Honorary Degree Committee
Charge and Membership
Honorary degrees are awarded annually to individuals who have achieved distinction in scholarship, creative activities, professional pursuits, business, governmental, civic affairs, or in service to Ohio University.
While candidates from any field will be considered, persons who have attained broad recognition in education rank high among potential nominees. Outstanding benefactors of the University or distinguished alumni are also among those to be given special attention.
The following may be useful in interpreting the basic policy:
- An effort will be made whenever possible to honor people who show considerable promise in a particular field or individuals who have not been awarded an honorary degree elsewhere, regardless of age.
- Those who are dealing with society's most pressing problems will receive careful consideration
- A commencement speaker should be a nominee primarily on the basis of his or her personal merit rather than the fact he or she is delivering an address.
- Regents, trustees, officers of the University, faculty and staff are not eligible for an honorary degree until they have retired or have left the University.
- Honorary degrees should be awarded sparingly to holders of or candidates for state and national public office.
- Except under unusual circumstances, no honorary degrees are to be awarded in absentia.
- In any given year, the total number of recommended recipients should be three to five, with the understanding that there is neither an obligation to recommend anyone for an honorary degree nor a necessity to hold the maximum recommendations to five.
The Committee solicits nominations and biographical information from the university community. After screening nominees, the Committee recommends candidates to the President who, in turn, forwards a final list to the Board of Trustees for ratification.
A link to the Nomination Form is available immediately below the Committee Roster.
While nominations may be submitted at any time, the Committee normally completes its deliberations in May for the next academic year. Therefore, information about a nominee should be in the Committee's hands no later than Feb. 26, if an award should be considered for sometime during the ensuing twelve months from July through June. If a candidate is not included in the final list approved by the Trustees, nominations may be resubmitted to the Committee.
African American Studies
Chair, Honorary Degree Committee
Director of the Global Leadership Center and War and Peace Program
Assistant Professor, Global Studies
Sam Crowl (2020)
Associate Director of Sustainability
Chelsa Morahan (2021)
Assistant Director, Patron Services
Post Publishing Board (2022)
All University committees follow the academic-year calendar.
All students serve one-year terms. Faculty, administrators, and staff generally serve three-year terms. Ex-Officio appointments have voting privileges unless otherwise noted.