Student Behavior

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Student Behavior: Policy and Procedures for Involuntary Withdrawal

[The following was approved on June 3, 1998, and August XX, 2013, in accordance with provisions set forth in SIU Board of Trustees 3 Policies C.]

  1. Introduction

    Southern Illinois University Carbondale is committed to providing an environment which creates an optimal opportunity for student learning. Where a student’s behavior interferes with the rights of others within the University community, it is in the University's interest to intervene. This policy is intended to provide a procedure for determining whether an identified student’s behavior poses a direct threat of harm to the health or safety of others and for responding to such behavior.   Rarely does student behavior pose a direct threat which cannot be addressed through the Student Conduct Code; however, involuntary withdrawal may be appropriate when the student displays behavior which is not prohibited by and/or could not be adjudicated under the Student Conduct Code in a timely manner, but that nonetheless poses a direct threat, and the student demonstrates a risk of repeated display of such behavior.

    In the absence of other reasonable means or University procedures available for addressing a student’s behavior which poses a direct threat, the University will conduct an individualized assessment of the student behavior and circumstances related to the observed behavior of concern and, if appropriate, implement the involuntary withdrawal of the student.

    This policy will be applied in a nondiscriminatory manner, and decisions will be based on consideration of the student’s conduct, actions, and statements and not on knowledge or belief that the student has a disability.

  2. Definitions
    1. Direct threat” is behavior which causes:
      1. significant risk to the health or safety of others; or
      2. significant risk of damage to University property; or
      3. substantial disruption to the academic environment of other students; or
      4. substantial disruption to the activities of students or others on the SIU campus or at SIU events.
    2. “Significant risk” is a high probability (not just a slightly increased, speculative, or remote risk) of substantial harm to the University community based on information that is available at the time of consideration.
    3. “Substantial disruption” is repeated or considerable interference with participation in academic, work, extracurricular, housing/residence life or other University-related activities.
    4. “Days” are weekdays only and shall not include days noted by the Office of the Registrar as University holidays or closure days.
    5. “Advisor” – Any member of the faculty, staff, student body, or other University official selected by the student to assist the student during the process. Advisors may not have direct involvement with the alleged incident, either as an involved party or witness. With incidences where there are criminal charges arising from the same facts which triggered the review, students may select an attorney licensed to practice law in the state of Illinois as an advisor. In all other cases, persons not affiliated with the University may not serve as advisors.
  3. Referral of Cases to the Involuntary Withdrawal Committee (IWC)
    1. Behavior of a student which could warrant involuntary dismissal may be brought to the attention of the Dean of Students via any source within the University.  Upon concluding that there is a reasonable concern, the Dean of Students will ask the Assistant Dean of Students to, within 5 days if possible, convene the  Involuntary Withdrawal Committee (IWC).
    2. The IWC will, if possible, review the case within 5 days of receiving the referral. The Dean of Students will inform the student in writing that his/her case has been referred to the IWC.
  4. Interim Restriction

    At any time prior to the initiation or conclusion of the review process, the Dean of Students may implement an interim involuntary withdrawal of the student from the University, should immediate action appear warranted.  The Dean of Students, or designee, may place any appropriate restriction, limitation or condition on a student’s activity, up to and including banning a student from any or all property owned, operated, leased or controlled by the University; limiting a student’s access to a subset of University property or services; or requiring or prohibiting certain specified activities. The student will be notified in writing of the interim restriction and the terms of the restriction.  A review process, as outlined below, will occur as soon as reasonably possible to consider the interim decision.

  5. Involuntary Withdrawal Committee (IWC)
    1. Voting members of the IWC are as follows:
      1. Assistant Dean of Students
      2. Director of the Counseling Center (director or designee must be a credentialed mental health professional)
      3. Director of Public Safety
      4. Associate Provost for Academic Programs
      5. Director of Student Rights and Responsibilities
      6. Director of University Housing (only if the student in question resides in University Housing)
      7. If a member is unavailable, he/she may send a designee to serve. However, designees should only serve when absolutely necessary and must be approved prior to the meeting by the Assistant Dean of Students or Dean of Students.
    2. A quorum will be a minimum of 3 voting members.
    3. The chair of the IWC will be appointed by the Dean of Students.
    4. The IWC may call witnesses and experts to assist.
    5. The IWC will meet in closed, executive session a) to determine those witnesses and experts who should be asked to testify, and b) to review its findings prior to submitting its recommendation to the Dean of Students.
    6. At the conclusion of its review and deliberations, the Assistant Dean of Students will forward the recommendation to the Dean of Students.
  6. Review Procedures
    1. The purpose of the review will be to ascertain whether the student’s behavior presents a direct threat as defined above.   The IWC will make an individualized assessment based on a reasonable judgment that relies on current professional knowledge or on the best available objective evidence to ascertain the nature, duration, and severity of the risk of harm and the likelihood that the potential harm will occur.  If the student asserts a legally protected disability entitled to reasonable accommodation, consideration should be given to whether reasonable modification of University policies, practices, and procedures would sufficiently mitigate the risk.
    2. The student will receive a minimum of 3 days' notice of the date and time of the IWC review. The student may ask for a postponement of the review for good cause. Such a request must be made in writing to the chair of the IWC at least 24 hours in advance of the scheduled review. The decision of the chair of the IWC with respect to any such request is final.  Although it is preferable that the student attend the hearing, the review process may proceed if the student does not attend.  The IWC will review and consider the information that is available.
    3. The student has a right to be accompanied by an adviser. If the student wishes, the chair of the IWC will appoint an adviser, who, subject to availability and approval of the student, may be a credentialed mental health professional. The adviser may speak on behalf of the student only with prior approval of the chair of the IWC.
    4. Reviews will be recorded except for deliberations of the IWC, which will be conducted in closed, executive session.
    5. All reviews will be closed unless the student requests that it be open and then only with concurrence of the majority of the voting members of the IWC present for the review.
    6. The student and his/her adviser will have the right to be present for all testimony presented at the review unless the student's presence substantially disrupts the review. The decision to close the review to the student must be made by a majority of the voting members of the IWC present for the review. Should the student be removed from the review, his/her adviser will be permitted to remain unless his/her presence substantially disrupts the review.
    7. The student or his/her adviser will have the right to request that the chair of the IWC ask a question of any witness or expert who presents testimony at the review. The decision of the chair of the IWC with respect to any such request is final.
    8. The IWC, chair, will present its findings and recommendation to the Dean of Students. Recommendations may include courses of action deemed appropriate by the IWC. When the IWC determines no other alternative will be effective, it may recommend dismissal of the student from the University. The IWC may also make recommendations for conditions of readmission if dismissal is recommended.
    9. After reviewing the recommendation of the IWC, the Dean of Students will decide whether to accept, amend, or reject the recommendation. Should the Dean of Students reject or choose to amend the IWC's recommendation, he/she may impose an alternative course of action or may determine that no action is necessary. The decision of the Dean of Students will be communicated in writing to the student and to his/her adviser within 5 days of receiving the recommendation of the IWC. The student's right to appeal the decision and the procedures to do so will be included within the letter sent by the Dean of Students.
    10. At any time prior to the conclusion of the review process, the student may withdraw voluntarily.
  7. Appeal
    1. A student may appeal the decision of the Dean of Students by submitting a written appeal within 3 days of receiving the decision of the Dean of Students. The appeal must be submitted to the Dean of Students who will, without delay, forward it to the Chancellor.
    2. The appeal must provide justification based upon one or more of the following:
      1. procedures, as outlined above, were not properly followed;
      2. evidence and/or testimony did not justify the need for any intervention;
      3. the decision of the Dean of Students and/or the course of action imposed was too severe.
    3. The Chancellor will review the decision of the Dean of Students within 3 days of receipt of the student's appeal.
    4. The decision of the Chancellor will be sent in writing to the student and to his/her adviser (if requested by the student).
    5. The decision of the Chancellor will be final.
    6. During the appeal process, the decision of the Dean of Students will remain in effect.
  8. Withdrawal of Student
    1. If it is determined that the student should be dismissed from the University, the request for an administrative withdrawal will be made in writing by the Dean of Students to the Registrar. A copy of the withdrawal request will be sent to the student's academic dean.
    2. The student will be subject to the normal guidelines for the refund of tuition and fees and the issuance of grades. If the student resides in University Housing, he/she must vacate his/her residence within 48 hours of receipt of the decision of the Dean of Students or the Chancellor. Normal charges and penalties may be assessed by University Housing.
    3. A withdrawal, either voluntary or involuntary, may include conditions that need to be satisfied to demonstrate that there is no longer a direct threat of harm to the University community and/or others before a student is eligible to return to campus life. The withdrawal may also require that the student be restricted from campus property and/or University services and activities.
    4. In the event of a withdrawal pursuant to this Policy, a notation of withdrawal will appear on the student's transcript for all classes taken during that semester, consistent with University policy.
  9. Return to Campus Life
    1. After a voluntary or involuntary withdrawal under this Policy, a student wishing to be considered for returning to campus life should contact the Dean of Students and provide appropriate documentation that the student's behavior no longer poses a direct threat of harm to the University community and/or others.
    2. The Dean of Students will determine if any conditions imposed at the time of the student's withdrawal have been satisfied and if the student's re-admittance would be in the best interest of the University community.
    3.  A student withdrawn from the University under this policy may be considered for return only if eligible, based on the student's academic record, in accord with the policies and practices of the student's academic unit.
    4. In making the decision on whether the student is eligible to return to campus life, the Dean of Students will consult with the Involuntary Withdrawal Committee and will also:
      • meet with the student, to the extent appropriate, regarding the matter;
      • consult with other professionals and other persons deemed appropriate;
      • consult with the student's academic unit;
      • receive, investigate, and examine relevant documentation; and
      • document the findings of the review process and any relevant recommendations.
    5. The Dean of Students may decide that the student is eligible for return but also, if appropriate, provide the student with written conditions for continued attendance to ensure that the student's behavior no longer poses a direct threat of harm to the University community and/or others.
    6. If the decision not to readmit is made, the Dean of Students will provide rationale for the decision and/or additional conditions for the student to meet. The student may appeal the decision of the Dean of Students regarding readmission to the Chancellor by submitting a written appeal within 3 days of receipt of the Dean of Students decision.