Thursday, April 09, 2009
Arizona State University will not award President Barack Obama an honorary degree when he speaks at commencement on May 13.This is silly. The term on a honorary degree is honoris causa. Literally, a degree to honor the recipient, "for the sake of the honor." You waive the rules for taking courses and writing a thesis in order to give someone an award who has never been to the school.
The university decided against awarding Obama the degree because it is customarily awarded for �lifetime achievement,� ASU spokeswoman Sharon Keeler told POLITICO.
�It�s normally awarded to someone who has been in their field for some time,� she said. �Considering that the president is at the beginning of his presidency, his body of work is just beginning.�
Is Arizona State worried that he won't do enough beyond, oh, I don't know ... elected the first black President of the United States? I may not agree with the man's policies, but I don't think it would cheapen the academic integrity of ASU to give a degree now versus waiting three years or so. I mean, this isn't Yale we're talking about here.
Mr. President, I'm fine with you canceling your address.