Honorary Awards - Policy

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1. Purpose and Objectives

To recognise individuals who have demonstrated distinguished achievement which the University wishes to honour.

2. Definitions, Terms, Acronyms

Committee – Honorary Awards Committee.

Honorary award – the general term for either an honorary doctorate, a UQ fellowship, or a distinguished service medal.

3. Policy Scope/Coverage

This policy sets out the criteria and process for making honorary awards.

4. Policy Statement

Honorary awards are granted sparingly and should bring distinction to both the recipient and to the University.

5. Types of Awards

Honorary awards may take the form of honorary doctorates, fellowships, or distinguished service medals.

6. Honorary Doctorates

6.1 Criteria for awarding honorary doctorates

In assessing an award, the Committee shall be provided with all relevant material which demonstrates–

  • Distinguished service internationally, to the Commonwealth of Australia, or to the State of Queensland (whether or not directly associated with The University of Queensland), or
  • Distinguished career and significant achievement or academic distinction in a particular field, or
  • Exceptional service or contribution to The University of Queensland.

In recognition of the University’s commitment to gender equality and diversity in its many forms, Senate is committed to award honorary doctorates to individuals who reflect the diversity of interests, backgrounds, and concerns reflected in the University and in society.

6.2 Discipline in which an honorary doctorate is offered

An honorary doctorate may be awarded–

  • In any discipline in which a doctorate is offered by the University, or
  • As an honorary doctorate of the University.

For honorary doctorates awarded in a particular discipline, the postnominal is preceded by ‘Hon.D’, for example, Hon.DSc Qld. The postnominal for a Doctor of University is Hon.DUniv Qld.

6.3 Honorary awards not awarded

Honorary awards will not be awarded to –

Current members of Senate,

Current staff,

Serving Australian politicians, or

Recognise individuals for philanthropic donations alone.

6.4 Formal mode of address of recipients

Individuals who have been awarded a doctoral degree at Level 10 on the Australian Qualifications Framework or by a university outside of Australia are entitled to use the title 'Doctor'.

The title 'Doctor' should, therefore, not be used by those who hold an honorary award.

7. UQ Fellowships

UQ Fellowships are awarded in recognition of an individual’s outstanding service or contribution to the University, or who has otherwise acted over a period of time to enhance its reputation, mission and objectives.

Fellowships may be awarded to –

  • Those who are, or who have been, a Senate member, a staff member (academic or professional), or a student; or
  • Any other individual.

8. Distinguished Service Medals

Distinguished Service Medals may be awarded to–

  • Professional staff, on retirement from the University, in recognition of outstanding service beyond the normal requirements of their position, or
  • Persons who are not members of staff in recognition of their distinguished contribution to the University.

9. UQ Gatton Gold Medal

The UQ Gatton Gold Medal recognises a graduate who has achieved outstanding success or honour in, or has made and continues to make, an outstanding contribution to their vocation in an area of relevance to the interests of UQ Gatton.

10. Nomination Process

10.1 Confidentiality

All matters relating to proposals for honorary awards are confidential. Nominees must not be consulted about or advised of their nomination.

10.2 Who can nominate

Senate may determine to grant an honorary award on the recommendation of the Committee.

Any of the following may put forward a nomination to the Committee –

  • Senate members;
  • Graduates of the University;
  • Staff (academic or professional); or
  • Students (with the endorsement of a member of one of the above categories).

Self-nominations will not be accepted.

10.3 Nomination submission

Nominations for honorary awards must include a recommendation from the Executive Dean of a Faculty or a Director of an Institute, and contain the following supporting information –

  • A one-page citation;
  • Biographical details deemed relevant to the nomination;
  • A description of the person's achievements/contributions;
  • Current or past connections to the University, including degrees awarded by UQ;
  • Benefits which conferring the award may bring to the University;
  • Suggestions regarding the possible future role and positive involvement of the proposed recipient with the University;
  • For honorary doctorates, a recommendation of which discipline the degree should be awarded;
  • The names of 3 potential referees for the candidate; and
  • Any additional comments pertinent to the nomination.

11. Conferring Awards

11.1 Honorary Doctorates

Honorary doctorates will usually be awarded at UQ graduations. The Committee may decide on exceptions under certain circumstances.

Nominators should therefore take into account the general expectation that the recipient will be required to travel to UQ within a reasonable period of time after approval by Senate.

11.2 UQ Fellowships and Distinguished Service Medals

Awarding UQ fellowships and distinguished service medals at UQ graduations is desirable, but the award may also be made at other suitable occasions.

11.3 Time for conferring honorary awards

Honorary awards must be conferred within two years of Senate's resolution. Awards not conferred within this period will lapse.

12. Revoking of Honorary Awards

On the recommendation of the Committee, Senate may at any time revoke an honorary award if continuation with the award is no longer in the best interests of the University.

Awardees have the right to relinquish an award should this be desired.

13. Honorary Awards Committee

13.1 Established by Senate

Senate has established an Honorary Awards Committee.

13.2 Membership

Chancellor (Chair)

Deputy Chancellor

Vice-Chancellor and President

President, Academic Board

Three Senate Members nominated by the Chancellor

Secretariat – Senate Secretary

13.3 Terms of Reference

  1. To periodically call for nominations in accordance with the Honorary Awards Policy.
  2. To consider nominations and, by way of a majority of votes, recommend such awards to Senate for approval.
  3. To periodically review the Honorary Awards Policy and make recommendations to Senate for its amendment.

13.4 Frequency of meetings

The Committee shall meet as necessary.

13.5 Quorum

The quorum is 5.

Senate Secretary Dr John Montgomery
Senate Secretary Dr John Montgomery