Arizona State University has snubbed President Barack Obama by declining to give him an honorary degree when he addresses students at a graduation ceremony there next month, it was reported.
In a break with tradition that has sparked howls of protest, the college said yesterday that it will not honour Obama on the grounds that America's first black president has an insufficient "body of work".
US universities invariably bestow honorary degrees upon speakers invited to give commencement addresses for graduates.
However an ASU spokeswoman was quoted in several reports as saying Obama had done nothing to deserve the honour, despite
being elected the first African-American president and publishing two best-selling books.
"It's our practice to recognise an individual for his body of work, somebody who's been in their position for a long time," ASU spokeswoman Sharon Keeler was quoted as saying.
"His body of work is yet to come. That's why we're not recognising him with a degree at the beginning of his presidency."
ASU president Michael Crow told a local newspaper the university will not reverse its position, saying the college had a policy of not giving honorary degrees to sitting politicians.