II-109 POLICY ON THE AWARDING OF POSTHUMOUS DEGREES
Schools and colleges may be interested in conferring posthumously a degree to a student who is near completion of her/his degree so as to recognize the academic achievement of that student who, in all likelihood, would have fulfilled the requirements of the degree. In all such cases, conferral of a degree must also be balanced with attention to academic and institutional integrity.
Decisions on awarding of posthumous degrees will be made using the following criteria:
For award of a posthumous baccalaureate degree in memoriam:
- The student was a senior.
- The student was enrolled in a degree program at the time of death and was in good academic standing.
For award of a posthumous graduate degree in memoriam:
- For graduate degrees not requiring a research product, the student was enrolled in courses that would have completed the degree requirements at the time of death, and he/she would have passed the courses with an acceptable grade.
- For graduate degrees requiring a research product, the student had completed all course and other requirements pursuant to the degree and was near completion of his/her dissertation/thesis; and the student’s committee determines his/her scholarship to be substantial work and worthy of the degree.
For award of a posthumous commendation in memoriam:
- A continuously enrolled student who dies before meeting the criteria listed above may be nominated for a posthumous commendation. Such a nomination would be appropriate for a student who has made substantial progress toward a degree or has achieved particular distinction during her/his tenure at the university.
- When a recommendation for the awarding of a posthumous recognition is received, the student’s academic department and appropriate student services office determines whether to recommend the degree based on the above criteria.
- The appropriate dean or director, or the dean of the Graduate School in the case of a graduate student, forwards the recommendation to the chancellor for conferral.
- Upon approval, the Office of the Registrar will be notified and will record the awarding of the appropriate degree in memoriam in the student’s transcript.
- The registrar will send a diploma to the student’s family and invite the family to send a representative to participate in the commencement ceremony on behalf of the student.
- The student’s name will be listed in the appropriate commencement ceremony program.
[UW-Madison Faculty Document 2146a, 7 December 2009]