Section 213 Honorary Degrees

Effective: 11/21/67
Last Revised: 06/06/05; 05/18/15
Responsible Office: Clerk of the Board

Policy Statement:

Honorary degrees are subject to approval by the Board of Trustees. Honorary degrees may be conferred by any university of the University of Maine System to persons of notable achievement in an academic field, the arts and letters, the professions, or public service. All nominees will be expected to have some connection with the State of Maine, except in the case of certain internationally and nationally known persons.

Candidates for honorary degrees may be nominated by Trustees, Chancellor, Presidents, or private citizens. Approved nominations from an institution shall be awarded as a degree from that institution. There shall also be a University of Maine System degree. Nominations for the system degree may come from Trustees, Chancellor or Presidents with the Trustees designating the institution for conferring the degree.

In developing nominations it is understood that honorary degrees shall not be conferred on faculty or staff within the University of Maine System until their employment with the institution has ended or on Trustees until five years after their retirement from the Board; nor awarded to local or state government officials during their terms of office, nor awarded posthumously or in absentia. Normally, an individual shall not receive more than one honorary degree from the University of Maine System or its Universities in a five year period.  Commencement speakers shall not be automatically nominated to receive an honorary degree, nor should nominees be contacted prior to the Board’s consideration.   A President may forward more nominations than the number of honorary degrees the campus wishes to award. Following endorsement by the Board of Trustees, the president will make final selections based on factors such as the nominee’s availability and acceptance.

Action on honorary degree nominations shall normally be taken at the January Board meeting.

Related Documents:

Administrative Procedures for Honorary Degree Policy