Death of a Current University of Iowa Employee, Information for Departments

Notification-University Benefits, University Police, and University Communication and Marketing all have specific responsibilities upon the death of a current University of Iowa staff or faculty member.  If you learn of such a death on or off campus, please notify those offices by sending an email to death-notification@uiowa.edu.

Responsibilities

University Police, upon discovery or notification of the death of a staff or faculty member, will notify or confirm notification to University Benefits and University Communication and Marketing.

University Benefits, upon notification or discovery of the death of a staff or faculty member, will notify or confirm notification of University Police and University Communication and Marketing. University Benefits will monitor notification of the family and will inform University Communication and Marketing and the deceased employee’s Senior Human Resources Leadership Representative when this notification has been confirmed.

University Communication and Marketing, upon notification or discovery of the death of a staff or faculty member, will notify or confirm notification of University Police and University Benefits.  University Communication and Marketing will handle all requests from media for information and will not release the name or potentially identifying information about the employee until informed by University Benefits or University Police that the family has been notified.

In the event that law enforcement personnel request emergency contact or next-of-kin information for the deceased, any person on campus with access to the information may provide it to the authorities.  Such person also should contact University Benefits of the death and the fact that emergency contact information has been released.

UI Integrated Employee Assistance Program

All University of Iowa employees who have an appointment of fifty percent time or greater and their dependents are eligible to receive free, confidential counseling services through Faculty and Staff Services. Counselors offer one to four sessions for assessment, referral and short-term counseling. This benefit is available to family members for grief counseling as well as stress management, family problems, physical or mental health concerns or job-related issues.

The services also are available to University staff and faculty members affected by the employee’s death.

Call 319-335-2085 to schedule an appointment.

Departmental Arrangements for Services and Memorials

Time away from work for the purpose of attending memorial services for deceased staff and faculty members is granted at the discretion of management, based on operational needs. Use of funeral leave from the employee’s accrued sick leave is reserved for immediate family members as defined by that policy; otherwise, vacation accruals are available for use in this circumstance.

Guidelines for expenditures related to flowers and/or memorials

Payroll

University Benefits will notify the Payroll Office of the event.  Notification will include next of kin contact information.  The Payroll Office will send the next of kin a letter that explains that the deceased employee’s final payroll payment(s) cannot be paid directly to the deceased employee.  Payment must be made either to the deceased employee’s estate or to their legal beneficiary.  The letter will include instructions on how to proceed.

The employee’s final W-2 will be mailed to the employee’s home address unless otherwise directed by the executor of the estate. If other family members would like a copy of the W-2 or other arrangements are needed for the W-2, the executor of the estate may arrange to obtain a copy of the W-2.

A regular employee who passes away while actively employed is paid for any time worked during the current pay period, plus one additional month of regular base salary, plus any accumulated vacation time.  An additional sick leave benefit is paid if the deceased employee qualifies for the payment.

The employee’s final check(s) will be paid through the University of Iowa Accounts Payable vendor payment system and the recipient of the final payment(s) will receive an IRS Form 1099 at year end, or for any payments made to the beneficiary or to the estate.

Payroll questions can be directed to the Payroll Office at 319-335-2381 or sent via email to payroll-web@uiowa.edu.

Benefits

University Benefits works with the respective health, dental, retirement, and life insurance vendors to process claims and work with the surviving family members and/or executor to continue coverage, if desired. The office sends claim forms to beneficiaries and works to finalize these transactions.

University Benefits will accept the deceased employee’s University items from the family, as well as answer questions and direct family members, executors and/or representatives from employing departments regarding the following topics: email, parking, ID cards, paychecks, work materials, the self-service website, University property located at home, personal property at the work site, keys, and credit cards. (In addition, information about most of these topics is addressed elsewhere on this website.)

Continuing Benefits for Spouses/Domestic Partners

Health and Dental Insurance: Spouse/domestic partner and/or children of an active Faculty or P&S staff member whose death occurs while employed may continue the University insurances until such time that the children lose their dependent status or the spouse either remarries or obtains employment that includes an insurance policy. Families of merit staff may continue coverage for up to 36 months.

Spouse/Domestic Partner ID Card: A spouse/domestic partner of an active regular employee whose death occurs while employed may obtain a spousal University ID card from the University Payroll Office that gives rights and access to certain University facilities and discounts.

Contact University Benefits

Sponsored Research – Grants and Contracts

 If the deceased employee received salary from a grant and/or contract, the Principal Investigator or departmental administrator should contact the  Division of Sponsored Programs (DSP) at 319-335-2123 or dsp@uiowa.eduas soon as possible, normally within one to two weeks.

If the deceased was a PI or key personnel on a grant or contract, consider whether another qualified individual at The University of Iowa can assume the role.  Some Sponsors (funding agencies) require prior approval for changes to key personnel.  Work with DSP to make the new assignments and to obtain approval from the Sponsor(s) as necessary.

If a qualified replacement cannot be identified on campus, it may be necessary to relinquish the grant/contract or transfer it to another institution.  Sponsor policies in this regard differ, so it is important to work with the Division of Sponsored Programs to determine the appropriate course of action.

Information Technology Procedures

Notification must be made by the employing department within 72 hours to University Human Resources (HR) using a termination form (reason code = death).

  • Complete a termination transaction in the HR system
  • This change subsequently is processed during the nightly Directory Services update, which is then
    • distributed to computer services for appropriate HawkID eligibility changes
    • fed into the HawkID system to programmatically “lock” the person’s account
    • reflected in the person’s university directory and address book listings (herd/phone/address books)

Notification must be made by the employing department to the computer application(s) owner(s) for computer services used by the deceased employee that do not use HawkID for login (for example, a local department application), so that the person’s name can be manually removed from access lists. ITS Help Desk (its-helpdesk@uiowa.edu) is available to help with this.

Additional information on how long services and access to applications are available can be found on the Help Desk’s Status Change website.

If work files, correspondence, and other electronic information need to be retrieved from the person’s office computer by the department, using the deceased person’s HawkID, the request to reset the password must be documented as follows:

  • Send a notice to the ITS Help Desk (its-helpdesk@uiowa.edu) requesting that the person’s account be unlocked and the password reset in order to retrieve work files
    • include the person’s name and HawkID (if known)
    • include a contact name and phone number (the person to receive the password)
    • copy the head of the department
    • copy the Information Security and Policy Office (it-security@uiowa.edu)

Computer equipment, files, software or other University property located at the deceased person’s home needs to be returned to or retrieved by the department.

  • The department and University Benefits will coordinate contacting the next of kin or the executor about retrieving University property from the home, so that only one visit to the home is made.

If family members or executors request access to the person’s computer account(s):

  • Do not share the person’s password with the family/executor.
  • Do not forward or make copies of files, work, or other computer correspondence without first consulting with your department head and the Office of the General Counsel to determine confidentiality and ownership.
  • For payroll/benefits information, refer them to University Benefits (benefits@uiowa.edu or 319-335-2676) or this website.

The department may exercise discretion in determining how to handle the deceased employee’s business email account. Consider having the deceased person’s email automatically forwarded to another account if s/he received departmental requests or a considerable volume of business correspondence. In addition, an automatic reply message may be returned to senders. The ITS Help Desk (its-helpdesk@uiowa.edu) makes these changes on the department’s behalf. Consider the amount and type of email received by the person when selecting email handling options, as well as the need for removing the employee from email subscriptions and from web forms that mail to them. Some options are:

Returning Property

  • ID cards – These are deactivated upon processing of the termination form in the system; they need not be returned. The exception is University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics ID cards, which may be returned to University Benefits or Hospital Human Resources.
  • Keys – Return to University Benefits or the employing department.
  • Credit cards – University procurement cards and credit cards are to be returned to University Benefits; they are delivered to Purchasing.
  • UI property at home – Return to University Benefits or the employing department.
  • Personal property at the work site – Two persons from the department are required to inventory and remove the property to give to the family or executor.

Campus Mail Address

University Benefits changes the deceased employee’s campus mail address to the Benefits office address, and distributes mail appropriately upon its receipt.

Other University Notifications

University Benefits notifies the Office of the President of the death. The President sends the family a letter of condolence.

University Benefits notifies Staff Council of a current staff member's death. Staff Council orders a book in the staff member's memory for the University of Iowa Main Library.

University Benefits also notifies the University publication Iowa Now.

Parking and Transportation

For the employee who has University parking privileges,

For the employee who has University parking privileges, Parking and Transportation requires return of the permit, and of the key or card, if the employee parked in a keyed or carded lot or ramp. (Parking and Transportation will deactivate the cards upon notice of the death.)

Departmental parking placards and the accompanying key or card must be returned to the employing department.

In the event that Parking and Transportation does not receive the above, they will send a letter requesting the items.

If the employee participated in the van pool to travel to work, the Van Pool office should be contacted at 319-353-5770 or commuter-programs@uiowa.edu.

In the event that the surviving spouse or domestic partner is also a University employee and has been riding to work with the deceased spouse or domestic partner, the surviving spouse or domestic partner may retain parking privileges by requesting such to Parking and Transportation by email or letter. If the surviving spouse or domestic partner is assigned parking in a lot other than that assigned to the deceased spouse, s/he retains that assignment rather than assuming the assignment of the deceased spouse or domestic partner.

Contact Parking Office

University Bills

For inquiries about outstanding University charges, contact the Business Office at ubill@uiowa.eduor 319-335-0071.

For inquiries about outstanding charges at University Hospitals and Clinics, contact Patient Financial Services at 319-356-2211.

Athletic Tickets and Recreational Services

For questions related to current or future athletic season tickets, contact the Athletics Department at 319-335-9309.

For information related to a deceased person’s locker and its contents at Finkbine Golf Course, contact the course at 319-335-9556.

For information related to a deceased person’s locker and its contents in the Field House, Halsey Gymnasium, or the Recreation Building, contact Recreational Services at 319-335-9293 or rec-services@uiowa.edu.