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Honorary Degree Nominations Policy

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Section 1 - Introduction

(1) This policy is made by the Council to support the Governance Rule and should be read in conjunction with that document. The purpose of this policy is to assist members of the University community who wish to nominate a person for the award of an honorary degree.

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Section 2 - Policy 

Criteria for Honorary Degree Recipients

(2) Honorary degrees recipients are determined by the Council.

(3) The criteria for honorary degree recipients is set out in the Governance Rule. As specified in that rule, honorary degrees may be made to:

  1. honour individuals who have had a special association with one or more elements of the University, or with the University generally, other than just a member of staff of the University; and
  2. to honour others who, while they have had no direct association with the University, have made distinguished contributions either to higher education or to the community generally. Such people may be well-known citizens of New South Wales or Australia generally; or distinguished alumni or other citizens of overseas countries where the University has graduates.

Nomination Process

(4) Nominations for honorary degrees are to be made by submitting a formal proposal to the University Secretary on the approved nomination form (see under Associated Information). The nomination form must be completed in full, with all required documentation attached as outlined in the checklist at the end of the form. Incomplete nominations will not be considered.

(5) Nominations may be made by a member of Council, a member of staff, a student of the University, or by the Alumni Advisory Committee.

(6) The Vice-Chancellor will present the nominations to the Council's Nominations and Governance Committee for consideration.

(7) Nominations will be considered in accordance with the Governance Rule and the Charter of the Nominations and Governance Committee.

Nomination Content

(8) Nominations must include a detailed written submission that addresses the following:

  1. Details of achievements/contributions – These contributions could be either to the University, to higher education or to the community generally. Nominations should include details about academic eminence, distinguished creative achievement or an outstanding contribution beyond the expectations of the nominee's particular field of endeavour which has influenced the thinking or general well-being of the wider community. In cases where former staff members are being nominated for an honorary degree, the nominee's achievements and contributions should extend beyond their professional contribution to the University.
  2. Appointments/memberships - Nominations should include details of major appointments/memberships, including any honorary positions/appointments. Relevant dates should be included.
  3. Supporting Information - Nominations should provide biographical information and evidence that the nominee's achievements have been recognised among peers. This may include names and contact details of persons who could be consulted in relation to the nomination. If practicable, and bearing in mind the need for confidentiality, nominations should include the nominee's curriculum vitae.
  4. Association with the University - Nominations should provide details about the association the nominee has, if any, with the University of Newcastle. The nomination should address the strength of the current relationship, if any, and level of interaction between the University and the nominee. In cases where there is no past association between the nominee and the University, the nomination should include suggestions regarding possible future roles and positive involvement the nominee may have had with the University that demonstrates the potential for such an association to develop.


(9)  Nominations for honorary degrees must be kept confidential and must not be discussed in an open forum or with the prospective nominee.