The University of Hawai'i at Manoa seeks to extend sympathy and compassion to families of deceased students near completion of their degrees and to recognize the academic achievement of these students who would have fulfilled the requirements of the degree. These actions must also be balanced with attention to academic and institutional integrity.
Decisions on awarding of posthumous degrees will be made on a case-by-case basis using the following criteria.
The student was a senior in his/her final semester of coursework. The deceased student was enrolled in courses that would have completed the degree requirements at the time of death. The student would have passed the courses with an acceptable grade, and would likely have fulfilled the requirements of the degree.
For graduate degrees not requiring a research product, the student was enrolled in courses that would have completed the degree requirements at the time of death; would have passed the courses with an acceptable grade, and would likely have fulfilled the requirements of the degree.
For graduate degrees requiring a research product, the student had completed all course requirements and was near completion of his/her dissertation, thesis, or Plan B work; and the student's committee found his/her paper to be of substantial work and worthy of the degree.
A formal request may be initiated by any of the following: a family member, the student's academic dean or department, or the chair of the student's graduate advisory committee. If the request is not made by a family member, the family should be contacted and found to be receptive of the possible award.
The student's academic department and appropriate student services office determines whether the student would have satisfied all the criteria required for the award.
The appropriate dean, the Dean of the student's academic department or the Dean of the graduate division, in the case of a graduate student, forwards the recommendation to the Chancellor.
The Chancellor will have final approval in awarding the posthumous degree.
Upon approval, the Admissions and Records Office will be notified and will record the award of the degree in the student's transcript. Admissions and Records will also send a diploma to the student's family and invite the family to send a representative to participate in the commencement ceremony in behalf of the student. The graduation application fee will be waived and the student's name will be listed in the appropriate commencement ceremony program.