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Honorary Titles and Awards Policy

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Section 1 - Purpose and Context

(1) Recognition of outstanding achievement and contributions to the community is an integral part of the concept and role of a university. Western Sydney University confers honorary titles and awards on distinguished individuals who have contributed to the advancement of knowledge or the betterment of society and who have achieved eminence in their field at a local, state, national and/or international level, and on organisations to foster collaboration and advance the University's strategic mission.

(2) Only a small number of these titles and awards are made each year and the University and its community join in this public recognition and celebration of achievement at the highest levels.

(3) This policy identifies the honorary titles and awards the University may confer and the principles and criteria for each conferral. For conjoint appointments, refer to the Conjoint Appointments Policy.

(4) Nothing in this policy has the effect of invalidating any past act validly performed under any previous policy or procedure of the University relating to honorary awards and titles.

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Section 2 - Definitions

(5) For the purposes of this policy:

  1. Appointment means placing a person in an honorary position for a specified period.
  2. Conferral means bestowing a title or award in an honorary capacity usually in perpetuity.
  3. Honorary recipient means the recipient of an honorary title or award.
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Section 3 - Policy Statement

Honorary Titles and Awards

(6) The University provides the following honorary titles and awards.

Board of Trustees

(7) The Board of Trustees may confer the following honorary titles and awards:

  1. Emeritus Chancellor of the University;
  2. Emeritus Professor of the University;
  3. Honorary Fellow of the University;
  4. Community Fellow of the University;
  5. Doctor of Letters honoris causa;
  6. Doctor of Science honoris causa;
  7. any degree of the University on an honorary basis in appropriate circumstances.

Vice-Chancellor and President

(8) The Vice-Chancellor and President may make the following honorary appointments and awards:

  1. Distinguished Professor;
  2. Distinguished Fellow;
  3. Professor;
  4. Associate Professor;
  5. Community awards.

Deputy Vice-Chancellors, Deans and Director, Research Institutes

(9) The Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President, Research, Engagement, Development and International may make Adjunct Professor appointments.

(10) The Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President, Academic may make TAFE Associate appointments.

(11) The Dean or Director, Research Institute may make Adjunct Fellow, Visiting Professor and Visiting Fellow appointments for their school or institute.

Eligibility for Titles and Awards

Emeritus Chancellor

(12) A former University Chancellor is eligible for the title of Emeritus Chancellor where they have:

  1. given distinguished service to the University for a considerable period and contributed to its reputation and standing within the wider community;
  2. provided exemplary leadership to the Board of Trustees; and
  3. contributed to public life.

Emeritus Professor

(13) A person is eligible for the title of Emeritus Professor where they have:

  1. occupied the position of professor in the University for a minimum period of five years, unless exceptional circumstances are involved;
  2. given distinguished service to the University through:
    1. scholarly excellence in a specific field of study, or
    2. academic distinction to the University through the general development of a specific field of study nationally and/or internationally; or
    3. material contribution to the overall development of the institution; and
  3. demonstrated a significant commitment to the University.

(14) Conferral of the title of Emeritus Professor, which is normally conferred on retirement, is a high honour and is not to be seen as a normal expectation for all professors who retire from the University's service. In exceptional circumstances, the title may be conferred on resignation, such as where the person is taking up a senior position elsewhere.

Honorary Fellow

(15) A person is eligible for the title of Honorary Fellow of the University where they have made a particular and sustained contribution to the University well beyond the normal expectations of their role or association with the University. Such contributions may be in:

  1. furthering the academic endeavours of the University;
  2. representing and advocating on behalf of the University;
  3. supporting members of the University community;
  4. enhancing the resources of the University;
  5. supporting the mission, objectives and functions of the University.

Community Fellow

(16) A person is eligible for the title of Community Fellow of the University where they have made a particular and sustained contribution to enhancing the social, economic, cultural, environmental and/or technological development of the Greater Western Sydney region.

Distinguished Professor

(17) A professor of the University is eligible for the title of Distinguished Professor where they have achieved eminence at a national or international level, such as having attained a Federation Fellowship, ARC Fellowship or equivalent national or international award carrying substantial funding of several years' duration.

Distinguished Fellow

(18) An academic staff member is eligible for the title of Distinguished Fellow where they have achieved eminence at a national or international level, such as having attained a Federation Fellowship, ARC Fellowship or equivalent national or international award carrying substantial funding of several years' duration.

Professor and Associate Professor

(19) A staff member may be eligible for the title of Professor or Associate Professor under this policy where they:

  1. hold a senior leadership position; or
  2. have achieved exceptional national or international recognition for excellence or distinction in teaching; or
  3. have a record of academic excellence, have been offered a full professorship or other senior academic position at another university and the University wishes to retain the individual.

Visiting Professor and Visiting Fellow

(20) Visiting appointments:

  1. provide recognition to those who seek to be associated with the University to undertake independent scholarly work;
  2. recognise individuals who already have an academic appointment with another university and who continue to be paid by that institution with the intention of returning to their substantive position elsewhere; and
  3. cover short-stay academic staff from other universities and external students in appropriate circumstances.

(21) A person external to the University is eligible for the title of Visiting Professor where they hold or have previously held the position of Professor in another tertiary institution either in Australia or abroad.

(22) A person external to the University who is from within or outside the tertiary sector is eligible for the title of Visiting Fellow where they have not held the title of Professor prior to their appointment. Visiting Fellow appointments can include persons sponsored under an Occupational Trainee visa.

(23) The titles of Visiting Professor or Visiting Fellow are not intended for academics and others the University invites to present a seminar, workshop, plenary to a conference and the like.

Adjunct Professor and Adjunct Fellow

(24) Adjunct appointments may be made where:

  1. a person is invited to undertake activities with an academic (or other) unit in accordance with the mission and objectives of the University; and
  2. the appointment will result in mutual benefit for the appointee and the University.

(25) A person is eligible for the title of Adjunct Professor where they hold or have previously held the position of Professor in a tertiary institution either in Australia or overseas.

(26) A person who is from within or outside the tertiary sector is eligible for the title of Adjunct Fellow where they have not held the title of Professor prior to their appointment.

(27) A person who holds an honorary title with the University may also be given an adjunct title.

Appointment to College of Adjuncts

(28) Adjunct appointees may, in addition to their adjunct status, be appointed to the College of Adjuncts at the discretion of the University and on approval of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President, Research, Engagement, Development and International.

(29) The College of Adjuncts, established by the Board of Trustees under the Constitution of the College of Adjuncts:

  1. provides a platform for adjuncts to act and advise on a whole institution basis;
  2. facilitates adjuncts in accessing University services and personal development; and
  3. enables targeted and strategic recruitment of adjuncts.

(30) An adjunct appointment is eligible for appointment to the College of Adjuncts if they have:

  1. an existing adjunct status at the time of appointment to the College; or
  2. an adjunct appointment is being processed at the time of appointment to the College of Adjuncts.

TAFE Associate Appointments

(31) TAFE Associate appointments may be made for TAFE-University SWSi/TAFE WSI partnerships to foster collaborative arrangements.

(32) The relevant TAFE Institute(s) will establish selection criteria for TAFE Associates, and any amendments to the selection criteria, in consultation with the University.

Community Awards

(33) An individual or organisation external to the University is eligible for a Community Award where they have made substantial contributions to improving the quality of life of members of the Greater Western Sydney region.

Honorary Awards

(34) An honorary doctorate will normally be conferred where a person has made a particular and sustained contribution well beyond the normal expectations of their position and which has had a major and positive impact on the wider community, the nation or the world.

(35) An honorary doctorate of Letters will normally be conferred on a person whose achievement is related to cultural, social or humanitarian contribution.

(36) An honorary doctorate of Science will normally be conferred on a person whose achievement is related to the creation or application of scientific knowledge or professional contribution in the fields of science and technology.

(37) An honorary doctorate may be awarded for academic eminence but consideration should firstly be given to recognition under the Doctor of Letters and Doctor of Science Degrees Policy or the conferring of the title of Emeritus Professor.

(38) An existing award of the University may be conferred on an honorary basis having regard to the nature of the achievement and the appropriateness of the award to the circumstances.

Other Criteria

(39) Honorary titles and awards will not, other than in exceptional circumstances, be conferred on:

  1. current elected representatives in local, state or federal government;
  2. current staff, students or members of University committees or to persons being remunerated by the University, unless otherwise specified;
  3. persons who are deceased; or
  4. persons who are unable to attend the nominated ceremony to receive the honour.

(40) Those who are conferred an honorary title or award are expected to advance the University's reputation and standing in the community.

(41) Nothing in this policy precludes the Board of Trustees conferring an honorary title or award on its own initiative.

(42) Nothing in this policy gives rise to an employment relationship between an honorary title or award recipient and the University, unless otherwise specified.

(43) The authority conferring an honorary title or award or making an appointment may determine other criteria it considers appropriate in the circumstances.

(44) An honorary title cannot be conferred or approved as an alternative to the normal competitive recruitment and appointment, or academic promotion processes the University undertakes for employing academic or research staff except as provided by this policy.

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Section 4 - Procedures

(45) Refer to the Honorary Titles and Awards Procedures.

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Section 5 - Guidelines

(46) Guidance on the use of honorary award titles is provided in the Honorary Award Titles Usage Guidelines.

(47) This policy and the Honorary Titles and Awards Procedures replace the Emeritus Professor Policy, Honorary Awards Policy, and Visiting, Adjunct and TAFE Appointments Policy. For historical versions of these policies, please contact the Policy and Governance Unit.