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Honorary Appointments - Guidelines for the Awarding of Titles

Category Human Resources
Type Guideline
Approved by Staffing Advisory Committee, pre 2000
Date Guideline Took Effect 1 January 2000
Last Approved Revision 7 November 2017
Sponsor Director of Human Resources
Responsible Officer HR Manager, Promotions & Remuneration
Review Date 10 November 2020

Purpose

The purpose of these Guidelines is to define the circumstances in which Honorary titles can be awarded and to set out the approval processes.

Organisational Scope

These Guidelines apply to all Academic activities.

Policy Content

1.   Summary

(a)    Honorary Titles are awarded to persons who are undertaking activities which provide a significant ongoing contribution of benefit to the University, and to recognise the importance of the continuing relationship between the appointee and the University.

(b)   Honorary Titles are normally associated with the appointment of specialised and leading academic and professional persons to a position within the University.

(c)   Titles are awarded in three categories:

         i.   Honorary Fellows are persons of distinction in organisations with strong affiliations with the University of Otago.

        ii.   Honorary Academic Titles (Lecturer, Research Fellow, Senior Lecturer, Senior Research Fellow, Associate Professor, Research Associate Professor, Professor or Research Professor) are awarded to persons who are currently in employment with another university or who have been previously employed by the University of Otago in academic positions. The level of appointment will be dependent on the person having such academic and professional eminence that were they a member of the permanent university academic staff they would be appointed at the same level.

       iii. Honorary Clinical Titles (Clinical Lecturer and Honorary Clinical Senior Lecturer) are awarded to persons who are of high standing in the health professions, usually with good to very good academic records. Usually they would be employed in primary healthcare, District Health Boards or other parts of the health sector. The level of appointment will be dependent on the person having such academic and professional eminence that were they a member of the permanent university academic staff they would be appointed at the same level.

(d)   In exceptional circumstances, the University will consider awarding Honorary Academic Titles to persons not employed in another University who have not been employed as academic staff members at the University of Otago. In such cases, Departments will be required to demonstrate that the person has such academic and professional eminence that were they a member of the permanent university academic staff they would be appointed at the same level.

(e)   The title will be awarded for an initial term of one year, and reappointment will normally be for a term of one to three years.

(f)   It is not normal University practice to award Honorary titles to persons who are external co-supervisors of post-graduate students.

(g)   Current academic employees of the University of Otago may not be awarded an Honorary Title.

(h)   The University retains the right, at its discretion, to withdraw the award of this title if it considers that the individual is not acting in the spirit of the appointment or brings the University into disrepute. Decisions on withdrawal of the title at Professorial level will be made by the Vice-Chancellor on the advice of the Staffing Advisory Committee. Decisions on withdrawal of the title at all other levels will be made by the Staffing Advisory Committee.

2.   Approval procedure

(a)    The following documentation is required when seeking approval.

         i.   Documentation required for all Honorary appointments:

              •   The Recommendation to Award the Title Form or a covering letter which provides the same information;

              •   CV of the applicant.

        ii.   Further documentation required when seeking approval to award the title of Honorary Academic Titles at Associate Professor level and above to persons not employed in another University:

              •   A written case, prepared by the Department, of not more than three pages providing evidence that the person’s achievements are such that they would be appointed to the level sought. In the case of Associate Professor or Professor, evidence of the quality of teaching, assessment and curriculum development, research and/or professional practice and service must be provided. In the case of Research Associate Professor or Research Professor, evidence of the quality of research and/or professional practice and service. Departments should refer to the Academic Promotions Policy Document for Guidance on the preparation of the case;

              •   The names for five potential referees qualified to evaluate the person’s research. The list of referees must include one referee from New Zealand; one further Australasian referee and three international referees (of which no more than two may be from the same University).

(b)   Approval of Honorary Titles is made as follows:

        i.   Approval of the initial appointment:

Honorary Title Approval by On the recommendation of
Honorary Professor
Honorary Research Professor
Vice-Chancellor  Head of Department with the support of the Dean (where appropriate), the Pro-Vice-Chancellor and the Staffing Advisory Committee
Honorary Fellow
Honorary Associate Professor
Honorary Research Associate Professor
Staffing Advisory Committee Head of Department with the support of the Dean (where appropriate) and the Pro-Vice-Chancellor
Honorary Lecturer
Honorary Research Fellow
Honorary Senior Lecturer
Honorary Senior Research Fellow
Pro-Vice-Chancellor  Head of Department with the support of the Dean (where appropriate)
Honorary Clinical Lecturer
Honorary Clinical Senior Lecturer
Dean Head of Department

       ii.   Reappointments to Honorary positions previously approved by the Vice-Chancellor will be made by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic).

      iii.   Reappointments to Honorary positions previously approved by the Staffing Advisory Committee will be made by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic).

(c)   When the Staffing Advisory Committee considers requests to award the title of Honorary Professor or Honorary Research Professor, it will make a recommendation to the Vice-Chancellor. On the basis of whether that recommendation was “strongly supported,” “supported,” or “not supported” the Vice-Chancellor would either make a decision or invoke a further process to help decide.

(d)   The Human Resources Division will issue all letters of offer.

3.   Conditions of the award and departmental responsibilities

(a)    Honorary staff are not employees of the University.

(b)   Honorary appointees who will be based in New Zealand must be legally entitled to work in New Zealand before commencing the position. It is the responsibility of the person awarded the honorary title to obtain any necessary visas.

(c)    The Human Resources Division will provide a web link to a list of relevant policies with all offers. Departments are responsible for ensuring that persons awarded honorary titles are aware of updates to University policies which may affect them. The University will provide library privileges and reasonable access to computing facilities.

(d)    Departments are responsible for arranging University Usernames and/or ID cards (if required) to persons awarded honorary titles.

(e)   Titles approved by Staffing Advisory Committee, the Vice-Chancellor and the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (i.e. Honorary Fellow, Honorary Associate Professor, Honorary Research Associate Professor, Honorary Professor, and Honorary Research Professor) will be listed in the University Calendar.

Related Policies, Procedures and Forms

Contact for Further Information

If you have any queries regarding the content of this policy or need further clarification, contact the HR Manager, Promotions & Remuneration at dan.wilson@otago.ac.nz or (03) 479 8092.