How the Honorary Degrees Committee works
The membership of the Honorary Degrees Committee is designed to ensure
University-wide representation in the process to choose those who are
awarded honorary degrees. Chaired by the Vice-Chancellor, the University's
academic and research disciplines are represented through the Deans of the
Faculties, Administrative Staff are represented by an elected member of
staff who serves a three year term, while student representation comes via
the President of the Students' Union. Membership also includes a
Pro-Vice-Chancellor and the Chair of the Equality and Diversity Committee.
The Committee meets twice a year, both times in the Autumn term. No formal
minutes are taken at either meeting.
The purpose of the meeting is to to review all the nominations that have been
submitted. The Committee considers how well they meet the guidelines on
eligibility. Any nominations that do not satisfy the guidelines are
The Committee also considers both the extent to which the various
academic disciplines are represented among the nominations submitted and the
issues of equality and diversity. Each nomination is considered individually
by the Committee alongside any related background information. Committee Members
are asked to make points to support a particular nomination if they have knowledge
of the nominee or the field in which they operate. If additional information or
clarification is required this will be requested ahead of the second meeting. If specific
areas are identified as under-represented, the Committee decides on ways
to increase the numbers of nominations in those areas ahead of the second meeting.
Any new nominations that come forward after the first meeting, or where additional
information or clarification has been sought will be distributed to the Committee
ahead of the second meeting.
The purpose of the meeting is for the Committee to decide who should be awarded
honorary degrees. Prior to the second meeting the Committee members will be asked
to anonymously rank all nominations and a summary of the results will be distributed
at the meeting. If any new nominations or additional information has been received
following the first meeting the Committee Members have the opportunity to discuss
these before reviewing the results. If any member of the Committee wishes to change
their ranking he/she can then do so and a revised summary of results will be produced.
The Chair confirms the number of honorary graduands required and Committee members
will discuss the results and agree the outcome. The nominations with the highest
ranking are recommended to be awarded honorary degrees. At the Committee’s discretion,
any nominee who misses out narrowly on securing an honorary degree is re-nominated
automatically for the subsequent year.
At the second meeting, the Committee is also responsible for approving
formally honorary degree nominations for Writtle College, South Essex
College and Colchester Institute, and the annual awards by the University of
the Honorary Fellowship and Alumnus of the Year. The Honorary Degrees awarded
by Univesity Campus Suffolk in the subsequent year are also reported at the meeting.
Secretary, Honorary Degrees Committee