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Handbook of Operating Procedures
Chapter 5 - Students
Previous Publication Date: January 11, 2021
Publication Date: May 11, 2021
Policy Owner: VP for Academic Affairs


5.13 Posthumous Degrees


I. POLICY STATEMENT


The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) provides opportunities for family members, university officials, and student organizations to request the awarding of a degree posthumously upon the death or terminal illness of a student in attendance at UTSA.


II. RATIONALE


When the death or terminal illness of a student occurs while the student is near graduation, this policy provides a procedure to award the student’s degree posthumously in recognition of the efforts expended by the student in the pursuit of a UTSA degree.


III. SCOPE


This policy applies to undergraduate and graduate students whose deaths or terminal illness occur prior to graduation.


IV. WEBSITE ADDRESS FOR THIS POLICY


http://www.utsa.edu/hop/chapter5/5.13.html


V. RELATED STATUTES, POLICIES, REQUIREMENTS OR STANDARDS


None

VI. CONTACTS


If you have any questions about HOP policy 5.13, Posthumous Degrees , contact the following offices:

Undergraduate Studies (for undergraduate students)
210-458-5191

The Graduate School (for graduate students)
210-458-4331


VII. DEFINITIONS


Posthumous Degrees - a degree that is awarded to a student after the student's death


VIII. RESPONSIBILITIES


  1. Family member, dean of the college of the student's major, or a UTSA Registered Student Organization
    1. Submits a request to award a posthumous degree or an In-Memoriam Certificate to a student after the student's death or when a student becomes terminally ill.
  2. Senior Vice Provost of Academic Affairs and Dean of the University College (for undergraduates) or Vice Provost and Dean of the Graduate School (for graduate students)
    1. Receives and reviews requests for posthumous degrees and In-Memoriam Certificates and makes recommendations to the provost and senior vice president for academic affairs (provost) regarding the Request
  3. Provost
    1. Make the final decision on the approval or disapproval of requests for the awarding of posthumous degrees or In-Memoriam Certificates.

IX. PROCEDURES


  1. Posthumous Degree:
    A request to award a posthumous degree to a current student may be submitted by a family member of the student, authorized representative, the dean of the college of the student’s major, or a UTSA Registered Student Organization in the following circumstances and with the following conditions:
    1. When a student's death or terminal illness occurs while attending UTSA and after ALL requirements for the awarding of the degree have been completed. If the student has filed an application for graduation, then the posthumous degree will be awarded without a formal request as outlined above.
    2. When an undergraduate student’s death or terminal illness occurs in the final semester of attendance and the student is in good academic and financial standing with the University. Although grades in the final courses and applications and other arrangements for graduation may not have been completed, the University may, as a courtesy to the student and their family, award the degree posthumously.
    3. When an undergraduate student’s death or terminal illness occurs while attending UTSA, the degree must be 75% complete and the student is otherwise in good standing with the University, the student can be awarded the degree posthumously.
    4. When a graduate student’s death occurs when the student is close to graduation as determined by the judgment of the vice provost and dean of the graduate school and the provost.
    5. All terminal illnesses must be documented.
  2. The provost makes the final decision on the request.
  3. For a student approved to be awarded a degree posthumously, there will be a routine announcement at graduation by calling out the name of the student and indicating that the award is being made posthumously in recognition of the effort expended while the student lived unless the student's family expresses objection.
  4. In-Memoriam Certificate:
    A current student in good standing who experiences death or terminal illness with documentation while attending UTSA and does not meet the completion criteria for a posthumous degree may be awarded an In-Memoriam certificate acknowledging their valued membership and achievements as part of the UTSA community.  This criteria for the award of a certificate under these circumstances are:
      1. The student must have completed at least one full-time term, and
      2. The student is in good academic standing.

        These certificate recipients will not be reported as official graduates of UTSA.

X. SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS FOR INITIAL IMPLEMENTATION


None


XI. FORMS AND TOOLS/ONLINE PROCESSES


None


XII. APPENDIX


None


XIII. Dates Approved/Amended


05-11-2021 Expedited Review
01-11-2021 Expedited Review
11-01-2013