PS-03.A.01 - Honorary Degrees
EFFECTIVE DATE: June 14, 2021
ISSUE #: 3
PRESIDENT: Loren J. Blanchard
This PS describes the procedures by which recommendations for recipients of honorary degrees are made to the University Of Houston System Board Of Regents. These procedures are consistent with the policy on honorary degrees approved by the Board.
3.1 Criteria for Eligibility
3.1.1 Honorary degrees may be awarded at commencement or on other special occasions in order to recognize those who have made outstanding contributions to the University as well as to enhance the University's visibility in the community.
3.1.2 A candidate nominated to receive an honorary degree should have national or international visibility or have exceptionally strong visibility within the State of Texas. The candidate should have an association with the University or there should be an established program at the University in the recipient's major area of expertise.
3.1.3 No employee or regent of the University may receive an honorary degree. Officials currently holding elective office are also ineligible, except those of national prominence in a related field.
3.2 Nomination Procedures
3.2.1 Anyone wishing to recommend individuals for honorary degrees must submit these recommendations in writing to the President.
3.2.2 If the President, in consultation with the Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs and Provost, determines that a nominee meets the minimum eligibility standards and should be considered for an honorary degree awarded by the University of Houston – Downtown (UHD), the President convenes a meeting of the honorary degree committee to make a formal recommendation. The Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs shall serve as ex-officio. A positive recommendation should include a statement as to the specific degree to be awarded.
3.2.3 If the President approves the committee recommendation, the President submits the preliminary recommendation to the Chancellor for approval, normally by February 1. After UHS review processes, the President will contact prospective recipients to determine their willingness to accept.
3.2.4 The President shall submit recommendations for honorary degree conferral for Board action in April. All honorary degrees must be approved and awarded by the Board of Regents. The certificate will be signed by the President of the sponsoring campus, the Chancellor of the University of Houston System and the chair of the Board of Regents.
3.2.5 If the President approves the committee recommendation, the President submits the preliminary recommendation to the Chancellor for approval, normally by February 1. After UHS review processes, the UHD President will contact prospective recipients to determine their willingness to accept.
3.3 Honorary Degree Committee
3.3.1 The honorary degree committee must be chaired by the Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs and Provost.
3.3.2 Membership of the committee must consist of the academic deans, the faculty senate president, and the chairs of the academic policies committee and faculty affairs committee, plus the Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs (exofficio).
3.4 Revocation of Honorary Degrees
3.4.1 Under extraordinary circumstance the UHD President may, in consultation with the UHD community, petition the Board of Regents to revoke an honorary degree.