University of Wisconsin-La Crosse

28 April 2008

Special Baccalaureate Degree Option Proposal

 

The awarding of a baccalaureate degree is the pinnacle of the undergraduate college experience.  It is an honor bestowed upon those that satisfactorily complete a course of study.  Occasionally events take place where the need to consider additional degree options arise.  Currently, we have no official policy at UW-L for the awarding of any form of “honorary degree” when the occasion makes it possible or necessary.  CAPS proposed policy for awarding a “Posthumous Degree” last spring.  It is included here as part of the whole package of proposed degree options. 

 

The goal of these policies is to honor those who have provided exemplary service to the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse and/or to extend sympathy and compassion to the families and friends of deceased students near completion of their degrees.

 

Proposed is a suggested means of addressing different circumstances surrounding the awarding of “Special Baccalaureate” degrees.

 

 

Special Baccalaureate Degree Options

 

            •  Honorary

            •  Extraordinary

•  Posthumous

 

Honorary Degrees - are awarded to those who have demonstrated cause to be honored.  This degree is available to only a select group of highly deserving individuals who merit special recognition for exceptional achievement and distinction in a field or activity supporting the mission of the University. 

Criteria

An Honorary Degree may be awarded to a person who satisfies one or more of the following:

Eminence, in the course of a career, in some field of scholarship, in public service, or in an artistic, literary, governmental, religious, financial, or other endeavor;

Support for the University through the individual's achievements and the mission or life of the University.

Reflection of the diversity of interests, backgrounds, and concerns forwarded by the University community and the society and world served by the University.

Extraordinary Degrees - are awarded to students who are deceased during his/her course of study at UW-L but not in their final semester.  Awarding of an Extraordinary Degree recognizes achievement of the deceased student while at UW-L and acknowledges the loss to the university, family and friends, and extends to them the opportunity to share in the success of the deceased student.

 

Criteria

An Extraordinary Degree may be awarded to a person who satisfies the following:

The student had been enrolled at UW-L and contributed to the life of the University.

 

The proposal is endorsed by the major/program department and by the student’s college.

 

 

Posthumous Degrees  - are awarded to students who are deceased prior to but nearing formal completion of all degree requirements of the programs being pursued.

 

Criteria

A Posthumous Degree may be awarded to a person who satisfies the following:

The student was in his/her final semester before graduation

 

There are substitutions or waivers for any required courses not completed other than those in which the student was enrolled at the time of death.

 

The proposal is endorsed by the major/program department and by the student’s college.

 

For a graduate degree, the capstone experience was near completion.

 

 

Committee Structure

 

This proposal would establish one committee to administer all applications and proposals.  The committee shall be designated annually as follows: the UW-L Executive Director of the Alumni Association, who shall chair and convene the Committee, and two representatives from each college and two members of the Alumni Association board of directors, to consider and evaluate each application.  The Executive Director of the Alumni Association would remain as a permanent member and the representatives from each college and the alumni association would rotate on three-year appointments.


 

University of Wisconsin-La Crosse

Guidelines for awarding an Honorary Degree

4/28/08

 

From time to time the university has the opportunity to award a degree to those who have demonstrated cause to be honored.  This non-academic degree is available to only a select group of highly deserving individuals who merit special recognition for genuine achievement and distinction in a field or activity consonant with the mission of the University. 

 

1.         Any member of the university may nominate and serve as an advocate for an individual nominee.  This individual may propose the action, collect necessary information and present the proposal.

 

2.         The proposal should be endorsed by a college, department or program, office or a division of the university (i.e. the Office of Student Life or the Office Multicultural Student Services.)

 

3.         The following should be considered when making a determination about awarding the degree:

Eminence, in the course of a career, in some field of scholarship, in public service, or in an artistic, literary, governmental, religious, financial, or other endeavor.

Support for the University through the individual's achievements and the mission or life of the University.

Reflection of the diversity of interests, backgrounds, and concerns forwarded by the University community and the society and world served by the University.

4.         The degree will be awarded in the term proposed.

 

5.         Only one Honorary Degree may be conferred in an academic term.

 

6.         Honorary Degrees are not official degrees and are not posted to any official academic record.

 

Procedures

 

Any interested party may initiate consideration of awarding an Honorary Degree.

 

The interested party will contact the Executive Director of the Alumni Association.

 

The Executive Director will initiate with the appropriate office a request to conduct a thorough review of the nominee. The Special Degree Committee would then evaluate the application.  The applications should include:

            •  Letter of Nomination

•  Resume

•  Information on nominee’s connection to campus, philanthropic activities, professional achievements and academic credentials.

In addition, UW System General Counsel recommends the following background information:

•  A Google or comparable search of public records about the individual

•  A Review of academic credentials

•  For Wisconsin residents, a criminal background-check through the Wisconsin Department of Justice and a Consolidated Court Automation Programs (“CCAP”) review

 

 

If the committee concludes the application is of merit and the nominee should be awarded an Honorary Degree, the committee recommendation will be submitted to the Chancellor for University approval.  Upon approval of the Chancellor, the recommendation is forwarded to the Board of Regents for final approval.

Honorary degree recipients shall not receive a speaker's fee or honorarium for accepting an honorary degree or delivering a commencement address or the equivalent.

No honorary degree shall be conferred unless the recipient is present.


 

University of Wisconsin-La Crosse

Guidelines for awarding an Extraordinary Degree

4/28/08

 

 

Extraordinary Degrees - are awarded to students who are deceased during his/her course of study at UW-L but not in their final semester.  Awarding of an Extraordinary Degree recognizes achievement of the deceased student while at UW-L and acknowledges the loss to the university, family and friends, and extends to them the opportunity to share in the success of the deceased student.

 

The following process is a guideline to awarding that individual a degree posthumously.

 

1.         Any member of the university may nominate and serve as an advocate for an individual nominee.  This individual may propose the action, collect necessary information and present the proposal.

 

2.         The proposal should be endorsed and submitted by a college, department or program, office or a division of the university (i.e. the Office of Student Life or the Office Multicultural Student Services.)

 

3.         The student had been enrolled at UW-L and contributed to the life of the University.

 

4.         The degree will be awarded at the next possible commencement or when possible a requested commencement.

 

5.         Honorary Degrees are not official degrees and are not posted to any official academic record.

 

6.         A very brief statement about the student may be read at commencement.

 

Procedures

 

Any interested party may initiate consideration of awarding a special baccalaureate degree. 

The interested party will contact the Executive Director of the Alumni Association and/or the Special Degree Committee. A proposal would be submitted to the committee by the nominating college, office, department or program for review.   Upon approval, a summary of the review will be submitted to the Dean.  If the Dean concludes the deceased student should be awarded an Extraordinary Degree, the committee recommendation will be forwarded to the Provost for concurrence.  If the Provost concurs, the recommendation will be submitted to the Chancellor for final approval.

Upon prior approval of the family, the name of the deceased student will be announced at Commencement, and the diploma holder will be given to a family member or a representative chosen by the family.

A short statement about the student may be submitted for reading at the awarding of the degree.


 

University of Wisconsin-La Crosse

Guidelines for awarding a posthumous degree

Passed by CAPS 3/30/07

 

 

From time to time the university has an unfortunate situation where a student who is extremely close to finishing a degree dies. The following process is a guideline to awarding that individual a degree posthumously.

 

1.         A member of the student’s major/program, college or Student Life may serve as an advocate. This individual may propose the action, collect necessary information and present the proposal to all of the appropriate bodies (see item 2 below). The person may write a very brief statement about the student to be read at commencement and serve as a host to the student’s family at the commencement ceremony.

 

2.         The proposal should be endorsed by the major/program department and by the student’s college.

 

3.         The following should be considered when making a determination about awarding the degree:

Was the student in his/her final semester (year) before graduation?

 

Are there substitutions or waivers for any required courses that were not completed? (other than those in which the student was enrolled at the time of death)

 

For a graduate degree, was the capstone experience near completion?

 

4.         The degree will be posted (to the students academic record) in the term during which the student had planned to graduate.

 

5.         Grades for the final semester in which the student was enrolled (if the death occurred during that time), will be recorded as “P” for passing. Remaining requirements that have been waived or substituted will be recorded on the student’s record.

 

Procedures

 

Any interested party may initiate consideration of awarding a special baccalaureate degree. 

The interested party will contact the Executive Director of the Alumni Association or the College office in which the deceased student's program resided.  The Dean (or designee) will initiate with the Office of the Records and Registration a request to conduct a thorough review of the deceased student's progress toward his/her degree objective.  The Special Degree Committee and the College Dean will review the application.  If the Dean and committee conclude the deceased student should be awarded a degree posthumously, the committee recommendation will be forwarded to the Provost for concurrence.  If the Provost concurs, a summary of the review will be submitted to the Chancellor for final approval. 

Upon prior approval of the family, the name of the deceased student will be announced at Commencement, and the diploma holder will be given to a family member or a representative chosen by the family.

A short statement about the student may be submitted for reading at the awarding of the degree.