National Collegiate Honors Council


Date of this Version



Ada Long, A Handbook For Honors Administrators. National Collegiate Honors Council, 1995.


Published by National Collegiate Honors Council, Monographs in Honors Education series.

© Copyright 1995 by The National Collegiate Honors Council


Honors administrators are singular creatures on their own campuses. Deans have other deans, vice presidents have other vice presidents, but honors directors are one of a kind. Often they have more in common with their presidents than with anyone else on campus in that they are responsible for a huge array of tasks: recruitment, admissions, scholarships, fundraising, curriculum development, advising, student life, crisis management and public relations; but, while college presidents have administrators to whom they delegate those various responsibilities, an honors director often does them all personally.

This handbook is intended, therefore, to serve as an on-campus companion and guide for honors administrators, helping them to define and solidify their positions within their institutions. "Everyone knows" what deans or department heads are: what their responsibilities are, how they fit into the institutional hierarchy, who reports to them and to whom they report. Honors directors, however, can have a hard time explaining their position, much less improving it. This handbook may help the director both to explain and to improve.

A handbook for honors administrators is, admittedly, a somewhat paradoxical proposition since honors directors cherish their diversity and flexibility in a way that is perhaps unique among academic administrators. This handbook is not intended to standardize honors programs or their directors. Its purpose is to provide some options and guidelines to help directors or potential directors establish viable, productive positions for themselves on their own campuses. Since idealism and dedication are uncommonly characteristic of honors directors, the handbook may even help them balance those traits with some common- sense strategies for protecting their jobs, their professional futures, and their sanity.