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Category Administration and Management
Type Guideline
Approved by Council, 9 October 2001
Date Guideline Took Effect 1 January 2002
Last approved revision 
Sponsor Director, Development and Alumni Relations
Responsible officer Campaign Officer

Please note that compliance with University Guidelines is expected in normal circumstances, and any deviation from Guidelines – which should only be in exceptional circumstances – needs to be justifiable.


These guidelines reflect the fundamental academic principles that shape the University's relationships with donors.

Productive partnerships with the private sector will be formed within the framework defined by the University's academic mission and values.

These guidelines confirm the commitment of the University of Otago to a development programme of high integrity and sustainability.

Organisational scope

These Guidelines apply University-wide.


In advancing New Zealand's first university as a world class university, Otago welcomes gifts from alumni and friends of the University, corporations and major trusts and foundations. These are a vital addition to funding from Government and tuition fees.

  1. The purpose of the University is set out in the University of Otago Charter. One of the primary purposes of the University is to protect the freedom of staff and students to question and test current knowledge, to advance new ideas and state controversial opinions.
  2. The University values and will protect its integrity, autonomy and academic freedom. It does not accept gifts when a condition of such acceptance would compromise these fundamental principles.
  3. The University's solicitation of gifts is informed by and consistent with academic priorities established by the appropriate University process. Undesignated gifts must be used for such purposes as the University judges will best advance its mission and academic priorities. Designated gifts are used expressly for the purposes for which they are given. These purposes must be consistent with the University's mission and academic priorities.
  4. University funds that are made available from time to time as supplements to donations will be allocated in accordance with established budgetary procedures.
  5. Gifts for Chairs, Fellowships and other academic appointments and programmes must be in full accord with all relevant University policies, practices and procedures.
    This includes the Academic Staff Recruitment Process Guidelines
  6. Naming that recognises donations is determined in accordance with the University's Policy on Naming.
  7. The University is committed to the highest standards of donor stewardship and accountability. This includes appropriate acknowledgement and recognition for gifts. Formal reports to donors will conform to University policies, and will be coordinated and supplied by the Development and Alumni Relations Office.
  8. The terms and conditions governing the use of donations are matters of public record, except for information that is personal or proprietary. The Vice-Chancellor will provide a list of all donations of $50,000 or over to Council on a quarterly basis. Names of those donors requesting anonymity will not be provided, although the amount of their donations will be reported.
  9. 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. These and other forms of advice from donors will respect the policies and procedures of the University.
  10. 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 course of study, or a University procurement contract.
  11. The University does not accept gifts that involve unlawful discrimination, or involve terms and conditions contrary to the Equal Educational Opportunities Policy or the Equal Employment Opportunities Policy, or promote causes which are deemed to be contrary to the interests of the University.
  12. 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.

Related policies, procedures and forms

Contact for further information

If you have any queries regarding the content of this policy or need further clarification, contact:

Senior Strategy and Policy Adviser
External Engagement

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