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Professor Emeritus and Other Courtesy Titles Policy

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Section 1 - Introduction

(1) This policy is made by the Council to establish principles to govern the conferring of the title Professor Emeritus and other courtesy titles by the University.

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Section 2 - Professor Emeritus

Criteria for Award

(2) The Council has authorised the Nominations and Governance Committee to award the title of Professor Emeritus on former professors of the University as a way of recognising distinguished or outstanding service to the University - including, but not exclusively academic service – and of promoting continuing membership of University community.

(3) Where a nominated professor holds an academic appointment of special distinction prior to retirement, the Committee may award a Professor Emeritus title that takes account of that appointment, subject to the nominee meeting the criteria set out in this policy.

(4) The awarding of the title Professor Emeritus is an exceptional award for a person who has rendered distinguished or outstanding service, rather than a normal entitlement for a retiring or resigning professor.

(5) The distinguished or outstanding service that is to be recognised includes:

  1. maintaining an international reputation for academic distinction;
  2. demonstrated significant contributions and commitment to the University and its core values; and
  3. an intention to continue contributing to the scholarship and professions that are valued by the University.

(6) In assessing nominations, consideration will be given to:

  1. academic service to both this University, other institutions of higher education, and the relevant academic discipline or profession;
  2. the length of service to the University (service must be sustained over a reasonable time period); and
  3. any service or activity in which the nominee had been involved which may have been deemed to have had a negative or detrimental impact on either the University, the profession or the relevant academic discipline.

Nomination Process

(7) Nominations for the title Professor Emeritus are to be made by submitting a formal proposal to the Vice-Chancellor on the approved nomination form (see Associated Information).

(8) Nominations may be made by a member of the Council or by a member of staff.

(9) All nominations must be accompanied by a recommendation from the Pro Vice-Chancellor of the relevant College.

(10) Evidence of outstanding or distinguished service must be demonstrated in the supporting documentation, which may include:

  1. statements of support from peers/professional bodies;
  2. Curriculum Vitae of the nominee ; and
  3. publicly available material such as reputable media reports, articles, websites, etc.

(11) 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.

(12) Nominations must include sufficient detail to allow the proposal to be readily assessed and should avoid reproducing the content of career summary web-pages (staff directory information).

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

(14) Nominations will be considered in accordance with this policy and the Charter of the Nominations and Governance Committee.


(15) All nominations must be treated as confidential. The prospective nominee must not be aware of the nomination.

Benefits and Conditions

(16) Professors Emeritus will be accorded such use of the general facilities of the University, including its libraries and computing services, as the Vice-Chancellor may determine.

(17) Professors Emeritus are members of the University Convocation, in accordance with Clause 13 of University of Newcastle By-law 2017, but will not be accorded membership of Academic Senate or any other University body solely by virtue of holding the title.

(18) Award of the title Professor Emeritus does not constitute an employer/employee or independent contractor relationship between the individual and the University.

(19) Professors Emeritus are expected to abide by University statutes, regulations and policies whilst undertaking activities relating to the University.

Term of Appointment

(20) Professors Emeritus are recognised as such for life.

(21) The Nominations and Governance Committee may withdraw the title Professor Emeritus if there is any breach or suspected breach of policy or any conduct which, in the opinion of the Committee, is likely to bring the University or any of its related entities into disrepute.

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Section 3 - Other Academic Titles 

Courtesy titles for Other Honorary Appointees

(22)  The Vice-Chancellor, or officers authorised by the Vice-Chancellor, may award the following courtesy titles on other honorary appointees in accordance with conditions that are determined by the Vice-Chancellor (See Honorary Academic Titles Policy):

  1. Visiting Professor;
  2. Conjoint Professor;
  3. Clinical Professor; or
  4. Any less senior academic title approved by the Vice-Chancellor.

Academic titles for staff employed by the University

(23) Academic titles for persons who are employed as staff of the University are determined by the Vice-Chancellor, or officers authorised by the Vice-Chancellor, and do not fall within the scope of this policy.

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Section 4 - Associated Documents

(24) Nomination Form – Professor Emeritus