View Current

Honorary Awards and Titles Policy

This is the current version of this document. To view historic versions, click the link in the document's navigation bar.

Section 1 - Purpose and Scope


(1) This policy establishes the principles, categories and conditions for the:

  1. conferral of honorary awards; and
  2. awarding of honorary titles.


(2) This policy applies to:

  1. the conferral of all honorary awards and awarding of all honorary titles;
  2. all staff and Council members involved in the administration of honorary awards and titles.

(3) This policy does not apply to:

  1. adjunct, visiting and conjoint appointments (see Adjunct Visiting and Conjoint Appointments Policy);
  2. distinguished professorial appointments (see Distinguished Professor Policy).
Top of Page

Section 2 -  Principles

(4) The recognition of significant contribution and outstanding achievement to the University and broader community is a fundamental element of celebrating excellence as a University. The University confers honorary awards on, and awards honorary titles to, individuals who have:

  1. made distinguished:
    1. contributions to the advancement of knowledge; or
    2. service to society or the community; including service to the University;
  2. achieved eminence in their field of endeavour at a local, state, national or international level.

(5) Honorary Awards and Titles are conferred:

  1. consistent with the University’s strategic objectives, to further the University’s connectivity with government, research, education, industry and the professions;
  2. consistent with University’s approach to recruitment and selection (see Recruitment and Selection Policy), the principles of workforce diversity, strategic alignment, equality of opportunity and transparency of process;
  3. on the basis of merit, with a focus on the potential for positive contributions to the University’s mission, strategic direction, values and culture;
  4. considerate of the reputational impact of each conferral.

(6) Honorary awards and titles are awarded on merit, assessed against set criteria and approved by the University Council.

(7) Honorary awards are not an Award qualification as defined in the Definitions (Academic) Policy, and will not be represented as such to the recipient of an Honorary award or on any accompanying documentation. 

Top of Page

Section 3 - Eligibility for Honorary Awards and Titles

(8) Subject to clause (9) and meeting the respective criteria, any person may be eligible for an honorary award or title.

(9) The following persons are not normally eligible for an honorary award or title:

  1. Council members, while in office;
  2. members of staff of the University, except for the Distinguished Service Award;
  3. current students of the University;
  4. persons who are otherwise remunerated by the University;
  5. currently serving elected representatives at a local, state or federal level.
Top of Page

Section 4 - Honorary Awards and Titles: Categories and Criteria

(10) Based on the set criteria, the University Council may confer the following honorary titles and awards:

Honorary award and title category
Recipient criteria and area of outstanding contribution
(Recipients must satisfy at least one of the named criteria)
Honorary Doctor of the University (DUniv) (honoris causa) for service to the University.
Honorary Doctor (honoris causa) in a discipline offered by the University where the nominee has made a distinguished academic and/or professional contribution in that discipline
Recipients should meet one or more of the following criteria:
* outstanding achiever in any professional, scholarly or other endeavour, who has significant ties with, or who has made major contributions to, the development of the region or the University;
*  have served the University with special distinction over a significant period; or
*  have national or international standing in any professional, scholarly or other endeavour, whose contribution to society or their scholarship is considered exceptional.
Fellow of the University
* distinguished contribution to the teaching, research or community service roles of the University, in a capacity other than as a staff member.
Emeritus Professor 
* a former Professor of the University who has made a distinguished contribution to teaching, research, scholarship, or the arts, or to service to the University
*  distinguished contribution at professorial level over a period of at least ten years (five years of which have been served at Southern Cross University).
Honorary Degree (honoris causa)
An honorary degree in the same field as an Award qualification of the University may be conferred on the basis of:
* distinguished achievement
* outstanding contribution beyond the expectations of a person’s field of endeavour which has had a tangible and noticeable positive impact
* outstanding contribution to the advancement of society.
Ad Eundem Gradum Degree – a degree conferred without examination (ad eundem gradum)
Full-time, permanent staff members who are not graduates of Southern Cross University who have a completed a minimum of 10 years' service at Southern Cross University may on their departure may be awarded a degree commensurate with their skills/experience and/or qualification held.
Distinguished Service Award
Contribution to the University, specifically, in recognition of:
* a member of the University staff who has given outstanding service beyond the requirements of his or her position, or
* a member of the University community who has made a distinguished contribution.

Honorary Award and Titles Recipients  

(11) The recipient of an honorary award shall be accorded appropriate courtesies and recognition on ceremonial and social occasions.

(12) The award does not entitle the recipient to participate in the governance of the University, nor to be granted any material benefits by the University.

(13) The conferring of an Honorary Doctorate or Honorary Fellowship does not carry an entitlement to a pre-nominal title. A pre-nominal title may only be used for official University business or events.

(14) A person conferred with an honorary award is entitled to only use the post-nominal for that award.

(15) A person conferred with an honorary award must not misrepresent the honorary award as an Award qualification. 

Emeritus Professor

(16) The honorary title of Emeritus Professor will not normally be awarded until after the date of resignation or retirement from the University. The application may be considered prior to this date and be awarded upon retirement or resignation from the University.

(17) Emeritus Professors may be entitled to some material benefits at the discretion of the Vice-Chancellor and are entitled to use a pre-nominal title.

(18) Recipients are not entitled to participate in the governance of the University.

Top of Page

Section 5 - Procedures 

Honorary Awards Committee

(19) The Terms of Reference of the Honorary Awards Committee and its membership as approved by University Council from time-to-time is available from the policy library.

Nominations Process

(20) Nominations for honorary awards and titles are submitted to the Honorary Awards Committee on the Nomination Form and can be made:

  1. by any two of the following persons:
    1. a Council member;
    2. a Professor of the University;
    3. an Executive Dean or College Dean;
    4. a Discipline Chair;
    5. a Executive member; or
  2. by the Vice-Chancellor directly.

(21) The Honorary Awards Committee itself may nominate a candidate pursuant to this Policy.

(22) A nomination must be accompanied by a submission addressing the reasons for the appropriateness of the honorary award or title, relevant biographical information and any statements of support.

(23) Nominations for Emeritus Professor must also include the candidate's up-to-date curriculum vitae.

(24) The Honorary Awards Committee may seek further information or statements of support in respect of particular nominations where necessary.

(25) Nominations are to be made in confidence and, where feasible, should not be made with the knowledge of the person who is the subject of the nomination.

(26) A person who is the subject of a nomination for an honorary award must not be consulted or advised of the nomination prior to the decision of the University Council being made final, and no candidate is to be advised of unsuccessful nominations. Any exception will require prior approval by the University Council.

(27) The offer of an honorary award must be taken up by the proposed recipient such that a conferral can be made within two years of the offer.

(28) The decisions of Council pursuant to this Policy are final.

Conferral of Honorary Awards

(29) An award for an Honorary Doctorate, Honorary Degree, Ad Eundem Degree or Honorary Fellowship will normally be conferred at a graduation ceremony, at which the recipient may be invited to deliver the occasional address.

(30) Honorary awards may be conferred at times other than graduation ceremonies at the discretion of Council.

(31) Honorary awards may be conferred in absentia or posthumously in exceptional circumstances.

(32) All documentation issued in respect of an honorary award will be explicit that the award is ‘honorary’ and does not signify that the recipient has studied a course and met course learning outcomes leading to an Award qualification. 

Award of Honorary Titles

(33) Following approval by University Council to award the  title of Emeritus Professor, the Council Secretary will write to the nominee inviting them to accept the honorary title.

(34)  The title Emeritus Professor becomes effective from the date of the nominee's acceptance in writing.   

Declined Honorary Award or Title

(35) If a nominee:

  1. declines the offer of an honorary award or title; or
  2. fails to respond to the offer within three months
the Vice-Chancellor will report the nominee's response or failure to respond to the Council Secretary, who will provide this advice to the next Honorary Awards Committee or Council meeting.

Revocation of an Honorary Award or Title

(36) An honorary award or title may be revoked by Council and require surrendering, on the recommendation of the Honorary Awards Committee, where Council is of the opinion that the recipient has acted in such a manner as to bring the University's name and reputation into disrepute.

(37) The Council resolution previously passed to approve the conferral of the honorary award or title will be deemed to be revoked.