Wayne State University

Aim Higher

Student Center

10.9 Student Death Procedures

POLICY

When any university office is informed of the death of a student, it shall immediately notify the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs.

All follow-up activity will be coordinated by the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs is responsible for coordinating the following procedures upon notification of a student's death.

DEFINITION(S)

Estate

The property and possessions of a deceased person, and the person(s) entitled to its ownership.

Executor

Personal representative of the estate of the deceased student who is legally empowered to handle the business of the deceased.

Family

Spouse, parent(s), children, guardian, or next of kin.

PROCEDURE

In the event of the death of a student, each of the following named offices will be responsible for the following:

Responsibility

Action

Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs

  1. Notify each of the following department(s) of the death of the student, and coordinate procedures for follow-up:

Accounts Receivable - (Indebtedness to the university)

Advising - (Advising Record)

Alumni Relations - (Alumni Records)

Athletics - (Lockers)

General Counsel - (Legal Issues)

Housing - (Personal Belongings)

International Services - (Foreign Students)

Library - (Library Books/Fines)

Media Relations - (Publication of Death)

Placement Services - (Student Employment)

Vice President for Academic Affairs - (School or College)

Public Safety - (Verification of death)

School/College - (Academic Record)

Registrar -(Official Records of the Deceased)

Student Organizations - (Lockers, Student Organizations)

University Counseling (Support)

  1. Contact the family to identify family representative.

  2. Prepare and send a sympathy letter and follow-up instructions to the family with a copy to the department/or college.

  3. Notify the International Service Office (ISO)if the deceased student was an international student.

  4. Confirm that follow-up has been made by the appropriate departments.

 

Accounts Receivable

  1. Upon notification of a student's death, review the student account, cancel, and close the account.

 

Advising

  1. Notify records and inactivate current file.

 

Alumni Relations

  1. Review the alumni information system to ascertain if the student has a record.

  2. If a record exists, code the record as "deceased" with the appropriate date and remove the deceased's name from the mailing list.

  3. Review the alumni information system to ascertain if the deceased has an alumnus spouse. If so, amend the mailing list to include the surviving spouse only.

 

Athletics

  1. Notify coach and remove personal belongings from student locker (if student had a lockers).

 

General Counsel

  1. Respond to contacts concerning legal questions by the family and other attorneys.

  2. Review legal documents.

  3. Advise and respond to legal issues.

Housing

  1. Inform apartment mates of student death and instruct them not to remove any of the deceased's belongings or property.

  2. Change the locks and seal the apartment if the deceased was a single occupant.

  3. Make arrangements for the executor or family to pack and/or pickup the deceased's property. If the university packs the property, establish an inventory list and have a second housing authority staff person audit the inventory.

  4. Compute outstanding rent until the date the apartment is vacated. Apply the security deposit first to offset any expenses and normal charges. The deceased student's estate shall be liable for all costs incurred until the apartment is vacated and the Housing Office will notify the estate of the continuing liability.

International

  1. Notify the family of the death of an Services International student.

  2. Contact the appropriate embassy involved (if necessary).

  3. Where appropriate, arrange for a person who speaks the language of the deceased to be available to assist with communication.

Library

  1. Waive Library fines.

  2. With discretion, the library will explore options for the retrieval of books still charged to the deceased.

Placement Services

  1. Notify the employing department of the deceased student employee.

Vice President for Academic Affairs Office/School/College/ Academic Department

  1. Upon request, mail any assignments completed by the deceased student, e.g., papers, examinations, reports, to the family.

Public Safety

  1. If necessary, assist in verification of death by contacting one or more of the following: hospital, state/local police, appropriate county office.

  2. Report verification to the Vice President for Student Affairs.

Registrar's Office

  1. Change student record to reflect "Deceased" status in the official records.

  2. Delete the deceased student's address from the university mailing data base.

  3. If no academic credit is to be granted, for the term, cancel all tuition and fee assessments.

Scholarships and Financial Aid

  1. Review any outstanding loans. If university loans exist, seek the advice of the Scholarship Office.

  2. Advise family of any loan programs to which the deceased was indebted. When the loan is not forgiven, arrange for repayment.

  3. Amend the file and code the record as deceased.

  4. Notify State and Federal agencies of deceased status.

University Counseling

  1. Provide personal counsel and advice when and Placement services appropriate.