Voluntary and Involuntary Administrative Leave Policy

Converse University is committed to providing student health and counseling services which promote optimal educational opportunities for all its students. However, there are occasions when a student’s physical or emotional health places unmanageable risks on the individual or the University. To ensure that the institution and its members may carry out their proper activities, the University has adopted policies and procedures for the involuntary withdrawal of students.

Voluntary and Involuntary Administrative Leave policies and procedures apply to students who exhibit one or more of the following behaviors:

  • Engages in behaviors/actions that are intended to inflict serious harm upon self or others
  • Threatens, harms, or has the potential to harm the health or safety of the student or others; threats may be in the form of, but are not limited to, verbal utterances, written documentation, social media posts, or threatening gestures
  • Causes or threatens to cause significant property damage; threats may be in the form of, but are not limited to, verbal utterances, written documentation, social media posts, or threatening gestures
  • Significantly disrupts the normal education processes and orderly operations of the University community, including exhibiting behavior which causes emotional, psychological or physical distress to fellow students, faculty or staff substantially above that normally experienced in daily life (Disruption may be in the form of a single incident or somewhat less severe but persistent disruption over a more extended period.)
  • Creates an unusual responsibility to monitor, supervise, treat, protect, or restrain the student to ensure their safety and the safety of those around them; and/or whose physical or psychological disorder is such as to require highly specialized services beyond those available locally, and whose condition will deteriorate without additional resources, as deemed by the Director of Counseling and Wellness and/or counseling or medical staff, and in consultation with off-campus providers (as necessary).
  • Is unable or unwilling to participate in an evaluation or to follow the treatment recommendations of a medical or mental health provider to assess and/or address one or more of the concerns listed above and, as a result, cannot provide reasonable assurance of the safety of themselves or others in the community.

In addition, the university reserves the right to suspend, expel, or enforce the withdrawal of any student whose academic standing is unsatisfactory; who violates the Honor Code, Code of Conduct and/or other University policies; who persistently violates University regulations; or whose influence, by word or deed, is determined to be injurious to the best interest of the student body or the institution.

University Response Regarding Harm to Self/Others

The University cannot ignore the risk of suicidal ideation and behaviors and must take every reasonable step to assist a student who threatens or attempts suicide. The University considers not only the well-being of the individual student, but also the well-being of the entire campus community. In the case of an active suicidal ideation or an actual suicide attempt, the student will immediately be transported to a hospital for treatment and evaluation. The Dean of Students or their designee will notify the student’s parents or legal guardian. The University is not responsible for any costs incurred for transportation to or treatment at a local hospital or behavioral health center.

If a student reports an active suicidal ideation, engages in a suicidal gesture or act, or is referred off-campus for medical/psychological treatment or evaluation for such behavior, the student will be placed on immediate temporary administrative withdrawal to provide time for a psychological evaluation. The student may not reside on campus or attend classes during this temporary withdrawal period. This withdrawal will be issued by the Dean of Students in consultation with the Director of Counseling and Wellness or Wellness Center staff.

Once a student has completed the appropriate medical/psychiatric treatment, the student and their parents/guardians will follow up with the Dean of Students before the student may return to the residence halls or classes. The decision to reinstate the student’s enrollment will be made by the Dean of Students, in consultation with the Director of Counseling and Wellness and/or Wellness Center staff, and is separate and distinct from the physician’s decision to release the student from care.

As part of the reinstatement process, the student will be required to sign a release permitting the medical and/or mental health providers responsible for the student’s medical and/or psychological evaluation and care (if applicable) to discuss the student’s readiness to return to the Converse environment with the Director of Counseling and Wellness and any other University officials as needed. The decision to reinstate enrollment will be based on the results of the medical/psychological evaluation, the recommendations of the student’s providers, the student’s readiness to independently return to campus and to follow the recommended treatment plan, and the potential impact of the student’s reinstatement on the campus environment.

Process for Return from Involuntary or Voluntary Administrative Leave

A student seeking a return from an Involuntary or Voluntary Administrative Leave must apply in writing to the Dean of Students. The student must demonstrate that they have met any conditions for return specified by the University. In addition, the University may require the student to submit documentation of evaluations and/or treatment as described above, as well as a release from the student to enable the Director of Counseling and Wellness or Wellness Center staff to discuss the student’s condition with their medical and/or mental health provider.

The Dean of Students will review the request and other relevant information, including the student’s compliance with specified conditions for return from leave and the assessments of their medical providers, and make a determination of whether it is appropriate for the student to return. If the Dean of Students denies the request to return from leave, the student may challenge that decision by submitting a written appeal to the Provost within five (5) business days of receipt of the Dean’s decision.

Appeal Process

A student subject to the Involuntary Leave policy may appeal this decision to the Provost. A student who wishes to appeal must submit a written letter of appeal to the Provost within five (5) business days of receipt of the Dean of Students’ decision. The letter of appeal must state why the student believes that the Dean’s decision was unwarranted under the circumstances. After reviewing the appeal letter the Provost may meet with the student, as the Provost determines appropriate. In addition, the Provost may review relevant documents and confer with University officials before reaching a decision on the appeal. The Provost will render a decision upholding, rejecting, or modifying the determination of the Dean of Students.