System Procedure 3.42.1 Posthumous Academic Awards

System Procedures
Chapter 3 - Educational Policies

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for Board Policy 3.42

Part 1. Purpose
To establish criteria under which posthumous degrees, certificates, and diplomas may be awarded.

Part 2. Authorized Posthumous Academic Awards
Colleges and universities may confer any degree, diploma, or certificate posthumously that they are authorized to award.

Part 3. Eligibility

  • The student must have been enrolled at the time of death (excluding summer or interim sessions), or continuous enrollment was interrupted by injury, illness, military service, or other extenuating circumstances.
  • The student must have completed a significant amount of the academic program to warrant the academic award at the time of death.
  • The conferring of the academic award must be consistent with the mission of the college or university.

Part 4. Nominations

  • Students, faculty, staff, and family members of the deceased may nominate a deceased student for a posthumous academic award.
  • Nominations must be submitted in writing to the senior academic officer of the college or university last attended by the student.

Part 5. Approval
Upon receiving a nomination, the senior academic officer shall request a review of the student’s academic record to determine the deceased student’s eligibility under this procedure. If the student is eligible, the senior academic officer shall notify the Registrar to add the award to the student’s academic record.

Part 6. Presentation of Posthumous Academic Awards
A posthumous degree, diploma, or certificate will customarily be conferred at the next scheduled commencement ceremony and presented to a member of the student’s family or student’s representative. The official commencement program will include the student’s name with the annotation that the academic award was conferred posthumously. The student’s record will be similarly annotated. The posthumous degree, diploma, or certificate may also be presented by a college or university official to the family in a private gathering.

Part 7. Exceptions
Exceptions to this procedure may be considered in special cases, with support of the senior academic officer and the approval of the college or university president.

Related Documents:

System Procedure History:

Date of Adoption: 05/20/18
Date of Implementation: 05/20/18
Date of Last Review: 01/13/23

Date and Subject of Amendments:

1/13/2023 – Full Review, replaced “chief” with “senior” throughout the document and deleted a few surplus words.

No additional HISTORY.