This online version is for convenience; the official version of this policy is housed in the University Secretariat. In case of discrepancy between the online version and the official version held by the Secretariat, the official version shall prevail.
Approving Authority: Senate
Original Approval Date: April 11, 2022
Date of Most Recent Review/Revision: N/A
Office of Accountability: President
Administrative Responsibility: Secretariat Office
1.01 An Honorary Degree is recognized as one of education’s most significant accolades. Wilfrid Laurier University (the University) intends to award Honorary Degrees to exemplary individuals who merit this distinguished recognition.
1.02 The Order of Wilfrid Laurier University is the most prominent honour presented to an individual for outstanding service to the University.
1.03 The purpose of this policy is to outline criteria for which the University grants Honorary Degrees and the Order of Wilfrid Laurier University.
2.01 Honorary Degree: A degree awarded honoris causa (“for the sake of the Honour) to an individual who has made outstanding contributions locally, nationally and globally and reflects both the full diversity of Canadian Society and qualities that Wilfrid Laurier University prizes as expressed in the University’s Vision Statement.
2.02 Order of Wilfrid Laurier University: An honour granted to those who have shown a record of exemplary and distinguished service to the University.
2.03 Member(s) of the University Community: Persons who currently work or study (in person or online) on any Laurier campus. Members include students (including student groups), Employees, adjunct and visiting faculty, and volunteers at Laurier.
2.04 Employees: A person who performs work for wages in any capacity for the University.
2.05 Nominator: The individual who submits a nomination for an Honorary Degree or Order of Wilfrid Laurier University. Nominations can be made by any Member of the University Committee or a member of the general public.
2.06 Nominee: The individual nominated for an Honorary Degree or the Order of Wilfrid Laurier University.
3.01 This policy applies to all Nominees of Honorary Degrees and the Order of Wilfrid Laurier University, as well as Members of the University Community and general public involved in the nomination and selection of candidates.
4.01 Honorary Degrees Nominees are expected to have made outstanding contributions locally, nationally, and globally which includes, but is not limited to:
a. leading academics and public intellectuals across disciplines;
b. exemplary leaders in all fields;
c. outstanding artists and performers; or
d. community builders and philanthropists.
4.01.01 In line with Wilfrid Laurier University’s Commitment to Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Indigeneity, due consideration will be placed on processes for soliciting and assessing candidates from Indigenous and equity deserving groups.
4.02 Honorary Degree Nominees are not required to have a direct connection to the University, however their contributions should align the University’s Vision Statement
4.03 The Order of Wilfrid Laurier University Nominees are to have displayed an outstanding record of exemplary and distinguished service to the University. The award is available to any current or former member of the university, and to those representing the university in the community.
4.04 Any Member of the University Community or general public is eligible to submit an Honorary Degree or Order of Wilfrid Laurier University nomination. The process for submitting a nomination is set out in the associated procedure to this policy.
4.05 All information submitted and discussion surrounding the nominee will be kept confidential.
4.07 Honorary Degrees will not be awarded to active politicians, current Employees, or current members of the Senate or Board of Governors.
4.08 Honorary Degrees and the Order of Wilfrid Laurier University will not be awarded posthumously or in absentia.
Wilfrid Laurier University has the ability to award the following Honorary Degrees:
An Honorary Degree/the Order of Wilfrid Laurier University and the privileges connected therewith can be revoked in the case that the recipient has been:
a. convicted of a criminal offence;
b. removed from any official register of members of the profession to which they belong to due to misconduct; or
c. whose conduct is judged by the Senate Executive and Finance Committee as a significant breach of the standards of the University normally applied to the conferment of such degrees of distinctions.
The Senate Executive Committee may restore the degree/order, distinction or privileges previously enjoyed by an award holder on cause being shown and upon recommendation of the Honorary Degree Committee.
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