Adelphi University extends sympathy and compassion to families of deceased students nearing completion of their degrees.

Policy Statement

Adelphi University seeks to extend sympathy and compassion to families of deceased students nearing completion of their degrees, to recognize the academic achievement of students who would have fulfilled the requirements of the degree, as well as to honor the memory of deceased students whose degrees were in process. These actions must also balance the need for and uphold academic and institutional integrity in the awarding of degrees.

Reason for Policy

This policy will communicate the procedures to be followed when we have the opportunity to award a posthumous degree.

Who is Governed by This Policy

Faculty, Staff, and Students.

Policy

To be eligible for the award of an Adelphi University posthumous degree, the student must have met the following conditions:

a. For undergraduate degrees:

  1. At the time of death, the student was enrolled and nearing completion of work required for award of the degree.  “Nearing completion” is defined as having been in the final semester of their undergraduate degree.
  2. The student is required to have been in good standing, both academically and with respect to conduct.
  3. Recommendation for the award of the degree shall be approved by the faculty in the student’s major department, the department head/chair, school/college dean, and Provost.

b. For graduate degrees:

  1. For students in thesis programs, at the time of death, the student was enrolled and nearing completion of work required for award of the degree, and the student should have commenced the research process.  “Nearing completion” is defined as having been in the final semester of their degree program.  For graduate students in non-thesis programs, at the time of death, the student was enrolled, and nearing completion of work required for award of the degree program. “Nearing completion” is defined as having been in the final semester of their degree program.
  2. The student is required to have been in good standing, both academically and with respect to conduct.
  3. Recommendation for the award of the degree shall be approved by the faculty in the student’s major department, the department head/chair, school/college dean, and provost.

c. For doctoral degrees:

In addition to the requirements set forth in Section I(b), successfully completed proposal defense, and for programs with a practicum requirement, any award of a posthumous degree requires written endorsement by the program faculty and the dean.

d. Final approval for awarding of any posthumous degrees and certificates in memoriam shall rest with the Board of Trustees (“the Board”, which will act upon recommendation of the President of Adelphi University (“the President”).

Certificate In Memoriam

A Certificate In Memoriam is issued in recognition of a deceased student’s progress toward the degree and to honor the student’s memory as a member of the Adelphi community. The certificate in memoriam is not included in the official count of degrees and shall not be considered a conferral of a degree by Adelphi.

a. For undergraduate, graduate or doctoral students:  Any student who was enrolled at the University at the time of his or her death and who does not meet the requirements necessary to be awarded a posthumous degree may be awarded a certificate in memoriam.  The certificate shall indicate the student’s dates of enrollment, and, if applicable, major and academic department.

b. To be considered, a student must be deemed to have been in good standing with respect to conduct.

Definitions

Posthumous Degree: A Posthumous Degree is an Adelphi University degree that is part of the University’s official count of degrees, but is awarded posthumously.

Procedures

The process for identifying and considering candidates for the award of degrees posthumously and/or of the award of a certificate in memoriam shall be as follows:

  • Upon notice of the death of a student, the Registrar will review the transcript and notify the dean of the student’s major school of the student’s eligibility for a posthumous degree as well as their academic standing, with a copy to the Provost’s Office.
  • The departmental faculty, department head/chair and dean will review the submission from the Registrar to confirm that a student’s overall record merits consideration for a posthumous degree. If the student does not meet the criteria set forth in Section I of this policy, the department faculty, department head and dean shall consider the student for a certificate in memoriam, as set forth in Section II of this policy.
  • Final recommendations for a posthumous degree or a certificate in memoriam require a written recommendation that is provided to the Provost no later than two months before the March Board of Trustees meeting of the year in which the degree or certificate is to be awarded.
  • Any recommendation for a posthumous degree or a certificate in memoriam requires written verification by the Office of Community Standards that the student was in good standing with respect to conduct. This verification shall be requested by the Provost upon receipt of the dean’s recommendation for either a posthumous degree or a certificate in memoriam.
  • The Provost will independently consider all documentation presented and prepare a written recommendation to the President, who will consider it for presentation to the Board for consideration.

Awarding of Posthumous Degrees

Upon approval by the Board, the procedure for awarding a posthumous degree is as follows:

  1. The family of the deceased will be notified in writing of the approval and invited to attend the commencement exercises at which the degree will be conferred. A copy of the notification and invitation shall be sent to the Senior Associate Director of Special Events and Engagement in the Office of Special Events.
  2. The relevant dean will be notified in writing of the approval.
  3. The degree will be conferred at the next regularly scheduled commencement exercise.
  4. The posthumous nature of the award will be indicated on the diploma, the student’s permanent record and in the commencement program.
  5. The diploma will be mailed to the family of the deceased following the commencement exercises at which the degree was conferred.
  6. Latin Honors are not awarded for posthumous degrees.

Awarding of a Certificate In Memoriam/Degree In Memoriam

Upon approval by the Board, the procedure for awarding a Certificate In Memoriam is as follows:

  1. The family of the deceased will be notified in writing of the approval.
  2. The relevant dean will be notified in writing of the approval.
  3. The certificate in memoriam will be mailed to the family of the deceased and will indicate that the certificate recognizes the student’s enrollment at Adelphi, as well as the posthumous nature of the certificate.
  4. Latin Honors are not awarded for certificates in memoriam.

Forms

This policy does not have forms associated with it at this time. Upon periodic policy review, this area will be evaluated to determine if additional information is needed to supplement the policy.

Related Information

This policy does not have related information at this time. Upon periodic policy review, this area will be evaluated to determine if additional information is needed to supplement the policy.

Document History

  • Last Reviewed Date: November 2020
  • Last Revised Date: November 2020
  • Policy Origination Date: N/A

Who Approved This Policy

Board approved October 5, 2020

Policy Owner
Secondary Contact

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