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Awarding Degrees Posthumously

From Appalachian State University Policy Manual

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Policy 403.5

1 Introduction

1.1 Over the years, there have been times when members of our Senior Class and graduate students have died prior to graduation. The following criteria and procedures will be used in the awarding of degrees posthumously. The policy allows seniors within 30 semester hours of graduation and graduate students within 6 semester hours of graduation who have died to be awarded their degree posthumously.

2 Scope

2.1 This policy applies to all students enrolled at Appalachian State University.

3 Definitions

3.1 Good Standing

Good standing shall be defined as a minimum GPA of 2.0 for undergraduates or 3.0 for graduate students.

4 Policy and Procedure Statements

4.1 Minimum Criteria

  1. Undergraduate students must be within thirty (30) semester hours of graduation. Graduate students must be within six (6) hours of graduation.
  2. Student must have been in good standing at the University at the time of their death.

4.1.1 Procedure:

  1. Following a student death, family members or friends of the student may inquire about the possibility of a posthumous degree. All requests for posthumous degrees shall be made to the Associate Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs/Dean of Students (“Dean of Students”).
  2. The Dean of Students shall forward all requests to the Chair of the appropriate academic department in which the student was seeking a degree for consideration by the faculty in that department.
  3. Once Faculty have shared their thoughts on the request with the Department Chair, the Department Chair shall make his/her recommendation to the Dean of the College.
  4. The Dean shall review the recommendation received from the Department Chair and make his/her own recommendation to the Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs.
  5. The School of Graduate Studies shall make all recommendations for graduate students.
  6. The Provost shall review the recommendation and then make his/her own recommendation to the Chancellor for approval.
  7. If approved by the Chancellor, a notification shall be sent to the Dean of the Academic College, the Dean of Students and the Registrar or School of Graduate Studies, as appropriate.
  8. A diploma is then ordered by the Registrar for any undergraduate students and by the School of Graduate Studies for any graduate students.
  9. The Dean of Students shall also notify the family of the deceased student and shall set up a private ceremony to be held at a date and time not associated with commencement activities.
  10. The Chancellor, Provost, Dean of the Academic College, Department Chair, and faculty of the appropriate academic department are invited to attend and/or participate in the ceremony. The Dean of the College, or his/her designee shall present the diploma to the family.

5 Additional References

6 Authority

7 Contact Information

Associate Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs/Dean of Students 828-262-2060

8 Original Effective Date

April 20, 2016

9 Revision Dates