Boston University recently issued a new policy that allows students who die while attending the school to receive posthumous degrees.
A spokesman for the university told Insider that plans for the formal policy were in place long before the novel coronavirus outbreak began.
He said the idea behind making a formal posthumous degree policy was first proposed in 2013.
A new policy at Boston University now allows students who die while attending the school to receive posthumous degrees, but a spokesman for the school says it has nothing to do with the novel coronavirus pandemic.
BU spokesman Colin Riley told Insider that the policy is "unrelated to the pandemic," and plans for the formal policy were in place long before the novel coronavirus outbreak began.
"It's not a result as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and we apologize for the timing that may have led to this incorrect impression," he said.
In an online statement announcing the policy, officials said that the Boston University Council discussed posthumous degrees in monthly meetings from January through July.
Riley told Insider that the idea of making an official policy around receiving a posthumous degree was first proposed in 2013 after a student died in the Boston Marathon bombing. He said the school had issued such degrees before, but it took years for a formal proposal to be developed before it was presented to the Boston University Council.
According to BU's website, the policy goes into effect in the Fall 2020 semester.
Undergraduate students are eligible for degrees if they were in their last semesters at the school when they died and were likely to pass with "acceptable" grades. For graduate students, a student could be eligible if they were near the completion of their thesis or other course requirements.
If conditions have not been met, a Certificate of Academic Achievement may be issued, the school said.
"Requests for posthumous degrees should be initiated by the student's academic program, have the support of the Dean of the student's school or college and the Provost, and the approval of the President," the school said. "Once a school or college has received final approval from the Provost and President, they will send that approval to the Diploma office in the Office of the University Registrar, who will be responsible for ordering the diploma. Requests must be made within two calendar years of the student's passing."
Read the original article on Insider