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Council Policy for Honorary Degrees

Approving Authority:


Establishment Date:

15 December 1972

Date Last Amendment:

October 2010

Nature of Amendment:

Consequential amendments arising from a restructure of Central Administration/VC's office and the creation of new senior executive positions replacing the EDA and Registrar

Date Last Reviewed:


Responsible Officer:

Secretary of the Council


Honorary degrees should be awarded only rarely.


Nominations for the award of an honorary degree may be submitted to the Awards Committee by the Chancellor, or the Vice-Chancellor in accordance with procedures outlined below.


A nominee for the award of an honorary degree should either.

(a) be a distinguished scholar in a field of academic endeavour in which the University is involved or has a direct interest;

(b) in the case of the award of the degree of Doctor of the University, be a person who is generally recognised for distinguished public service in South Australia, Australia or the international community.


Other than in exceptional circumstances, an honorary degree should not be conferred on a person currently employed by the University.


If an exceptional case should arise which does not conform with 3 or 4 above, it should be considered by the Awards Committee and the Council on its individual merits.



Members of the Awards Committee, the Vice-Presidents, the Librarian and the Deputy Vice-Chancellors will be invited each year (normally prior to the October meeting of Council), to submit, in confidence, nominations for the award of Honorary Degrees, and will be advised of the Rules that apply in respect of the award. Members will be reminded that awards are a significant honour and will be made only rarely, and may not be made every year.


All nominations will be referred to the Vice-Chancellor in the first instance, for preliminary consideration by the Chancellor and the Vice-Chancellor, and for referral, as appropriate, to the Awards Committee for endorsement, and Council for approval.


Where the proposed nominee is a former staff member or student of the University, the Executive Dean of the relevant Faculty will be consulted about the proposal prior to its referral to the Awards Committee.


Nominations will include a clear statement of a nominee's attainment, position, and particular relation to the University, with reference to the criteria listed above.