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Honorary Titles and Awards Policy




Policy statements

Policy ownership and support


Approval information

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Appendix A: The Honorary Titles Panel

1. Purpose

1.1 The Honorary Titles and Awards Policy (the policy) outlines conditions for the:

  • nomination and conferral of honorary awards
  • naming of academic and physical entities of the university (honour naming), and
  • awarding of honorary titles.

2. Scope

2.1 This policy applies to:

  • all staff and Council members involved in the administration and approval of honorary titles, honorary awards and honour naming, and
  • all honorary award holders, honorary title holders and those individuals, organisations and entities conferred with an honour name.

2.2 This policy does not cover:

3. Principles

3.1 In line with the Recruitment and Appointment Policy, the principles of workforce diversity, strategic alignment, equality of opportunity and transparency of process apply for this policy.

3.2 Honorary awards and titles should be conferred:

  • in line with the UTS 2027 strategy, and commitments, promoting collaboration with industry, government, research and educational partners
  • on the basis of merit, with a focus on the potential for positive contributions to the university’s strategic priorities, values (including diversity and gender representation) and culture.

3.3 Honour naming should be:

  • conferred for a specified period of time, and not conferred in perpetuity
  • made on the basis of merit and positive contributions to the university’s strategy, commitments, values (including diversity and gender representation) and culture.

3.4 Reappointments and renewals should follow the appointment or recognition processes outlined in this policy.

3.5 The Code of Conduct and the Equity, Inclusion and Respect Policy apply to all those under the scope of this policy.

3.6 Staff and external parties must be aware of, disclose and manage any actual, potential or perceived conflicts of interest as soon as the conflict is identified in line with the  Code of Conduct by submitting a conflict of interest disclosure form (available at Staff conduct and responsibilities (Staff Connect)).

4. Policy statements

Honorary awards nomination and conferral

4.1 Honorary awards are defined in Schedule 1, Student Rules. Honorary awards are determined by Council and listed in section 14, Student Rules.

4.2 The University Secretary invites nominations for honorary awards on an annual basis. Nominations can be made by deans, directors or members of the Senior Executive on the nomination form available from the University Secretary.

4.3 Urgent nominations arising outside the annual process should be sent directly to the Vice-Chancellor or Chancellor for consideration.

4.4 Nominators must ensure that their nomination is accurate and all required sections are completed, including background checks as appropriate (as advised in the guidelines for nominations).

4.5 The University Secretary coordinates honorary award nominations for evaluation by the Vice-Chancellor. The Vice-Chancellor evaluates all nominations based on quality, calibre and standing before further submission to Council's Honorary Awards Committee.

4.6 Council, on the recommendation of the Honorary Awards Committee, the Vice-Chancellor or the Chancellor, may confer an honorary award upon an individual who has:

  • a meaningful relationship with UTS, and
  • made an outstanding contribution in an area detailed in the UTS honorary awards table.

4.7 The UTS honorary awards table supports section 14, Student Rules by outlining criteria for recipients.

UTS honorary awards table

Honorary award category Recipient criteria and area of outstanding contribution
An honorary doctorate (relevant to the recipient’s discipline or profession). Scholarship or professional practice in one or more disciplines or professions of interest to the university.
The advancement of society in Australia or overseas.
Honorary Doctor of the University The achievement of the university's vision, as well as enhancing its reputation and standing at a national and international level.
Fellow of the University

Business, industry, government, a profession or the arts, as well as a contribution to the university's strategic priorities.

It is expected that the recipients of this award will continue to contribute to the university.
UTS Distinguished Service Award

Contribution to UTS, specifically to recognise:

  • a member of university staff who has given outstanding service beyond the requirements of their position, or
  • a member of the university community who has made a distinguished contribution to UTS.
Emeritus awards
  • Professor
  • Vice-Chancellor or Chancellor Emeritus

Emeritus professorships may be conferred on professors of the university who, normally, have been a professor, active in their respective disciplines, for at least 10 years. To be eligible for consideration of this award, a UTS professor will have completed (or be about to complete) continuing employment at the university, normally at retirement.

Recipients conferred with an emeritus professorship should, as well as having made an outstanding contribution to the university or wider community, have also met at least two of the following criteria:

  • an outstanding record in research (international recognition)
  • outstanding record in teaching and learning (UTS and elsewhere, as visiting or adjunct), and/or
  • outstanding record of leadership (holding a leadership position in UTS and contributing to staff development or improvement).
A retiring (or retired) Vice-Chancellor or Chancellor who, normally, has completed two terms of office and made, or continues to make, an ongoing contribution to the university or public life. Normally, Vice-Chancellor Emeritus and Chancellor Emeritus awards will be conferred automatically by Council upon retirement from the respective office.
Note: Council may determine to confer a different category of award than the one recommended if it considers such an award more appropriate to the stated contribution of the proposed recipient.

4.8 Honorary awards will be conferred at a university event approved by the Chancellor and must be conferred within two years of the nomination approval. Honorary awards, with the exception of the UTS Distinguished Service Award, will not be conferred on UTS staff during their employment with UTS.

4.9 Conferral of an honorary award recognises contribution and does not provide the recipient with any university responsibilities, privileges or authority. Recipients should not present themselves as being recipients of an award of the university (in the form of an award course as defined in Schedule 1, Student Rules).

4.10 Honorary awards are ongoing. Rescissions of honorary awards are managed in line with Rule 14.3.

4.11 Council, on the recommendation of the Honorary Awards Committee, can approve emeritus awards for conferral (normally) on retirement or after the Council decision date, whichever is later.

Honour naming nomination and conferral

4.12 UTS may recognise substantial support (normally, donations or sponsorships from individuals or organisations), distinguished service or outstanding contributions to the university through honour naming. Honour naming may apply to a structure, facility, collection, academic program or chair including the following entities:

  • university buildings or parts of buildings
  • outdoor physical features of the university such as green spaces, sports facilities and walkways
  • university bodies such as faculties, departments, centres, schools and institutes
  • academic positions such as chairs, professorships, lectureships and fellowships
  • academic awards, such as awards for excellence in teaching
  • academic programs, such as visiting lectureships and lecture series
  • student awards for excellence or merit, including scholarships and fellowships, and
  • collections such as library and art collections.

4.13 The honour naming of an entity must be reasonable and proportionate to the contribution made by the individual or organisation. An individual’s or organisation’s name will be honour named only once. Any exceptions must be considered by Council.

4.14 Council may, from time to time, establish minimum amounts below which honour naming of academic and physical entities will not be considered.

4.15 Honour naming proposals should be submitted to the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Enterprise) or the Vice-President (Advancement) for a full evaluation. The nominator is responsible for the content, quality and accuracy of the proposal. Proposals should include:

  • internal and external consultation on the merits of the proposal
  • a strategic impact and advantage assessment, particularly in the context of the university's strategy for obtaining sponsorships for its structures, facilities and programs, and
  • a background check and risk assessment of the proposal as advised in the guidelines for nominations.

4.16 Proposals to honour name an academic or physical entity in recognition of a UTS staff member will not be considered until after the individual has left the university.

4.17 The form and duration of the honour name will be agreed and documented in consultation with the individual or organisation (or the relevant trustee(s)) as part of the approval proposal. The form of honour name should be in line with the guidelines available at UTS brand and visual identity (Staff Connect) and the Publications style guide (Staff Connect).

4.18 On review, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Enterprise) or the Vice-President (Advancement), in consultation, may submit the proposal with an evaluation report to either the Vice-Chancellor or Council’s Honorary Awards Committee, as appropriate to the proposed honour name. In exceptional circumstances, approvals for university entities may proceed direct to Council on the recommendation of the Vice-Chancellor.

4.19 Honour names are approved in line with this policy and the UTS Delegations.

Honour name approval authority table

Entity to be honour named Approval authority
University buildings, parts of buildings, outdoor features, facilities, departments, centres, schools and institutes, academic programs and collections Approved by Council on the recommendation of Council's Honorary Awards Committee.
Academic positions, including academic chairs, academic awards, student awards. Approved by the Vice-Chancellor.

4.20 Individuals or organisations being recognised by the university will be contacted by the Chancellor and must acknowledge the honour name in writing.

4.21 Proposals for honour naming physical or academic entities not listed in this policy require approval from the Vice-Chancellor and Council.

Honour naming discontinuation or amendments

4.22 Amendments to honour names are approved by the relevant approval authority and may include changing or modifying the entity’s name where the name of the organisation (or individual) has changed.

4.23 Discontinuation of an honour name is made by the relevant approval authority in line with any contractual agreements made at the time the honour name is conferred.

4.24 UTS may also choose to discontinue the use of a name at any time, in particular where the individual or organisation:

  • acts or is seen to have acted in a manner that is inconsistent with the university's values and/or behavioural expectations as outlined in the Code of Conduct and the Equity, Inclusion and Respect Policy
  • has failed to meet their pledged commitments to the university, and/or
  • has otherwise come into disrepute.

4.25 Where circumstances require, the Vice-Chancellor has authority to amend or withdraw any use of an honour name and report any such changes to the next meeting of Council.

Honorary title nomination and approval

4.26 Honorary titles (outlined in the honorary titles and categories table) may be conferred:

  • based on merit and achievement to an individual in recognition of their position or significant contribution to teaching, research or the wider community, and
  • commensurate with expectations for UTS academic staff positions as outlined in the Academic Promotion Policy.

Honorary titles and categories table

Honorary title Title categorisation Criteria Approval authority
Adjunct (academic)
  • Adjunct Fellow (normally an academic below the level of professor)
  • Adjunct Associate Professor
  • Adjunct Professor

Adjunct academic titles are awarded to academics from other universities on the basis of their achievements, expertise and contribution to teaching or research.

Adjunct academics may hold (or be a retiree from) a corresponding position at another university, in a field of relevance to UTS.

Adjunct academics will have a continuing relationship with and provide benefit to UTS.

Adjunct titles are awarded for up to three years duration.

Adjunct fellows are approved by deans or directors in line with normal recruitment, review and vetting processes.

Adjunct associate professors and professors are endorsed by deans or directors and approved by the Provost on the recommendation of the Honorary Titles Panel (Appendix A).
Adjunct (industry)
  • Industry/Professional Fellow
  • Adjunct Associate Professor
  • Adjunct Professor

Adjunct industry titles are awarded on the basis of expertise and recognition in business, public sector, not-for-profit, professional or cultural communities.

Adjunct industry title holders are non-academic and may hold (or be a retiree from) an appropriate and/or corresponding position in industry, business, public sector, professional or cultural communities, in a field of relevance to UTS.

Adjunct industry title holders will have a continuing relationship with and provide benefit to UTS.

Adjunct titles are awarded for up to three years duration.

Industry and professional fellows are approved by deans or directors in line with normal recruitment, review and vetting processes.

Adjunct associate professors and professors are endorsed by deans or directors and approved by the Provost on the recommendation of the Honorary Titles Panel (Appendix A).
Visiting academic
  • Visiting Scholar (normally a PhD student or researcher)
  • Visiting Fellow (normally an academic below the level of professor)
  • Visiting Professor

Visiting academic titles are normally awarded to individuals who simultaneously hold appropriate and/or corresponding academic positions in another Australian or overseas university.

Visiting academic titles may also be awarded to individuals of professional eminence in a field relevant to UTS.

Visiting titles are awarded for a finite period (no longer than one year) in order to engage in teaching, learning or other scholarly activity.
Visiting academic titles are approved by deans or directors in line with normal recruitment, review and vetting processes.
  • Clinical Fellow
  • Clinical Associate Professor
  • Clinical Professor

Clinical titles are awarded to:

  • staff from affiliated Australian research institutes
  • staff from teaching hospitals or other clinical practice areas with a formal affiliation to UTS, and
  • practicing health professionals who support the teaching and learning needs of the university.

Clinical titles are awarded for a finite period (no longer than one year), for teaching, learning or other scholarly activity.

Clinical titles are approved by deans or directors in line with normal recruitment, review and vetting processes.

4.27 Nominations for honorary titles, including all relevant supporting documentation (and background checks as appropriate), must be made on the nomination form approved and published by the People Unit and submitted by the advertised deadlines (refer Honorary appointments (Staff Connect)).

4.28 UTS does not limit the number of honorary titles made annually, however, honorary titles (particularly adjuncts) must be made with care and attention to the high status of the title.

4.29 Titles may be awarded jointly, between two or more faculties and/or institutes, to enhance research and/or teaching collaborations.

4.30 Current UTS staff are not normally awarded honorary titles, however, in line with the university’s strategy, UTS staff may be considered for an appropriate honorary title by the Honorary Titles Panel (the panel) (Appendix A), approved by the Provost.

4.31 A list of adjunct title holders may be published by the faculty or institute as required.

4.32 The approval authority should notify the People Unit of honorary title approvals as outlined on the approval form (refer Honorary appointments (Staff Connect)). Approvals of all adjunct, clinical and visiting titles must be kept on a register managed by the People Unit . This should be available for reporting purposes to Council or the Senior Executive on request.

4.33 Formal honorary titles and associated terms and conditions will be presented in writing by the People Unit. Offers should be accepted by the award recipient in writing.

4.34 The award offer will contain the following details:

  • the nature of the honorary title
  • the faculty or unit where the recipient will work
  • the duration of the title appointment
  • rights, entitlements and obligations (in line with this policy)
  • the supervisor, host and/or contact for the recipient
  • the duties of the position
  • if applicable, expenses to be reimbursed by UTS
  • any relevant insurance information
  • any special conditions relating to the title, and
  • the ownership of intellectual property.

4.35 Individuals will hold an honorary title for the period as outlined in this policy (refer Honorary titles and categories table). Reappointments of titles must follow the honorary title approval process.

Honorary title holder obligations and entitlements

4.36 Honorary title holders are not considered university staff and are not bound by the university’s Enterprise agreements. However, honorary titles confer on the recipient some:

4.37 The specific duties of each honorary title holder will be the subject of negotiation between the title holder, dean or director, the approval authority and the People Unit.

4.38 Normally, honorary title holders must have a right to work in Australia. In some instances UTS may sponsor the visa of an honorary title holder and must obtain (or facilitate UTS in obtaining) an appropriate visa from the Department of Home Affairs in order to take up their honorary title and receive reimbursement of expenses or any form of payment from UTS.

4.39 Honorary title holders may be asked to perform duties, including but not limited to:

  • research collaboration and participation opportunities through joint research projects and grant applications
  • external advice or supervisory positions for postgraduate students (refer Graduate Research and Supervision Policy) and/or assessment of senior undergraduate or postgraduate students
  • contribution to curricula and/or teaching (including guest lectures and participation in the delivery of executive education and short forms of learning)
  • contribution to activities associated with developing UTS’s external relationships with industry and community
  • representation of UTS in professional forums, conferences and public seminars
  • contribution to UTS’s profile and reputation through public dissemination of knowledge and intellectual engagement (including contributing to The Conversation), and
  • staff and/or student engagement, development or mentoring.

4.40 Honorary title holders may not hold the position of research project leader (defined in the Research Policy) or equivalent on any research project awarded to UTS, unless approved by the dean of the relevant faculty or institute.

4.41 Honorary title holders will not normally receive remuneration (including honorarium, consultancy fees or other salary payment). Honorary title holders (with a right to work in Australia) may be remunerated for undertaking specific assignments, for which they will be issued with a separate contract.

4.42 Deans and directors may approve the reimbursement of expenses reasonably associated with the duties of an honorary title holder in line with the Delegations and the Staff Travel, Expenses and Credit Card Policy.

4.43 Honorary title holders are not covered by UTS workers compensation insurance. However, honorary title holders are covered by the following UTS insurance policies when engaged in activities on behalf of the university:

  • public liability and professional indemnity insurance
  • personal accident insurance for limited expenses that are not covered under Medicare or private medical insurance
  • UTS’s travel insurance when travelling directly to or from university activities, in line with the Staff Travel, Expenses and Credit Card Policy and Procedures.

Honorary title discontinuation or termination

4.44 An honorary title may be terminated at any time in writing by the recipient or UTS. UTS may terminate an honorary title where:

  • the continuation is considered to be against Australia’s or the university’s best interests
  • the title holder has acted in a manner inconsistent with UTS values, behavioural expectations or strategic priorities
  • the title holder has breached UTS rules, delegations or policies, and/or
  • conditions associated with the honorary title have changed (for example the end of external employment or appointment to a UTS staff position).

4.45 Terminations may be requested via the relevant dean or director and must be authorised by the relevant approval authority. A letter of termination will be issued by the People Unit following the approval of a request for termination.

5. Policy ownership and support

5.1 Policy owner: The Provost, on behalf of the Vice-Chancellor, is responsible for policy review, enforcement and compliance, ensuring that its principles and statements are observed. The Provost is also responsible for the approval of any associated university-level procedures and for the approval of honorary titles as outlined in this policy.

5.2 Policy contacts: The University Secretary acts as the primary point of contact for this policy and is responsible for coordinating the review and evaluation of all nominations for honorary awards for submission to Council’s Honorary Awards Committee.

The Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Enterprise) and the Vice-President (Advancement) are responsible for the review and evaluation of honour name proposals and endorsement for submission to the Honorary Awards Committee and for specific duties in relation to the Honorary Titles Panel (refer Appendix A).

5.3 Others:

Council's Honorary Awards Committee is responsible for duties outlined under its terms of reference (Honorary Awards Committee terms of reference) and this policy.

The Honorary Titles Panel (the panel) is responsible for duties outlined under its terms of reference (refer Appendix A) and this policy.

Council is responsible for approving all honorary awards.

The University Secretary is responsible for coordinating nominations for all honorary awards in line with this policy.

Deans and directors are responsible for recommending honorary title approvals and terminations, approving some honorary title appointments and approving the reimbursement of funds as outlined in this policy.

The People Unit is responsible for making written offers of appointment, managing the register of honorary titles, developing templates, forms and systems as required, and coordinating employer sponsorship approvals through the Department of Home Affairs so that applicants may request sponsorship visas, as outlined in this policy.

6. Definitions

These definitions apply for this policy and all associated procedures. These are in addition to the definitions outlined in Schedule 1, Student Rules.

Affiliate is defined in the Code of Conduct.

A Chair, for the purposes of this policy, means an honorary academic title (at the level of professor) in recognition of significant contribution to scholarship, research or academic development.

Donation is defined in the Philanthropic Fundraising Policy.

Honorary award is defined in Schedule 1, Student Rules.

Honour naming means the process of naming a structure, facility, collection, academic program or chair in honour of an individual or organisation as described in statement 4.12 of this policy.

Honorary title is defined in statement 4.26 of this policy.

Retired or retiring means an individual’s retirement from their prominent position at UTS, at or around the normal age of retirement, irrespective of further involvement with the university.

Right to work in Australia is outlined and defined in the Recruitment and Appointment Policy.

Staff is defined in the Code of Conduct.

Approval information

Policy contact The University Secretary
Approval authority Council
Review date 2025
File number UR18/3340
Superseded documents Honorary Appointments Vice-Chancellor's Directive (UR97/0243)

Recognition Naming Policy (UR09/556)

University Honours Policy (UR07/525)

Version history

Version Approved by Approval date Effective date Sections modified
1.0 Council (COU/18-6/129) 28/11/2018 01/01/2019 New policy.
1.1 Director, Governance Support Unit 27/06/2019 02/09/2019 Honour naming nomination and conferral section amended to reflect amendment to the delegation.
Director, Governance Support Unit 21/08/2019 Process for awarding honorary titles clarified, and terminology relating to conferrals (of awards) and awarding (of titles) corrected.
1.2 Council (COU/20-2/31) 15/04/2020 25/05/2020 Changing references from the former Fundraising Policy to the Philanthropic Fundraising Policy and the addition of the Vice-President (Advancement) as having approval authority.
1.3 Director, Governance Support Unit 09/03/2021 16/04/2021 Amendments to reflect updates resulting from the Policy Impact Project (2020).
2.0 Council (COU/22-1/14) 16/02/2022 02/03/2022 Amendments and updates resulting from the scheduled three-year review and changes to titles and policy contact in response to Fit for 2027.

PDF version

Honorary Titles and Awards Policy (PDF 249KB)


Academic Promotion Policy

Child Protection Policy

Code of Conduct

Department of Home Affairs

Honorary Awards Committee

Honorary Titles Panel's terms of reference: Appendix A

Nomination forms:

Philanthropic Fundraising Policy

Provision and Acceptable Use of Information Technology Resources Policy

Publications Style Guide (Staff Connect)

Recruitment and Appointment Policy

Student Rules: section 14, Schedule 1

UTS brand and visual identity (Staff Connect)

UTS Delegations

Appendix A: The Honorary Titles Panel


The Honorary Titles Panel (the panel) is responsible for considering proposals for the award of senior honorary adjunct titles as outlined in the Honorary Titles and Awards Policy (the policy).

Membership and composition

The panel comprises the following members:

  • Provost — convenor
  • Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Education and Students)
  • Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Enterprise)
  • Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research)
  • Chair of Academic Board.

The panel may seek advice from others in relation to specific proposals for appointment of honorary titles in line with the policy.

Terms of reference

1. The panel will make recommendations to the Provost for approval of adjunct professor and adjunct associate professor in line with the policy.

2. The panel will operate as needed (normally once a year), as directed by the Provost, to consider nominations as follows.

Adjunct title Panel members to be consulted
Adjunct Associate Professor (academic)
  • Provost
  • Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Education and Students)
  • Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research)
  • Chair of Academic Board
Adjunct Professor (academic)
Adjunct Professor (industry)
  • Provost
  • Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Education and Students)
  • Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Enterprise)
  • Chair of Academic Board

3. In making recommendations for the award of honorary titles, the panel will give due consideration to the calibre of the individual nominee, the university’s strategic aims and the need to preserve the high status of these titles.

4. In meeting, the panel will also:

  • note the consolidated list of deans' appointments, panel recommendations and all appointments made by the Provost
  • consider the university's strategic requirements, and
  • consider the need to establish or review precedence for honorary title appointments.

5. The panel may request information from the People Unit on any senior honorary title appointments to facilitate review or decision-making.

6. The panel may make recommendations for amendment or review of the policy and any associated procedures.