Honorary Degree Guidelines
The awarding of honorary degrees should be regarded as a method by which the University expresses its highest ideals and recognizes achievements. The faculty and the community should regard an honorary degree as evidence of genuine accomplishment.
An honorary degree should be awarded only for extraordinary distinction.
An honorary degree should be awarded to a person in the academic world only when it can be demonstrated that the recipient has made contributions far beyond the expected high standards of the profession.
Since the University’s prime purpose is instruction and research, the preponderance of honorary degrees awarded shall be to members of the academic world. However, balance should be kept between various fields of endeavor. Honorary degree selection shall not be based upon financial or political considerations.
Since the University is intimately related to society, it is proper to award honorary degrees to persons who have exceptionally demonstrated their appreciation of the idea of a university. The individual who receives an honorary degree must exemplify the purposes and ideals of the University.
An honorary degree may be offered to a person who has made eminent contributions even though, by nature of the work pursued, the individual may be known to relatively few. Further, the degree may be offered to a person regardless of stage of career when the individual’s contributions are worthy of highest commendation and the achievements will have continued importance.
There is no objection to conferring an honorary degree on OSU alumni provided they meet the criteria identified above. However, a degree should not be given to an individual presently employed by the University.
Nominator should identify ties of the nominated individual, if any, to The Ohio State University.