These bylaws establish criteria and procedures for the conferring of honorary degrees to individuals recognized by the University of San Francisco as persons of exceptional merit.


Article I: Honorary Degrees

An Honorary Degree is conferred by the University and represents University-wide recognition of outstanding achievement. The following criteria shall serve as guidelines in the nomination of candidates.
1.1.     A candidate for an Honorary Degree must have demonstrated personal and professional qualities that are consistent with the Vision, Mission and Values statement of the University of San Francisco: scholarly and/or professional achievement that greatly serves the broader community and is underpinned by high moral and ethical standards.
1.2.    A candidate for an Honorary Degree must have achieved outstanding success in his/her chosen field.  Such success shall be judged by the recognition that his/her peers accord to the candidate’s contributions to art, business, education, law, letters, management, music, nursing and health professions, philosophy, politics, the sciences, theology or other fields of learning or endeavor.
1.3.     In recognition of the University of San Francisco’s commitment to socio-economic, national, racial, ethnic, religion, gender, sexual orientation and cultural diversity, the Honorary Degree Committee is committed to awarding honorary degrees to individuals who reflect the vibrant diversity of the University community, the broader society and the global community we serve.
1.4.    Employees or Trustees in the active service of the University of San Francisco shall ordinarily not be nominated for Honorary Degrees during the term of their active relationship with the University.
1.5.    Elected officials or those running for office shall not ordinarily be nominated for Honorary Degrees.

1.6.    The university does not ordinarily consider nominations for individuals who are deceased.

1.7.    Nominators must be current USF faculty, staff, or students, alumni, or past or present members of the USF Board of Trustees.

Article II: Procedures

2.1.     The procedure for nomination of Honorary Degree(s) should normally begin twelve (12) months prior to the proposed date of conferral.
2.2.    The President will convene a University Committee on Honorary Degrees, which shall solicit nominations, screen and recommend candidates, and present a list of candidates to the president who will present the list to the full Board of Trustees prior to the conferral of the degree(s).
2.3.     The Committee should have broad University representation: Arts and Sciences, Education, Law, Management, Nursing and Health Professions.  The dean of the respective school or college shall submit a nomination of a representative to the president.  Each representative shall normally serve a term of two years not to exceed two consecutive terms.  The committee shall recommend to the president a candidate to serve as chair for a two-year term.
2.4.    The secretary of the Board of Trustees and the assistant dean for student affairs in the School of Law shall serve as ex officio members of the committee, with the same roles and responsibilities of other members, including voting.
2.5.     Nominations shall be solicited from all segments of the University community through appropriate notices. In addition, the Board of Trustees shall be invited to submit nominations.
2.6.     All nominations will be acknowledged with a letter from the Committee Chair, expressing gratitude and advising confidential discretion until the conferral is confirmed by the Office of the President, following favorable action of the Board of Trustees.
2.7.     Nominations shall only be considered after a complete and comprehensive nomination form has been submitted.  The inclusion of a curriculum vitae or biographical sketch of the nominee is recommended.
2.8.     The President of the University or his or her designate will contact the recipients to inform them of their selection.
2.9.     The nominations of all candidates not selected by the Board of Trustees shall be kept on file for future consideration.
2.10.     Candidates approved for awards who are unable to accept when asked shall remain in a queue for future consideration.
2.11.     There is no imperative that an honorary degree be given at each or every Commencement exercise.
2.12.    Award recipients need not be the Commencement Speaker in all cases, but may acknowledge their award at the Commencement exercise attended.