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September 29, 2010 10:00 AM Worthy of the Honorary Degree

By Daniel Luzer

Trump2.jpg

Honorary degrees are a little silly. They’re generally awarded to big donors or accomplished alumni at commencement each year and then immediately forgotten.

Well unless you’re British academic administrator David Kennedy. He’s not only really serious about his honorary degree; he’s really worried about other people’s too. According to a recent BBC piece:

David Kennedy….said he was “appalled” at plans to honour the US tycoon [Donald Trump with the honorary award of Doctor of Business Administration] next month.
Dr Kennedy returned the honorary doctorate which he received [from Robert Gordon University] in 1999. Dr Kennedy said: “Mr Trump is simply not a suitable person to be given an honorary degree and he should not be held up as an example of how to conduct business.

That’s the problem with an honorary degree, isn’t it? There’s no one “suitable.” No one earned it; that’s the point.

While Trump’s forays into academia have been both comical and sordid, Kennedy appears annoyed with something more than academic quality.

Trump is apparently planning to construct what’s billed as the “world’s greatest golf course” in Aberdeenshire. Many neighbors have protested the Trump plans, which include two 18-hole golf courses, a 450-bedroom hotel, and 500 houses.

Kennedy, a former administrator at Robert Gordon University, is a member of Tripping up Trump, a protest group designed to thwart Trump’s plans in Scotland. [Image via]

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer