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: Secretariat Office
Parent Policy: 2.8 Honorary Degree and Order of Wilfrid Laurier Policy
1.1 The President/Secretariat Office will issue a call for nominations to the University Community and more broadly. The call for nominations serves as an important reminder of the nominations process and the relevant deadline for submissions that year.
1.2 As per the Honorary Degree Committee Terms of Reference, members will actively solicit and generate nominations from Members of the University Community or general public.
1.3 Nominations can be received at any time during the year, though only those received by the annual deadline will be considered for that year’s nomination cycle. Those received prior to November 15th will be eligible for the following fall convocation, and those received prior to February 15th for following spring convocation.
1.4 Nominations can be made by any Member of the University Committee or a member of the general public. Nominators should not contact Nominees or let them know they have been nominated.
2.1 The University Secretariat Office will provide administrative support for the Honorary Degree Nominations and Order of Wilfrid Laurier University process.
2.2 Nominations for Honorary Degrees and the Order of Wilfrid Laurier University are to be submitted to the University Secretariat Office by filling out the Nominations Form and including the requested information.
2.2.1 Incomplete nomination forms will be returned to the Nominator and not forwarded to the Honorary Degree Committee. Once complete, they may be resubmitted for consideration by the Committee.
2.3 The Honorary Degree Committee will meet in the fall and winter terms to evaluate Honorary Degrees and Order of the Wilfrid Laurier University nominations. Evaluations will be based on section 4.01-4.03 of the Honorary Degree and Order of Wilfrid Laurier University Policy (2.8) and qualities that Wilfrid Laurier University prizes as expressed in the university’s vision statement.
2.4 Recommendations of the Senate Honorary Degree Committee will be forwarded to the Senate Executive and Finance Committee for consideration and approval.
2.5 Approved Nominees will be held on a reserve list for a period of ten (10) years to allow time for the candidate to attend a convocation ceremony to receive the degree.
2.6 The President will choose recipients from among the approved candidates on the reserve list and will decide when to contact the candidate with an offer to receive the Honorary Degree. Due diligence research will be completed on approved Nominees prior to them being contacted by the President.
2.7 The President will decide, in consultation with the successful candidate, at which Convocation ceremony the degree will be awarded, and when the Honorary Degree will be publicized.
2.8 The University will not confer more than one Honorary Degree per Convocation ceremony due to the prestigious nature of the Honorary Degree. Not every Convocation ceremony will have an Honorary Degree or Order of Wilfrid Laurier University recipient.
3.1 The President will decide what type of Honorary Degree is granted. This will be based on candidate accomplishments and achievements, past practice, what other degrees are being granted at the particular ceremony, or what is deemed relevant by the President.
4.1 A conflict of interest will be deemed to exist if a member of any committee involved in considering nominations has a personal, financial or other interest in the outcome (e.g. a member is one of the Nominators or has a personal relationship with the Nominee).
4.2 When a conflict of interest exists, the member of the committee must recuse themselves from the deliberations and vote.
5.1 The Honorary Degrees Committee will consider all nominations in strictest confidence. Candidates recommended by the Committee will then be presented to an in camera session of the Senate Executive and Finance Committee for approval. All information submitted will be kept confidential.
5.2 In order to protect the confidentiality of the process, Nominators will not receive updates on where the nomination is in the process or be informed of the decision of Senate Executive and Finance Committee. Nominators will only be contacted in the case that the Nominee was successful and the degree and convocation at which they will be recognized is confirmed.
6.1 Requests to revoke an Honorary Degree or the Order of Wilfrid Laurier University must be made to the Chair of Senate. The Chair of Senate may also initiate a request for revocation and bring it to the Honorary Degree Committee.
6.2 Revocation of an Honorary Degree or Order of Wilfrid Laurier University is a highly confidential process, as such, the recipient under consideration or individual who made the request to revoke, is not to be contacted at any stage in the process.
6.3 The Honorary Degree Committee will review the information provided in support of a request for revocation. If the rationale for revocation is considered to be sufficient, the Committee, will make a recommendation to revoke the recipient’s Honorary Degree or Order of Wilfrid Laurier University to the Senate Executive and Finance Committee.
6.4 Should the request to revoke an Honorary Degree or Order of Wilfrid Laurier University be forwarded to the Senate Executive and Finance Committee, the University Secretariat Office must consult with General Counsel and Advancement Services to identify risks of revocation. An analysis of these risks and any legal implications must be provided to the Senate Executive and Finance Committee prior to making a decision.
6.5 Based on the information forwarded from the Honorary Degree Committee, the Senate Executive and Finance Committee may approve that all privileges and rights connected with an Honorary Degree and the Order of Wilfrid Laurier University be revoked.
6.6 Should the Honorary Degree Committee or Senate Executive and Finance Committee oppose the revocation an Honorary Degree or the Order of Wilfrid Laurier University, the recipient can only be brought back for revocation in the case new independent information that was not previously available is brought forward for reconsideration.
6.7 Committee deliberations are to be kept confidential and only discussed in an in camera session.
6.8 If revocation is approved, the President will notify the Honorary Degree or Order of Wilfrid Laurier University recipient in writing of the institution’s decision to revoke their previously awarded degree.
6.9 If a recipient’s Honorary Degree or Order of Wilfrid Laurier University is revoked, it will be noted on the University’s public list of recipients.