The primary goals of this Involuntary Leave Policy ("Policy") are to protect the well-being and safety of University students and the University community and to preserve the integrity of the University's academic, residential and administrative functions.
This Policy is not intended to replace disciplinary actions taken in response to violations of other University polices, including the University Judicial Code (UJC). A student who commits a violation of any University policy before taking voluntary leave or being placed on involuntary leave may be required to defend such charges before being considered for re-admission. Temporary suspension may also be issued in accordance with the UJC.
Examples of circumstances where this Policy may be invoked include: suicidal threats; self-starvation or purging behavior; substance abuse or addiction; threats of harm to self or others; or disturbing, disruptive or destructive behavior. This Policy will not be invoked unless the student's behavior is of such a serious nature that the continued presence of the student at the University is judged to threaten the safety, well-being or health of that student and/or others in the Washington University community, or the ability of that student or others to engage in customary functions and activities at the University.
The Vice Chancellor for Students, the Dean of any school or the designees of any of the aforementioned (referred to herein as "Administrator") may be alerted to a student's inappropriate behavior from a variety of sources on campus including the student's advisor, a college dean, residential life staff, student services staff, health care providers, or other faculty members. If the Administrator deems it appropriate, the following procedures may be initiated.
Option of Voluntary Leave: At any time prior to the Administrator's decision, the student may choose to take voluntary leave. The University expects students to notify family members when they voluntarily withdraw from the University. However, when permitted by FERPA, the University retains the discretion to notify parents, guardians, spouses or partners if the student chooses to leave.
Transcripts & Tuition: Leave may have an effect on academic grades, credits and access to University housing or other facilities. Tuition, financial aid, and housing costs will be refunded in accordance with University policy. Regardless of whether leave is voluntary or involuntary, the following notation will be made on the student's transcript: "Leave of Absence." When involuntary leave is not mandated, but a student is required to fulfill certain requirements to remain on campus, no notation will be made on the transcript.
Safety & Security: In cases involving serious and imminent threat to the safety, well being or health of the student or other members of the campus community, or to the ability of others in the University community to conduct their customary University functions and activities, the Administrator may take immediate action to remove the student from the University community. In such event, the Administrator may immediately notify the student's parent, guardian, spouse, partner, or other relevant individuals in accordance with FERPA. The parent, guardian or other person may be asked to make arrangements for the safe removal of the student from the University community pending a decision on involuntary leave.
When a student is placed on involuntary leave or accepts voluntary leave, a letter from the Administrator to the student will outline the conditions for re-enrollment. Conditions for re-enrollment are at the discretion of the Administrator. If the leave was for health or medical reasons, the Administrator will work with the Director of Health Services or his/her designate to formulate appropriate conditions of return, which may include requirements and/or guidance regarding treatment. A copy of this letter will be forwarded to the Academic Dean of the student's College or School and, where health-related, to the Director of the Habif Health & Wellness Center.
When a student's voluntary or involuntary leave is not health-related, the procedures to request re-enrollment will be outlined in the Administrator's letter.
The following process will guide re-enrollment for all students taking involuntary or voluntary leave of absence for a health-related reason:
A student may submit, within 24 hours of receiving the written decision from the Administrator, a written appeal to the Provost who will review the written record only. A decision to affirm or reverse the Administrator's decision will be rendered within 48 hours. The decision of the Administrator will be affirmed if supported by substantial information appearing in the record of the case. The decision of the Provost is final.
The University will strive to protect, to the greatest extent possible, the confidentiality of students involved in matters of voluntary or involuntary leave. Because the University has an obligation to preserve the security of its community, the University cannot guarantee complete confidentiality where it would conflict with the University's obligation to investigate meaningfully matters which may threaten a student's health or safety or the safety and security of the University community. When some disclosure of the University's information or sources is necessary, that disclosure will be limited to the extent possible. Medical records of a student will be protected in accordance with the Washington University Habif Health & Wellness Center Notice of Privacy Practices. The University will, to the extent permitted by law, keep confidential all records of Committee reviews. The records maintained by the Case Conference Committee will be available only to the Administrator and other University officials in accordance with FERPA. All records will be destroyed after a period of ten (10) years from the date of final decision on involuntary leave or the student's decision to take voluntary leave.
Adopted October 1, 2009