Achebe is the recipient of over 30 honorary degrees from universities in England, Scotland, Canada, South Africa, Nigeria and the United States, including Dartmouth College, Harvard, and Brown University.
After their university education, some Scottish graduates chose to remain abroad and teach at a foreign university or to serve the papacy; most returned to Scotland and offered their services to the king, a magnate, or an ecclesiastical institution.
Fulfilling a campaign promise, he helped transform Northern Kentucky Community College into Northern Kentucky State College (which later became Northern Kentucky University), a four-year institution and member of the state university system.
He received 10 honorary D.Sc. degrees from universities including Cambridge, Harvard and Oxford, an honorary M.D. from Hahnemann Medical College (now part of Drexel University), an honorary Doctor of Medical Science from the Medical University of South Carolina and a Doctor of Laws from the University of Melbourne.
In 10 of the past 14 years concluding in 2009, U-M has finished in the top five of the NACDA Director's Cup, a ranking compiled by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics to tabulate the success of universities in competitive sports.
In his defence, Playford pointed that he had never rejected a funding request since the state took responsibility for universities in 1951, and that his proportional expenditure on tertiary education matched that of other states.