Honorary Doctorate Degrees

Procedure Number: 
Policy Number: 
Board of Governors
May 15, 2015
May 15, 2017
Procedure Statement: 


The awarding of honorary degrees is intended to encourage a standard of excellence and innovation which is exemplary to students, faculty and staff, and to society generally.  Candidates are to exhibit a record of outstanding distinction and achievement, connected to the work of the Institute and the communities it serves. 

There are three general categories of people upon whom the Institute may confer honorary degrees:

  1. Individuals who are distinguished in their field of study or who have made outstanding and sustained contributions to justice and public safety in British Columbia or Canada;
  2. Individuals who have distinguished reputations in the area of public service at the provincial, national or international level;
  3. Individuals who have made significant and noteworthy contributions to JIBC and/or the Province of British Columbia.


The Honorary Doctorate Degree Committee is responsible for:

  1. Establishing processes for nomination, evaluation and recommendation of candidates for Honorary Degrees.
  2. Evaluating nominations and selecting those to be recommended to the Board of Governors for approval.  
  3. Performing sufficient due diligence to mitigate the risk of harm to the Institute’s reputation.

The following guidelines may assist the Honorary Degree Committee in recommending candidates to the Board of Governors for honorary degrees:


  1. Normally, one honorary degree will be conferred at each Convocation ceremony.
  2. The President will send out a call for nominations to employees, Board of Governors and JIBC Foundation members in April of each year for Feb and June convocations.
  3. The distinction and achievement should be consistent with the vision, mission, and values of the Institution.
  4. The candidate’s achievement must be outstanding.  There should be evidence of a contribution that is innovative, beyond the norm, characteristic of a leader in the field, and may be self-initiated and self-directed.
  5. Achievements may include contributions at the municipal, provincial, national or international levels.
  6. Nomination packages may be requested from the President’s office or downloaded from the JIBC website www.jibc.ca and will include the procedures for the awarding of honorary degrees. A cover form to be filled in by the nominator. 
  7. Nominations are submitted in confidence. The nominee should not be informed of his/her nomination. 
  8. Persons holding political office (municipal, provincial or federal), a current appointment with JIBC, or who are current employees at JIBC are not eligible for consideration for honorary degrees.  Persons who have been JIBC employees will not be eligible for consideration until five (5) years after the completion of their last regular appointment.
  9. The President will acknowledge the receipt of all nominations and forward the nominations on to the Honorary Degree Committee.
  10. The adjudication of candidates shall take place in such a way as to minimize perceived conflict of interest and prevent real conflict of interest.
  11. i.      A person is in conflict of interest in connection with a nomination if s/he is either the nominator or an endorser of the nomination, or is a friend, close colleague, employer, or family member of the nominee, or has any other close relationship to the nominee, or stands to gain in any way from any decision on the nomination.

    ii.      Any member of the Honorary Degree Committee or of the Board of Governors who has an interest (real or perceived) in a particular nomination must declare that interest to the Honorary Degree Committee or the Board of Governors before deliberations commence.

    iii.     ; The Chair of the Honorary Doctorate Degree Committee shall rule on whether a member with a perceived interest is in real conflict of interest; if so, the member shall be absent from all deliberations concerning the nomination and shall not vote on any recommendation bearing on the nomination.

  12.  The Honorary Doctorate Degree Committee will recommend candidates for Board of Governor consideration, having rank-ordered the nominations received, and bearing in mind the number of candidates currently in the Approved Candidates Pool, and the feasibility of awarding honorary degrees to the new approved candidates within the specified three-year period.  Together with its recommendations, the Honorary Degree Committee will report to the Board of Governors on the number of nominations received.
  13. All meetings of the Honorary Doctorate Degree Committee and the Board of Governors which deal with nominations for honorary degrees will be held in-camera and all personal information will remain confidential. 
  14. According to the Freedom of Information/Protection of Privacy Act, nominees who are rejected are entitled to access to portions of the minutes of such in-camera meetings relevant to their case.
  15. Once a candidate has been approved, the decision on when the award is to be made lies with the President.  However, the acceptance of the award must be made within two calendar years.
  16. The President’s Office shall liaise with the Office of the Registrar to determine the best available ceremony at which to present the degree.
  17. Successful candidates will be informed in writing by the President.  All communication with nominators, successful and unsuccessful, will be undertaken by the President’s Office.
  18. Once the successful candidate(s) has (have) accepted the invitation, the President will make a formal announcement confirming the candidate(s) and the ceremony at which the honorary degree is to be awarded.
  19. A successful candidate will attend the ceremony at which the honorary degree is to be awarded.  If having accepted the invitation and circumstances change, the Board of Governors will decide whether to award the degree in absentia or posthumously.
  20. The final decision for bestowing an honorary degree rests with the Board of Governors.

Last updated June 3, 2015