Honorary awards - Our organisation - University of Derby

Honorary Awards

The University of Derby Honorary Awards Committee

The Title and Powers of the Committee

Since 1991, honorary awards have been recommended by the Honorary Awards Panel and formally approved by Academic Board. In 2005 it was agreed by Academic Board and the Governing Council that a newly constituted committee, to be called the University Honorary Awards Committee, should be formed. This Committee is delegated powers by Academic Board to consider and decide the conferment of honorary awards. The Committee is however, accountable to Academic Board and Governing Council for the conduct of the process.

The Terms of Reference

The conferment of honorary awards is fundamentally about the formal recognition of individuals whose activities and achievements the University wishes to honour. The function of the Committee is to consider the evidence submitted to the Committee in confidence and decide whether the individuals proposed should become recipients of honorary awards.

There is a range of honorary degrees and titles that may be awarded. The actual award conferred depends upon the type and extent of the achievements. Consideration of the individual should take place without the knowledge of that individual and the content of the meetings is strictly confidential.

The Committee must ensure that due consideration is given to ensure the following:

  • All honorary awards of the University are conferred upon individuals whose achievements and activities are resonant with the core values of the University.
  • There must be acceptable evidence of the listed achievements.
  • The style of the honour (Degree or Title) reflects appropriately the nature of the achievement and/or contribution.
  • The level of the honour reflects appropriately the extent of the achievement in a University, regional or national/international context.
  • Every recipient of an award is wholly suitable. There should be no counter-indications arising from other activities on the part of the potential honorand.
  • There is a negligible risk of adverse political consequences which might subsequently damage the reputation of the University if a particular honour is conferred. Neither should there be any risk of embarrassment to either the honorand or the University as a consequence of the award being made.

Rescinding Honorary Awards

The University Honorary Awards Committee also has powers to rescind honorary awards from individuals who through their actions, in the opinion of the Committee, have brought the University into disrepute. The exercise of these powers shall be rare and may only be taken after thorough consideration of the relevant evidence at a meeting of the full Committee. The holder of the honorary award should be given a full opportunity to respond to the University's proposed action before a final decision is taken.

The composition and initial membership

The Honorary Awards Committee is to be formerly constituted jointly from the Academic Board and Governing Council. Academic Board and Governing Council may change the representatives as deemed necessary and appropriate.

Composition and membership (Total 11 Members)

  • Vice-Chancellor and Chair of Academic Board. (Chair): Professor Kathryn Mitchell
  • Pro Chancellor and Chair of Governing Councillor: Chris Hughes

Governing Council (4)

  • Two independent members: Mr Neil Calvert, Vice-Chair of Governing Council, The Ven Dr Christopher Cunliffe
  • One Staff Governor: Ms Louise Pigden
  • Union of Students' Representative: Miss Grace Suszek (President)

Academic Board (5)

  • Chair of the University Conferment Committee : Professor Nick Antonopoulos
  • Pro Vice-Chancellor/Director/Dean; two positions - Professors Judith Lamie and Keith McLay
  • Secretary & Registrar: Mrs June Hughes
  • Interim Director of International Recruitment and Collaborations: Dr Peter Dewhurst



The quorum for meetings is seven members including at least three members of Governing Council.

Reporting back to Governing Council and Academic Board

Once a written indication of acceptance of their awards by the honorands has been received, the Secretary shall report the names of the honorands and the titles of their awards to the next available meeting of the Governing Council and Academic Board.