooperative Extension County Seat for Delaware County with no Cornell presence

Some Naming Ideas

  • For small utility buildings, consider using the name of a department or program followed by the facility’s type or function, e.g., Freeville Entomology Shed 2, Ornithology Barn, NEAS Dog Kennel Facility
  • For facilities not located within a Cornell complex of buildings, consider using the unit or program name followed by a geographic area, e.g., Public Affairs Western Region
  • Buildings named by function are fine, e.g., Field House, Gasoline Storage Shed
    • Within one campus, consider appending the location for multiple facilities of the same function, e.g., Traffic Booth – Carpenter Hall

Other Points

  • Any honorific name identified to recognize one or more people will need to be approved by the Committee for Names and Memorials, administered by Alumni Affairs & Development
  • Changing the name of a major building on central campus will require approval by the Committee for Names and Memorials
    • There is no definition for “major building,” however, some examples of non-major buildings would include sheds and greenhouses
    • Central campus is loosely defined as the Facilities Inventory definition of Core Campus (between the gorges)
  • Applying an honorific name to a SUNY-owned (01) building, or changing an existing honorific name on a SUNY-owned building, requires that Contract College Facilities submit a letter to SUNY informing them of the change before it is implemented on the building or in the inventory.   See samples in the Facilities Document Archive, e.g., record number 553_016 for King-Shaw Hall.
  • Changing the name of a facility can have a BIG impact on many people (think emergency response, phone and data connections, mail, etc.).  Tread lightly.  When in doubt, leave a name alone.