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Involuntary Withdrawal Policy #807

Policy #807 Approved: November 16, 2011
UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA SCHOOL OF THE ARTS
Involuntary Withdrawal Policy
Policy #807
Source of Authority: UNC Code § 502D(3)
Revision Authority: Chancellor
History: First Issued: February 17, 2011
Revised: November 16, 2011
Related Policies: Threat Assessment Policy #704;
Weapons Policy #705
Responsible Offices: Provost
Effective Date: February 17, 2011
PDF: POLICY #807

I. Purpose

This policy addresses the occasional situation where a particular student’s continued presence on campus poses a significant threat to him/herself, to others, or to the stability and continuance of normal school functions. In these situations UNCSA officials may consider the appropriateness of (1) utilizing the regular student disciplinary system, including the Threat Assessment & Violence Prevention policy, (2) emergency involuntary commitment, or (3) involuntary withdrawal under this policy.

Involuntary withdrawal is reserved for those cases where interim measures, such as a behavioral contract, are deemed inappropriate, are not feasible, or are not likely to be effective.

II. Scope

This policy applies to all students enrolled at UNCSA.

III. Definitions

A. “The Involuntary Withdrawal Panel” consists of the following members:

1. The Director of Student Health Services,

2. The Director of Counseling Services,

3. The Provost, who will also act as chair of the panel.

IV. Policy

A. Involuntary withdrawal is not a substitute for appropriate disciplinary action.

B. The Threat Assessment Policy and its associate procedures may operate concurrently with this policy under appropriate circumstances.

C. A student will be subject to involuntary withdrawal if the Involuntary Withdrawal Panel concludes that, in its professional judgment, the student is suffering from a physical, mental, emotional, or psychological health disorder and, as a result of this disorder, engages, or threatens to engage, in behavior which:

1. poses a significant danger or threat of causing physical or psychological harm to other individuals, or property; OR

2. substantially and directly impedes the lawful activities of other members of the campus community, the educational process or proper activities or functions of UNCSA or its personnel;

D. Coordinator’s Responsibilities

1. The Dean of Students shall act as Coordinator for the college and the Dean of the High School Academic Program shall act as Coordinator for the middle and high school programs.

2. Upon notice of a student who may pose a threat or danger under this policy, the Coordinator conducts a preliminary, informal review and determines whether the matter should be referred to the Involuntary Withdrawal Panel. Under appropriate circumstances, the Coordinator will contact the appropriate entity under the Threat Assessment Policy to commence that policy’s procedures.

3. If, in the Coordinator’s judgment, the student may meet the standard for involuntary withdrawal, the Coordinator will arrange for a conference with the student.

4. The Panel may cancel a currently active involuntary withdrawal procedure at any time during the procedure.

E. Emergency Interim Withdrawal

1. An interim withdrawal may be implemented immediately by the Coordinator if the Coordinator determines that the student’s behavior poses a significant risk of imminent physical harm to others, or if directly and significantly impeding the lawful activities of other members of the campus community.

2. A student withdrawn on an emergency interim basis may appear personally before the Coordinator within forty-eight (48) hours from the effective date of the emergency interim withdrawal, in order to discuss the following issues:

a. the reliability of the information concerning the student’s behavior; and/or

b. whether or not the student’s behavior poses a significant risk of imminent physical harm to others, or of directly and substantially impeding the lawful activities of other members of the campus community.

3. Following this meeting the Panel may either continue or cancel the interim withdrawal.

4. If the interim withdrawal is canceled, the involuntary withdrawal procedures described in this policy may still be continued.

5. If the interim withdrawal remains in effect, every effort must be made to expedite the involuntary withdrawal process.

6. The interim withdrawal will remain in effect until the Involuntary Withdrawal Panel has rendered its final decision, unless canceled sooner by the Coordinator.

F. Evaluation by Health Professional

1. The Director of Counseling and/or the Director of Health Services will assist the student in selecting an appropriate (non UNCSA employee ) professional to evaluate the student. This evaluation will occur at the student’s expense. The Panel may require from the consulting professional specific information concerning the diagnosis, treatment plan, and any special requirements to be met prior to readmission.

2. The recommendations of the consulting professional are not binding on the Panel or UNCSA

G. Hearing before the Involuntary Withdrawal Panel

1. At the hearing, the Coordinator should provide the Involuntary Withdrawal Panel all evidence relevant to whether the student is subject to involuntary withdrawal under the standard set forth in this policy. The evidence may include witnesses, written reports, documents or written statements, and must include the consulting professional’s written evaluation.

2. The student’s rights at the hearing shall include the following:

a. the right to be present, unless the student disrupts the hearing;

b. the right to present relevant evidence; AND

c. the right to question all witnesses at the hearing and to comment upon all documents presented.

3. The members of the Panel may also ask questions of any witness.

4. Formal legal rules of evidence will not apply at the hearing; however, the chair may exclude evidence that is not relevant or is cumulative.

5. The hearing will be closed to the public.

6. The hearing will be tape recorded and the recording will be made available to the Panel, the student (upon written request), the Coordinator, and to any decision maker involved in an appeal.

7. The tape and all presented documents shall be sealed but preserved with the student’s academic records.

H. The Decision of the Panel

1. The Panel will base its decision on evidence presented at the hearing.

2. The concurrence of at least two Panel members will be required to withdraw a student under this policy.

3. If the Panel concludes that involuntary withdrawal is not required, the Panel will inform the student and the Coordinator in writing, and the involuntary withdrawal procedures will terminate.

4. If the Panel concludes involuntary withdrawal is necessary, the Panel will inform the student and the Coordinator in writing, and will include the Panel’s reasons for this conclusion.

5. The Panel may, at its discretion, permit a student who meets the standard for withdrawal to remain enrolled on a probationary basis under specified conditions which may include, but are not limited to:

a. participation in and documentation of an ongoing treatment program;

b. acceptance of and compliance with a behavioral contract;

c. a housing relocation; OR

d. any combination thereof.

6. When making its determination of appropriate probationary conditions, the Panel may consult on an informal basis with faculty, Residence Life, and other UNCSA staff.

7. The Panel shall present its decision in writing within five business days after the hearing to the Coordinator and the student.

8. The Panel may deliver the decision to the student either by certified mail, return receipt requested, or in person, and it will become effective immediately upon mailing or personal delivery.

I. Appeal Rights

1. The student may request, in writing, that the Chancellor review the Panel’s decision.

2. The Chancellor may:

a. affirm the Panel’s decision;

b. send the matter back to the Panel for further proceedings;

c. affirm the Panel’s findings but alter the disposition from withdrawal to probationary enrollment under specified conditions; OR

d. reverse the Panel and reinstate the student.

3. The Chancellor’s decision is final.

J. Voluntary Withdrawal

1. At any point in the involuntary withdrawal process the student may present a request for a voluntary withdrawal.

2. If the request is granted, the involuntary withdrawal process will cease. That the student withdrew during an involuntary proceeding will be noted in the student’s academic record.

3. Voluntary withdrawal will not terminate any pending disciplinary action.

K. Readmission

1. A student who is involuntarily withdrawn or who obtains a voluntary withdrawal may not re-enroll at UNCSA before the start of the next term. The student must reapply for admission and also meet all of the current admission or enrollment requirements of UNCSA and of the school in which he/she wishes to enroll.

2. The Involuntary Withdrawal Panel must also approve the student’s reenrollment or readmission. This requirement for approval prior to admission will be noted in the student’s academic records.

a. Approval may be granted only if the Panel determines, in its professional judgment, that the conditions that caused the withdrawal are no longer present.

b. The Panel may require any documentation or evaluation that it deems necessary.

3. The student is not entitled to a hearing on the readmission determination.

L. Records & Fees

1. All records concerning these proceedings shall be maintained by the Coordinator and shall be kept confidential in accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, its implementing regulations, and UNCSA’s FERPA Policy.

2. The policies and procedures for transcript notation and fee refunds shall apply to students who withdraw, voluntarily or involuntarily, under this policy

V. Revision History

A. February 17, 2011 – Adopted by Board of Trustees as part of UNCSA Policy Manual

B.  November 16, 2011 – Revised to eliminate withdrawal if student is a danger to himself, in compliance with revised Title II regulations (28 C.F.R. § 35.104 and § 35.139).


UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA SCHOOL OF THE ARTS

Involuntary Withdrawal Procedures

Procedure #807

I. Commencement of the Involuntary Withdrawal Process

A. Any member of the UNCSA community who has reason to believe that a student poses such a danger or threat as described in the Involuntary Withdrawal Policy should contact the appropriate Coordinator.

B. The Coordinator should conduct a preliminary, informal review and determine whether the matter should be referred to the Medical Withdrawal Panel.

C. If, in the Coordinator’s judgment, the student does not meet the standard for involuntary withdrawal, this process will terminate, and the Coordinator may take any other action deemed appropriate, including initiating disciplinary action or recommending that the student seek treatment.

D. If, in the Coordinator’s judgment, the student may meet the standard for involuntary withdrawal, the Coordinator will arrange for a conference with the student. At that conference the Coordinator will:

1. describe the report;

2. explain this policy and provide the student with a copy;

3. inform the student that the student must meet with a designated mental health professional or other appropriate health care provider within a specified time for an evaluation; AND

4. inform the student that failure to meet with the health professional may result in conduct disciplinary action.

II. Evaluation by Mental Health Professional

A. The Director of Counseling and/or the Director of Health Services will select an appropriate health professional to evaluate the student.

B. The Coordinator shall notify the student of the time and place of the evaluation.

C. The cost of the evaluation will be borne by the student.

D. When the appointed professional meets with the student, the student should be informed that the results of the evaluation will be made available to the student and to the Coordinator, and may be presented at a hearing before the Medical Withdrawal Panel.

E. If the health professional determines that the student does not meet the standard for involuntary withdrawal, that opinion will be reported in writing to the Coordinator who will terminate this process.

F. If the health professional determines that the student may meet the standard for involuntary withdrawal, a written report of the evaluation shall be submitted to the Coordinator and a copy shall be provided to the student. The report may include recommendations for the Involuntary Withdrawal Panel to consider such as withdrawal, mandatory treatment, a behavioral contract, or a combination thereof.

G. The recommendations of the health professional are not binding on the Panel or UNCSA

III. Scheduling a Hearing

A. Upon receipt of the health professional’s evaluation, the Coordinator will either terminate the process or schedule a hearing before the Involuntary Withdrawal Panel within the next 5 business days.

B. The Coordinator will notify the student, in writing, at least 48 hours before the hearing as to the date, time and place of the hearing, and the procedure described in Section 8 below.

C. The student may waive the 48 hours notice period, in writing.

IV. Appeal Procedures

A. Within five business days from delivery of the Panel’s decision, the student may request, in writing, that the Chancellor review the Panel’s decision.

B. The student shall state in writing the specific points the student wishes the Chancellor to consider.

C. Within five business days of receiving the student’s appeal, the Chancellor will inform the student of his/her decision in writing.

D. The Chancellor’s decision is final.