Death of an Employee

1. Reporting a Death

  1. On Campus Death
    • In case of an on campus death, call University Police first as an emergency, by calling 9911 (229-9111 if calling from a cell phone).

      An “on campus death” refers to anyone dying on any UWM property. The University Police will notify the Vice Chancellors for University Relations and Finance and Administrative Affairs and will e-mail all contacts on the Non-Student Passing list. The Vice Chancellors will notify the Chancellor and Provost.

  2. Off Campus Death
    • A campus member may hear of an off campus death through a variety of sources: friend, family, a student, the news, an obituary, etc.
    • The campus member should contact the deceased person’s department supervisor/chair (or designee) or the School/College/Division Office to relay the information. These two offices are responsible for notifying each other.
  3. Work-related Death
    • If the cause of death may be work-related, any witness to the death should call University Safety and Assurances immediately at (414) 229-6339 for reporting and investigation.

2. The First 24 Hours After a Death is Reported

  1. School/College/Division Office
    • Appoint a coordinator (from the employee’s department). When an employee works in more than one department, the Division/School/College should decide which department is responsible for coordination.
    • Assist the coordinator as needed.
    • Notify UITS/other IT upon verification from the Department Coordinator.
  2. Department Coordinator
    • Determine the validity of the report and begin the death protocol.
    • Print out the checklist and use it to keep track of assignments to others and activities completed.
    • Contact HR Benefits for a benefits contact name and telephone number for the family.
    • Contact Payroll to coordinate final paycheck and/or leave payout.
    • Facilitate communication between survivors and campus services such as Benefits.
    • Contact the staff members within the department and other students or staff most directly impacted to make them aware of the death.
    • Contact HR (when needed) for Employee Assistance Program (Life Matters) consultation in addressing the needs of staff, faculty, students and the family affected.
    • Contact the Dean of Students and Norris if the employee is a student.

3. 24 to 48 Hours After a Death is Reported

  1. School/College/Division Office
    • Initiate condolence communication to the family.
    • Identify campus representative (e.g. representative of the Dean or Division Head) to attend on/off campus events.
    • Work with the Department Coordinator and University Relations regarding the release of information and the development of an announcement to campus.
  2. Department Coordinator
    • Work with the School/College/Division Office and University Relations regarding the release of information and the development of an announcement to campus.
    • Assess the need for memorial events.
    • Collect information about on and off campus events.
    • Determine arrangements and ensures notifications/invitations for attendance.

4. 48+ Hours After a Death is Reported

  1. Chancellor’s Office
    • Send a condolence card to the family of the deceased from the Chancellor.
  2. School/College/Division Office
    • Send a condolence card to the family of the deceased from the Dean/Division Head.
  3. Department Coordinator
    • Ensure that the Personnel Representative for the School/College/ Division completes an HRS Job Change form for the employee.
    • Arrange to have personal possessions inventoried and delivered to the estate representative.
    • Arrange to have UWM possessions inventoried and retrieved from the estate. Use particular discretion as to the appropriate timing of this task. Contact University Safety & Assurances and Legal Affairs if any issues arise.

5. Related Document

6. Questions About This Guidance

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