University of North Dakota Faculty/Staff Newsletter

Nominations sought for honorary degrees

Members of the University Council are invited to nominate outstanding individuals for an honorary degree to be awarded at spring commencement ceremonies. The deadline for submitting nominations is Friday, Nov. 30. Qualifications include, but are not limited to, the following State Board of Higher Education criteria (see SBHE, Policy 430.1)

  1. The candidate should have had an association with the State of North Dakota. This association may be by virtue of birth, of residence, of education, of service to the state, the Board, or one of the institutions governed by the Board.
  2. The candidate must have achieved a level of distinction which would merit comparable recognition in his or her profession or area of excellence.
  3. The renown of the candidate should reflect favorably on the Board, the institutions it governs, and the state of North Dakota.

In order to avoid any embarrassment, no suggestion shall be made to any person to be so honored until the State Board of Higher Education has acted on the nomination.

Institutional criteria and standards for the awarding of honorary degrees at UND have been established by the University Senate. It is recommended that the following criteria be used in considering persons for an honorary degree:

  • Achievement of distinction in scholarship, or in comparable professional or creative achievement.
  • Recognized and outstanding service to the nation, to the state, or to UND.
  • Attendance at or graduation from UND, except as the individual is outstanding with reference to the preceding criteria 1 and 2.
  • Non-membership on the faculty of UND.
  • Scholarship or specialization in an area in which the university normally grants an earned degree.


  1. Nominations may be made by any member of the University Council.
  2. Nominations must be accompanied by a factual dossier providing evidence that the nominee meets the criteria and standards established by the University Senate (Nos. 1-5 above). Factual compilation should include the following, in the order listed:
    a. A brief biography
    b. A list of scholarly writings, research and publications, and/or evidence of comparable professional or creative achievements
    c. Description of public service and achievements
    d. List of offices and positions held
    e. Other factual justifications for consideration
  3. The nominee’s scholarship, professional, or creative achievement must be evaluated by the departmental faculty in the area of the nominee’s specialization; such evaluation is to be a part of the dossier submitted to the Honorary Degrees Committee.
  4. A nominee will not be informed that he/she is being considered until the nomination has been approved at the SBHE level.
  5. The titles of honorary degrees shall be distinct from those of earned degrees at UND.
  6. No honorary bachelor’s or master’s degrees will be awarded.

On behalf of the Honorary Degrees Committee, nominations and all supporting materials may be sent to the Office of the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, 302 Twamley Hall. The deadline for submitting nominations is Friday, Nov. 30.

-- Connie Gagelin, Academic Affairs, 777.2165,