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Honorary Degree Procedures

At the beginning of the spring semester the President will announce that nominations will be accepted for consideration for an Honorary Degree. Nominations may be made at any time, but must be submitted no later than May 1 to be considered in the current year's application to SUNY.

A nomination may be initiated by any member of the faculty and staff and requires the approval of that school's dean or division's vice president. The person presenting the nomination to the Committee will submit a nomination letter that includes at least a one-paragraph description of the person being nominated, which outlines in sufficient detail the qualifications of the nominee. (Additional support materials should be included if available.) The person presenting the nomination must adhere to the following SUNY criteria:

  • The nominee must be distinguished, and the person's achievements must be both relevant and appropriate to the nominating campus. Eligibility for nomination is restricted to persons of state, national, or international stature.
  • The nominee should have a connection with the campus or SUNY as a whole. He/she may be an alumna/us. The nominee could have participated in campus programs, partnered in scholarly or creative activity with its faculty or students, or assisted the campus with programmatic development. Furthermore, the connection could be national or international prominence in a particular discipline in which the campus has a program. Alternatively, the candidate may have achieved national or international prominence in their field.
  • Substantive service to the SUNY system or a particular campus is not sufficient justification for an honorary degree if the individual does not meet the other criteria for honorary degrees. Instead, a campus award is recommended.

The Honorary Degree Committee will consider each nomination using the established criteria. In addition, special consideration will be given to candidates who, by their distinguished careers, would enhance the image and distinction of the College and potentially result in a mutually beneficial relationship. If the recommendation is negative, the chair of the Committee will convey that result in writing to the person submitting the nomination. No reasons for the decision will be required and none will be given in writing. Positive recommendations will be submitted to the President's Council for final campus approval. They will then be forwarded to System Administration, and upon acceptance, to the SUNY Board of Trustees for approval.