Students Staff

The Committee


The membership of the Honorary Degrees and Honorary Fellowships Committee is designed to ensure University-wide representation in the process to choose those who are awarded honorary degrees. Chaired by the Chair of Council, the University’s academic and research disciplines are represented through the Chair of Senate and three academic members of staff appointed by Senate, 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 two External members of Council and the Registrar and Secretary. The Director of Advancement is in attendance and the Graduation Manager is Committee Secretary.

The Committee meets once a year, in the Spring term in March.

Nominations Review

The nominations review is an electronic process by which members of Committee list the nominations in order of preference, in preparation for the main Committee meeting. All nominations that have been submitted to the Committee Secretary* over the nomination period are considered at the nominations review to assess how well they meet the guidelines on eligibility. Any nominations that do not satisfy the guidelines are discarded.

The list of nominations is accompanied by due diligence information, and information regarding the subject areas which the nomination aligns with. All this information is included in the review for consideration. Members are then asked to submit voting forms which are then collated and anonymised for presentation at the main meeting.

Any new nominations that come forward after the Nominations Review are held over until the following year.

* except for more than twice previously rejected nominations and previously accepted nominations who subsequently rejected the offer of an honorary degree

Main Meeting of the Committee

The meeting is chaired by the Chair of Council and is the Committee's main meeting. Brief formal minutes are taken and decisions noted accordingly. The Chair confirms the number of honorary graduands required (normally one for each graduation ceremony) and it is general practice that the nominations with the most votes are awarded honorary degrees. Discussion of these nominations (and any others whom the Committee considers require further consideration) then takes place before final decisions are made.

At the Committee’s discretion, any candidate who misses out narrowly on securing an honorary degree can be re-nominated automatically for the subsequent year.

At the meeting, the Committee is also responsible for approving formally the honorary degree nominations for Kaplan Singapore, South East Essex College, Tavistock and Portman NHS Trust and University Centre Colchester, and the annual awards by the University of the Honorary Fellowship and Alumnus of the Year.

Maz Brook
Secretary, Honorary Degrees and Honorary Fellowships Committee
October 2018