About SFU

Our name

Spell out Simon Fraser University (SFU) on first use, and SFU thereafter.

We no longer capitalize the word “university” on its own when referring to SFU in a sentence.  


A number of factors guided the university in updating its policies.


For printed and digital materials, do not refer to our campuses as SFU Surrey, SFU Vancouver or SFU Burnaby.


SFU’s Surrey campus, the Surrey campus
SFU’s Vancouver campus, the Vancouver campus
SFU’s Burnaby campus, the Burnaby campus


  • Some students at SFU’s Surrey campus also take classes at the Burnaby campus.
  • SFU’s Burnaby and Surrey campuses are closed because of heavy snow.
  • SFU students at the Vancouver and Burnaby campuses have been notified.


When introducing the name of an SFU school or faculty, preface with “SFU” rather than “the.” Market research shows that awareness and favourability increase when individual faculties and departments are associated with the parent brand.

School examples

  • On first reference: “Simon Fraser University’s Beedie School of Business” (vs “Beedie School of Business at Simon Fraser University” or “Simon Fraser University Beedie School of Business”)
  • On subsequent reference of SFU: “SFU’s School for the Contemporary Arts” (vs. School for the Contemporary Arts at SFU” or “the SFU School for the Contemporary Arts”)
  • Subsequent reference of Beedie: “SFU Beedie” (vs. just “Beedie”) or SFU School for the Contemporary Arts

Faculty examples

  • On first reference: Simon Fraser University’s Faculty of Education
  • On subsequent reference of SFU: SFU's Faculty of Environment
  • Subsequent reference of the faculty: SFU Science

Academic senior administrators 

Capitalize the titles of the university president, vice-presidents (VPs) and associate vice-presidents (AVPs) when they immediately precede a person’s name. Do not capitalize a title when it is a partial designation, it follows a name or it is on second reference. Do not capitalize titles preceded by "former" or "acting."  Do not capitalize a title when it appears without a name.


  • SFU President Joy Johnson
  • Joy Johnson, SFU’s president
  • The president
  • VP Research Dugan O'Neil
  • AVP External Relations Joanne Curry
  • Dugan O'Neil, vice-president, research
  • Catherine Dauvergne, vp academic
  • Former president Andrew Petter, acting dean Terry Smith

Where possible, refer to a student’s major or program and then, if appropriate, the faculty or school.


  • Jane Wright, a computing science student in SFU’s Faculty of Applied Sciences, is graduating in June 2014.
  • Computing science student Jane Wright is graduating in June 2014.

Academic titles

Do not use “Dr.” when referring to professors. “Dr.” should only refer to a health professional such as a physician or dentist.

Do not use the terms "associate" or "assistant" preceding "professor."

Capitalize endowed professorships and fellowships, even when the title comes after a name. If it follows the name, it is preceded by "the" or "SFU’s" to avoid confusion.


  • Terry Smith, SFU's Canada Research Chair in Science


Specific phrases

Changemaker is all one word. i.e. SFU is a changemaker campus.

Changemaker should only be capitalized when it is a proper noun:  SFU is an Ashoka U Changemaker Campus. SFU is a changemaker campus. We educate changemakers, visionaries and problem-solvers.

Community-engaged should always be hyphenated.

Community-Engaged Research initiative - this is a special phrase used in the VPR portfolio. initiative is not capitalized in this phrase.

SFU Innovates should be referred to as an "innovation strategy," not an "initiative."

Phrases to describe SFU

General SFU boilerplate

(updated October 3, 2019)

As Canada’s engaged university, SFU works with communities, organizations and partners to create, share and embrace knowledge that improves life and generates real change. We deliver a world-class education with lifelong value that shapes change-makers, visionaries and problem-solvers. We connect research and innovation to entrepreneurship and industry to deliver sustainable, relevant solutions to today’s problems. With campuses in British Columbia’s three largest cities – Vancouver, Burnaby and Surrey – SFU has eight faculties that deliver 193 undergraduate degree programs and 127 graduate degree programs to more than 35,000 students. The university now boasts more than 160,000 alumni residing in 143 countries.

Other SFU descriptors that can be used as subheads or as talking points for presentations

  • Canada’s engaged university. 
  • Simon Fraser University: Engaging Students. Engaging Research. Engaging Communities.