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Chapter 3: Part II

ARTICLE X. Guidelines for Awarding Honorary Degrees*


An honorary degree is a means of recognizing excellence in any valued aspect of human endeavor, including the realm of scholarship, public service, and the performing arts. The conferring of an honorary degree is the University's way of recognizing those persons who have exemplified in their work the highest ideals and standards. By awarding such degrees to persons outside the University, an interest in and connection with the larger community is maintained.


Nominations are to be submitted to a faculty committee appointed by the president after consultation with the Nominating Committee of the Faculty Senate. The faculty committee, chaired by the provost of the University, will have representation from each constituent faculty and will include the University Marshal, ex officio**. Between five and ten nominations will be recommended by the faculty committee to the Executive Committee of the Faculty Senate. Those approved by the Executive Committee, acting for the University Faculty, will be transmitted to the president for submission to the Board of Trustees. The candidates approved by the Board of Trustees will be invited by the president to come to Case Western Reserve University to receive an honorary degree.


The faculty committee will begin its work early and will be ready to receive nominations from individuals by October 1. The recommendations will be submitted to the Executive Committee of the Faculty Senate no later than November 20.


A nomination should include a brief statement detailing accomplishments of the candidate that are especially worthy of recognition and giving reasons why the University should confer the degree.


Although not always possible, if the Commencement Speaker is to be awarded an honorary degree, it is hoped that selection of the speaker will occur early enough to allow the process to proceed on schedule.


Restrictions include:

  1. An honorary degree will not be conferred on a person who is currently a member of the faculty, the staff, or the Board of Trustees.

  2. An honorary degree will be awarded only at the commencement or other major university convocation.

  3. The number of honorary degrees awarded on any one occasion will be limited to no more than six.

*approved by the Board of Trustees 8/10/88.
**approved by the Board of Trustees 8/10/88, revised by the Faculty Senate 3/23/06 and approved by the Board of Trustees 4/26/06