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Death of a Student Protocol

Message to Families

The death of a student can be emotionally difficult and stressful for students, faculty and staff.  Recognizing the shock and profound sadness the student’s family and friends will be experiencing, this protocol is designed to ensure a professional and caring response by the university.

The death of a student often occurs away from campus and a family member usually provides notification to the university. However, in circumstances when a student dies on campus or in a surrounding community, the UMSL Police Department or St. Louis County officials may be first responders. 

In an effort to provide a compassionate and coordinated response on behalf of the university, the Office of the Vice Provost for Student Affairs should be notified immediately. The following information is helpful to properly identify the student and to ensure the correct information is disseminated:

  • Student’s full name
  • Student identification number
  • Name and address of parents or significant other
  • Date and cause of death
  • College or major
  • Enrollment status
  • Residence (on or off campus)

Notification of a student death typically comes to the Office of the Vice Provost for Student Affairs from a variety of sources, including the Medical Examiner’s Office, police, family, friends or a university faculty/staff member. Upon receiving notice of a student death, the following notifications will be made:

  • Academic Dean and Department Chair
  • Registrar’s Office
  • Cashier’s Office
  • Financial Aid
  • Residential Life and Housing
  • Student Life
  • Counseling Services
  • Careers Services
  • Alumni Office
  • Other department heads as deemed appropriate

In addition to providing communication throughout the university regarding a student death, the Office of the Vice Provost for Student Affairs will serve as the main point of contact for the family during this difficult time.