Honorary Degree Committee


The honorary doctorate is the highest academic honor awarded by the university. It is bestowed in recognition of outstanding contributions to society through intellectual, professional, scientific, artistic, or public service efforts. In granting an honorary degree, the University of Central Arkansas acknowledges excellence and provides an example to members of the university community.

Types of Degrees:

Honorary degrees may be conferred by the university, with the most appropriate as determined by the candidate's qualifications being awarded. For example:
Doctor of Public Service (D.P.S.)
Doctor of Commerce (Com.D.)
Doctor of Letters (Litt.D.)
Doctor of Science (Sc.D.)
Doctor of Fine Arts (D.F.A.)
Doctor of Humane Letters (L.H.D.)
Doctor of Pedagogy (P.E.D.)


  1. Candidates for honorary degrees must have distinguished themselves through outstanding contributions to society.
  2. Members of the Boards of Trustees, faculty, staff, or administrators of the university are ineligible for honorary degree consideration.
  3. Local, state, or national government officials who currently hold office or who are candidates for office are ineligible for honorary degree consideration.
  4. Honorary degrees shall not be awarded in absentia or posthumously except under extraordinary circumstances.
  5. Only under exceptional circumstances will the university grant more than one honorary degree during an academic year, and, likewise, the university may choose not to grant an honorary degree in any particular year.


Procedures for Nomination and Selection of Candidates

  1. Nominations shall originate from members of the faculty. A nomination may originate from an individual faculty member, from a department or college, or from the collaborative efforts of two or more departments or colleges within the university.
  2. Any recommendations of potential nominees that come from outside the faculty shall be received by the Provost's Office for referral to the appropriate college.
  3. Early in the academic year, the provost's office will invite faculty to submit nomination for honorary degrees. The deadline for submission of all materials related to the nomination will be October 15.
  4. Nominations shall be written and should include:
    1. A biographical statement containing name, address, professional title, place of birth, educational background, employment history, and other honorary degrees, if any;
    2. Appropriate written documentation for the nomination, including a list of primary contributions that qualify the individual for the honorary degree;
    3. A minimum of three written references from knowledgeable persons in academia, public or private sectors who are familiar with the nominee's contributions.
  5. Nominations will be handled with discretion and confidentiality as permitted by law.
  6. By November 1, the provost will forward complete nomination files to the chair of the Honorary Degree Committee. The chair shall convene the committee by November 15 to discuss committee procedures and meeting schedules. Support by seven of the eight voting members shall be required to forward the nomination. Nominations receiving fewer than seven votes will be removed from further consideration.
  7. By December 15, the Honorary Degree Committee must forward it recommendations to the provost. Positive recommendations will be accompanied by appropriate comments and will include the recommendation(s) of the degree(s) to be conferred. The provost will make appropriate comments and forward the file(s) to the president of the university by January 15.
  8. The president may
    1. reject the nomination(s), ending all action
    2. endorse the nomination(s) with appropriate comments, and forward the file(s) to the Board of Trustees by February 1.
  9. At its first meeting after February 1, the Board of Trustees may
    1. approve, by simple majority, the conferring of the honorary degree(s) upon the candidate(s) or
    2. reject the nomination(s) ending all action
  10. Upon approval by the Board of Trustees, candidates will be informed by the president of their selection and invited to accept the honorary degree. Following acceptance, a public announcement will be made, and the degree will be conferred at the spring commencement ceremony of the nominating college or colleges.
  11. For the 2000/2001 year, a time line will be implemented to allow for an honorary degree to be awarded at spring commencement.


  1. Four tenured faculty members
    1. One appointed by the president.
    2. One appointed by the provost.
    3. Two appointed by the Faculty Senate.
  2. Faculty members will serve staggered four-year terms. No college may have more than one representative.
  3. The president of the Faculty Senate, or designee
  4. The president of the Student Government Association, or designee
  5. The president of the Staff Senate, or designee
  6. The president of the Alumni Association
  7. The dean of the Graduate School

The dean of the Graduate School will serve as committee chair, but will be a non-voting member.


Member Term Title
Michael Schaefer (LA) 2015 Presidential Appointment
VACANT Provost Appointment
Patty Phelps (ED) 2017 Faculty Senate Appointments
Jeffrey Pe-Aguirre (FAC) 2016 Faculty Senate Appointments
Benjamin Rowley 2016 President of Faculty Senate
William Stanton 2016 President of Staff Senate
Zach Carter 2016 President of Student Senate
Karen Sullards 2015 President of Alumni Association
Stephanie Bellar Permanent Dean of Graduate School



as needed


to Provost

Send minutes to: Chair of the Committee on Committees

Page last updated:  July 7, 2015