Section A: Obituaries published on university news site and in Reporter

UM-Dearborn publishes obituaries on its news site and through the Reporter faculty and staff newsletter for select members of the campus community. University obituaries provide information about the deceased’s career and professional activities, and the impact he or she had on campus and in the community. An External Relations writer will work closely with a unit representative to gather relevant information and a photo of the deceased.

Obituaries are written when the deceased was one of the following:

  • A current faculty member (all classifications), LEO lecturer, administrator or staff member
  • A recently retired (<1 year) longtime (spent career at UM-Dearborn) faculty, lecturer, administrator or staff member
  • A former or retired UM-Dearborn chancellor
  • A longtime major donor whose giving has had/will continue to have a significant impact on campus

Section B: Email notices of deaths and funeral arrangements

An email sent to faculty and staff through the general email list that shares news of a death and funeral arrangements is often the most appropriate and timely way to inform the university community of a death. These emails should be sent by the college dean or senior officer as information is available and confirmed. (A good faith attempt to share news with departmental colleagues before an all-campus email is appreciated.)

The dean or senior officer should notify the director of human resources about the faculty or staff death. If the death occurs on campus, HR can provide the current emergency contact information. Human resources should remain the primary contact between the university and the family, unless other arrangements are agreed upon between human resources and the college/unit.

The all-campus email should not include detailed information about the person's passing unless the family has given consent or the person had a discussion with his/her department head prior to his/her passing.

Emails should include information about counseling resources. For instance: “Faculty and staff have access to grief education and counseling services though the Faculty and Staff Counseling and Consultation Office, which can be scheduled by phone or email.”

Email notification is appropriate for those members listed in Section A (and would be sent prior to the published obituary), as well as when the deceased was one of the following:

  • An emeritus or retired faculty member, retired staff or administrator who spent a significant portion of his or her career at UM-Dearborn

A follow up email with additional funeral arrangements may be appropriate if information was not immediately available. This email also could include any wishes of the deceased/family, if that information is available. For example: “In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to XXX.”

Section C: Obituaries and death notices in Legacy

UM-Dearborn publishes obituaries in Legacy for select members of the campus community. University obituaries of no more than 80 words provide information about the deceased’s career and the impact he or she had on campus. An External Relations writer will work closely with a unit representative to gather relevant information and a photo of the deceased.

Obituaries are written when the deceased was one of the following:

  • A current and longtime professor or LEO lecturer
  • An emeritus or retired faculty member who spent a significant portion of his or her career at UM-Dearborn
  • A retired staff member whose work had a significant impact on the campus and/or members of the university community.
  • A longtime major donor whose giving has had/will continue to have a significant impact on campus

Beginning in Fall 2018, Legacy also will include an “In Memoriam” section in class notes that includes a list of alumni who have recently died. The list will be provided by the Office of Alumni Engagement, working with colleagues in Ann Arbor to confirm date of death, graduation year and degree.

Section D: Communicating a faculty death to students

Faculty and staff are instrumental in communicating news of the death of a faculty member with students who may be affected by the death. Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) is available to act as a partner and resource when notifying students.

If a faculty member was teaching a course at the time of his or her passing, the college will need to notify students enrolled in the course(s). The dean or department chair should contact CAPS before the deceased’s next scheduled class to discuss options for notification at that class, which could include a CAPS staff member attending the class with a faculty member to share news of the death and provide information about CAPS.

Information about the college’s plans to have students complete the semester should be shared by the department chair or other appropriate faculty leader as soon as possible both in person and through email/Canvas, as well as information about counseling services.

Additionally, the dean, unit leader or department chair should work to identify groups of students who also may be affected by the death—research assistants, supplemental instructors, student workers, etc. As with class notification, CAPS is available to help notify these students and provide information about resources available.

Section E: Communicating deaths on social media

The central University of Michigan-Dearborn social media channels may post a link to the deceased’s obituary once it has been published on the UM-Dearborn news site.

Social media postings from the central accounts are limited to those mentioned in Section A:

  • A current professor, LEO lecturer, administrator or staff member
  • A recently retired (<1 year) longtime (spent career at UM-Dearborn) faculty, lecturer, administrator or staff member
  • A former or retired UM-Dearborn chancellor
  • A longtime major donor whose giving has had/will continue to have a significant impact on campus

Units within the university may also post links to the official UM-Dearborn obituaries. Units may have additional social media needs, such as: sharing information about the death of an emeritus or retired faculty, lecturer or staff member; or posting information about funeral arrangements or memorials. In these cases, unit social media representatives should coordinate with unit leadership and External Relations to ensure that information is posted only once all internal audiences have been contacted and with family consent.

For informational purposes only (as this group is focused on faculty/staff/alumni news), below is our current policy on who receives news about a student’s death.

Section F: Communicating Student Deaths

UM-Dearborn does not actively share information about student deaths with the public or the general campus community. If a currently enrolled student dies, the registrar’s office should notify, via email, the following personnel:

  • The Office of External Relations - vice chancellor
  • Student’s department - chair
  • Faculty members who were teaching a course in which the student was enrolled
  • Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) - director
  • The dean of students
1161 AB -
Administration Building (AB)
Phone: 
313-593-5140
Fax: 
313-593-5403
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