Faculty Handbook

Revocation of Honors and Awards


This policy was drafted and approved by the University Council and adopted by the Office of the Provost on June 1, 2021

I. Introduction

Michigan State University establishes this policy on the revocation of honors and awards in cases of misconduct to ensure that the university’s honorary recognition and financial support: respects those who have been harmed by individuals at MSU; shows consideration toward those individuals who support MSU with financial contributions; and, reflects our values and protects our integrity as an institution.

II. Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to ensure that members of the MSU community who are recognized with university-wide awards, hold endowed positions, or are supported by endowment or gift funding understand they are in positions of trust and will be held to the university’s standards of academic, financial, and professional conduct.

III. Applicability

This policy applies1 to executive managers, faculty, and academic staff, as well as individuals holding postdoctoral positions, graduate students and undergraduates who receive honorific awards, regardless of the passage of time since the misconduct or investigative or adjudicative outcome. This policy applies only to honorific awards for individuals holding postdoctoral positions, graduate and undergraduate students, not to financial awards. In cases where a group receives an award or honor, this policy applies only to the individual who commits misconduct.

IV. Policy

In cases of misconduct defined below, depending on the nature and severity of the violation, an individual may no longer be allowed to (1) use an honorific title; (2) identify themselves as having received an all-university award; (3) continue to receive support from MSU university-wide internal grants; and (4) continue to receive endowed or gifted funding, temporarily or permanently.

This policy only applies to instances where individuals have been adjudicated and confirmed to have committed misconduct.

This policy does not apply in cases where an individual may have violated norms of civility or professional conduct that do not rise to the level of formal investigation and disciplinary action.

V. Definitions
  1. The term “misconduct” in this policy includes:
    • Violations of university policy, including but not limited to violations of the relationship violence and sexual misconduct policy, anti-discrimination policy, and procedures concerning allegations of misconduct in research and creative activities.
    • Any civil rights violation that the individual admitted or was determined by a court or other adjudicative process to have committed;
    • Any serious crime2 for which the individual was convicted or pled “no contest;”
    • Behavior after which an individual ends employment or status as a student while suspended or during the investigation or termination process.
  2. Honors and awards refers to: endowed positions; all-university awards, including but not limited to teacher-scholar awards, outstanding faculty awards, university distinguished professorships, and graduate student excellence-in-teaching citations; internal university awards, such as the Humanities Arts and Research Program (HARP) and Strategic Partnership (SPG) grants; and, work substantially supported by endowment or gifts.


1. This policy does not apply to support staff. It is recommended that the university consider a parallel policy on the revocation of honors and awards for support staff members.

2. A “serious crime” includes but is not limited to drug distribution; sexual offenses; violence involving physical injury to another person; child abuse, molestation, or child endangerment; theft or embezzlement.

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