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University Policy

Awarding of Honorary Doctoral Degrees

Policy Number: 3349-03-150
Effective Date: 05/18/1990
Updated:
Reviewed:
Responsible Department: Office of the President, Board of Trustees
Applies To: All University Employees

A. Purpose

  1. To establish a policy governing the process through which the University may award an Honorary Doctoral Degree to an individual.

B. Scope

  1. Any individual who has demonstrated excellence or achieved exceptional distinction in his/her field of endeavor including medicine, research, public service, creative arts, and business and/or industry.

C. Definitions

  1. Honorary Doctoral Degree – a collegiate designation conferred upon a person who has achieved excellence or exception distinction in his/her field of endeavor.
  2. Honorary Doctoral Degree Committee – the University body that reviews all nominations for receipt of an Honorary Doctoral Degree and makes a determination as to which nominee will be recommended to the Board of Trustees as the recipient for that year. The Honorary Doctoral Degree Committee consists of: the Chairman of the Board of Trustees; the Chairman of the Academic and Scientific Affairs Committee of the Board of Trustees; the University President; and three senior faculty members representing the three divisions of the faculty.

D. Body of the Policy

  1. Criteria. The recipient of an Honorary Doctoral Degree must exemplify the purpose and ideals of the College of Medicine, College of Pharmacy, or College of Graduate Studies.  The achievements cited must represent contributions beyond expected high standards of the profession of the academic world and may only
    be awarded to a person before the end of his/her career if accomplishments are eminent or activities are worthy of highest commendation. The University would only consider awarding an Honorary Doctoral Degree to a College of Medicine, College of Pharmacy, or College of Graduate Studies employee under the most extraordinary of circumstances. The recipient need not have an earned degree as a prerequisite.
  2. Nominations for an Honorary Doctoral Degree. Nominations are to be submitted to the Office of the President prior to January 1 each year. Letters of nomination, accompanied by the nominee’s curriculum vitae, must cite the importance of the achievements and the reasons why the individual should receive an Honorary Doctoral Degree. Nominations will remain active for five years.
  3. Consideration and Award. The Honorary Doctoral Degree Committee will screen all nominations to determine which nominees merit further consideration. If further consideration is deemed appropriate, additional letters of support and other appropriate materials will be requested. If the Honorary Doctoral Degree Committee identifies a candidate for an honorary doctoral degree, the committee will submit its recommendation to the Chairman of the Academic and Scientific Affairs Committee prior to February 1. The Academic and Scientific Affairs Committee will forward its recommendation to the Board of Trustees for consideration.
  4. Awarding of Degree. Honorary doctoral degrees will be awarded during the University’s Commencement proceedings in the spring.

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