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Policy on Honorary Degrees and Distinguished Service Awards - 1D3

Structure and Responsibilities

  1. This Committee shall operate as a standing Committee of the Welfare Council of the Faculty Senate.

  2. No later than the third week of the Fall and Spring terms, the Chairperson shall distribute appropriate guidelines to the University Community with a request for nominations for Honorary Degrees and Distinguished Service Awards. Every nominator should submit his/her nominations in writing to the Chairperson. The deadline for receipt of such nominations shall be the end of the seventh week of the spring term.

  3. The first meeting of the Committee in any academic year shall be held as soon as possible following the seventh week of the term established for receipt of the designated nominations. Material on nominees will be distributed to all members of the Committee in advance of that meeting. The Committee shall meet as often as appropriate in order to complete its work. The deadline for the Committee's confidential recommendation of nominees to the Chancellor shall be the final week of the designated term, with a copy for information to the chairperson of the Welfare Council and President of the Faculty Senate.

  4. During the Spring term, the membership of the Committee shall elect a Vice Chairperson from those who are term appointees to the Committee. The Vice Chairperson will then serve in that capacity during the following academic year, succeeding to the Chairperson role during the next academic year.

  5. During the Spring term of each year, the Chairperson of the Committee shall obtain the necessary appointments for the following academic year, as prescribed herein and inform the Committee of the new appointments.

  6. The membership of the Committee shall be composed of:

    • Term appointments:

      • Four members for the College of Arts and Sciences, one member from Schools of Business, Dentistry, Education, Engineering, Nursing, and Pharmacy, to be appointed by the Dean, and

      • one member of the Library Faculty to be appointed by the Dean, each to serve three-year staggered terms.

    • Annual appointments:

      • One member of the Welfare Council to be appointed by the Chair of the Welfare Council.

      • One staff member to be appointed by the Staff Senate President.

      • Two students to be appointed by the Student Senate President.

      • One member to be appointed by the Chancellor.

      • One member to be appointed by the Alumni Association.

    • Ex-officio member:

      • Provost and Vice Chancellor

    Term Committee members will serve for no longer than three years, thereby providing the greater possibility of variety of input to the Committee.

  7. The Committee shall have responsibility for obtaining nominations for Honorary Degrees and Distinguished Service Awards and for making recommendations to the Chancellor from such nominations. It will be the responsibility of each Committee member to publicize the call for nominations to his/her own colleagues, i.e., announcements at faculty meetings, written interoffice communications. The Committee, however, is free to consider people other than those nominated by the University community. All nominations will be made in conformance with University policy and the Policies of the Board of Trustees.

Policies and Procedures

The following policies and procedures are established for consideration for Honorary Degrees and Distinguished Service Awards:

  1. A candidate for an Honorary Degree may be any person, as specified in the Policies of the Board of Trustees, who has made significant contributions to cultural, educational, scientific, economic, social, humanitarian, or other worthy fields of endeavor. Degrees may not be awarded to regular or to Emeritus or Emerita faculty, administrators, staff, or students in recognition of achievements while employed or enrolled at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. Holders of political offices selected on a partisan basis, or candidates for elective office may be considered under exceptional circumstances. While some prior association with the State of Illinois may make the nominee especially appropriate, it is not a necessary condition for the awarding of the degree.

  2. Distinguished Service Awards may be presented to any persons who have given outstanding or unusual service to the University, the region, or the State. Ordinarily the University shall have recognized distinguished service on the part of retiring faculty members by awarding Emeritus or Emerita status. Only in the most outstanding of cases may retired faculty be honored for their contributions.

    Faculty, administrators, staff members, and students presently employed or enrolled at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, holders of political office selected on a partisan basis, or candidates for elective office may qualify for such awards under exceptional circumstances.

  3. Honorary Degrees and Distinguished Service Awards may be presented at a Commencement. The Committee recommends that ordinarily the recipient of an Honorary Degree be asked to participate in symposia prior to the commencement in lieu of delivering a commencement address.

  4. Nominations, stating reasons for awarding such honors, should be accompanied by the following supporting information including all pertinent dates:

    1. Full name of nominee for award

    2. Date of birth

    3. Degrees received and granting institutions

    4. Appointments with educational institutions

    5. Relevant career history or experience relevant to the nomination

    6. Significant honors, achievements, contributions

    7. Societies, associations for which a nominee holds membership

    8. Major publications

    9. Any other pertinent information

Policies Based on the Board of Trustees Policies, Chapter 1, Section D

2. Honorary Degrees. The Board of Trustees shall award honorary degrees based on the recommendations from the respective faculty, the Chancellor, and the President.
  1. Such degrees shall normally be awarded at the Spring commencement if two commencements are held annually. As the purpose is to limit honorary degrees ordinarily to one commencement and awards to the other, the order might be reversed; in either case, exceptions can be made if the recipients cannot attend at the time desired. Such degrees may also be awarded at special convocations or unique events.

  2. The number of honorary degrees awarded should be small and need not be awarded every year.

  3. Candidates for honorary degrees may be nominated through appropriate campus procedures after opportunity has been given to faculty members to suggest names for consideration. Nominations from faculty members and others should be forwarded through appropriate University channels. Final nominations with a list of names considered should be sent to the Chancellors not later than December 15.

  4. A candidate may be any person who has achieved great eminence in a field of endeavor or who has made significant contributions to educational, cultural, scientific, economic, or humanitarian activity.

3. Other Awards. The Board of Trustees shall award Southern Illinois University Distinguished Service Awards based on recommendations from the respective faculty, the Chancellor, and the President.

  1. Except as noted below, policies regarding determination of candidates for these awards shall be the same as those set forth above for honorary degrees.

  2. These awards shall be made for outstanding or unusual service to Southern Illinois, to the State, to the nation, to the world, and/or to the University.

  3. At special convocations or unique events when candidates are nominated for University-wide honorary degrees or Distinguished Service Awards, nominations from faculty members and others should be forwarded to the appropriate campus committee. Final nominations should be sent to the President.

  4. Other special awards shall be made upon a favorable vote of the Board of Trustees upon its own motion or upon approval of recommendations from the President and the Chancellors, who may receive nominations from faculty or alumni groups.

  5. In order to protect the nomination and screening process outlined in paragraphs a-c, above, every effort will be made to preserve the confidentiality of the nominee and no publicity shall be issued regarding the nominee until final approval has been granted by the Board of Trustees.

Approved by Chancellor effective 5/20/13
This policy was issued on May 21, 2013, replacing the October 25, 2011 version.
Document Reference: 1D3
Origin: OP 12/6/82; WC 1-89/90; WC 2-91/92; WC 1-96/97; WC 8-06/07; OC 5/20/13