Recommended by the Commission on Faculty Affairs: December 13, 1985
Approved by University Council: April 7, 1986
Approved by the President: April 7, 1986
Approved by Board of Visitors: May 16, 1986
Virginia Tech has awarded only three honorary degrees in its history, the most recent in 1929. In recent years, a number of faculty, alumni and others have suggested that the University could benefit by awarding honorary degrees if appropriate procedures and criteria were developed. At the same time, suggestions were made for the establishment of a committee not only to review nominations for honorary degrees but also to review credentials and achievements of candidates for University awards.
In response to these suggestions, the Commission on Faculty Affairs and Provost's Office developed two recommendations: the first was to establish a University Honorifics Committee, the second was to approve a proposed policy for the awarding of honorary degrees. Following are the two approved resolutions establishing the Committee and procedures:
CFA RESOLUTION 85-86A: The Establishment of a University Honorifics Committee
WHEREAS, the University is frequently requested to nominate faculty members to outside agencies for awards for which eligibility extends beyond departmental or collegiate boundaries, and
WHEREAS, certain internal University honors require review and recommendation by peers who have experience in recognizing unusual professional accomplishments,
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that a new standing University Committee be formed, named the University Honorifics Committee, with membership and duties as specified below. The Committee will report to the Commission on Faculty Affairs upon request.
University Honorifics Committee
One University Distinguished Professor
One Alumni Distinguished Professor
One member of the Academy of Teaching Excellence
One member of the Academy of Faculty Service
One recipient of the Alumni Award for Extension Excellence
One recipient of the Alumni Award for Research Excellence
Members will serve three-year terms, staggered to provide continuation of three of the members each year in addition to the chairperson.
Members will be appointed by the President from nominations provided by the Faculty Senate.
To review credentials and achievements of candidates of nominees for University awards or for University nominations for external awards as charged by the Provost or President (where that responsibility is not vested in other committees), and to make recommendation to the Provost or the President, as appropriate. In addition, the Committee shall review nominations for honorary degrees to be awarded by the University.
CFA RESOLUTION 85-86B: Procedures for Awarding Honorary Degrees
WHEREAS, the University has no established process whereby honorary degrees are granted, and
WHEREAS, there are a number of individuals, either alumni or persons who have had some other significant association with the University, whose professional achievements merit substantial recognition by Virginia Tech, and
WHEREAS, honorary degrees, like other degrees, should be awarded on the basis of criteria established and reviewed by faculty,
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Board of Visitors approve the awarding of honorary degrees according to the process described below.
President's Policy Memorandum