Honorary Positions and Degrees Policy

Fact box

  • Policy owner: President
  • Policy category: Governance: Council
  • Policy status: Approved
  • Approval body: Council
  • Endorsement body: Academic Board
  • Related policies:
  • Last amended: 2nd Feb. 2023
  • Relevant HESF: 1.5.11


The purpose of this policy is to outline the criteria and procedures for the appointment of honorary positions and the awarding of honorary degrees at Alphacrucis University College (AC).


Whole of AC


Honorary positions and honorary degrees provide AC with the opportunity to recognise exceptional achievement and acknowledge significant and eminent contributions to scholarship, professional practice and service to AC and the broader community. They are designed to be mutually beneficial to AC and to the academics who serve in the roles and will also reflect the commitment of AC to equality and diversity. All recipients of honorary positions or honorary degrees will reflect and represent the values of AC in an exemplary manner.

Those who are conferred with honorary positions or honorary degrees will continue to advance the reputation and standing of AC in the community and provide inspiration to students and graduates. Honorary positions and honorary degrees will not be awarded to:

  • current external members of Council;
  • current staff (except in some instances Professional Fellow, University College Chair, and Fellow);
  • serving Australian politicians; or
  • recognised individuals for philanthropic donations alone.

AC recognises the following honorary degrees and honorary positions:


Honorary Doctorate 

The purpose of the Honorary Doctorate is to recognise an individual who has achieved eminence in an area of education or research, or is distinguished by eminent service to the community. These achievements must be well beyond the usual expectations of the nominee’s usual role and responsibility. For the purposes of this honorary award, eminent achievement may be evidenced by (for example):

  • an outstanding and esteemed national or international reputation in a particular field of learning and/or research;
  • an outstanding contribution to a broad section of society or to the advancement of human wellbeing;
  • an outstanding contribution which has influenced the thinking or general wellbeing of the wider community;
  • an outstanding contribution to Alphacrucis University College;
  • exceptional service to the professional and public life of a particular discipline.

An honorary award is not a qualification that is recognised by the Australian Qualifications Framework and as such the title ‘Doctor’ should not be used by those who hold an honorary award. AC awards the following: DBus (honoris causa), DLitt (honoris causa), DMin (honoris causa), DTh, and EdD (honoris causa). For honorary doctorates awarded in a particular discipline, the postnominal is preceded by ‘Hon.D’, for example, 'Hon.DMin AC'. All notification documentation issued to the recipient will specify that the award is honorary.


Honorary Associate or Honorary Professor 

An Honorary Associate or Honorary Professor will:

  • currently or previously have held a substantive position at a higher education institution in Australia or overseas, or have equivalent professional standing;
  • be likely to make a significant contribution to the teaching, professional and/or scholarship activities of AC;
  • observe the AC Code of Conduct;
  • adhere to the AC policies and procedures.

Honorary Associate and Honorary Professor appointments are unpaid. The position does not preclude payment for sessional teaching, guest speaking or other activities. AC will provide access and use of faculty and administration areas, as well as library and research resources as appropriate.

Honorary Associates and Honorary Professors will be accountable to the supervisor of their area of expertise and their roles and responsibilities will be outlined in the letter of offer. Duties are determined on a needs only basis and may include:

  • preparing and delivering lectures, seminars and/or workshops;
  • contributing toward conferences and colloquiums;
  • collaborating on research projects;
  • supervising major research projects.

Honorary Associate and Honorary Professor appointments are ongoing unless terminated by AC or the appointee.


Fellow and Professorial Fellow

The purpose of these honorary positions is to recognise distinguished contributions to areas covered by the AC vision and mission or exceptional service to AC. This service must be well beyond the usual expectations of the nominee’s usual role and responsibility.

This may be evidenced by (for example):

  • support of the interests and welfare of AC or of a particular part of AC's activities;
  • promotion of the academic purposes of AC or of facilitating those purposes in any particular activity of AC;
  • expanding educational opportunities among groups within the community that AC considers have suffered disadvantages in education;
  • fostering links between AC and other institutions within and outside Australia;
  • outstanding service to AC and/or outstanding service to a community within which AC operates;
  • interest in and commitment to the welfare of students.

While the positions are unpaid this does not preclude payment for sessional teaching, guest speaking, research supervision or other activities. AC will provide access and use of faculty and administration areas, as well as library and research resources as appropriate.

Professorial Fellows will be entitled to use the title “Professor”.


Emeritus Professor 

The honorary position of Emeritus Professor may be conferred upon retired AC academic staff holding the title of Professor who have given distinguished service to AC. A period of service of at least five years is normally required for a person to be eligible for consideration.

Conferral of the honorary position of Emeritus Professor will occur when the academic staff member retires or leaves the employ of AC. The title will not normally be conferred upon an academic staff member who resigns from AC to take up a post at another higher education institution.


University College Chair

The purpose of University College Chairs is to recognise and reward individuals who are internationally acknowledged scholars of exceptional distinction or to attract such scholars to AC. There is no expectation that University College Chair appointments will be made every year and no more than three such appointments shall be made in any one year.

Members of AC staff appointed to University College Chairs will generally hold the title Professor/University College Chair for the duration of their appointment as a member of staff at AC. The duration of the appointment for persons appointed from outside AC will be determined by Council when making the appointment.



An honorary position or honorary degree may be withdrawn by Council at any time if it is in the best interest of AC. The person will be informed of the withdrawal in writing. There is no appeal process to the decision of the Council.

Holders of honorary positions may request termination of their appointment at any time.

Responsible for implementation


Key stakeholders

All staff and students


Honorary Positions and Degrees Procedures

1. Nomination and Deliberation

A member of Council, the Vice President Academic or the President are entitled to nominate honorary positions or honorary doctorates based on the criteria outlined above. Nominations must include evidence that the nominee meets the criteria e.g. demonstrated contribution to AC and/or wider community; applicant’s resume; etc.

Nominations for Honorary Associate and Honorary Professor will be assessed by AC’s Research Committee and, if appropriate, recommended to Academic Board for approval.

Nominations for all other honorary positions or honorary degrees will be assessed by Council and approved if appropriate.

2. Confidentiality

All nominations are strictly confidential and the full details of the nominations, including the names of those submitting them, remain confidential. The names of those candidates approved by the Council or Academic Board are released only after they have accepted the offer of award.

3. Notification 

If Council resolves to grant an honorary position or honorary degree, a formal letter of offer will be made to the candidate as soon as possible following the Council meeting. This letter will include advice about any entitlements arising from the award. Recipients will not be contacted prior to the final decision of Council.

If Academic Board resolves to approve an appointment to Honorary Associate or Honorary Professor, the nominee will be contacted with an invitation from the Chair of Academic Board.

4. Conferral

Honorary positions and honorary degrees may be conferred at a graduation ceremony or other event of AC. Recipients will normally wear the academic dress prescribed for the award.

5.  Reporting

Honorary appointees are encouraged to update their AC Faculty Profile twice a year. If the honorary appointment ceases or is withdrawn, the relevant supervisor, or delegated representative, will ensure that the Faculty Profile is withdrawn from the AC website.