The purpose of this policy is to provide a procedure for determining whether a student’s behavior poses a direct threat and for responding to such behavior. Involuntary withdrawal may be appropriate when a student displays behavior which is not prohibited by and/or may not be adjudicated by other University policies and procedures that nonetheless poses a direct threat and a student demonstrates a risk of repeated display of such behavior.
This policy will be applied to all students without regard to race, color, sex, religion, national origin, age, disability, sexual orientation, or veteran status.
- Direct Threat: behavior that poses
- significant risk to the health or safety of the University Community, or
- significant risk of damage to University property, or
- substantial disruption to the activities or education of other students
- Significant Risk: behavior which has a high probability (not just a slightly increased, speculative, or remote risk) of substantial harm or damage
- Substantial Disruption: behavior which continually and considerably interferes with other University community members’ participation in academic, work, extracurricular, housing/residence life or other university-related activities
- Involuntary Withdrawal Review Team: A team of individuals convened by the Vice President for Student Affairs (or designee) to assist the Vice President for Student Affairs (or designee) in determining whether or not a direct threat exists. The Review Team will include a representative from the Counseling Center, Disability Access and Advising, Health Services, and Academic Affairs, and may include other professionals qualified to interpret the information available for consideration.
- When made aware of an identified student whose behavior could warrant an involuntary withdrawal, the Vice President for Student Affairs (or designee) will convene and oversee an Involuntary Withdrawal Review Team to conduct an individualized assessment of the student behavior and circumstances related to the observed behavior of concern and advise him/her whether or not a direct threat exists.
During the review process, the following factors may be considered:
- the likelihood that the potential harm will occur;
- the nature, duration, and severity of the risk of harm;
- whether or not other University policies or procedures may be appropriate to address the behavior;
- any assertion by the student of a legally protected disability entitled to reasonable accommodation;
- Consideration should be given to whether reasonable modification of University policies, practices, and procedures would sufficiently mitigate the risk.
- A request may be made to review educational records and/or to consult with various University community members or others who may be knowledgeable of the student and/or the behavior of concern.
- The student may be requested to take part in a medical/psychological evaluation. In such a case, the Vice President and Review Team will identify a qualified and licensed health professional to conduct the evaluation. The University will be responsible for the fees associated with this evaluation.
- Personal meetings with the student may be requested. Although it is strongly recommended that the student choose to attend such a meeting, the review process will proceed if the student does not attend. Furthermore, the review process will proceed regardless of the student’s ongoing University status. If the student chooses to attend, the student is permitted to have an advocate present.
- Based upon the Review Team’s assessment, the Vice President of Student Affairs (or designee) may conclude that a direct threat exists and, if so, will determine an appropriate next step, which may entail involuntary, total withdrawal of the student from the University The outcome of this process would not preclude other actions or processes depending on the particular situation.
- The review decision will be communicated by the Vice President of Student Affairs (or designee) to the student and will provide the primary information that led to the decision. Any conditions for later reenrollment, including when the student may request reenrollment, may also be communicated at that time. The decision will be delivered in writing and delivered via the University-issued email address. Other means of delivery may include delivery in person, delivery by mail to the local or permanent address of the student as indicated in official University records, or delivery by email to a non-University email address confirmed by the student as their personal email account. Once mailed, emailed, and/or received in-person, such notice will be presumptively delivered.
- At any time prior to conclusion of the review process, the student may withdraw voluntarily.
B. Appeal Process
- The decision of the Vice President for Student Affairs (or designee) may be appealed in writing by the student to the President.
- An appeal must be filed within ten (10) calendar days after the decision of the Vice President for Student Affairs (or designee) is delivered to the student.
- The President’s decision on the appeal will be final and conclusive.
- During the appeal process the student will remain totally withdrawn from the University.
- Exceptions to this appeal process and associated deadlines may be considered in extenuating circumstances.
C. Reenrollment Process
- Students wishing to reenroll after having been involuntarily withdrawn should contact the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs who will determine whether or not the conditions which led to the involuntary withdrawal decision persist. The Vice President for Student Affairs (or designee) may consult with the Involuntary Withdrawal Review Team during this process.
- The decision of the Vice President of Student Affairs (or designee) will be based on a determination of whether the student can return safely to the University community.
D. Emergency Removal
At any time prior to the initiation or conclusion of the review process, the Vice President of Student Affairs (or designee) may implement an emergency removal of the student from the University, should immediate action appear warranted. A review process, as outlined above, will occur as soon as reasonably possible.
Reasonable deviation from these procedures due to crisis and/or emergency situations will not invalidate the need for a review process and its subsequent decision.
4. Interpretation and Revision:
Any question of interpretation of this policy will be referred to the Vice President for Student Affairs, whose interpretation is final.
The Involuntary Withdrawal Policy shall be reviewed at least every three years. The Involuntary Withdrawal Policy shall be updated as necessary to comply with applicable law, policy, or regulation. The review process shall be coordinated by the Vice President for Student Affairs or designee.
This policy will not be rescinded or modified except by action of the IUP President, following consultation with the University Senate, and in accordance with University Senate By-Laws and Constitution.
6. Publications Statement:
The IUP office of the Vice President for Student Affairs will publicize and transmit this policy to all members of the University community.