News Columns & Blogs

Bring honorary degrees to Kansas

Ever wonder why you never hear about state universities in Kansas granting celebrities and dignitaries with honorary degrees? Turns out they can't. But at the urging of Kansas State University president Kirk Schulz and University of Kansas chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little, the Kansas Board of Regents is working on a proposal to allow them, with the board's approval. Kansans surely would rather their public universities not start handing out honorary degrees to starlets and nobodies. But they should be able to use them selectively, to honor individuals who've reached an uncommon level of intellectual, scholarly or creative achievement. As regent Gary Sherrer told the Lawrence Journal-World: "There are universities that use honorary degrees quite well to promote the university. It's good for the students and universities."