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Policy 1315
Notification Regarding Death

Date of Current Revision: November 2013
Responsible Officer: Executive Assistant to the President

1. PURPOSE

This policy provides for the proper notification to the university community regarding the death of a member of the university community. It will facilitate an appropriate response and record the information in university databases.

2. AUTHORITY

The Board of Visitors has been authorized by the Commonwealth of Virginia to govern James Madison University. See Code of Virginia section 23-164.6; 23-9.2:3. The Board has delegated the authority to manage the university to the president.

3. DEFINITIONS

Member of the University Community:
For the purposes of this policy, a faculty member, staff member, student, alumnus, parent, donor, or other individual affiliated with the university.

4. APPLICABILITY

This policy applies to all members of the university community.

5. POLICY

The university wishes to respond appropriately when it is notified of the death of a member of the university community. When a vice president or executive assistant to the president is notified that a member of the James Madison University community has died, the university will follow a specific set of procedures for the appropriate response.

6. PROCEDURES

A member of the university community who learns of the death of a faculty member, staff member, current student, alumnus, parent, donor, or other individual affiliated with the university should notify the following office according to the connection between the university and the decedent:

  • Current or former faculty member: Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs
  • Current student: Senior Vice President for Student Affairs and University Planning
  • Current or former staff member: Appropriate senior vice president, vice president or the executive assistant to the president
  • Current or former parent, donor, alumnus/a, former student or other external affiliation: Vice President for University Advancement

The vice president or executive assistant to the president will verify the information, as appropriate. Notification will be forwarded to the president's office, Public Affairs, and the other vice presidents and the executive assistant to the president. Each vice president shall be responsible for notifying areas within their division that need to have this information to maintain the accuracy of the university's internal records:

  • Current Students: University Registrar; Dean of Students; Academic Unit Head; Academic Adviser; Current Instructors
  • Current Faculty or Staff: Human Resources; Office of Advancement-Gifts & Records; College Dean, if appropriate
  • Parent, donor, alumnus/a or other external affiliation: Office of Advancement-Gifts & Records
  • Former students (non-graduate): Dean of Students; Office of Advancement Gifts & Records

To facilitate the university's response to the death, the respective vice president will coordinate with the President's Office and communicate with units and departments, as appropriate, for attendance at the funeral or memorial service, correspondence with the family, contribution/donation (i.e., a memorial or scholarship fund), or floral arrangement. The respective vice president or executive assistant to the president may also be involved in the coordination of a campus memorial service based on request from members of the student community. Individual divisions, departments and offices will coordinate their individual responses and participation as appropriate and will follow university policies.

7. RESPONSIBILITIES

It is the responsibility of all members of the university community to notify the appropriate persons as soon as possible in the event of the death of a member of the university community.

It is the responsibility of the appropriate vice president or executive assistant to the president to coordinate the university's response with the President's Office and to notify the Office of Public Affairs.

It is the responsibility of individual units or departments to contact the office of the appropriate person before responding to the news of the death.

8. SANCTIONS

None

9. EXCLUSIONS

None

10. INTERPRETATION

The authority to interpret this policy rests with the president and is generally delegated to the Executive Assistant to the President.

Previous version: November, 2011
Approved by the President: August, 2003

Index of Terms

Death