Admissions and Standards Committee


Motion on Posthumous Undergraduate Degrees

Motion:

Section 1
A posthumous undergraduate degree shall be awarded at the request of or with concurrence of the family or friends of the deceased if, at the time of death, the student
1. was 15 or fewer semester hours short of the number of semester hours required to complete the degree which the student was seeking and
2. the student was in good standing.

Section 2
Additional posthumous degrees may be awarded through Admissions and Standards' normal process of petition for a waiver of university graduation requirements.

Section 3
Requests for a posthumous degree should be made to the Office of the Registrar.

Section 4
Colleges and Schools are encouraged to develop policies on posthumous graduate degrees.

Rationale:
There is currently no policy on posthumous degrees. This invites confusion and unequal treatment. The first section of the policy represents a decision that in certain cases posthumous degrees should be awarded automatically upon request. However, there are other cases in which it may or may not be appropriate to grant posthumous degrees. Ideally, one would give the posthumous degree to students who 1) died late in a term , 2) would have graduated in the next term, and 3) had an exceptionally good record. The problem is that the terms "late" and "exceptionally good" are hard to put into policy. These are matters of judgment. So the motion specifies that students who fall under the requirements listed in Section 1 would automatically get the degree if someone asked for them to receive it and that other cases would go through Admissions and Standards' normal process of petition for a waiver of university graduation requirements. Rather than create a new process/committee to handle posthumous degree cases, they will simply be considered under the existing process of petition for a waiver of university graduation requirements. This process has been running smoothly and quickly for at least the past three years so it will minimize administrative costs to use this process for posthumous degrees.


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Revised 5/21/99