Nominations and Appointments Committee

Guidelines for the Selection of Candidates for Honorary awards


Honorary awards comprise:


Honorary degrees

1. Honorary degrees

1.1 Under Section 16(1)(a) of the University of Sydney Act 1989 the Senate may confer honorary degrees.
1.2 The purpose of honorary degrees is for the University of Sydney to recognise exceptional achievement.
1.3 Any degree of the University may be awarded as an honorary degree except the Doctor of Philosophy.

2. Selection criteria

2.1 The criteria for selection for an honorary degree will be one or more of the following:

  • academic eminence, and/or
  • distinguished creative achievement, and/or
  • an outstanding contribution beyond the expectations of the person’s particular field of endeavour which has influenced the thinking or general well-being of the wider community.
3. Eligibility to nominate

3.1 Names of proposed recipients for honorary degrees will be invited annually from:

  • Fellows and former Fellows of Senate
  • the students of the University
  • the staff of the University
  • Principals of the residential colleges
  • the graduates of the University
4. Eligibility to be nominated

4.1 Fellows of Senate or members of staff* of the University will not be eligible for the award of an honorary degree while in office.
4.2 Former Fellows of Senate or former members of staff* will not normally be eligible for nomination for an honorary degree within two years of their retirement from the relevant office.
4.3 Honorary Fellows of the University are eligible for nomination for the award of an honorary degree, except where Guidelines 4.1 and 4.2 apply.

* Members of staff refers to full-time, part-time and casual members of University staff.
* An exception may be made for compensated work of a minor nature.

5. Submitting nominations

5.1 Each year advertisements will be placed calling for nominations for honorary degrees.
5.2 Nominations of proposed recipients should:

  • be forwarded to the Secretary to Senate by 30 April;
  • specify the honorary degree proposed;
  • specify the criterion/criteria from guideline 2 on which the nomination is based;
  • address that criterion/criteria, providing sufficient information to identify the person and the case for the award in terms of the criterion/criteria; and
  • include statements in support of the nominee’s standing and achievements.

5.3 The nominee does not need to seek advice from the relevant Dean – this will be done by the Committee.

6. Confidentiality

6.1 Any person nominated for the award of an honorary degree shall not be consulted beforehand, nor at any time prior to the person being advised of Senate’s decision.
6.2 All nominations, deliberations, investigations and recommendations relating to the nomination shall be treated as strictly confidential by all persons concerned.

7. Report to Senate

7.1 The Nominations and Appointments Committee will take into account the names of proposed recipients submitted in framing its recommendations to Senate, noting advice from the relevant Deans and seeking such other advice as is deemed appropriate so as to properly inform the Committee.
7.2 The Chair will report to Senate the Committee’s recommendations which will then be moved. The report should include the detailed minutes of the Committee and the reasons given for the Committee’s recommendations. Other documentation relating to the Committee’s recommendations will be available on request.


Honorary Fellows of the University

1. Honorary Fellows

1.1 The purpose of the award of the title of Honorary Fellow of the University of Sydney is to recognise outstanding service to the University.

2. Selection criteria

2.1 Honorary Fellows will be selected on the basis of conspicuous continued involvement in one or more of the following:

  • support of the interests and welfare of the University of Sydney or of a particular part of the University’s activities, and/or
  • promotion of the academic purposes of the University or of facilitating those purposes in any particular activity of the University, and/or
  • fostering the links between the University and other institutions within and without Australia, and/or
  • enlarging educational opportunities to enter the University among persons with limited prospects of so doing for reasons which they could not overcome, and/or
  • representation of the University’s needs for resources for its growth and diversification and supply of such resources.
3. Eligibility to nominate

3.1 Names of proposed recipients for honorary fellowships will be invited annually from:

  • Fellows and former Fellows of Senate
  • the students of the University
  • the staff of the University
  • Principals of the residential colleges
  • the graduates of the University
4. Eligibility to be nominated

4.1 Fellows of Senate or members of staff* of the University will not be eligible for the award of an honorary fellowship while in office.
4.2 Former Fellows of Senate or former members of staff* will not normally be eligible for nomination for an honorary fellowship within two years of their retirement from the relevant office.
4.3 A person on whom an honorary degree has been conferred is eligible to be nominated for election as an Honorary Fellow, except where Guidelines 4.1 and 4.2 apply.

* Members of staff refers to full-time, part-time and casual members of University staff.
* An exception may be made for compensated work of a minor nature.

5. Submitting nominations

5.1 Each year advertisements will be placed calling for nominations for honorary fellowships.
5.2 Nominations of proposed recipients should:

  • be forwarded to the Secretary to Senate by 30 April;
  • specify the criterion/criteria from guideline 2 on which the nomination is based; and
  • address that criterion/criteria, providing sufficient information to identify the person and the case for the award in terms of the criterion/criteria.
6. Confidentiality

6.1 Any person nominated for the award of an honorary fellowship shall not be consulted beforehand, nor at any time prior to the person being advised of Senate’s decision.
6.2 All nominations, deliberations, investigations and recommendations relating to the nomination shall be treated as strictly confidential by all persons concerned.

7. Report to Senate

7.1 The Nominations and Appointments Committee will take into account the names of proposed recipients submitted in framing its recommendations to Senate.
7.2 The Chair will report to Senate the Committee’s recommendations which will then be moved. The report should include the detailed minutes of the Committee and the reasons given for the Committee’s recommendations. Other documentation relating to the Committee’s recommendations will be available on request.


Amendments to the Guidelines

  • The latest amendment was approved by Senate on 2 May 2011, with immediate effect