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ERIC Number: EJ805715
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Jul-11
Pages: 1
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0009-5982
Dishonorary Degrees
Romano, Carlin
Chronicle of Higher Education, v54 n44 pB5 Jul 2008
If an honorary degree lacks values to begin with, does withdrawing it deliver a rebuke to the recipient? Is whatever honor that comes with the distinction embedded in the fancy paper, or is it wholly in the eye of the degree holder? Are honorary degrees really such silly things that individuals should mock their bestowal or withdrawal? The case of Robert Mugabe gets one thinking about this most peculiar of academic nods. In June the University of Massachusetts at Amherst rescinded the honorary doctorate it had bestowed on Zimbabwe's longtime president in 1986. Last year the University of Edinburgh similarly withdrew its 1984 degree to Mugabe. And on June 25, in the same spirit, Queen Elizabeth II canceled the 1994 knighthood Britain had bestowed on Mugabe--Britain's Foreign Office described the decision as a "mark of revulsion" at Mugabe's human-rights abuses and "abject disregard" for democracy. In this article, the author examines the academic significance of honorary degrees.
Chronicle of Higher Education. 1255 23rd Street NW Suite 700, Washington, DC 20037. Tel: 800-728-2803; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Zimbabwe