2:026 Awarding Honorary Degrees
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2:026 Awarding Honorary Degrees


Austin Peay State
Awarding Honorary Degrees

Issued:  March 8, 2017

Responsible Official:  Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs

Responsible Office:  Enrollment Management


Policy Statement

The Austin Peay State University Board of Trustees authorizes the awarding of honorary degrees to recognize individuals whose extraordinary achievements have set a standard that distinguishes them and benefits Austin Peay State University and the communities they serve as well as society.


The purpose for awarding honorary degrees is threefold:

To honor persons whose careers reflect sustained and superlative achievement in the arts and professions, research, scholarship, public service, leadership, volunteerism, and/or cultural affairs as well as new frontiers of human endeavor. 

To advance the educational missions, goals, and programs of Austin Peay State University by developing associations with persons who embody the same ideals, values, and aspirations.

To inspire students, faculty, staff, administrators, alumni, and members of the local, national, and world communities to emulate such standards of excellence, integrity, and commitment to enhance the public good.


Criteria for Selection
  1. An honorary degree is special and is awarded only in exceptional circumstances. Relatively few awards should be given and no more than two per year.
  2. Current faculty, staff, and regents are not eligible. Faculty, staff, and trustees who have been separated from Austin Peay State University at least three (3) years are eligible. Currently elected and/or appointed public officials and current candidates and/or nominees for public elective and/or appointed offices within the state of Tennessee are not eligible.
  3. Current or prospective benefactors of the institution are not eligible unless they meet criteria outlined in Section A. of the purpose of this policy.
  4. The degree awarded will meet the standards of the institution and will be awarded at its highest level, but not at a level which exceeds that awarded by the particular institution. Austin Peay State University may decide what to label the degree (Associate of ..., Master of...,Doctorate of ...). The degree is not to be granted for earned credit such as a PhD.

  1. Selection shall be made by a Selection Committee established on each campus by local institutional practices. The Selection Committee shall be comprised of no less than 50% faculty but should include staff and administrators.
  2. Nominations will be solicited from all sources. All deliberations will be confidential. Campus committees should use intense scrutiny of a nominee to ensure continued integrity of the award process. The recipient must attend graduation to be awarded the honorary degree.
  3. The president must approve any nominee for the honorary degree.

Authority Authority to award honorary degrees at Austin Peay State University is delegated to the presidents.

Exceptions No exceptions will be granted to this policy.

Policy Review The Awarding the Honorary Degrees policy will be reviewed every three years.

Revision Dates

APSU Policy 2:026 – Issued: March 8, 2017

Subject Areas:

Academic Finance General Human



President: signature on file