Honorary Degrees

The honorary degree is the highest award conferred by the university. Honorary degrees are an extraordinary honor bestowed by the university president upon approval by the Board of Trustees, and must adhere to the following criteria as outlined in UO policy:

  • To an individual or individuals who has/have shown outstanding scholarship or artistic achievement in their lifetime; or,
  • To an individual or individuals who has/have performed extraordinary public service or contributions to society in their lifetime.

In addition to the criteria above, is beneficial for an individual or individuals to have a connection to the University of Oregon, particularly for those who are to be considered for their public service and contribution to society.

Honorary Degree Recipients

Process

The honorary degree program is led by the Honorary Degrees and Distinguished Service Awards Committee, which includes the following members:

  • President of the University of Oregon or his/her designee, who shall be chair;
  • Chairperson of the Faculty Advisory Council (FAC) or his/her designee from the FAC;
  • President of the University Senate or his/her designee from among University Senators;
  • Chairperson of the Graduate Council or his/her designee from the Graduate Council;
  • Chairperson of the Undergraduate Council or his/her designee from the Undergraduate Council;
  • Vice President for University Advancement or his/her designee;
  • Five members of the teaching faculty, appointed by the president in consultation with University Senate leadership; and,
  • President of the Associated Students of the University of Oregon (ASUO) or his/her designee from the ASUO Executive Team.

Full details of the committee, members, and charge are available on the University Senate website.

The committee is responsible for the screening, investigation, and recommendation of candidates. The committee makes a recommendation to the University Senate, which in turn makes a recommendation to the university president. The president may then forward up to two nominees each academic year to the Board of Trustees for final consideration.

Nominations

The committee will actively solicit nominations for individuals who meet the criteria once each academic year, typically during the fall. However, nominations are welcome at any point. Nominations may be submitted to feedback@uoregon.edu.

Submissions must include:

  1. A completed honorary degree nomination form.
  2. A summary statement, not to exceed two typed pages, articulating why the nominee meets the criteria set forth in policy. The statement should clearly present a case indicating the profound impact made by the nominee.
  3. The nominee’s resume, curriculum vitae, or similar document articulating the individual’s professional or personal accomplishments and achievements.

Additional supporting documents may be provided to the committee for consideration.

A nomination does not expire. There is no need to resubmit a nominee unless there has been a significant change to the individual’s accomplishments, service, or contributions that warrants updated materials. In this case, please submit an entirely new nomination packet.

Contact

For more information about the honorary degree program, please email feedback@uoregon.edu.