Lincoln University is considering revoking an honorary science PhD which it awarded to a former Peruvian president more than 10 years ago.
Alberto Fujimori was jailed last year for 25 years for kidnapping two Peruvian men and ordering two massacres which killed 25 people.
He was awarded the doctorate at a ceremony in 1998 for significant work in agriculture science.
Lincoln University vice-chancellor Roger Field says the university council may revoke that doctorate because of Fujimori's human rights abuses.
He says the council has never revoked an honorary degree, so the issue needs careful consideration.
Mr Field says the degree was awarded at a time when the university was trying to develop research exchange relationships with South American universities.