Honorary Degrees Committee Page

Honorary Degrees Committee

The Honorary Degrees Committee solicits nominations from the university community for distinguished individuals that merit consideration for receiving an honorary degree. The committee reviews internal and external letters of support, applies a standard of distinction, and then make recommendations to the University Senate for the awarding of honorary degrees.


Chair, 2023-2024

James Cogdell

Committee Members

Member Source Term Expires
Jim Cogdell Faculty Council 2024
Koritha Mitchell Faculty Council 2026
Pelagia Gouma Faculty Council 2026
Joseph Heremans Faculty Council 2026
Bruce McPheron Faculty Council 2027
Hamdy Awad Faculty Council 2028
Ashley Perez Faculty Council 2028

Rule 3335-5-48.8 Committee on Honorary Degrees

The committee on honorary degrees shall consist of seven tenure-track faculty members. There shall be no more than two faculty members from the same college. The term of service is five years.

  1. Establish definite standards of scholarly attainment or of the distinctive applications of such attainment in the service of society by which to judge the qualifications for this honor.
  2. Establish procedures for the nomination of potential candidates for honorary degrees.
  3. Receive nominations concerning persons who might be considered for an honorary degree.
  4. Review thoroughly the achievements and qualifications of all persons nominated.
  5. Report to the university senate for its consideration and action such persons as have received no fewer than four affirmative votes from the committee membership.
  6. Keep all deliberations and votes confidential except where publication is necessary for official purposes.
  7. Deliver the full dossier of each candidate and the nomination report of the committee on honorary degrees to the secretary of the university senate who shall distribute the nomination report to all members of the university senate.
    1. This report shall include a statement that conveys the committee's rationale for the nomination, pertinent details concerning the qualifications of the candidate, and the name of the sponsoring department or academic unit.
    2. A ballot shall be attached to the nomination report and shall be returned to the secretary of the university senate within a time prescribed on the ballot, but in no case less than two weeks from the date that the committee report is distributed.
    3. The secretary of the university senate shall transmit to the president the nominations, together with the appropriate section of the reports from the committee on honorary degrees, for those candidates who are endorsed by a majority of the ballots cast by the members of the university senate.
  1. The executive vice president and provost, or designee, shall serve as liaison between this committee and the president.
  2. As a standing committee of the senate, this committee is also governed by the provisions of rules 3335-5-46 and 3335-5-48 of the Administrative Code.

(Board approval dates: 5/1/1986, 4/3/1987, 2/5/1988, 4/7/1989, 11/2/1990, 2/4/1993, 11/4/1994, 4/4/1997, 7/11/2003, 6/7/2005, 6/6/2014)

Types of Honorary Degrees

After consultation with the steering committee of the university senate, the president may recommend to the board of trustees candidates for honorary degrees. The number of candidates so recommended shall be limited to eight per calendar year. This right and its limitation in no way abrogates the power of the university senate to recommend candidates for honorary degrees (rule 3335-5-41 of the Administrative Code).

The university senate, subject to the authority of the board of trustees, shall have the power:

(A) Under delegation by the university faculty to establish the educational and academic policies of the university, to recommend the establishment, abolition, and alteration of educational units and programs of study, to recommend to the board of trustees candidates for honorary degrees, to recommend candidates for degrees and certificates (which power shall be reserved to the faculty and administrative members of the university senate).