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Death of a Student or Employee (Policy 2270)

University Policy 2270

Download a Printable Version of Policy 2270

Effective Date

November 2012

Last Revision Date

July 2019

Responsible Party

Office of the Dean of Students, (208) 426-1527
Human Resources and Workforce Strategy, (208) 426-1616
Department of Public Safety, (208) 426-6911

Scope and Audience

This policy Applies to all University employees and students.

1. Policy Purpose

To establish responsibilities and guidelines that support an orderly, effective, and caring response in the event of a University employee or student death.

2. Policy Statement

The University intends to ensure a professional and caring response in the event of a student or employee death by providing support, communication, coordination, and recommended guidance for affected parties. Those responsible for implementing this policy should be guided by the essential communication needs required to respond effectively while maintaining sensitivity for the bereaved.

3. Responsibilities and Procedures

3.1 Response Protocol

a.  If a death occurs on a University premise, call 911 immediately and describe the location and situation as clearly and specifically as possible. The scene of the incident must not be disturbed.

b.  An individual made aware of a University student or employee death should immediately provide all known information to the Office of the Dean of Students for a student death and Human Resources for an employee death.

c.  The Office of the Dean of Students/Human Resources ensures:

  • Extension of condolence and support;
  • Coordination of an appropriate response and notification to impacted individuals, groups, departments, and administrators;
  • Administration of necessary University processes;
  • Coordination of University memorials and vigils; and
  • Facilitation of post-crisis support and resolution as-needed.

d.  The Office of Communication and Marketing is responsible for collecting and disseminating information to the media. All media requests for information must be directed to that office.

3.2 Guidelines for Employees and Students

The death of a student or employee can be stressful for University groups and individuals. Care should be taken to reduce additional distress for affected parties by avoiding the following:

  • Labeling the cause until an official determination is made;
  • Engaging in unnecessary communications about the incident, which may be detrimental to impacted parties; and
  • Arranging support on behalf of the University without coordinating efforts through the Office of the Dean of Students for student deaths and Human Resources for employee deaths.

4. Related Information

University Policy 4110 (Awarding Posthumous Degrees)

Revision History

July 2019