Executive Policy 9.780 Executive Policy 9.780

Death of Student or Employee

Executive Policy Chapter 9, Personnel
Executive Policy EP 9.780, Death of Student or Employee
Effective Date:  September 2018
Prior Dates Amended: N/A
Responsible Office:  Office of the Vice President for Administration
Governing Board and/or Executive Policy: N/A
Review Date:  September 2021     


It is the policy of the University of Hawai‘i (“University”) to take appropriate action(s) when our students and employees suffer death while enrolled or in-service at the University.  These actions must balance the privacy interests of the student/employee and their family, address any safety or campus concerns, support any investigations, and complete any administrative processes with dignity and respect, in a timely manner.


The scope of this policy is to:

  1. To delineate roles and responsibilities in the timely notification to campus officials and family members, and assistance to the campus/school/unit in responding to and recovering from the death of a student or employee.

    1. To assist the family of the deceased and ensure that the beneficiary(ies) receives applicable benefits provided under existing State and Federal statutes and regulations.

  2. The following sets forth the procedure for reporting and taking actions upon the death of University students and employees.  For the limited purpose of this policy, postdoctoral fellows and volunteers shall be treated as employees.


See Definitions (Attachment A)


  1. Procedure in the Event of Death of a Student (Attachment B)

  2. Procedure in the Event of Death of an Employee (Attachment C)

  3. Supervisor’s Guide for Handling Employee Death (Attachment D)

  4. Checklist – Death of Employee (Attachment E)

  5. Information for Beneficiaries and Family Members Upon Death of Employee (Attachment F)


  1. The senior campus communications officer will coordinate the following announcements in an appropriate manner and time consistent with the deceased’s family’s wishes:

    1. Formal letter of condolence on behalf of the University from the Chancellor or appropriate executive

    2. Announcement to the affected campus unit(s), when applicable

    3. Announcement to the campus community, when applicable

  2. The campus communications office must coordinate any and all responses with the System Office of Communications to ensure consistent and most updated information.

    1. Except in special circumstances (explained below), in no case will the campus community or the media be informed of the death until it has been verified, and immediate family members have been notified.

    2. Special circumstances may include an incident that is a high profile, public event receiving widespread attention by the media and/or within social media. The university communicators and/or communication units need to have the flexibility to adapt to ongoing, unforeseen situations and have the ability to respond quickly and appropriately to the situation, while maintaining appropriate sensitivity and complying with privacy policies and laws.

  3. The senior campus communications officer or designee, shall report any work-related incident that results in the death of an employee, in-patient hospitalization of 3 or more employees, or property damage in excess of $25,000 to the Hawai‘i Occupational Safety and Health Division within 8 hours of the incident at (808) 586-9102.  In addition, the senior campus communications officer or designee shall contact the University System Office of Risk Management at (808) 956-7243 to ensure proper documentation of the incident.


Vice Presidents, Chancellors, State Director for Career and Technical Education, senior student affairs officers, and Mānoa Deans and Directors who have been delegated HR responsibilities, or their designees (i.e., HR representatives) have primary responsibilities for the execution of these procedures.


Office of Human Resources
Telephone: (808) 956-8458
OHR Website

Office of the Vice President for Administration
Telephone: (808) 956-6405
Email:  vpadmin@hawaii.edu


AP 8.770 Student Refunds
AP 8.879 Post Death Payments


David Lassner
September 27, 2018


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