Honorary Degree

Honorary Degree

SUMMARY

The Honorary Degree Policy establishes the requirements for the nomination, approval and conferral of an honorary degree by the University Council. The Procedure provides further information concerning the steps required to nominate and confer an honorary degree.

POLICY

Purpose

To specify the requirements for the nomination, approval and conferral of an honorary degree by the University Council.

Overview

Honorary degrees are awarded in recognition of exceptional achievement or contribution in relation to a particular field or discipline, and/or to the University and society. Honorary awards are identified by the inclusion of ‘Hon’ in the post-nominals.

DEFINITION
Honorary Degree: a degree honoris causa (Latin: "for the sake of the honor") is an academic degree for which a university has waived the usual academic requirements, such as study and the passing of examinations. The degree is conferred as a way of honouring a distinguished person's contributions to a specific field, or to society in general.

Scope

The University Council has resolved that it may admit any person approved by the Council, Honoris Causa, to the following:  
  • Doctor of Business (Hon.DBus)
  • Doctor of Science (Hon.DSc)
  • Doctor of Letters (Hon.DLitt)
  • Doctor of Laws (Hon.LLD), and
  • Doctor of the University (Hon.DUniv).
This Policy does not apply to the nomination, approval and conferral of the titles and awards:
  • Honorary Fellowship – refer to Honorary, Visiting and Clinical Academic Appointments Policy
  • Distinguished Professor – refer to Award of Distinguished Professor Policy
  • Emeritus Professor – refer to Award of Emeritus Professor Policy
  • Higher Doctoral Degrees – refer to the HDD Rules

Policy

ELIGIBILITY
The University Council will determine eligibility for an honorary degree following review and recommendation by the Honorary Awards Committee.

The following are ineligible for nomination:
  • current staff, including staff retained after retirement or resignation in a capacity as consultant, project manager, adviser, adjunct or in any other form of paid association with the University
  • former members of staff who ceased employment less than 12 months previously
  • current members of the University Council
  • former members of the University Council who ceased membership less than 12 months previously.

NOMINATION
A nomination for an honorary degree may be made by a staff member or group of staff.  Any nomination must be made in accordance with the Honorary Degree Procedure.

All proposals from University staff members will need to be submitted to their Executive Group member.  The Executive Group member will submit the proposal to the Executive Group for consideration, before final submission to the Honorary Awards Committee.

All proposals from Honorary Awards Committee members will be submitted directly to the Honorary Awards Committee for consideration.

The University Council will receive and consider a nomination for an honorary degree only on the recommendation of the Honorary Awards Committee.

The University Council is not required to award an honorary degree in any one year.

CONFERRAL
An honorary degree will be conferred in perpetuity.

An honorary degree may be approved and conferred posthumously at the discretion of the University Council.

Where a recipient indicates their willingness to accept an honorary degree, but:
  • dies before the conferral ceremony, an honorary degree can be conferred posthumously
  • is temporarily or permanently incapacitated before the conferral ceremony, a relative or associate may receive the award on behalf of the recipient, at the discretion of the Vice-Chancellor.

Where an honorary degree is conferred posthumously, a relative or associate may receive the award on behalf of the recipient, at the absolute discretion of the University Council.

Only recipients who are temporarily or permanently incapacitated can have their honorary degree awarded in absentia.

If a recipient declines the offer of an honorary degree:
  • the Vice-Chancellor will report the nominee’s response to the Council Secretary.
  • the Council Secretary will enter the changed status of the declined award into the minutes of the next Honorary Awards Committee for notice by that Committee and the University Council.
  • the University Council resolution previously passed to approve the conferral of the honorary degree will be deemed to be rescinded.
If a recipient fails to respond within three months to the offer of an honorary award:
  • the Vice-Chancellor will report the lack of a response to the Chair of the Honorary Awards Committee
  • the Council Secretary will enter the changed status of award where no response has been received into the minutes of the next Honorary Awards Committee for notice by that Committee and the University Council
  • the University Council resolution previously passed to approve the conferral of the honorary degree will be deemed to be rescinded.

A recipient of an honorary degree will have their award conferred at a graduation ceremony of the University, or other ceremony or public event as determined by the University Council.

Conferral of an honorary degree will be evidenced by both:
  • a testamur in a form approved by the University Council and executed under the Common Seal of the University
  • a citation in a form approved by the University Council.

RESPONSIBILITIES
A recipient of an honorary degree will not, by means of any action, association or inaction, bring the University or the University Council into disrepute.

TITLES
Persons who are conferred with an honorary degree are entitled to use the post-nominals for that degree as prescribed above.

Recipients of honorary degrees are not entitled to use the titles ‘Doctor’ or ‘Dr’ before their names outside the University.

CONFIDENTIALITY
All proceedings and documentation relating to a nomination for an honorary award will be confidential.

A person who is the subject of a nomination for an honorary award is not to be consulted or contacted prior to the decision of the University Council being made final. Any exception will require prior approval by the University Council.

REGISTER OF HONORARY DEGREES
The Graduations Office will maintain a Register of Honorary Degrees that details honorary degrees:
  • conferred (including posthumously)
  • awarded but declined
  • revoked (the cause or reason for the revocation will not be recorded).
COMPLIANCE AND BREACHES
The University may commence applicable disciplinary procedures if a person to whom this Policy applies breaches this Policy (or any of its related procedures).

Policy Information

Contact OfficerCouncil Secretary
Date Approved10 April 2014
Approval AuthorityUniversity Council (Resolution 14/014)
Date of Commencement10 April 2014
Amendment Historyn/a
Date for Next ReviewApril 2017
Related Documents

Award of Distinguished Professor Policy
Award of Emeritus Professor Policy
Citation Template
Honorary Degree Procedure (see tab above)
Honorary Awards Committee - Terms of Reference
Honorary Degree Nomination Form
Honorary Academic Titles Policy / Procedure
Higher Doctoral Degrees Rules

Regulations and Rules (2013)
Policies / Rules Superseded by this Policy

Honorary Degree Policy approved 27 April 2011

KeywordsHonorary degrees, nomination, conferral, award

PROCEDURE

Purpose

To detail the steps required to nominate and confer an honorary degree in accordance with the Honorary Degree Policy.

Procedure

This procedure requires actions by the following:

Staff Member

NOMINATE
Discuss a proposed nomination for an honorary degree with their relevant Executive Group member prior to submitting a formal nomination.

Submit a formal nomination to the Executive Group member for discussion at an Executive Committee meeting that includes:
  • the nominee’s title, full name, post-nominals (if any), address and contact details
  • the name of the award for which the person is being nominated
  • a Citation Template detailing the nominee’s achievements and contributions in relation to a particular field or discipline, and/or to the University and society. If the nomination is approved and subsequently accepted, this citation will be read at the conferral ceremony.
The submission to the Executive Group member must be in the format attached to this Procedure.
Executive Group memberReview a nomination for an honorary degree and determine whether to submit the nomination to the Executive Group, as appropriate.

Executive Group

Review a nomination for an honorary degree and determine whether to submit the nomination to the Honorary Awards Committee.

Inform the Council Secretary of approved nominations.

Council Secretary

Review each nomination to ensure that all required documentation has been submitted and that the nomination is in the correct format.

Include the recommended nomination in the agenda and papers of the next meeting of the Honorary Awards Committee.

Honorary Awards Committee

DETERMINE
Review a nomination in accordance with the provisions of the Honorary Degree Policy and the Terms of Reference – Honorary Awards Committee.

In making assessments of nominations for honorary awards, the Committee follows the University’s policy that honorary degrees are awarded:
  • in recognition of exceptional achievement or contribution in relation to a particular field or discipline, and/or
  • in recognition of exceptional achievement or contribution in relation to the University and society.
For each nomination make one of the following determinations:
  • decline the nomination
  • refer the nomination back to the Vice-Chancellor
  • recommend the nomination to the University Council for approval with no amendments
  • recommend the nomination to the University Council for approval, subject to any required amendments.
Council SecretaryInclude the nominations recommended by the Honorary Awards Committee in the agenda and papers of the next meeting of the University Council.

University Council

Review nominations and the recommendations of the Honorary Awards Committee in accordance with the provisions of the Honorary Degrees Policy.
           
For each nomination make one of the following determinations:
  • decline the nomination
  • refer the nomination back to the Honorary Awards Committee or the Vice-Chancellor
  • approve the nomination and authorise the Vice-Chancellor to provide a written offer of an honorary degree to the award nominee.
Council SecretaryAdvise the Vice-Chancellor of the approved nominee and provide full nomination paperwork.

Vice-Chancellor

Upon receipt of the nominee’s details, send a letter of offer to the nominee.  Copy this correspondence to Council Secretary and Manager, Graduations.

Accepted Awards
Upon receipt, forward notice of acceptance to the recipients listed above.

Declined Awards or Non-Response
Where a nominee declines the award, or if the nominee fails to respond to the offer within three months, advise Council Secretary.

Manager, Graduations

Upon receipt from the Vice-Chancellor of the nominee’s acceptance of the award, confer with key stakeholders (ie Chancellor, Vice-Chancellor) and contact the recipient to:
  • propose the date, time, and location of the conferral ceremony
  • invite the recipient to give the Occasional Address
  • request the recipient to confirm their acceptance of the proposed arrangements
  • advise Council Secretary, Vice-Chancellor’s Office, Foundation Office and nominator of the time and date of the conferral ceremony
  • arrange for nominator and other key parties to attend the conferral ceremony.

Load the Honorary Degree into the Academic Management System and confer with the Communications Manager to prepare the Citation.

Update the Register of Honorary Degrees.

Council Secretary

Enter the changed status of the declined award or where no response has been received into the minutes of the next Honorary Awards Committee for notice by that committee and the University Council.

Procedure Information

Contact OfficerUniversity Secretary
Date Approved10 April 2014
Approval AuthorityUniversity Council (Resolution 14/014)
Date of Commencement10 April 2014
Amendment Historyn/a
Date for Next ReviewApril 2017
Related DocumentsCitation Template
Honorary Degree Policy (see tab above)
Honorary Awards Committee - Terms of Reference
Honorary Degree Nomination Form
KeywordsNomination, conferral, honorary degrees
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