Emergency removal and return

This policy outlines how the university will respond in situations where students have engaged in behavior such that the university determines there is a significant risk of substantial harm to members of the campus community. The university will strive to work with such a student to resolve the situation through a voluntary leave of absence or voluntary withdrawal. However, if no voluntary resolution can be reached or if emergency circumstances exist, the university may need to place such a student on involuntary leave or involuntarily withdraw the student from the university.

Conditions which could warrant involuntary leave or involuntary withdrawal
Involuntary leave or involuntary withdrawal of a student will occur only in situations where the university determines there is a significant risk of substantial harm to the health or safety of a member(s) of the campus community.

The following are some examples of situations that may be covered by this policy. They include, but are not limited to:

  • Threats of damage or harm to other persons;
  • Self-damaging behavior (examples include, but are not limited to: suicide attempt, self-inflicted wounds, ingestion of poisonous substances, overdose of medications);
  • Threats of self-damage behavior;
  • Behavior indicating that the student is not in contact with reality or not aware of the consequences of his/her actions such that there may be a significant risk of substantial harm to the health or safety of a member(s) of the campus community.

Procedure

The dean of students, when made aware of a student's request for a voluntary leave of absence or withdrawal or of a situation which could warrant involuntary leave or withdrawal, will work with the university's counselor for disability services, the campus counselor, director of residence life and other appropriate persons knowledgeable about the student s condition (e.g., parents, healthcare providers) to determine the student's ability to safely participate in the university's programs.

The determination that a student poses a significant risk of substantial harm to the health or safety of a member(s) of the campus community shall be based on an individualized assessment of the student's present ability to safely function at the university. This assessment shall be based on a reasonable medical judgment that relies on the most current medical knowledge and/or on the best available objective evidence. In determining whether an individual would pose such a risk, the factors to be considered include:

  • the nature, duration and severity of the risk of harm;
  • the likelihood that the potential harm will occur; and
  • whether reasonable modifications of university policies, practices or procedures will sufficiently mitigate the risk.
     
If it is determined through the above process that a student's behavior poses a direct threat to a member(s) of the campus community, the dean of students or designee may withdraw the student or restrict the student's access to campus for an interim period before a final determination is made. Every attempt will be made by the dean of students or designee to meet with the student before deciding on an interim withdrawal of the student. If the student is to be withdrawn on an interim basis, the decision will be communicated in writing to the student. A student withdrawn on an interim basis shall be given an opportunity to appear personally before the dean of students within two school days from the effective date of the interim withdrawal. Notification of an informal meeting with the dean of students will be communicated to the student in writing and/or orally. The request will include a statement of the reasons for the university's concern. Appropriate university personnel may be present and/or consulted at this meeting. A parent, spouse or any person who would be of support to the student may, with the consent of the dean of students and of the student, participate in the informal meeting. At the meeting, the reasons for the university's concern will be stated and the student will be given an opportunity to respond to the concerns. If, after the meeting, it is determined that the student does not present a significant risk of substantial harm to the health or safety of a member(s) of the campus community, the student will be informed in writing by the dean of students and permitted to continue as a student.

If, after the meeting, the dean of students, in consultation with appropriate personnel, decides that the student should withdraw from the university, the student shall be informed in writing of the decision and the basis for the decision within five (5) school days of the informal meeting. The student may be required by the university to provide information from a healthcare professional to the dean of students indicating the student's ability to continue at or return to the university. The counselor for disability services will be involved where a student seeks a return to the university.

Appeal
If a student wishes to appeal a decision of the dean of students, the appeal must be made in writing to the president within five (5) university working days of the receipt of the decision. (All decisions sent to the student via U.S. Mail will be considered received in three (3) working days.) Following notice to the student, the president will conduct a meeting with the student, the dean of students, other appropriate university personnel and a representative or family member selected by the student to serve as his/her advisor. In addition, the president may require the student, at his or her expense, to obtain a psychiatric/medical evaluation from sources external to the university to be presented. The decision of the president is the university's final decision.