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Part 4. Personnel Policies

Section IX. Honors and Awards

B. Honorary Degrees (11-07)

1. General

The awarding of honorary degrees has been a part of the American higher education tradition for over 300 years. An honorary degree is conferred honoris causa, "for the sake of honor," when a university chooses to waive normal degree requirements and award a doctoral degree. Honorary degrees are conferred in recognition of a career of extraordinary accomplishment that has benefited society through intellectual, artistic, scientific, professional, or public service contributions. Conflict of interest shall be avoided in awarding honorary degrees. Honorary degrees shall not be conferred solely in recognition of donations to ISU. The number of degrees awarded shall never become so large as to diminish their significance. As a general guideline, one or two degrees a year will be the most that should be awarded.

Recognized academic degrees shall not be awarded as honorary degrees. Instead, the recognized honorary degree titles shall be used. These titles include, but are not limited to, Doctor of Laws (LL.D.), Doctor of Letters (Litt.D.), Doctor of Science (Sci.D. or Sc.D.), and Doctor of Humane Letters (LH.D.).

Honorary degrees may be awarded upon recommendation by the President and approval by the Faculty Senate or upon recommendation by the Senate and approval by the President. Recommendations for honorary degrees must be accompanied by documentation of the nominee's career accomplishments and educational background (degrees earned and awarding institutions).

2. Procedures

Honorary degrees shall be awarded only at the Spring Commencement. Faculty, Administrators, and Staff of Idaho State University may nominate candidates for honorary degrees by sending a letter to the Faculty Senate Chair. These nominations shall be accompanied by a brief letter of nomination as well as documentation of the nominee's career accomplishments and educational background (degrees earned and awarding institutions). All nominations must be received by the Senate Chair on or before November 1. The Senate shall appoint a committee to evaluate the nominations from the university community. This committee shall recommend no more than two candidates to the Senate at large. The President's nomination(s) shall automatically be considered by the full Senate; they need not pass through the committee review described above. The Senate shall vote on a) the President's nominees and b) any nominees from the committee on honorary degrees before the end of the Fall semester. A two-thirds affirmative vote of the Senate is required for confirmation. The President shall accept or reject the Senate's nominations. Arrangements for the actual award of honorary degrees shall be made by the commencement committee.


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