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Policy 53

University of Wisconsin-Parkside
Death Among Members of the University Community and Members of the Community Affiliated with the University
Policy #53

General Procedures – Whenever a death occurs among faculty, staff, students or former employees of the University, the following general procedures should be followed. In addition, special procedures must be followed whenever a student death occurs.

  1. The Chancellor's Office should be notified as soon as possible whenever a death occurs, providing the following information, name of deceased, title, department if a member of the faculty or staff, name and address of immediate relatives, and any appropriate description of the circumstances of death, e.g. auto accident, medical, etc.

  2. Chancellor's Office will notify the appropriate vice chancellor, who in turn will notify the appropriate dean, director, or unit supervisor.

  3. The Chancellor's Office will also notify the Assistant Vice Chancellor for University Relations and Advancement or the Director of Public Relations in his/her absence who will handle any release of public information or any questions from the media.

  4. The Director of Public Relations will notify the campus as a whole, when appropriate. Notification should be time-sensitive based on the individual situation in consideration of FERPA regulations.

  5. The Chancellor's Office will notify the Parkside Police to fly the University flag at half-staff when the death of a current member of the faculty, staff, or students occurs. The flag shall normally be at half-staff for 24 hours commencing the day of the funeral.

  6. The Chancellor will send an official letter of condolence.

  7. The University will not, as a general rule, plan official memorial services. However, departments, offices, or student organizations may elect to plan such services.

  8. The University generally will not send memorial flowers/gifts, however, the Chancellor at his/her discretion may direct this action; funding will be handled by the Assistant Vice Chancellor for University Relations and Advancement.

  9. Memorial gifts may be made to the UW-Benevolent Foundation in memory of the deceased. In order to establish a named fund, at least $10,000 must be contributed. Other smaller gifts may be given to the UW-Parkside Memorial Endowed Scholarship Fund. Contributions should be sent to the office of University Advancement. If someone wishes to make a donation to something other than the UW-Parkside Memorial Endowed Scholarship Fund, please direct them to contact University Advancement.

  10. In the event of the death of a community member affiliated with the University, the Chancellor or the Assistant Vice Chancellor for University Relations and Advancement will determine the protocol to follow.

Procedures for Action/Consideration in the Event of a Student Death

  1. In the event of a death of a student who comes from out-of-area or where the death has occurred on the campus, the Associate Vice Chancellor for Student Services and Dean of Students will ensure those parents, spouses, other immediate family, including roommates are compassionately informed of the incident.

  2. The Associate Vice Chancellor will notify the Chancellor, the Vice Chancellor, and other Assistant Vice Chancellors of the death. The Assistant Vice Chancellor for University Relations and Advancement will handle any release of public information concerning the student death in accordance with the Family Educational Rights to Privacy Act (revised).

  3. For currently enrolled students, the Associate Vice Chancellor for Student Services will notify the academic deans, instructors, and academic advisor.

  4. The Registrar will be informed of the student death and instructed to change the official records for withdrawal and billing purposes. (The Registrar will also work with the Cashier's Office to determine eligibility for refunds.) If it was the student's last term of enrollment before graduation, the Registrar will work with the appropriate academic department and faculty committee in the possible posthumous awarding of the degree. The Associate Vice Chancellor for Student Services will determine the most appropriate means to present posthumous degrees to the family.

  5. In the event of the death of a resident student, the Associate Vice Chancellor will inform the Director of Residence Life. In conjunction with University Police and Public Safety, personal property will be inventoried and secured. Arrangements with the family will be made by the Director of Residence Life for picking up the personal belongings of the deceased. The Director of Residence Life or the Dean of Students will be on hand when the family comes to campus to pick up the personal effects of the deceased students.

  6. The Associate Vice Chancellor for Student Services will write a letter of condolence to the family. 

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