Gordon Kirk, dean of education, described Dr Pickard, who also holds an honorary degree from Aberdeen University, as "a journalist of the highest distinction".
Professor Kirk said the educational community could rely on The TESS for up to date and authentic reporting and analysis.
"It is to the credit of Willis Pickard that, during his editorship, The Times Educational Supplement Scotland offered a sustained and independent critique of educational policy and practice that was as perceptive as it was penetrating. Not the least of his editorial qualities was his impartiality."
* Professor Kirk, who retires from his current post at the end of this month, is to become vice-principal of Edinburgh University. He is charged with improving performance on student access, recruitment and retention.