Nottingham Trent University is preparing for a long battle over its decision to press ahead with Chancellor Kenneth Clarke's honorary degree despite opposition from staff and students.
The board of governors announced this week that Mr Clarke would receive the honorary degree of doctor of the university in recognition of his personal contribution to public life in Nottinghamshire .
The university acknowledged that it did not normally award honours to active politicians but it said it was making an exception in the case of Mr Clarke.
Before they made their decision the governors were given the results of a survey of half the staff, 94 per cent of whom said they were opposed to the nomination. There were also protests from students.
Neil Williamson, lecturers' union Natfhe's regional secretary for higher education, said the university was guilty of flouting the views of its staff and students.
Natfhe is referring the alleged abuse of procedures to the Nolan Committee on Standards in Public Life on the grounds that the university's own regulations state that awards should not normally be made to active politicians.