Adams School of Dentistry: Policy and Procedure Following Death of Personnel

Title

Adams School of Dentistry: Policy and Procedure Following Death of Personnel

I. Introduction

A. Purpose

This document outlines expectations for UNC-Chapel Hill Adams School of Dentistry ("School") officials when handling the passing of a student, resident, staff, or faculty member.

B. Scope of Applicability

This Policy applies to all School personnel, including students, residents, staff, faculty, and administrators.

II. Policy

A. Policy Statement

In the unfortunate event that a student, resident, staff, or faculty member of the School community passes away, the School must have response procedures in place to:

  1. respect the privacy and dignity of the deceased individual;
  2. notify the School community in a timely and appropriate fashion; and
  3. ensure that any outstanding administrative matters are appropriately resolved.

B. Exceptions

Circumstances will be different for each passing. The following Procedure is to be considered a best practice guide and may be amended on a case-by-case basis as approved by officials in the Office of the Dean.

III. Procedure

Upon learning that a School student, resident, staff, or faculty member has passed away, active School personnel are expected to follow the following steps:

A. Notification

  1. Notification of the passing should be made as soon as possible to the following School officials:
    1. Dean
    2. Executive Vice Dean for Operations
    3. Chief Communications and Marketing Officer
    4. Appropriate departmental/progammatic contact
      1. Division Chair or Unit Head (if staff/faculty)
      2. Program Director (if resident)
      3. Executive Vice Dean for Education (if student)
  2. The Dean (or other representative from the Office of the Dean) should contact the deceased's next-of-kin to express condolences on behalf of the School and to ensure that any subsequent actions being contemplated are appropriate under the circumstances.
  3. The proper notification of peers and colleagues is paramount. When possible, the following should occur in the following order:
    1. Formal notification to the most immediate/closest colleagues (e.g., departmental staff and faculty, classmates) by the deceased’s appropriate departmental or programmatic contact
      1. This notification should be:
        1. Made as soon as possible
        2. Delivered in-person if circumstances allow (an email can suffice in some instances, but must be coordinated with the School’s Chief Communications and Marketing Officer
      2. If possible, the Dean or other representative from the Office of the Dean should attend this notification meeting
    2. Formal notification to the School community
      1. After the decease's most immediate/closest colleagues have been notified, the Dean will send an email notification to the School community
      2. This notification must be coordinated with the Chief Communications and Marketing Officer
  4. Concurrent with internal notifications and if appropriate under the circumstances, the Chief Communications and Marketing Officer will begin formal notifications to:
    1. The Office of University Communications
    2. The School’s alumni and friends (in coordination with the School’s Office of Advancement)
  5. The Chief Communications and Marketing Officer will work with the rest of the Public Affairs and Marketing Team to:
    1. Gather photos of the deceased
    2. Write an article for the School's website about the deceased
    3. Post the article on School’s website and share on official social media
    4. Ensure that the passing is mentioned in the next-scheduled issue of the School’s e-newsletter and the alumni magazine
    5. (If applicable):
      1. Notify the appropriate organizations about the passing and point them to the website article and/or dean’s message for official school quotes about the deceased
      2. Notify the deceased’s alma mater(s) about the passing and point them to the website article and/or dean’s message for official school quotes about the deceased
      3. Manage media inquiries as they come in
  6. If deceased is an active Kenan Professor, the Chief Communications and Marketing Officer should send email notification to:
    1. The University Faculty Council Chair
    2. The University Vice Chancellor for Research
    3. The University Vice Chancellor for Development
    4. The University Vice Chancellor for Communications
    5. Associate Provost for Strategy and Special Projects
    6. The University Provost
    7. The University Chancellor’s Chief of Staff
    8. CC to: Dean, Executive Vice Dean for Operations, Associate Dean for Advancement, deceased’s manager
    9. Suggested email text:

      I am saddened to inform you that [today/this afternoon], the Adams School of Dentistry was notified that [faculty name], Kenan Distinguished Professor, passed away [insert other information as desired]. We do not have many other details at this time, but [believe that their passing was the result of natural causes / are currently unsure of the circumstances surrounding their passing]. It is unclear how the family wishes to proceed with notifications, but we wanted to let those of you on this email know as soon as possible.

      [Faculty name] joined UNC-Chapel Hill in [year; insert other pertinent bio information]. [Faculty name] was named a Kenan Distinguished Professor in [year].

B. Internal Logistics

  1. The School’s Executive Vice Dean for Operations and Assistant Dean for IT will:
    1. Ensure the deceased’s email access and Onyen access are terminated
    2. Ensure any relevant work-related data can be preserved from the deceased’s computer(s)
    3. Evaluate the need for a limited time auto-reply
      1. Designate appropriate alternate contact
      2. Not to exceed 30 days
      3. Auto-reply template:

        This is an automated message.

        The email account for [deceased] has been closed. Please contact [alternate person name] at [XXX.XXX.XXXX] or [email address].
    4. Remove the deceased’s information from the School and University websites, directories, etc.
  2. The Executive Vice Dean for Operations will coordinate with Support Services to ensure the deceased’s OneCard access and other University IDs are no longer active
  3. The Executive Vice Dean for Operations will coordinate with the Office of Academic Affairs and the Office of Human Resources to schedule grief counseling/related resources
  4. If applicable, the Executive Vice Dean for Operations will work with the Office of Financial Affairs to ensure the deceased’s purchasing card is no longer active
  5. The Executive Vice Dean for Operations will coordinate with the deceased’s next-of-kin to:
    1. Return the deceased’s personal items from lab/office/locker
      1. An employee from the deceased’s department/program should assist the next-of-kin with the actual retrieval
      2. If the department is comfortable doing so, it is a nice gesture to have the majority of the items boxed for the next-of-kin so they do not have to pack items themselves
    2. Direct them to the Office of Human Resources to discuss benefits, life insurance, etc.
    3. Recover any School-owned items or equipment (e.g., laptop, keys)

C. Memorials / Gatherings

1. Active Student, Resident, Staff, or Faculty Member

  1. The Office of the Dean will schedule a school-wide grieving session as soon as possible (preferably the same day)
    1. Depending on the timing of this session, the Executive Dean for Operations, Executive Vice Dean for Education, Associate Dean for Clinical Affairs or equivalent, and COO of the Dental Faculty Practice may decide to cancel classes/clinics.
    2. Further internal memorials should be scheduled by the deceased’s department/unit/program in conjunction with the Office of the Dean.

2. Former Deans

  1. The Office of the Dean will schedule a School-wide grieving session as soon as possible (preferably the same day).
  2. Further internal memorials should be scheduled by the deceased’s department/unit/program in conjunction with the Office of the Dean.

3. Former/Retired Faculty or Staff Member; Former Student/Resident

  1. The deceased’s department/unit/program is responsible for arranging a school-wide grieving session as soon as possible and any future memorials.
  2. The Office of the Dean will coordinate with the deceased’s next of kin when appropriate for large scale memorials geared toward external constituents.

IV. Related Requirements

V. Contact Information

Topic Title Contact
General questions Chief Marketing and Communications Officer Mary_Erskine@unc.edu
Notifying Dean's Office

Executive Vice Dean for Operations

Janet_Guthmiller@unc.edu

Notifying Dean's Office Executive Vice Dean for Education Edward_Swift@unc.edu
Notifying Dean's Office Dean's Office Main Phone (919) 537-3236

 

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Details

Article ID: 131278
Created
Thu 4/8/21 9:05 PM
Modified
Tue 5/9/23 4:47 PM
Responsible Unit
School, Department, or other organizational unit issuing this document.
Adams School of Dentistry
Issuing Officer
Name of the document Issuing Officer. This is the individual whose organizational authority covers the policy scope and who is primarily responsible for the policy.
Issuing Officer Title
Title of the person who is primarily responsible for issuing this policy.
Executive Vice Dean for Education
Next Review
Date on which the next document review is due.
05/09/2025 12:00 AM
Last Review
Date on which the most recent document review was completed.
05/09/2023 1:43 PM
Last Revised
Date on which the most recent changes to this document were approved.
05/09/2023 1:43 PM
Effective Date
If the date on which this document became/becomes enforceable differs from the Origination or Last Revision, this attribute reflects the date on which it is/was enforcable.
03/02/2021 12:34 PM
Origination
Date on which the original version of this document was first made official.
04/22/2019 12:00 AM