Honorary Awards - Governing Policy - University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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Honorary Awards - Governing Policy

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Approval authority
Responsible Executive member
Vice-Chancellor and President
Designated officer
Vice-Chancellor and President
First approved
19 August 2008
Last amended
2 March 2020
Review date
2 March 2025
Related documents
Academic Dress - Operational Policy
Honorary Awards - Procedures
Linked documents
Honorary Awards - Procedures

1. Purpose of policy

This Policy makes provision for the conferral of honorary awards, which affords a special opportunity for the University of the Sunshine Coast to recognise persons of outstanding achievement.

2. Policy scope and application

This Policy applies to Honorary Awards Committee, current and former members of staff, University Council and the Alumni.

3. Definitions

Please refer to the University’s Glossary of Terms for policies and procedures.

4. Award categories

4.1 The University confers honorary awards in five categories:
Honorary Doctorate

An Honorary Doctorate may be awarded to a person in recognition of excellence and extraordinary achievement in a significant area of human endeavour. The degree awarded may be either Honorary Doctor of the University (DUniv) or an honorary doctorate in a specific field.

The Chancellor’s Stole

The award of the Chancellor’s stole recognises an extraordinary voluntary contribution to the University of the Sunshine Coast.

Primarily the Chancellor Stole will be awarded to an Honorary Senior Fellow as additional recognition for continued outstanding contribution specifically to the University above and beyond that for which they have been already been recognised. The stole may also be awarded to recognise extraordinary philanthropic contributions to USC.

Honorary Senior Fellow

An award of Honorary Senior Fellow may be made to:

(a) a person in recognition of a significant and sustained contribution to the development of the University or of the region from Moreton Bay to Fraser Coast.

(b) external members of the University Council or its Committees who have provided a sustained service to the University on the University Council or a Council Committee for a minimum of three years.

External members of the University Council or a Council Committee who meet the criteria listed in (b) would automatically qualify for the award upon completion of the Councillor’s or Committee member’s service.

Emeritus Professor

An award of the title Emeritus Professor may be made to recognise a Professor of the University who has rendered sustained and distinguished service to the University. An award of Emeritus Professor may only be made where the recipient of the award has retired or resigned from their substantive position at the University, upon which the nomination for the award is based.

Distinguished Companion of the University

An award of the title Distinguished Companion of the University may be made to recognise the sustained and distinguished service to the University of a professional staff member. An award of the title Distinguished Companion of the University may only be made where the recipient of the award has retired or resigned from their substantive position at the University, upon which the nomination for the award is based.

5. Approval and conferral of honorary awards

5.1 All honorary awards will be made on the approval of the University Council.

5.2 Honorary Doctorates, Honorary Senior Fellowships and Chancellor’s Stoles will normally be conferred at Graduation Ceremonies. These awards may be made in absentia if the Vice-Chancellor and President determines that it is necessary or more practicable to do so.

5.3 The titles of Emeritus Professor and Distinguished Companion of the University may be conferred at a Graduation Ceremony or at any other time, at the discretion of the Vice-Chancellor and President.

6. Honorary Awards Committee

6.1 The Honorary Awards Committee will seek and consider nominations for honorary awards, and recommend to Council the conferral of honorary awards.

6.2 The University Council will determine the membership of the Honorary Awards Committee. The Committee will comprise:

  • The Chancellor, or their nominee (Chairperson)
  • The Vice-Chancellor and President
  • A member of Executive on Council, Planning and Resources Committee or Audit and Risk Management Committee, nominated by the Vice-Chancellor and President and appointed by Council.
  • Up to three members of Council.

6.3 The period of office of appointed members will be their term of office on Council.

6.4 In making its recommendations, the Committee should attempt to reflect the cultural diversity of the region and the international character and diversity of the University itself. It should also attempt to honour those whose outstanding contributions to their fields or to society have not yet been widely recognised.

As the only university headquartered in this region, USC has a special responsibility to acknowledge and honour persons of outstanding achievement who have significant ties to the region or the University, including those who have rendered distinguished service to the University as a Professor or professional staff member.

6.5 The Committee will also take into account the academic specialisations of the University in considering nominations.

6.6 The nominations made to and deliberations of the Committee must be treated as strictly confidential.

7. Nominees

7.1 Honorary awards may not be made to current members of staff or current members of University Council and its Committees, except in exceptional circumstances. Retired or former staff members must meet the same high standards for nomination as all other honorary award candidates. Nominations of former members of staff, Council or its committees may be made directly by the Vice-Chancellor and President. These may be submitted in the form of a memorandum and statements of support, or other supporting material, will not be required. However, the memorandum must clearly convey how the candidate has met the criteria for that award.

8. Privileges

8.1 Holders of honorary awards shall be entitled to the following privileges:

  • Participation in the University’s academic procession
  • Participation in special events such as those run through the University Foundation
  • Receipt, at no charge, of University publications
  • Use of the University Library, and
  • Such other privileges as may be determined by the Vice-Chancellor and President from time to time.

9. Rescission of Honorary Awards

9.1 An honorary award may be rescinded by Council, on the recommendation of the Honorary Awards Committee, where Council is of the opinion that the recipient has acted in such a manner as to bring the University's name into disrepute.

10. Register of Honorary Awards

10.1 An electronic register containing the following information will be maintained by the Council Secretariat:

  • Nominations made to the Honorary Awards Committee
  • Decisions of the Honorary Awards Committee regarding nominations
  • Decisions of Council regarding nominations
  • Decision of recipient i.e. award accepted/declined
  • Date and Method of conferral of awards

10.2 The Vice-Chancellor and President or Honorary Awards Committee may request to view a copy of the register as required.

10.3 All records must be captured in an approved records management system, in accordance with the University’s Information Management Framework – Governing Policy.