UNC Charlotte Academic Procedure: Posthumous Degree

I. Introduction

There is no Introduction for this policy.

II. Procedure Statement

  1. Notification is sent to University business offices via the Dean of Students Office of the student’s death.  This notification terminates all mailings, billing, etc.  The Dean of Students Office:
    • Contacts the faculty of the courses for which the student is enrolled that term, advisors listed in Banner, department chair, and associate dean of the academic college
    • Coordinates a post-vention resource team as needed to address campus-related circumstances and responses to the student’s death
    • Communicates directly with and serves as a resource to the family in partnership with faculty or staff as appropriate for personal and financial issues related to the student’s involvement with the University
    • Provides support for roommates and other peers impacted by the student’s death
    • Invites the family to a memorial service held each spring for those students who have passed away
  2. Eligibility for posthumous degree is determined according to policy by the Office of the Registrar and Office of Academic Affairs (for undergraduate students) and by the Graduate School (for graduate students).
  3. Memo is sent from Office of the Dean of the College (for undergraduate students) or from the Office of the Dean of the Graduate School (for graduate students) to the Provost requesting a posthumous degree (may include information about the student and their academic record).*
  4. Motion is sent from the Provost to the Faculty President for consideration of the posthumous degree at the next meeting of the Faculty Executive Committee.
  5. If approved by Faculty Executive Committee, motion is considered at next Faculty Council meeting.
  6. If motion is approved by Faculty Council, the Office of Academic Affairs will alert the college, Graduate School (if applicable), Office of the Registrar, Office of Events and Special Projects, and Dean of Students Office of the approval.  The Dean of Students Office:
    • Contacts the family to share that a posthumous degree will be awarded and to determine appropriate way to award the degree (i.e., during a Department and/or Collegiate reception following Commencement or send via mail)
    • Determines from the family specific requirements for the printed diploma(s) and places the order with the Office of the Registrar including:
      • How many diplomas are needed (i.e., if parents are divorced, more than one diploma may be requested, etc.)
      • How the student’s name should appear
      • To whom it should be sent/delivered (i.e., Department/College contact)
    • If family will attend Commencement, the Dean of Students should:
      • Send the name(s) and mailing address(es) of the family contact(s) to the Office of Events and Special Projects indicating the number of parking passes and seats necessary
      • Coordinate with the associate dean of the academic college to make all arrangements necessary for awarding the degree at a Department and/or Collegiate reception, including meeting and escorting the family to all locations**
      • NOTE: The family parks in the Cone Deck and are seated in the Chancellor’s special seating section

*Internal collegiate procedures may exist prior to the memo sent from the Dean to the Provost.  Please contact the Associate Dean for more information.

**If it is the wish of the family to receive the diploma during the Commencement ceremony, the Dean of Students Office should consult with the Office of Events and Special Projects.  The Office of Events and Special Projects will review the request with the Chancellor and coordinate all special accommodations including but not limited to receiving the diploma in the Platform Party room prior to the Commencement ceremony and/or walk during the Commencement ceremony, attire, parking, and arrival location and time. 

III. Definitions

  • Posthumous degree – Diploma or title awarded to a student after their death, when nominated by the faculty of the college or degree program in which the student was enrolled at or prior to his or her death, and when minimum academic degree requirements have been verified.

IV. Policy Contact(s)

V. History

  • Established: October 2, 2012
  • Revised: September 15, 2017

VI. Related Policies, Procedures and Resources

VII. Frequently Asked Questions

There are no FAQs for this procedure.