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The name “Tufts University” and how it is used affects both the institution as a whole and the individual members of the University community.  Appropriate use of the name and insignias can benefit all, while inappropriate use may reflect negatively on both the institution and its individual members

Because of these far-reaching implications, oversight regarding the use of the University’s name and insignias, and the names of individual schools within the University (including web domain names that incorporate “Tufts” or the name of a Tufts school) will be conducted on an institutional level according to the principles and guidelines outlined in this policy.

The Vice President for University Relations is the individual responsible for making final decisions on use of the Tufts name and insignias, including the names of individual units of the University.


  1. Is the implied association with the University accurate and can we ensure that the association with the University will continue to be portrayed accurately?

    Use of Tufts’ name in connection with an activity, project or product implies a close association with the University and is generally construed as sponsorship or endorsement. Tufts must ensure that this portrayal is accurate and that it has the requisite control of the activity, project or product to ensure that the implied close association remains an accurate representation of the affiliation with the University.

  2. Is the use of the Tufts name consistent with the research and educational mission of the University?

    Tufts has an obligation to its students, alumni, faculty, staff, donors and others to ensure that the use of its name falls, in general, within its primary mission of research and education. Some activities such as promotion of individual causes, political or otherwise, clearly fall outside this mission.

  3. What effect will the proposed use of name have on the image of the University as a whole?

    Use of the Tufts name in situations having a potential to diminish or damage Tufts’ image and reputation must be avoided.

  4. Will Tufts be able to realize a fair and reasonable gain (through image enhancement or through economic benefit) from the use of its name?

    Related to this is the issue of liability. If there is a potential for financial, legal or reputational risk to the University through the use of its name, for example on a particular product, such use of name should be avoided.

General Guidelines and Procedures

  1. Any use of name that refers to the University as a whole must be submitted to the Office of University Counsel for review.  The Office of University Counsel will review the request and forward it with a recommendation to the Vice President for University Relations, who will make the final decision. Specific questions or requests for approval can be emailed to
  2. Any use of name that refers to individual schools or units should first be submitted to the Dean or a responsible authority of that school or unit for approval and should then be submitted to the Office of University Counsel for review and transmittal to the Vice President for University Relations.
  3. In considering any proposed use, University officials will be guided by the principles outlined above.
  4. Use of the official Tufts logo will follow these guidelines and additionally must adhere to the graphic standards outlined in the university’s visual identity manual.  In most cases such use will require review by the Office of Publications before printing or manufacturing is approved.  The University name may not be used to create new logos and may not be integrated or combined with existing logos.  Issues regarding co-branding must follow the guidelines above and require review by University Counsel, Public Relations and Publications.

Guidelines for Use of Name by Faculty, Staff, Students and Alumni

  1. Faculty members and staff may use the Tufts name or the name of the appropriate school to identify themselves on stationery, business cards, publications in research or educational journals and other materials used in the course of their University-related activities (e.g. John Smith, Professor of Mathematics, Tufts University.)  Students and alumni may wish to identify themselves as students or graduates of the University in biographical information.  In using or authorizing use of the Tufts name to identify themselves in connection with activities conducted with outside individuals or entities (e.g. authoring a book), members of the Tufts community should assure that the Tufts name is used in a manner that does not imply University endorsement or responsibility for the particular activity, project or product.  For example, when authoring a book, a faculty member may describe his or her affiliation with Tufts University on the inside of the book or book jacket.  The name of the University should not appear on the cover of the book.  Likewise, the name of Tufts University may not be used in the title of any journal or other publication without the expressed permission of the University.  Such permission will not normally be given in any circumstance where the University does not retain exclusive editorial control over the publication. Use of the University name or log is NOT permitted for cards, stationery, signage, promotional literature, web sites or other communications in connection with an individual’s private practice or business.
  2. All other proposed uses of the Tufts name by faculty and staff and any use of the name by students and alumni should be submitted to the Office of University Counsel.

Guidelines for Use of Name by Individual Schools and Units

  1. Schools or units may use the name of Tufts University or the name of their school or unit in the following activities:
    • stationery, business cards and other materials used by the schools or other units in the course of their University-related activities;
    • content in printed, or multimedia form in which the University, school or unit involved regularly communicates with its constituencies, including course catalogues and related materials, web pages within the domain and similar publications issued by the schools and other units;
    • course materials and any materials prepared for use in connection with courses conducted at the University, whether in printed or digital form.

    In any such uses, the school or unit involved should take care that its use does not adversely affect other schools or the institution as a whole.  Ultimately the Vice President for University Relations has the right to review and determine the appropriate use of the Tufts University name.

  2. Any other use of the University’s name or the name of the individual school or unit will require approval as outlined above in Item 2 of “General Guidelines and Procedures.”  In particular, prior approval is required if the use of name involves the sale or distribution for financial consideration of a product or service or the granting of a license for use of the name on merchandise, including but not limited to apparel, software or electronic media.
  3. Any news, marketing and/or publicity materials designated for dissemination to media channels and extended audiences of elected/appointed officials, investors, donors, and others concerning official University or School matters require up-front involvement (at the planning stages) with the University’s Public Relations Department, and as appropriate, the Community Relations and Publications departments.  The Public Relations Department, working with the mandate and approvals of the University’s administrative leadership team, must review any materials and information targeted at the media.  The Public Relations, Publications and/or Community Relations departments should be an integral part of any continuing external publicity or marketing outreach by other parties if it involves the use of the Tufts name, insignias, or affiliation, etc.

Questions & Answers

Question: Is the name “Tufts” trademarked?
 Answer: Yes. Tufts University owns federal trademark registrations on the words TUFTS and TUFTS UNIVERSITY, on the University seal (with the descending dove), and on various marks specific to individual schools and units (for example, THE FLETCHER SCHOOL).


I am a member of the faculty who has been approached by a company. The company would like to put my name and affiliation with the University on its promotional materials. Is this allowed under the name use policy?

 Answer: No. Members of the Tufts community (students, alumni, faculty, staff) may not use the Tufts name to endorse products. Tufts trademarks should not appear on products or on advertising relating to products or services. To prevent misuse of the Tufts name for commercial advertising purposes, for example, faculty who prepare reports for corporations should mark them “personal, not for publication.”


I have started my own company and would like to promote its products by indicating in the advertising that I am a professor at Tufts University. Is this permitted?

 Answer: No. Members of the faculty may reference their Tufts affiliation in connection with scholarly activities. This does not extend to the promotion of products or services.

How should a member of the faculty describe his or her affiliation with the University when authoring a book or reviewing a colleague’s work?

 Answer: By stating name, academic appointment, and institution, as in “John Doe, associate professor of English, Tufts University.” In using the Tufts name in connection with scholarly activities outside the University, faculty should ensure that the use does not imply University responsibility for that activity.


A group of Tufts students would like to hire a vendor to produce t-shirts bearing the Tufts name and seal. Is this permitted?

 Answer: Yes, provided the vendor has a trademark license with the University or permission to produce goods without a license. Send an email to for information.

I would like to start a journal. May I call it the “Tufts Journal of X”?

 Answer: Only if permission is obtained. Any publication that uses the Tufts name in the title must be under the exclusive control of the University. Student publications must identify the work as that of a recognized student organization. Other restrictions apply.


Can I mention Tufts at all?

 Answer: Sure.  Nothing in the name use policy is intended to discourage fair use of the Tufts name to comment on the activities of the University. The policy seeks to regulate display of the name in any manner that could reasonably be interpreted as sponsorship or endorsement by the University, that is inconsistent with the research and educational mission of the University, or that could diminish the reputation of the University.