AP 303-25: Posthumous Degrees

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Academics & Research – Academics & Instruction

Academic Policy 303-25 Authority: University President
Effective April 17, 2012 Proponent: Academic Senate

This policy establishes criteria and procedures for granting posthumous degrees.

History:  This policy is new.  It was adopted by the Academic Senate on April 9, 2012 and approved by the University President April 17, 2012.

I. Purpose

Posthumous degrees provide Eastern Washington University with an established avenue for recognizing the academic achievement of students who have completed all or nearly all of their degree requirements but died before graduating.

II. Requirements

A degree may be awarded to a student who dies prior to the completion of degree requirements subject to the following provisions:

  1. The request for posthumously awarding a degree must be made by a family member of the deceased student, department chair, program director or the dean of the college of the student’s field of study.
  2. The student must be in good academic standing and be within 20 credits of meeting all requirements for the undergraduate degree or 10 credits of meeting all requirements for a graduate degree. Exceptions to these thresholds must be supported by the department and college dean to qualify for further consideration.
  3. Requests must be approved by the academic department chair (and/or program director), the college dean, provost, and president.

III. Procedure

  1. Requests for a posthumous degree will be directed to the chair/director of the academic department/program in which the student was enrolled.
  2. The chair/director shall work with the requestor to complete the posthumous degree request form.
  3. The chair/director shall review the request and a recent degree audit, make his or her recommendation, and forward the request to the dean of the college.
  4. The dean of the college will review the request and the recommendation of the chair/director. The dean will make a recommendation, and will forward the request to the Provost. The dean will include the chair/director’s recommendation in the file forwarded to the Provost.
  5. The provost will review the recommendations of the chair/director and dean, and will make a recommendation to the president. The president has final authority over the awarding of a posthumous degree.
  6. If approved, the college dean or designee will notify the family/requestor and make arrangements for the diploma to be delivered. The formal request will be forwarded to the registrar for degree posting and ordering of the diploma.
  7. If a request is made by a family member and that request is denied, the dean of the student’s college will notify the family and include a letter of explanation.