APPENDIX D - Student Involuntary Withdrawal Policy
The Wilkes University Student Involuntary Withdrawal Policy considers the safety of the entire Wilkes University Community. When the University becomes aware of a student engaging in behavior that presents a direct threat* of harm to others or to property, or increasingly disrupts the University's learning environment, University officials may consider measures that will provide increased safety and security to the campus community.
This may include but is not be limited to:
- Parental (or emergency contact) notification
- Requesting emergency assistance
- Seeking involuntary assessment
- Treatment as appropriate under the law
Additionally, the University may determine that it is necessary for the student to be involuntarily withdrawn from the University. Such a withdrawal must be conducted according to the standards and procedures described in this policy.
A student may be withdrawn involuntarily if the University determines that the student represents a direct threat to the University Community by either of the following:
- Demonstrating behavior or making statements that would infer a threat to engage in behavior which poses a high probability of substantial harm to others;
- Engaging or making statements that would: infer a threat to engage in behavior which would cause significant property damage; directly and substantially impede the lawful activities of others; or interfere with the educational process and the orderly operation of the University.
When a Dean of Student Affairs, based on a student's conduct, actions or statements, has reasonable cause to believe that the student meets one or more of the criteria for involuntary withdrawal, he or she may initiate an assessment of the student's ability to safely participate in the University community.
The Dean of Student Affairs in charge of the case, in consultation with a professional member of the Health and Wellness (Campus Counseling) staff initiates this assessment by first meeting with the student to:
- review available information concerning the behavior and/or incidents which have caused concern;
- provide the student an opportunity to explain the concerning behavior;
- determine if there are any reasonable accommodations to decrease the behavior and/or incidents which have caused concern;
- discuss options available to the student which may include counseling, voluntary withdrawal and evaluation for involuntary withdrawal.
If the student does not chose to withdraw voluntarily from the University, and the Dean of Student Affairs in charge of the case, continues to have reasonable cause to believe the student meets one or more of the criteria for involuntary withdrawal, the withdrawal will be initiated and remain in effect until an evaluation by an appropriate mental health professional is completed.
The Dean of Student Affairs in charge of the case may refer the student for a mandatory evaluation by an appropriate mental health professional or other appropriate professional. A written copy of the involuntary withdrawal notification and steps for returning to the university shall be provided to the student. Prior to the evaluation, the student will be required to sign a written authorization to exchange relevant information among the mental health professional(s) (or other professional) and the University. Upon completion of the evaluation, copies of the evaluation report will be provided to the Dean of Student Affairs in charge of the case, the counselor, and the student.
The mental health professional making the evaluation shall make an individualized and objective assessment of the student's ability to safely participate in Wilkes University community life, based on a reasonable professional judgment relying on the most current professional knowledge and the best available objective evidence. A statement will be sought from the mental health provider indicating that the behavior which caused the involuntary leave is sufficiently being managed so as to remove any substantial likelihood of reoccurrence. A meeting between the Dean of Student Affairs in charge of the case and the student must be arranged upon receiving the assessment outcome. The Dean of Student Affairs in charge of the case will take this recommendation into consideration in determining whether the student should be involuntarily withdrawn from Wilkes University for the semester and/or indefinitely. If the evaluation results in a determination that the student's continued attendance presents no significant risk to the health or safety of others, and no significant threat to property, to the lawful activities of others, or to the educational processes and orderly operations of the University, no further action shall be taken to withdraw the student from the University.
If the evaluation results in a determination that the continued attendance of the student presents a significant risk to the health or safety of others, such that there is a high probability of substantial harm, or a significant threat to property, to the lawful activities of others, or to the educational processes and orderly operations of the University, the student may be involuntarily withdrawn from the University. In such an event, the student shall be informed in writing by the Dean of Student Affairs in charge of the case.
As with all students who have been suspended from the institution, a student who has been involuntarily withdrawn will need to provide evidence indicating that the original reason for the withdrawal has been addressed and he/she is prepared to meet community standards at the University.
The student may appeal the decision to the Vice President of Student Affairs, who shall review all information presented and make a final decision as to whether or not to uphold the involuntary withdrawal.
Any correspondence referenced in this Policy will be delivered to the student by one of the following methods: first class mail; certified mail, return receipt requested; hand delivery; electronic mail to the student's University email account, or in person, and will become effective immediately upon deposit in the mail, the date sent by electronic mail or, in the case of hand delivery, upon receipt by the student.
*defined by the Department of Justice with respect to regulations under Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act - significant risk to the health or safety of others that cannot be eliminated by a modification of policies, practices or procedures, or by the provision of auxiliary aids or services.