Honorary Degrees

(MUPIM 2.10)

Authority to Grant Honorary Degrees (MUPIM 2.10.A)

While it is understood that the authority to grant honorary degrees from Miami University resides solely with the Board of Trustees, the Board grants to the President of the University the discretionary authority to confer an honorary degree upon a speaker at any commencement and the Charter Day convocation .

Selection of Candidates to Receive Honorary Degrees at  Commencement or Charter Day (MUPIM 2.10.B)

The following procedures, except in unusual circumstances, will be followed in nominating and electing candidates to receive honorary degrees at commencements or the “Charter Day” convocation:

  1. The Awards and Recognition Committee, which is advisory to the President and the Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs, shall be composed of six (6) tenured faculty members, at least one of whom shall be a member of the University Senate; one (1) member who is a past recipient of the Benjamin Harrison Medallion, or University Distinguished Professor Award, or Distinguished Service Award. As part of its responsibilities, the Committee shall serve as the screening and nominating Committee for honorary degrees. The Secretary of University Senate or his or her designee shall serve as Committee secretary without vote. Nominations for honorary degrees shall be accepted from the entire University community.
  2. Candidates may be nominated from the following categories:
    1. alumni who have made substantial contributions of one kind or another to the University;
    2. other individuals who have made substantial contributions of one kind or another to the University;
    3. individuals, including nonalumni, of regional, national, or international reputation.
  3. Honorary degrees may be presented at any commencement. Up to four (4) nominations from the Committee in each of the three categories may be submitted for the academic year to be divided between the December and May commencements.
  4. Trustees of the University may be candidates for an honorary degree two years following retirement from the Board.
  5. Members of the faculty and staff of the University may be candidates for an honorary degree two years after the date of retirement.
  6. Typically, nominations should consist of two internal and two external letters of nomination that explicitly describe the reasons for the nomination and a curriculum vita, resume, or biography. These should be given to the Secretary of University Senate or his or her designee who will forward them to the Awards and Recognition Committee.
  7. Names of candidates shall be submitted to the University Senate according to this section as stated above. The names of those candidates receiving a majority vote by the University Senate in each of the categories shall be submitted to the President for consideration.
  8. It is understood and agreed upon, as reflected in the Standing Rules of the University Senate, that nominations for honorary degrees following the procedure set forth shall be received, discussed, and voted upon in executive session of the University Senate.

Selection of Candidates to Receive Honorary Degrees at Other Times (MUPIM 2.10.C)

The following procedure, except in circumstances otherwise deemed appropriate by the Board of Trustees, will be followed in nominating and recommending candidates to receive honorary degrees other than at commencements or the Charter Day convocation:

  1. Recommendations for honorary degrees may be submitted by members of the Board of Trustees, the faculty, staff, students, and alumni to the Secretary of University Senate or his or her designee.
  2. The Awards and Recognition Committee will constitute the duly authorized committee on honorary degrees and shall consider all recommendations submitted to it by the Secretary of University Senate or his or her designee.
  3. Typically, nominations should consist of two internal and two external letters of nomination that explicitly describe the reasons for the nomination and a curriculum vita, resume, or biography. These should be given to the Secretary of University Senate or his or her designee who will forward them to the Awards and Recognition Committee.
  4. The Awards and Recognition Committee will review the recommendations and give its advice and consent to the President.
  5. Recommendations receiving favorable consideration by the Awards and Recognition Committee will subsequently be forwarded by the President of the University to the Board of Trustees for further consideration and final approval.
  6. The President of the University will inform the University community of those individuals who have been approved by the Board for the granting of an honorary degree.

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