California State University, Long Beach



Policy Statement

97-04
January 13, 1997




Policies and Procedures for the Award of Honorary Degrees


This policy was recommended by the Academic Senate on November 14, 1996 and approved by the President on December 19, 1996.

1.000 Policy

1.100 These policies and procedures are an adaptation of the Revised Guidelines for the Awarding of Honorary Degrees, adopted by the Board of Trustees, November 8, 1995.

1.200 Honorary degrees may be awarded by California State University, Long Beach, but only at the doctoral level.

1.300 Honorary degrees may be conferred only by the Board of Trustees of The California State University, either in the name of The California State University or jointly in the names of The California State University and California State University, Long Beach.

1.400 The Board of Trustees determines the number of honorary degrees that may be awarded in any academic year. Normally, the Board considers no more than two recommendations from a campus in one academic year, plus any additional recommendations that may be submitted by or through members of the Board or the Chancellor during that same year.

1.500 The following honorary degrees are recognized for conferral by the Board of Trustees:

1.501 Doctor of Fine Arts (D.F.A.)

1.502 Doctor of Humane Letters (L.H.D.)

1.503 Doctor of Laws (LL.D.)

1.504 Doctor of Letters (Litt.D.)

1.505 Doctor of Science (Sc.D.)

2.000 Purposes and Criteria for the Award of Honorary Degrees

2.100 Honorary degrees may be awarded in recognition of distinguished accomplishments by an alumna or alumnus; exceptional service to the recipient's community, especially if that community is in the region primarily served by California State University, Long Beach; major contributions, which may be financial or otherwise, to California State University, Long Beach or to The California State University; or other exceptional accomplishments.

2.200 An honorary degree may be awarded at the annual commencement ceremonies of any college of California State University, Long Beach or at a special convocation ceremony such as the formal installation of a president.

2.300 The award of an honorary degree may or may not be associated with the delivery of a commencement address.

2.400 Trustee policy states that honorary degrees may be awarded to recognize achievements in any part of the world; indeed, for the system as a whole, honorary degrees are intended to reflect a balance between local and non-local recipients, academic and non-academic recipients, and among a wide diversity of fields of endeavor.

2.500 Trustee policy further states that nominees for honorary degrees must be distinguished in their respective fields, that their eminence must be widely recognized, and that they must have demonstrated intellectual and humane values consistent with the aims of higher education and with the highest ideals of their respective chosen fields.


3.000 Limitations on Eligibility

3.100 Honorary degrees shall not be awarded to:

3.101 Incumbent members of the Board of Trustees of The California State University;

3.102 The incumbent Chancellor of The California State University;

3.103 Incumbent campus Presidents of The California State University;

3.104 A person who already has been awarded an honorary degree by The California State University;

3.105 All incumbent elected officials.

3.200 Trustee policy states that service or benefaction to The California State University or to a campus does not in itself justify the award of an honorary degree, but in the same section also states that such service or benefaction shall not preclude a nominee from receiving an honorary degree.


4.000 Procedures for Selecting Honorary Degree Recipients

4.100 The consideration of the award of an honorary degree must be handled with the utmost confidentiality. Public disclosure that an individual is being evaluated for this purpose prior to a final positive decision being made by the Board of Trustees would seriously embarrass both The California State University and the individual involved.

4.200 Following consultation with the Executive Committee of the Academic Senate, the President shall appoint a five-member Committee on Honorary Degrees, composed of three tenured full professors, the Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs (or designee), and the Vice President for University Relations and Development (or designee).

4.210 The faculty members of the Committee shall serve staggered three-year terms and shall be eligible for reappointment once.

4.220 The Committee shall issue an announcement early each fall semester reminding the University community of the opportunity to nominate individuals for honorary degrees and establishing a deadline, consistent with the timeline established by the Board of Trustees, for their consideration during the current academic year.

4.230 The Committee shall receive recommendations from the President, campus administrators, faculty, staff, students, alumni, campus advisory boards, or other individuals, shall assemble appropriate materials in support of such recommendations, and shall make recommendation to the President on whether particular individuals should be recommended to the Board of Trustees for receipt of an honorary degree.

4.240 In the event that the President concurs in the recommendation of an individual(s) for the award of an honorary degree, the Committee shall assist in the development and compilation of materials in support of the nomination(s) to be forwarded to the Board of Trustees through the Chancellor.

4.300 The President may select no more than two individuals for nomination to the Board of Trustees in any academic year. A nomination must indicate whether the honorary degree is to be conferred only in the name of The California State University or jointly in the name of The California State University and California State University, Long Beach.

4.400 The Chancellor in turn will forward all nominations, accompanied by appropriate comments, to the Subcommittee on Honorary Degrees of the Committee on Educational Policy, according to a schedule established by the Board of Trustees. The Subcommittee on Honorary Degrees is composed of a member of the Committee on Educational Policy (who serves as Chair of the Subcommittee), one additional Trustee, the Chancellor (or designee), two campus Presidents, two faculty members recommended by the Academic Senate of The California State University, one alumna/alumnus, and one student. The Subcommittee on Honorary Degrees will make recommendations to the Committee on Educational Policy, which in turn will make recommendations to the Board of Trustees. The Board of Trustees has the exclusive authority to approve the award of honorary degrees and to determine the particular degree most appropriate for a specific recipient. All of these reviews and determinations will be conducted in executive session.


5.000 Conferral of Degrees

5.100 When an honorary degree is to be conferred in the name of both The California State University and California State University, Long Beach, the Chair of the Board of Trustees, the President, and a designee of the President will normally participate in the conferral ceremony as follows:

5.110 The Chair of the Board of Trustees (or designee) will read the Citation;

5.120 The President will award the degree itself;

5.130 A designee of the President will hood the degree recipient.

5.200 When an honorary degree is to be conferred only in the name of The California State University, the Chair of the Board of Trustees, the Chancellor, and the President will normally participate in the conferral ceremony as follows:

5.210 The Chair of the Board of Trustees (or designee) will read the Citation;

5.220 The Chancellor, if present, or the President will confer the degree;

5.230 The President (or designee) will hood the degree recipient.



EFFECTIVE: Spring 1997