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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 mission, goals and strategic plan.

(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 principles and criteria that apply to each of the University's honorary titles and awards.

(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. TAFE means Technical and Further Education.
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Section 3 - Policy Statement

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

Part A - Honorary Titles and Awards Conferred by the Board of Trustees

Emeritus Chancellor of the University

(7) The Board of Trustees may confer the title of Emeritus Chancellor of the University on a former Chancellor who has:

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

Emeritus Professor of the University

(8) The Board of Trustees may confer the title of Emeritus Professor of the University on a former professor who has:

  1. occupied the position of professor at the University for a minimum period of five years, unless exceptional circumstances are involved; and
  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.

(9) The title of Emeritus Professor, which is normally conferred on retirement, is a high honour and is not conferred on 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 of the University

(10) The Board of Trustees may confer the title of Honorary Fellow of the University on a person who has 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, goals and strategic plan of the University.

Community Fellow of the University

(11) The Board of Trustees may confer the title of Community Fellow of the University on a person who has made a particular and sustained contribution to enhancing the social, economic, cultural, environmental and/or technological development of the Greater Western Sydney region.

Honorary Doctorates

(12) The Board of Trustees may confer an honorary doctorate on a person who 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. These honorary doctorates are:

  1. Doctor of Letters honoris causa for cultural, social or humanitarian contribution.
  2. Doctor of Science honoris causa for the creation or application of scientific knowledge or professional contribution to the fields of science and technology.
  3. Doctor of Laws honoris causa for professional contribution to the field of law.

Part B - Awards and Appointments made by the Vice-Chancellor and President

Distinguished Professor

(13) The Vice-Chancellor and President may appoint a professor of the University, for a period of five years renewable upon successful application as a Distinguished Professor where they have achieved eminence at a national or international level. A Distinguished Professor must demonstrate:

  1. their international influence within their field;
  2. their commitment to excellence;
  3. their contribution to the Western Sydney region and the world;
  4. their continuing intellectual leadership; and
  5. that they continue to be highly recognised in their field.

Distinguished Fellow

(14) The Vice-Chancellor and President may appoint an academic staff member of the University, for the duration of their tenure, as a 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

(15) The Vice-Chancellor and President may appoint a current staff member of the University, for the duration of their tenure, as a Professor or Associate Professor 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 them.

Vice-Chancellor’s Professional Fellow

(16) The Vice-Chancellor and President may appoint a former professional staff member of the University as a Vice-Chancellor’s Professional Fellow 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. representing and advocating on behalf of the University;
  2. supporting members of the University community;
  3. enhancing the resources of the University;
  4. supporting the mission, goals and strategic plan of the University.

Community Awards

(17) The Vice-Chancellor and President may grant an individual or organisation external to the University a Community Award where they have made substantial contributions to improving the quality of life of members of the Greater Western Sydney region.

Part C - Honorary Appointments made by Deputy Vice-Chancellors

Adjunct Professor or Adjunct Associate Professor

(18) The Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President, Research, Enterprise and International may make Adjunct Professor or Adjunct Associate Professor appointments where:

  1. a person is invited to undertake activities with an academic (or other) unit in accordance with the mission, goals and strategic plan of the University; and
  2. the person holds, or has previously held, the position of Professor or Associate Professor in a tertiary institution either in Australia or overseas; and
  3. the appointment will result in mutual benefit for the appointee and the University.

(19) Adjunct Professor or Adjunct Associate Professor appointments may be made for a period of between one and three years, and may be renewed without consecutive or cumulative limit.

(20) A person who holds an honorary title with the University may also be given an Adjunct Professor title.

Centre for Western Sydney Industry and Community Associates

(21) The Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President, Research, Enterprise and International may make Centre for Western Sydney Industry or Community Associate appointments where:

  1. a person is associated with the University through an affiliation with the Centre for Western Sydney which sees them embedded in research and enterprise activities including those which benefit and advocate for the region and the  University; and
  2. Associates will be a conduit from the University to the partner organisation. Industry, for the purposes of this award, is defined in its broadest terms with Fellows drawn from industry or community partners.

TAFE Associate Appointments

(22) The Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President, Academic may make TAFE Associate appointments for TAFE-University partnerships that support the University mission, goals and strategic plan and foster collaborative arrangements.

(23) TAFE New South Wales will establish selection criteria for TAFE Associates, in consultation with the University.

(24) TAFE Associate Appointments are generally made for a period of two years and may be extended if all parties agree. The maximum appointment is two terms (ie four years).

Part D - Honorary Appointments made by Deans of Schools and Directors, Research Institutes

Adjunct Fellow

(25) Deans of Schools and Directors of Research Institutes may make Adjunct Fellow appointments for their school or institute where:

  1. a person is invited to undertake activities with their school or institute in accordance with the mission, goals and strategic plan of the University; and
  2. the appointment will result in mutual benefit for the appointee and the University.

(26) Adjunct Fellow appointments may be made for a period of between one and three years, and may be renewed without consecutive or cumulative limit.

(27) 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.

(28) A person who holds an honorary title with the University may also be given an Adjunct Fellow title.

Visiting Professor and Visiting Fellow

(29) Deans of Schools and Directors of Research Institutes may make Visiting Professor and Visiting Fellow appointments for their school or institute where:

  1. a person is invited to undertake activities with their school or institute in accordance with the mission, goals and strategic plan of the University; and
  2. the appointment will result in mutual benefit for the appointee and the University.

(30) 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.

(31) Visiting appointments may be made for a maximum of one year, and may be renewed up to a maximum of three years.

(32) 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 at another tertiary institution either in Australia or abroad.

(33) 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 Training visa.

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

Part E - Other Criteria

(35) 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.

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

(37) Nothing in this policy precludes the Board of Trustees conferring an honorary title or award on its own initiative, and on criteria is considers appropriate in the circumstances. This can include existing awards of the University.

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

(39) 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

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

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Section 5 - Guidelines

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