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Honorary Degrees

Royal Roads University Policy

Policy Number: 
b1100
First implemented: 
September 8, 2006
Amended: 
March 31, 2017
Approved By: 
Board of Governors
Office of Oversight: 
President's Office

Board Policy Statement

The Board will approve the awarding of all Royal Roads University honorary degrees.

Philosophy

The Board believes that in recognition of outstanding individuals, it is appropriate to award honorary degrees.

President's Responsibilities

The President will develop administrative procedures for handling nominations and to facilitate the Board's decisions.

Based on Board-approved criteria, the President, working with a Board committee, will bring forward recommended candidates for Board review and approval.  There should be evidence of broad support for nominations.

Information, Action and Monitoring Requirements for the Board

The Board may approve honorary degree recipients, whose names shall be added to a pool from which the President may select for convocation ceremonies.

Honorary Degrees

In awarding the degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, the University seeks to honour individuals whose accomplishments demonstrate a standard of excellence that will inspire our graduates, set an example for the larger community of which we are a part, and add lustre to the University’s name. The Board of Governors considers candidates with achievements in a broad range of categories, including business, public service, the professions, leisure and the arts, the sciences, voluntary service in the community, or service to the University of long-standing or exceptional merit. In consideration of external candidates the Board of Governors gives priority to individuals whose personal qualities and record of achievement relate to Royal Roads’ mission, vision, values, Learning and Teaching Model, or program emphases: sustainable development, entrepreneurship, empowering leadership, conflict analysis and management, or communications. The Board of Governors will also consider candidates of significant merit who reflect the University’s vision of connecting people, ideas and experiences to change lives and the world.

Eligibility and exclusions:

  • Canadians and non-Canadians are eligible to be nominated.
  • Normally, active members of faculty, staff and the Board of Governors are not eligible.
  • Politicians currently in elected office are not eligible for consideration.
  • Normally, honorary degrees are not awarded in absentia or posthumously; however, the Board may elect to waive this restriction.
  • Normally, the Board of Governors will not award an honorary degree to an individual who has already received the Chancellor’s Community Recognition Award from Royal Roads University, but may do so at its discretion.

Criteria for selection:

  • External candidates for an honorary degree should be persons who have made a significant contribution to the larger community Royal Roads serves.
  • Priority will be given to individuals whose personal qualities and/or record of achievement relate to Royal Roads’ mission, vision, values or program emphases: sustainable development, entrepreneurship, empowering leadership, conflict analysis and management, or communications.
  • A candidate’s geographical location will not be a limiting factor.
  • Additional factors to be taken into consideration may include:
    • Accomplishments of note, or a career notable for a cumulative record of distinguished achievement.
    • Service to the community at large or to a profession or discipline.
    • Service to Royal Roads University of longstanding or exceptional merit which has advanced the University.
    • Humanitarian or philanthropic work.
    • Special anniversaries – The University may choose to celebrate a special anniversary by recognizing appropriate individuals important to its history or the history of Royal Roads Military College or Hatley Park.
    • Balance and diversity – The Board will strive to approve candidates reflecting the diversity in Canadian society.

Nominations:

The Board of Governors at its discretion will consider meritorious nominations from any source: programs or faculty, learners, staff, alumni, Governors or Directors, or members of the general public. However, nominators should not be members of the nominee’s family.

Nominations for honorary degrees may be made at any time. The Board of Governors shall periodically review nominations and approve candidates whose names shall be added to a pool from which the President may select for convocation ceremonies. Approved candidates’ names shall be kept on file for two years from the date of approval.

The University will issue an annual call for nominations.

All nominations and discussion related to any potential candidate shall be treated as strictly confidential. Candidates are not to be informed of their nominations unless they are selected to receive honorary degrees.

Documentation:

Nominations should be made in writing to the Secretary to the Board of Governors and should include:

  • the current name, address, telephone number and email address of the candidate
  • the names and contact information of two references for the nominee who are not members of the nominee’s family
  • a sketch of the candidate’s history and/or curriculum vitae
  • a nomination letter demonstrating how the nominee meets the selection criteria. Supporting documentation such as news articles or media releases detailing achievements that the nominator believes qualify the candidate for consideration for an honorary degree may also be included.
  • a perspective on the relationship between the University and the candidate