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Honorary Doctorate Degrees

This policy applies to all Harvest  Christian University  institutions that award honorary doctorate degrees.  Harvest Christian University degrees awards are consistent with this policy.



This policy specifies the requirements for honorary doctorates and for submitting nominations for University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents review.

Policy Statement

An honorary doctorate is the highest award conferred by the Harvest Christian University System.  An honorary doctorate constitutes recognition of distinctive achievement that has added materially to knowledge and to the betterment of society.


An honorary doctorate may be awarded to an individual who has achieved acknowledged eminence in cultural affairs, in public service, or in a field of knowledge and scholarship, consistent with the ideals and purposes of the university.  An honorary doctorate recognizes extraordinary and lasting distinction with acumen.  Nominees need not have been educated at or otherwise associated with Harvest Christian University conferring the degree.

Honorary degrees are not awarded to encourage or reward financial contributions to the university.  However, honorary degrees may serve to bring renown to the university by honoring individuals who are highly regarded for achievements in their fields of endeavor.

Degree Designations

Honorary degree designations shall be limited to the following: (1) Doctor of Laws (LL.D.), (2) Doctor of Science (SC.D.), (3) Doctor of Humane Letters (L.H.D.), and (4) Doctor of Literature (D.Lit. or D.Litt.), with the exception that the University of Wisconsin-Stout may grant an honorary Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) in Career & Technical Education Leadership with business Ph.D. to name a few.



Policy guidelines determine the nomination and review process and conferment is confidential. No disclosure is to be made until after Board of Regents review and the institution’s subsequent invitation to the nominee.

As a matter of policy the Board generally limits honorary degree awards. Honorary degrees are to be awarded in person and not in absentee. A degree may be awarded posthumously to a nominee if, after accepting the chancellor’s invitation.

In awarding honorary degrees,Harvest Chistian University System does not assume any legal obligations. The recipients receive no honoraria, but the institution would generally be expected to assume the expenses incurred  to honor the recepient. It does not accept expenses incurred by the recipients in connection with their participation in the commencement ceremony.

Oversight, Roles and Responsibilities

Harvest Christian University Systems upon nominating candidates for honorary doctorates shall have an honorary degree committee appointed by the Board of Regents or the Alumni Relations Department that recommends candidates for honorary degrees consistent with procedures, policies, and criteria developed at the institution and consistent with this Regent Policy  Governance.

At least two months prior to the commencement ceremony at which an honorary degree is to be conferred, and at least three weeks prior to a regularly-scheduled Board of Regents meeting, the nominating  body  shall forward to the Executive Director of the Alumni Department or Corporate Secretary of the Board of Regents:

(1) a letter from the chancellor indicating the name of the nominee(s) and expressing the chancellor’s approval;

(2) the curriculum vitae or résumé of the nominee(s);

(3) letters of recommendation and other documentation of the contributions of the nominee and the merits of the nominee as an honorary degree recipient.


It is the responsibility of the University institution to exercise due diligence in ensuring that a nominee is of high moral character. Upon the timely receipt of an honorary degree nomination. 


(1) review nominations to verify consistency with the requirements of this policy and to confirm, to the extent possible, that a nomination poses a low risk of reputational harm to the University 

(2) if any concerns are identified, consult with the President of the Board of Regents, President

(3) after any concerns are addressed, place the nomination on the agenda of the Board’s Meeting.

(4) Notify the chancellor of a favorable review by the Board of Regents and or University President.

(5)After the Board’s review, the chancellor,, Regency Chair or University President may invite the candidate to attend the commencement ceremony at which the degree is to be conferred.

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