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Washington State University
Office of the President Presidential Committees

Honorary Doctoral Degrees Committee


The Honorary Doctoral Degree Committee is responsible for processing and reviewing nominations for honorary degrees. The committee is composed of 12 members, 6 (including the chair) appointed by the president of the University, and 6 by the Faculty Senate Steering Committee. Committee members serve 3-year staggered terms. The provost, vice president for research, and chair of Faculty Senate serve as ex officio members of the committee.


The committee will establish a deadline and solicit nominations early in the fall semester each year. Any member of the University community may nominate an individual(s) using the honorary degree nomination form. A detailed letter of nomination, complete biographical material, and the names and addresses of 3 individuals who have direct knowledge of the nominee and his or her accomplishments should accompany the nomination form. No disclosure is to be made to the nominee while his or her name is under consideration. Upon receipt of a nomination the committee will review the material and, if necessary, request additional information from the nominator or other appropriate individuals or academic units.

  • If the committee fails to recommend the nominee, no further consideration is given to the nomination.
  • If the committee recommends a nominee(s), all materials are submitted simultaneously to the president of the University and to the Faculty Senate Steering Committee.
  • If either the president or the Faculty Senate Steering Committee fails to recommend the nominee, no further consideration is given to the individual.
  • If both the president and the Faculty Steering Committee recommend the nominee, all materials are submitted to the Board of Regents and the board makes a final decision as to the awarding of the degree. Given the special nature of the honorary degrees, they should be awarded after careful and thorough deliberation. The regents may elect not to award any honorary degrees in a given year or they may decide that up to 3 individuals are worthy of this special recognition.

Honorary degrees are conferred at official University-wide ceremonies, e.g. commencement and convocation.


  • Administers the process by which nominations for honorary degrees are made and reviewed.
  • Receives nominations for honorary degrees from any member of the University community.
  • Reviews and investigates nominations.
  • Recommends approved candidates to the Faculty Senate Steering Committee and to the president.
  • With approval from president and Faculty Senate Steering Committee, recommends nominees to Board of Regents.

Composition and tenure

  • 12 faculty members, including at least 1 member from each degree-granting college, and at least 1 from a regional campus, with 3-year terms. 6 members, including chair, appointed by the president (F-P); 6 members appointed by the Faculty Senate Steering Committee (F-FS).
  • Provost; chair, Faculty Senate; vice president for research. (X)

Chair is appointed by and responsible to the president.

Nomination Form


Horne, Christine
Faculty Senate chair-elect
Committee term end: 2022

Austin, Erica
Murrow College of Communication
Committee term end: 2023

Cook, Diane
Voiland College of Engineering & Arcitecture
Committee term end: 2023

Gloss, Lisa
Graduate School
Ex officio

Higheagle Strong, Zoe
College of Education
Committee term end: 2021

Jansen, Heiko
College of Veterinary Medicine
Committee term end: 2023

Carson College of Business
Committee term end:

Keane, Christopher
Vice President for Research
Ex officio

McCracken, Vicki
Committee term end: 2024

McPherson, Sterling
Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine
Committee term end: 2024

Meier, Kathryn
College of Pharmacy
Committee term end: 2024

Chilton, Elizabeth

Potter, Nancy
Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine
Committee term end: 2023

Craft, Rebecca
College of Arts & Sciences
Committee term end: 2022

Van Son, Catherine
College of Nursing
Committee term end: 2024

Call, Douglas
Faculty Senate, Chair