Honorary Degrees Board

Terms of Reference and Membership 2016-2017


To approve or reject nominations for Honorary Degrees to ensure that appropriate awards are given.

See Guidelines for the Selection of Honorary Degrees below


  1. To consider nominations for Honorary Degrees.
  2. To recommend nominations for Honorary Degrees to Senate and Council.
  3. To consider, record and address the potential equal opportunity impacts of decisions made by the Board (in accordance with the ’due regard’ provisions of the Equality Act 2010)

Reports to

Senate and Council

Constitution and Membership 2016-2017

  1. The President and Vice-Chancellor (Chair) (Professor P Boyle)
  2. The Chair of Council (Dr B Towle)
  3. The Treasurer (Mr D Moore)
  4. The Pro-Vice-Chancellor (International) (Professor S Dixon)
  5. The Heads of College:
    1. Professor P Baker
    2. Professor P Monks
    3. Professor J Coleman
  6. The Public Orators:
    1. Dr P Jenkins
    2. Professor G Shipley
    3. Mr N P Siesage
  7. The President of the Students’ Union (Ms R Holland)
  8. The Registrar and Chief Operating Officer (Mr D Hall)

Duration of appointment

All appointments are ex-officio.

Secretariat - Secretary

Mr D Hall

Assistant Secretary

Mr N P Siesage

Frequency of Meetings

Meetings normally occur once per annum, usually in the autumn term, with a further meeting taking place in the spring term should sufficient nominations not be approved.


5 members

Guidelines for the selection of Honorary Degree Candidates

  1. To be recommended for an Honorary Degree the candidate should have made an outstanding contribution on a local or national or international scale. The contribution may be to the advancement of the candidate’s discipline or field of work, or it may be to the community, to society or to the University. It is desirable to have a connection to Leicester but whether or not this is the case, the candidate must be an outstanding individual and widely recognised in his or her own field.

  2. In recommending candidates for the award of an Honorary Degree, the committee should be mindful that:
    1. the purpose of Honorary Degrees is to associate the University with persons of high achievement in any walk of life and ideally to honour persons who have contributed conspicuously to the life of the University;
    2. the range of graduates in the audience of graduation ceremonies should be reflected in the choice of honorary graduates, particularly with respect to gender (a 50-50 division is ideal), ethnicity and disability; as Leicester is an international university, it is also appropriate that some Honorands come from abroad;
    3. it is desirable to recognise individuals who have not received Honorary Degrees from other institutions, but who are clearly strong candidates;
    4. it is desirable to recognise successful Leicester graduates;
    5. our links with the local community make it desirable to recognise local people or people with Leicester origins.
  3. New Chancellors will be invited to nominate candidates to be honoured in the ceremonies at the end of the year in which they are appointed.

  4. Deceased people who will not ordinarily be considered for Honorary Degrees, but may be awarded degrees posthumously if they have already accepted the offer of an Honorary Degree.

  5. Only in exceptional circumstances will a Degree be awarded in absentia.

  6. Ordinance IV.2 permits the award of any degree of the University as an Honorary Degree, but the Honorary Degrees committee will ordinarily restrict its recommendations to the award of Doctorates and Master’s degrees (MA, MSc and LLM). The DSc is normally awarded for contributions in science, medicine and engineering, the D.Litt for contributions in the arts and social sciences and the D.Mus for distinction as a musician, composer or academic student of music; the LLD may be awarded either for distinction in legal studies or in recognition of a major contribution to public service or of sporting achievement.

  7. Nominations should be submitted, in confidence, to the President and Vice-Chancellor.
    full case must be made by the person nominating the candidate. This includes:
    • detailed reasons for the nomination
    • a brief curriculum vitae (to the extent that this is possible without consulting the candidate)
    • other background information that may be useful (e.g. Wikipedia or Who's Who entry)
    • the candidate’s contact details
    Without this information it will not be possible to put the nomination forward to the Board.
    It is essential that the candidate not be aware that the nomination is being considered.
  8. The Committee will consider and record the potential equal opportunity impacts of decisions made by the Committee (in accordance with the ‘due regard’ provisions of the Equality Act 2010).