Do not address or call anyone with an honorary degree as “Doctor” or “Dr.”

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Do not address or call anyone with an honorary degree as “Doctor” or “Dr.” – It is simply wrong and here’s why
The number of Liberians with honorary doctorate degrees seems far more than those with academic and professional doctorate degrees. People with honorary degrees in Liberia are often addressed as “Doctor” or they (recipients) often use this title “Dr.” on official and public documents. This is absolutely WRONG and such egregious precedent is equivalent to FRAUD.
An honorary degree is just an honor or an award. It is not exactly a degree. An honorary degree is not earned but conferred. It is intended to only honor someone who has made a significant contribution to society or a specific field. That’s all.
One does not have to pass an exam or complete a dissertation in order to obtain an honorary doctorate degree. An honorary degree does not grant any privilege of using “Doctor” or Dr.”. It is like a symbolic gesture from a university. Therefore, recipients have zero authority and/or leverage to use this title (Dr.).
The title can only be used conventionally between “Recipients” and “Awarding Universities” (e.g. correspondence, letter, etc. between recipients and universities). Outside of this arrangement or rule, it cannot and must not be publicly used. Here are 10 proofs to justify:
After reading these, never address or call anyone with an honorary degree as “Doctor” or “Dr.”. It is completely wrong and it takes so much from our society. Academia abhors such duplicity. As I said, an honorary degree is just an award to appreciate someone for his/her contribution to society. It does not come with any academic or professional privilege(s). An honorary degree does not confer title. One simply receives a diploma as an honor and this award is unearned.
List of a few honorary degrees:
• Doctor of Arts (D.A.)
• Doctor of Education (D.Ed.)
• Doctor of Fine Arts (D.F.A.)
• Doctor of Laws (LL.D.)
• Doctor of Humane Letters (L.H.D. or sometimes D.H.L degree)
• Doctor of Public Service (D.P.S.)
• Doctor of Science (D.S.)
For instance, U.S. former President Barrack H. Obama has received 14 honorary doctorate degrees but he has never used the title “Doctor” to his name or “Dr. Obama”. Former President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf of Liberia has received 5 honorary doctorate degrees but she has not called herself “Dr. Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf” before.
People are unfairly using and benefitting from honorary doctorate degrees in Liberia either without understanding these simple rules or they’ve chosen to woefully ignore them. The latter is criminal in nature. We are opening our people’s eyes. The fraud is too much in Liberia and it has to end. It is time for academic integrity to prevail.
Liberia first, Liberia last, Liberia forever.

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