Involuntary Withdrawal Policy

Involuntary Withdrawal Policy

Abstract:
When the University becomes aware of a student whose mental and/or physical health may pose a direct threat to his/her health and safety, the health and safety of others, or may substantially disrupt the learning or living environment of others, the University may consider an Involuntary Withdrawal to provide for the safety and security of the campus community.
Effective Date:
1/2/2020
Contacts:
None Assigned
Administrative Category:
Applies To:
Faculty, Staff, Students
Keyword(s):
Material Original Source:

University of Alabama at Birmingham
 
Involuntary Withdrawal Policy
 
Effective Date: January 2, 2020
 
 
 
PURPOSE
 
The University of Alabama at Birmingham community has created the Involuntary Withdrawal Policy for the purpose of maintaining a safe campus and learning environment.  When the University becomes aware of a student whose mental and/or physical health may pose a direct threat to his/her health and safety, the health and safety of others, or may substantially disrupt the learning or living environment of others, the University may consider an Involuntary Withdrawal  to provide for the safety and security of the campus community.
 
(A)     This policy applies to all students at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, enterprise-wide.
 
(B)     This policy and related procedures do not take the place of any disciplinary actions that are in response to a violation of the Student Conduct Code, nor do they preclude the removal or dismissal of students from the University or University-owned facilities as a result of violations of other university policy, unit regulations, or applicable law.
 

(C)     Involuntary withdrawal should be reserved for cases where other University policies, procedures, or interim measures fail, are deemed inappropriate, or 
         cannot be agreed upon by the student and the University.cannot be agreed upon by the student and the University.  This should be interpreted and
         applied consistently with any applicable disability laws.

 

(D)     This policy sets forth the process for reviewing the continued enrollment or involuntary withdrawal of a student utilizing the following criteria

          i.  T
here is a substantial possibility the student will harm his/her self or others; or

          ii. T
he student’s consistent disruptive behavior(s) indicates a student is unable to meet the academic and/or technical standards required for admission 
             to or participation in UAB’s programs or activities with or without reasonable accommodations; or

         iii. The student’s threatening or unsafe behavior would substantially interfere with the academic, housing/residence life, or other university-related 
             activities of others.

 
 
DECISION-MAKERS
 
The CARE Team at UAB is an interdisciplinary decision-making team using a non-clinical model of coordinated care for students in crisis or distress, and whose behavior raises concern about risks to themselves or other members of the campus community, to include expression of suicide ideation, academic concerns, health and safety concerns or other complex situations involving a student at UAB.  The CARE Team makes decisions and activates plans focused on student success at UAB.
 
The Assistant Vice President for Student Experience serves as a senior-level administrator within the Division of Student Affairs at UAB.  The Assistant Vice President for Student Experience serves as the Chair of the CARE Team.
 
A student may be subject to administrative involuntary withdrawal from the University of Alabama at Birmingham based on individualized assessment of the student behavior and circumstances and whether or not the behavior meets the criteria outlined above. 
 
1. Involuntary withdrawal is always a last resort, and should only be considered when a student is unwilling or unable to meet the minimum health or safety requirements to be qualified for enrollment, regardless of disability, and can no longer safely continue participating in the educational programs offered by the University.

2. P
rior to the consideration of involuntary withdrawal, the University must consider whether reasonable accommodations, including but not limited to individually tailored restrictions on activities, are available that would allow the student to remain enrolled.
 
3. The CARE Team, chaired by the Assistant Vice President for Student Experience or designee, convenes the CARE Team to discuss the involuntary withdrawal of a student.  The CARE Team consists of the following persons (in case of absence, each person has a designated proxy):
 
a.    Assistant Vice President for Student Experience
b.    Director of Student Conduct & Outreach;
c.     Assistant Director for Student Outreach;
d.    Director of Disability Support Services;
e.    Director of Student Counseling Services;  
f.     Director of Residence Life; 
g.    UAB Police (designee of the Chief of Police); 

In certain cases of an involuntary withdrawal, the Assistant Vice President for Student Health and Wellbeing or designee (Director of Student Health Center) may serve as an ad hoc CARE Team member. 
 
 
ASSESSING THREAT
 
A determination on whether a student poses harm to the health and safety of others and/or self will be made through the use of an individualized assessment based on reasonable judgment that relies on current medical knowledge or objective reliable facts and evidence to determine the nature, duration and severity of the risk; the probability that the potential injury will actually occur; and whether reasonable modifications of policies, practices or procedures will mitigate the risk.
 
 
EMERGENCY INTERIM WITHDRAWAL
 
An interim medical withdrawal may be implemented immediately by the Assistant Vice President for Student Experience (or designee), if based on his/her professional judgment and discretion, the determination is made that the student’s behavior poses a significant danger of causing imminent physical harm to others, or of directly and substantially impeding the lawful activities of other members of the campus community.  A student withdrawn on an interim basis shall be given an opportunity to appear personally before the Assistant Vice President for Student Experience within forty-eight (48) hours from the effective date of the 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 danger of causing imminent physical harm to others, or of directly and substantially 
          
impeding the lawful activities of other members of the campus community.a

Following this meeting the Assistant Vice President for Student Experience (or designee) may either continue or cancel the interim withdrawal.  If the interim withdrawal is canceled, the procedures described herein may still be continued.  If the interim withdrawal remains in effect, the next stages of this procedure will be followed, and every reasonable effort will be made to expedite the process. The interim withdrawal will remain in effect until CARE Team has evaluated the matter and rendered a decision, unless sooner canceled by the Assistant Vice President for Student Experience.
 
 
PROCEDURES
 
(A)  The following procedures shall apply to all cases of potential involuntary withdrawal under this policy except in cases where the Vice President of Student Affairs or designee determines that a student poses a danger of imminent or serious physical harm to others at the University or where an emergency exists that may affect the immediate health, safety or welfare of a student or the University community as outlined above.

(B)  If the CARE Team determines that the student does not meet the standard for involuntary medical withdrawal, this process will terminate and the Assistant Vice President for Student Experience may take any other action deemed appropriate, including initiating disciplinary action or recommending that the student seek treatment.

(C)  A student subject to involuntary withdrawal shall be notified in writing of the University’s concern and the process for involuntary withdrawal.  The student will also be provided information about, and where appropriate the opportunity to request, a voluntary withdrawal.
 
The Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs will meet with the student and review the following:
 
a.    The nature and reason for the proposed action;
b.    explain the Involuntary Withdrawal process, including the right to  challenge the proposed action;
c.     inform the student that the student must meet with a designated mental health professional within a specified time for an evaluation;
d.    inform the student that failure to meet with the mental health professional may result in the filing of a complaint with the Office of Student Conduct and Outreach for failure to comply with University policy or other violations.
 
(D)   The individual evaluation and assessment must be made by a licensed medical or mental health professional of the AVP’s choosing, and at the cost to the University. 
 
i.    The evaluation and assessment should include an analysis of the level of treatment clinically recommended to meaningfully reduce the risks to student safety. 
 
ii.   The evaluation and assessment must be completed and provided to the Assistant Vice President for Student Experience within fourteen (14) business days from the date of the referral, unless otherwise required by the Assistant Vice President for Student Experience, and the student must complete any release forms necessary to allow the medical or mental health professional to share the results of the evaluation and assessment with the Assistant Vice President for Student Experience and members of the CARE Team.  
 
iii.  Failure to complete the evaluation and assessment or provide the results of the evaluation and assessment may be considered in evaluating the nature and severity of the risk and whether options to mitigate those risks are available. 
 
(E)    The Assistant Vice President for Student Experience will convene the CARE Team.  At least four CARE Team members (including ad hoc members) must be present, either in person or via conference call, to proceed with a meeting.  The CARE Team will conduct an individualized risk assessment and make a reasonable judgement based on the risk factors identified in the sections above.
 
(F)    The student shall be provided a reasonable opportunity in advance of the meeting to submit relevant information for consideration in the risk assessment by the CARE Team, including written statements, medical information from the student’s preferred healthcare providers, or other information related to the reasons for the involuntary withdrawal.  The CARE Team shall consider any information provided by the student and shall give due weight to the records and opinions of the student’s preferred healthcare providers. 
 
(G)   Following the meeting, the CARE Team will make a recommendation to the Assistant Vice President for Student Experience on whether the student should remain enrolled or be involuntarily withdrawn, and in the case of involuntary withdrawal, any suggested conditions for return. The Assistant Vice President for Student Experience will make a final decision regarding the student’s status and notify the student in writing within five (5) business days after the recommendations are made by the CARE Team.
 
(H)   A decision by the Assistant Vice President for Student Experience for involuntarily withdrawal shall take effect immediately. 
 
i.    A student who is involuntarily withdrawn may no longer attend classes or participate in University programs, may not be an active member of a Registered Student Organization, must vacate University owned or affiliated housing, and may no longer use University facilities except to the extent permission is granted by the Assistant Vice President for Student Experience.  A Student Affairs hold shall be placed on the student’s record, which will prevent the student’s reinstatement or readmission to the University until any conditions for return are completed. 
 
ii.   In lieu of involuntary withdrawal, a student may be subject to written conditions for continued enrollment that are specifically tailored to the individualized risk assessment conducted by the CARE Team.  Failure to comply with the written conditions for continued enrollment will result in a subsequent notice of involuntary withdrawal consistent with the requirements set forth above or referral to Student Conduct and Outreach for an alleged violation of the Student Conduct Code. 
 
iii.  The student may appeal the decision of the Assistant Vice President for Student Experience.  The appeal must be made in writing to the Vice President of Student Affairs and delivered within five (5) business days after the date of the notification to the student of the Assistant Vice President for Student Experience’s decision.  The Vice President of Student Affairs may, within ten (10) business days, approve, modify or reject the original decision of the Assistant Vice President for Student Experience.  The Vice President of Student Affairs’ decision will be considered final.
 
 
CONDITIONS FOR RETURN
 
A student who is involuntarily withdrawn (or who obtains a voluntary withdrawal while engaged in proceedings pursuant to this policy) may not re-enroll or be readmitted to the University before the start of the next term.  A student seeking readmission to the University after an involuntary withdrawal must be able to demonstrate that (1) he/she can participate in the University’s programs without posing a danger to himself/herself or others, (2) he/she meets all relevant academic requirements for his/her readmission, and (3) he/she has met any requirements for readmission imposed by the CARE Team.  The CARE Team recommends transition action plans for a students’ success for re-enrollment at UAB to the Assistant Vice President for Student Experience.  Transition plans may include, but are not limited to, the following: 
 
i.    Submission of evaluations by appropriate licensed medical or mental health professionals indicating that the student no longer poses a direct threat to others or a risk of substantial self-harm, and that the student is prepared to safely participate in the University’s educational programs.
 
ii.   A signed authorization permitting the Assistant Vice President for Student Experience to discuss with the student’s licensed medical or mental health professional the student’s readiness to return to rigorous academic work and any reasonable accommodations that may be appropriate.
 
iii.  Other conditions based on an individualized assessment of the student, including consideration of current medical knowledge and the best available objective evidence.  Careful consideration will be given to the opinions and recommendations of the student’s licensed medical or mental health professionals, if available. 
 
iv. Students requesting reinstatement should submit their request to the Assistant Vice President for Student Experience no later than one month prior to the beginning of the semester for which they are seeking reinstatement. The request should include documentation demonstrating the completion of any conditions for return.  The Assistant Vice President for Student Experience may request a meeting with the student requesting reinstatement.
 
v.  In cases where a student’s request for reinstatement is denied by the Assistant Vice President for Student Experience, the decision may be appealed in writing to the Vice President of Student Affairs within five (5) business days after the date of the notification to the student of the Assistant Vice President for Student Experience’s decision. The Vice President of Student Affairs may, within ten (10) business days, approve, modify or reject the original decision of the Assistant Vice President for Student Experience.  The Vice President of Student Affairs’ decision will be considered final.
 
vi. If the student refuses to undergo a medical evaluation, provide authorization to review his/her medical records, or submit any other required information, the CARE team may deny the student’s request for readmission
 
vii.    In cases where a student is not enrolled at the University for more than three (3) consecutive semesters, the student will be required to apply for readmission to the University of Alabama at Birmingham. 
 
 
OTHER ACTION
 

Actions taken under this Policy do not affect the student’s obligation to comply with other University policies or the sanctions to which the student may be subject for violation of any such policies.