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4930 - Honorary Degrees


  • Position: President
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Last updated: November 16, 2022

A-1. General Criteria. UI awards degrees honoris causa (i.e., for the purpose of honoring) to honor outstanding persons. Honorary degrees may be awarded to a person deserving of honor by virtue of scholarly distinction, or noteworthy public service resulting in significant contributions to the University of Idaho, the State of Idaho, the Nation or the world. In the selection of candidates for honorary degrees, although preference may be given to those who are Idaho residents or UI graduates, the University is pleased to honor persons who have made significant contributions to national and international scholarship or public service that advance the principles of academic excellence and public education upon which the University of Idaho was founded.

A-2. Restriction. No person who is employed by UI, is a member of the affiliate or adjunct faculties, is a member of the Board of Regents or of the Office of the State Board of Education staff, or is an incumbent elected governmental official, may be granted an honorary degree until after he or she has ceased to hold that position.

A-3. Nomination Procedures.

a. All aspects of the nomination process are confidential.

b. Nominations may be submitted by any person or organization. However, each nomination must be endorsed by the Dean of an appropriate college and Chair or Head of an academic department.

c. Each nomination must be accompanied by a biographical sketch of the candidate, a summary of the accomplishments or deeds for which the nominee would be honored, and supporting documents.

A-4. Schedule.

a. Each year announcements inviting nomination of candidates for honorary degrees are published in the issues of the Idaho Register which are published nearest February 15 and September 15.

b. The deadline for receipt of the nominations by the Commencement Committee (see FSH 1640.26) are April 15 and November 15.

c. The Commencement Committee makes its recommendations to the President before May 15 and December 15.

A-5. Disposition of Nomination Packets.

a. The Commencement Committee shall return a nomination packet to the nominator,

(1) If the packet is incomplete or

(2) If the nomination is not forwarded to the president.

b. The president shall return nomination packets to the nominator if the person nominated is not chosen to receive an honorary degree.

c. Nomination packets of persons selected to receive honorary degrees become part of the official record of the university to be preserved in the Alumni Office.

A-6. Conferring of Honorary Degrees.

a. Scheduling of conferring of an honorary degree depends on the convenience of the university and of the person being honored. The president has complete discretion in scheduling.

b. Typically, an honorary degree is conferred at the spring or fall commencement in the school year the candidate was nominated or at the spring or fall commencement following that.

Version History

Amended November 2022. Minor edit. Section A-2 edited to align with changes to Board Policy III.E. prohibiting the award of honorary degrees to members of the Office of the State Board of Education.

Amended 2019. Edits made to clarify criteria.

Amended January 2018. Minor grammatical edits.

Amended 2003. Editorial changes.

Amended January 1996. Modified and clarified procedures.

Amended February 1991. Subsection A-1 was revised for clarity.

Adopted 1979.

Campus Locations

Physical Address:
Bruce M. Pitman Center
875 Perimeter Drive MS 4264
Moscow, ID 83844-4264

Phone: 208-885-6111

Fax: 208-885-9119