II. PURPOSE AND SCOPE
The death of a Student, a member of the faculty or staff, active or emeriti, or visiting Scholar or Fellow of the University represents a loss for the campus community as well as for the family and friends of the deceased. On the human level, the campus response to such a death will vary based on the decedent’s public prominence and the circumstances of the death. At the administrative level, the University’s response will be based on the nature of the decedent’s affiliation with the University.
The purpose of this policy is to establish certain responsibilities concerning the notifications that need to be made to the various campus administrative and service departments in the event of the death of a member of the campus community and to coordinate such actions expeditiously and sensitively with regard to the feelings of the family, relatives, and friends of the deceased. Coordination of the immediate professional response actions of campus police, health care professionals, or other campus emergency response personnel in the event of a campus death, or situations which may result in a death, is beyond the scope of this policy.
In general, the required notifications depend on the nature of the University affiliation of the deceased and are intended to set in motion administrative actions needed to settle accounts and close the academic and/or personnel records of the deceased.
For the purpose of this policy and the subordinate procedures, the following definitions apply:
Emeritus or Emerita: A UCLA Emeritus or Emerita is a retired University Employee, either member of the faculty or staff, upon whom has been conferred formal emeriti status.
Employee: A UCLA Employee is defined as anyone who at the time of death was receiving or was entitled to receive a payroll disbursement check, or was on a leave without pay employment status, including medical disability leave. A UCLA Employee includes active academic and non-academic career and casual staff (including Students), and may include certain medical trainees, clinical Fellows, or post-doctoral or visiting Scholars.
Scholar or Fellow: A UCLA Scholar or Fellow is defined as one who is affiliated with the University as a post-doctoral Scholar, visiting Scholar, medical trainee, or clinical Fellow. A Scholar or Fellow may receive pay as an Employee of the University or, in the case of medical residents, may be registered in a Student status. Other Scholars or Fellows may be appointed as non-student trainees/affiliates without salary, with fellowship stipend support, or with extramural support.
Student: A UCLA Student is defined as one who is enrolled in a regular curriculum program at UCLA at the time of death, or one who has completed the immediately preceding term and is eligible for re-enrollment, in the event the death occurs during the recess period between quarters/semesters or the summer period. Students may also be part-time Employees of the University.
UCLA Death: Refers to the death of a UCLA Student, Employee, Scholar or Fellow, or Emeritus or Emerita, as those terms are defined above.
UCLA Death Notice: Refers to the form and notification sent out by the UCLA Office of the Chancellor in the event of a UCLA Death. The UCLA Death Notice is a form of internal notification and is not a substitute for a medical death certificate that may be required for certain benefits processing purposes.
The institutional response to a UCLA Death entails a series of administrative actions to settle accounts, resolve benefits issues, and close academic and personnel records. Notifications must be made to a number of campus units in order that the administrative actions can be taken in a timely manner. The particular notifications required depend on the nature of the affiliation of the deceased. In order that the appropriate offices be notified of actions that need to be taken, notification responsibilities are coordinated as follows.
A. Notification Responsibilities
The responsibilities of campus staff and departments in the event of the death of a campus member are as follows:
- Campus staff or departments who are informed of a UCLA Death shall inform the Chancellor’s Office of the death as soon as practical, providing the name of the deceased, nature of the affiliation of the deceased with the University and such other information as is known or suspected which may be used to complete the UCLA Death Notice form, included in this policy as Attachment A.
- Chancellor’s Office staff are responsible for preparing a UCLA Death Notice for any report of a UCLA Death received which is determined to be reliable. Such a report may be received from campus staff or departments, campus emergency response personnel, or from non-University sources. The completed UCLA Death Notice shall be sent to the campus offices specified on the form. At their discretion in accordance with the procedures contained in I.3 above, Chancellor’s Office staff may direct the lowering of the flag to half-mast, may prepare a letter of condolence, and/or may prepare an obituary notice.
- Campus administrative departments that receive notification of a UCLA Death, either directly or from a Chancellor’s Office issued UCLA Death Notice, are responsible for confirming the circumstances of the death consistent with the nature of the administrative action that needs to be taken. Departments which require a formal death certificate before certain actions may be processed should seek to obtain such a certificate from the appropriate campus or civil authorities.
- Notifications to the family or representatives of the deceased should be coordinated by the Chancellor’s Office, in the case of an Employee, or the Office of the Dean of Students, in the case of a Student. Notifications that may affect the legal rights of survivors, such as determination of beneficiaries for insurance purposes or final death payment purposes are the responsibility of UCLA Payroll or Campus Human Resources departments, or other central administrative departments ordinarily responsible for such matters.
B. Required Notifications
Specific notifications and resulting procedures for closing out academic, personnel or other records of the decedent are based on the nature of the decedent’s affiliation with the University as follows.
- For Employees, the procedures and notifications required are set forth in Procedure 160.1, Employee Death Reporting. Procedure 160.1 applies to active and emeriti academic and non-academic employees, including staff without salary, Students who are University Employees, and Scholars or Fellows who are University Employees.
- For Students, the procedures and notifications required are set forth in Procedure 160.2, Student Death Response and Reporting. Procedure 160.2 applies to UCLA Students, including Students who are also University Employees.
- For Scholars or Fellows, notification should be made as follows:
- For post-doctoral Fellows and visiting Scholars (whether or not employees of the University in addition), notification should be made to the Dean’s Office of the Graduate Division, which will coordinate all further notifications as may be required;
- For medical residents and clinical Fellows (whether or not employees of the University in addition), notification should be made to the Dean’s Office of the School of Medicine, which will coordinate all further notifications as may be required.