Next Review Date: 11/24/2024
Issuance Date: 11/24/2021
Issuing Office: Vice Chancellor - Student Affairs
This policy is established to provide UC San Diego campus notification in the event of a student death whether on or off campus.
This policy outlines the UC San Diego offices notified in the event of a verified student death on or off-campus. Upon receiving notification, campus departments will take the necessary and appropriate actions pertinent to their department as it relates to the student death notification. This may include closing out accounts, records, canceling access, notifying appropriate Federal agencies, and/or offering support to potential impacted campus communities.
When the death of any University of California San Diego (UC San Diego) student occurs, whether on or off campus, it is incumbent upon the designated UC San Diego officials and administrative offices to provide swift, caring, and professional assistance to the family, survivors, and eligible beneficiaries of any death benefits administered by or through UC San Diego. The Office of the Vice Chancellor – Student Affairs (VCSA) coordinates the notification of appropriate UC San Diego officials and, within the parameters of this protocol, assists those officials, the student's family and the campus community, as requested. In its role as the central point of contact in all matters relating to the death of a UC San Diego student, the VCSA is committed to handling this responsibility in a discreet, sensitive, professional and timely manner.
II. NOTIFICATION AND VERIFICATION
The institutional response to a student death entails a series of administrative actions to settle accounts, resolve benefits issues and close academic and personnel records. Notifications must be made to a number of campus units in order that appropriate administrative actions can be taken in a timely manner. A death notification issued pursuant to this policy is a form of internal notification and is not a substitute for an official death certificate that may be required for certain benefits processing purposes. The VCSA office is responsible for preparing a death notification for any report of a student death that is received and determined to be reliable.
The geographically appropriate Medical Examiner’s Office or Coroner’s Office is generally the governmental agency responsible for verifying the death and identity of the student. It is also the responsibility of the Medical Examiner’s/Coroner’s Office to provide the official notification to the family, next of kin, or person identified on the student’s registration form for such notice. The UC San Diego Police Department will offer to assist the Medical Examiner/Coroner when requested. The UC San Diego Police Department will also notify VCSA in the event it learns of a student death. The VCSA will confirm the student’s death through the Detective Bureau of the UC San Diego Police Department or the Medical Examiner’s/Coroner’s Office when notified of a student’s death by a source other than the UC San Diego Police Department.
III. NOTIFICATION OF APPROPRIATE UC SAN DIEGO OFFICIALS AND ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICES
A. VCSA is responsible for coordinating all aspects related to the protocol for notification of appropriate UC San Diego officials and administrative offices in the event of a student death. The nature of the death is confidential and should not be included in the administrative notification. An exception is made in the case of suicide or homicide information, when the nature of the death should be disclosed to the Director of Counseling and Psychological and Services.
B. The following UC San Diego officials or administrative offices, as appropriate, will be provided with the initial notification:
1. The Dean of Student Affairs and the Dean of Academic Advising of the college or professional school or academic program where the student was enrolled or had been accepted for enrollment.
2. The Director, Counseling and Psychological Services.
3. Director, Environment, Health & Safety, if the student was employed by the University and the nature of the death was work-related.
C. VCSA will notify the following officials/offices to enable them to appropriately amend the student’s records, close pending accounts, notify appropriate governmental agencies and ensure that only appropriate correspondence is sent to the family of the student:
1. Assistant Dean of Student Affairs; Graduate Division for graduate students; and the appropriate graduate or professional school (e.g., SIO, SOM, GPS, School of Pharmacy or School of Management)
2. Business and Financial Services
3. Campus Counsel
5. Executive Vice Chancellor
6. Chair, Academic Department of Undergraduate Student’s Major
7. College Dean of Student Affairs/ Dean of Academic Advising//Director of Residence Life (for undergraduate students)
8. Director, Student Affairs Case Management
9. Director, Educational Technology Services
10. Director, Alumni and Community Engagement
11. Director, Campus Recreation
12. Director, Environment, Health & Safety/Risk Management
13. Director, Financial Aid and Scholarships Office
14. Director, Housing●Dining●Hospitality Services
15. Director, International Students & Programs Office
16. Director, Intercollegiate Athletics
17. Director, Transportation Services
18. Director, Counseling and Psychological Services
19. Director, Student Financial Solutions
20. Director, Student Health Services
21. Director, UC San Diego Library Access Services
22. Director, University Communications
23. Manager, Human Resources (HR)/Benefits
24. Office of the President
25. Registrar's Office (Coordinator, Administrative Records)
I. ADMINISTRATIVE ACTION IN RESPONSE TO NOTIFICATION
The following UC San Diego officials or administrative offices will take the actions indicated below:
A. Educational Technology Services – close the student’s email account consistent with the campus Electronic Communications Policy.
B. Alumni and Community Engagement– remove student’s name from active correspondence list and cease any direct solicitations.
C. Business and Financial Services/Payroll – notify student’s employing department to initiate appropriate payroll actions.
D. Campus Counsel – provide general notification as needed.
E. Campus Recreation – withhold billing, close out account and update records accordingly.
F. Chancellor – sign letter to parent or next of kin and return to Vice Chancellor – Student Affairs.
G. Chair, Academic Department of undergraduate student’s major – update student’s records in the department, withhold mailings and seal student’s paper records folder or electronic files.
H. College Dean of Student Affairs/Director of Residence Life, Assistant Dean of Student Affairs (Graduate Division) and appropriate graduate or professional school – facilitate counseling and crisis intervention, help family arrange for return of student’s possessions, help inform student’s friends and roommates and provide avenues of support for grieving students, faculty and staff.
I. College Dean of Academic Advising – verify student’s academic standing at time of death to determine if a posthumous degree or certificate will be awarded; alert Academic Records to confer appropriate recognition.
J. Financial Aid and Scholarships Office – close out financial aid files and inform financial institutions as necessary.
K. Housing●Dining●Hospitality Services – assist College Residence Life office in securing personal effects, withhold billing, close out account, and update records accordingly.
L. HR/Benefits – determine if student was employed by University and coordinate any Tax- Deferred 403(b) Plan or DCP Safe Harbor refunds with the UC HR/Benefits.
M. Intercollegiate Athletics – update records relating to the student and facilitate counseling and crisis intervention as needed for other members of teams for which the deceased student played.
N. International Students & Programs Office – Notify U.S. Department of Homeland Security, foreign embassies/consulates and sponsoring organizations if student was on a non-immigrant visa.
O. Transportation Services – coordinate reimbursement of paid parking fees.
P. Counseling and Psychological Services – assist in organizing campus support for grieving students, faculty and staff.
Q. Registrar/Admissions (Coordinator, Academic Records) – update student’s records in the Integrated Student Information System (ISIS), withhold mailings and seal student’s paper records folder.
R. Environment, Health & Safety/Risk Management – assess and respond to liability concerns if death was work-related or connected to a UC San Diego activity or event, e.g., accidental or non-natural deaths.
S. Student Financial Solutions – withhold all billing and provide documentation on student’s University status.
T. Student Health Services – place the medical record in the deceased student’s file and provide relevant health information following HIPAA guidelines.
U. Vice Chancellor – Student Affairs – as described below, ensure that the Dean of Student Affairs, Provost, and Chancellor are notified of the death.
V. UC San Diego Library Access Services – change the student’s status in the UC San Diego Library database and follow up on any outstanding items.
W. University Communications – respond to press inquiries.
I. VICE CHANCELLOR - STUDENT AFFAIRS (VCSA) PROCEDURES FOR RESPONDING TO STUDENT DEATHS
VCSA should implement the following procedures in the event of a notification of a student death.
A. Unless the notice of death was provided by UC San Diego Police Department, VCSA will confirm the student’s death with the UC San Diego Police Department Detective Bureau or Examiner’s/Coroner’s Office of the county in which the death occurred, including the nature of the death, and document the name, phone number and title of the person verifying the information.
B. As soon as possible following receipt of the notice of death, VCSA will notify the Dean of Student Affairs and the Dean of Academic Advising of the college or professional school or academic program where the student was enrolled or had been accepted for enrollment; the Director of Counseling and Psychological Services, if the nature of the death was determined to be by suicide or homicide; and the Director, Environment, Health & Safety, if the cause of death was work- related.
C. VCSA will notify the Chancellor’s office of the student’s death and prepare a condolence letter for the Chancellor’s signature to be sent to the parents, surviving family member or next of kin of the student.
D. VCSA will send a copy of the notice of the student’s death to the appropriate campus officials/offices. This memo will serve as notice to the campus of the student’s date of death (the nature of the death is not to be disclosed.)
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQ’S)
04/29/2016 This policy was originally issued.
09/18/2019 This policy was reformatted and revised during formal review (3 year review).
11/24/2021 This policy was updated to account for Deans of Academic Advising role in process while also updating departmental names.