College Initiated Withdrawal
If a student is behaving in a way that is threatening to themselves or others, or that significantly interferes with the student's education or the rights of others, a Student Affairs or Academic Dean may initiate policy procedures outlined below. The Dean is empowered with the discretion to define within his/her professional judgment what is sufficiently threatening and/or disruptive.
Before initiating formal procedures of this policy, the college may require that the student meet certain conditions regarding behavior over a specified period of time if he/she is to remain enrolled. Such conditions might include, for example, stopping classroom disruptiveness or availing him/herself of supportive services or accommodations. Failure to comply with the conditions, coupled with further disruptive behavior, may result in disciplinary complaints added to any that were pending or deferred.
In situations where the living and learning environment of other students is seriously disrupted by a student's behavior, the Director of Residence Life has the prerogative to assign alternative, more suitable, living accommodations (if such are available), or of terminating the accommodations agreement.
Basis for an Involuntary Medical Withdrawal
The college may withdraw a student if it is determined that it is more likely than not that they are engaging in or likely to engage in behavior which poses a substantial danger of imminent harm to themselves, to others, or to substantial property rights; or which renders them unable to engage in basic required activities necessary to obtain an education; or that substantially impedes the education or lawful activities of others.
In all situations, especially those where suicide or disabilities are at issue, an evaluation must be made to determine whether the student is a direct threat; in other words, whether they pose a significant risk to the health or safety of themselves or others. A significant risk constitutes a high probability of substantial harm, based on a timely, reasonable medical/psychological judgment. Significance will be determined by:
- The nature, duration and severity of the risk
- The probability that the potentially threatening injury will actually occur
- Whether reasonable accommodations to policies, practices or procedures can sufficiently mitigate the risk
Referral for Evaluation
As part of the process of determining the level of risk, a Student Affairs or Academic Dean may refer a student for evaluation at the college Health or Counseling Center, or (at college expense) at an independent licensed psychiatrist or psychologist (chosen by the institution) if it is believed that the student meets criteria outlined in this policy.
A student who fails to complete an evaluation, or who fails to give permission for the results to be shared with appropriate administrators, may be separated from the college on an interim basis, referred for conduct action, or both.
Interim Medical Separation
Where circumstances warrant, a Student Affairs or Academic Dean may invoke an immediate, interim medical separation of a student where it is reasonable to conclude that they pose a direct threat. The purpose of this separation is to facilitate the care and supervision of the student by an appropriate mental health care professional or parent(s)/legal guardian(s). Before a student may return to campus following such a separation, they must provide the college with appropriate documentation from a licensed mental health care professional (approved by the college) that supports their return.
Involuntary Medical Withdrawal
If the evaluation supports a medical withdrawal, a meeting will be scheduled with a Student Affairs or Academic Dean to inform the student of the decision to invoke such a withdrawal. If the student disagrees with that decision, they may request a formal review that includes a Student Affairs or Academic Dean, the Director of the Counseling Center (or psychologist), and/or the Director of the Health Center. The student must be informed in writing of the time, date and place of that meeting and given at least two business days to independently review any psychological or psychiatric evaluations. If the student plans to bring witnesses or representative(s) to the meeting, they must inform the Dean in advance of the meeting.
The student and their representative(s) may present information that questions the decision to invoke an involuntary medical withdrawal and be given the opportunity to ask questions of others presenting information. The meeting will be conversational and non-adversarial, and the Dean will exercise control over the proceeding - including decisions about who may present information. Formal rules of evidence will not apply. Anyone who disrupts the meeting will be excluded.
A final decision will be made based on the preponderance of information. The decision, and the reasons for making it, will be outlined in writing and delivered to the student. If the student is withdrawn, the notification will also include information concerning when reapplication may be made, as well as any conditions for reinstatement. The Dean's decision is subject to appeal only to the College President.
A tape recording of the meeting will be kept for no less than 90 days and a copy made available to the student if requested.
A student seeking readmission who has been medically withdrawn must reapply, and may not reenter the college without providing competent medical evidence that the condition no longer exists, or that treatment has removed the substantial likelihood that the situation which caused the medical withdrawal will reoccur. In addition to the information that a reapplying student submits, the college may also require the student, at their expense, to undergo a medical evaluation by a licensed mental health professional of the college's choosing. The results of this evaluation must be disclosed to appropriate college personnel.
Support at Hearings
The student subject to an Involuntary Medical Withdrawal may be assisted in any meetings by a family member and/or a licensed psychologist or psychiatrist; or in lieu of a licensed psychologist or psychiatrist, by a member of the faculty or staff of the college, or other support person at the discretion of the Dean.