Student Conduct

Drop Shadow

Involuntary Leave of Absence

I.   Introduction

The University of San Diego is committed to preserving the safety, security and well-being of students and all other members of the University community. When a student engages in disruptive or dangerous behavior, the University reserves the right to request or require the student to take leave from the University according to the terms of this policy. Any such request or requirement for involuntary leave shall be in addition to any disciplinary action that may be taken under other applicable University policies or procedures.

II.    Definition

The term “disruptive or dangerous behavior” includes but is not limited to the following:

  • Behavior that poses a threat to self, including but not limited to a suicidal attempt, gesture, or statement of suicidal attempt;
  • Behavior that demonstrates an imminent, foreseeable or existing threat to the safety or well-being of a student, other member of the University community, or clients of University-related programs on or off campus;
  • Behavior that disrupts or interferes with the ability of other students, faculty or staff to participate in the educational programs, living environment, or employment opportunities offered by the University;
  • Behavior that indicates that a student is unable to control his/her behavior or to perform the essential functions of a student.

 

III.    Procedures

The Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs/Dean of Students (AVPSA/DOS) or the AVPSA/DOS’s designee is responsible for determining whether a student has engaged in behavior that triggers the application of this policy. In reaching that determination, the AVPSA/DOS or the AVPSA/DOS’s designee may consult with other University representatives as appropriate under the circumstances to determine dangerous or disruptive behavior.

A.    Involuntary Temporary Leave or Other Restrictions: Interim Determination

  • In making an interim determination regarding whether a student has engaged in behavior that triggers the application of this policy, the AVPSA/DOS or the AVPSA/DOS’s designee will:
  • Review all initially available information and consult with appropriate University representatives. These representatives generally will include employees from the Office of the Dean of Students, Residence Life, the Student Health Center, the Counseling Center, and the Department of Public Safety. At the discretion of the AVPSA/DOS or AVPSA/DOS’s designee, other University representatives may be consulted as appropriate.
  • Contact the student’s parents, if appropriate
  • Provide the student with an opportunity to meet with the AVPSA/DOS    or AVPSA/DOS’s designee to:
  • Respond to the evidence of the dangerous and/or disruptive behavior and

2)    Receive counseling about the option of withdrawing from the University and/or initiating the process for a voluntary leave from the University. If the student chooses this option, he/she shall be subject to the same terms and conditions as someone who is required to leave involuntarily.

2.   If the interim determination is that the student engaged in disruptive and/or dangerous behavior, and there is concern for the safety of the student or the University community, the AVPSA/DOS or the AVPSA/DOS’s designee may place the student on a temporary involuntary leave and restrict the student’s access to the University campus, University housing, services, classes, activities and facilities until a final determination of the matter is reached. In the alternative, depending on the circumstances, the AVPSA/DOS or AVPSA/DOS’s designee may restrict in part the student’s access to certain University facilities or services.

3.    The decision to place a student on a temporary involuntary leave or to impose other restrictions will be communicated in writing to the student, the dean of the student’s academic unit, and other units as appropriate.

B.    Involuntary Leave or Other Restrictions: Final Determination

 

  • The AVPSA/DOS or AVPSA/DOS’s designee will make every reasonable effort to make a final determination within two weeks of the written notice of the interim determination. In making a final determination the AVPSA/DOS or AVPSA/DOS’s designee will:
  • Review all relevant information and consult with appropriate University representatives. These representatives will generally include employees from the Office of the Dean of Students, Residence Life, the Student Health Center, the Counseling Center, and the Department of Public Safety. At the discretion of the AVPSA/DOS or AVPSA/DOS’s designee, other members of the community may be consulted as appropriate.
  • Contact the student’s parents, if appropriate
  • Provide the student with an opportunity to meet with the AVPSA/DOS or AVPSA/DOS’s designee and respond to the evidence of the dangerous and/or disruptive behavior.

 

2.   If the final determination is that there is insufficient evidence that the student has engaged in disruptive or dangerous behavior, the AVPSA/DOS or AVPSA/DOS’s designee will inform the student and other parties of this decision in writing.

 

3.   If the final determination is that there is sufficient evidence that the student has engaged in disruptive or dangerous behavior, the AVPSA/DOS or AVPSA/DOS’s designee will notify the student in writing that he or she

  • Has been placed on involuntary leave; and/or


b.   Has restricted access to University housing and/or other University services and facilities.

The letter of notification to the student will specify conditions for reinstatement.

 

4.   At any time before a final determination is reached, a student may initiate the procedures for withdrawal or voluntary leave from the University. The AVPSA/DOS or AVPSA/DOS’s designee will provide the student with information regarding withdrawal or leave from the University before a final determination is reached.

C.   Direct Threat Standard

If a student represents a direct threat to the health and safety of the student or others, the University will comply with applicable legal requirements under the federal disability discrimination laws before making a final determination that the student will be involuntarily placed on a leave from the University. The University will make an individualized and objective assessment of the student’s ability to safely participate in the University’s program, based on a reasonable medical judgment relying on the most current medical knowledge or the best available objective evidence. The assessment will determine the nature, duration and severity of the risk; the probability that the potentially threatening injury will actually occur; and whether reasonable modifications of policies, practices or procedures will sufficiently mitigate the risk. To rise to the level of a direct threat, there must be a high probability of substantial harm and not just a slightly increased, speculative or remote risk.

D.   Reinstatement

1.   A student who has been placed on involuntarily leave from the University under this policy may be considered for reinstatement if the student has complied with the required conditions for reinstatement.

2.   The student requesting reinstatement must contact the AVPSA/DOS or the AVPSA/DOS’s designee. If requested to do so, the student must provide appropriate documentation establishing that the student does not pose a threat to the health or safety of the student or others and that the student is capable of behaving in a manner that is consistent with the University’s academic and community standards.

3.   The AVPSA/DOS or the AVPSA/DOS's designee will:

a.   Receive, investigate and examine all relevant documentation;

b.   Provide the student with an opportunity to meet with the AVPSA/DOS or AVPSA/DOS’s designee to discuss possible reinstatement;

c.   Consult with the appropriate University representatives identified above;

d.   Contact the student’s parents, if appropriate;

e.   Decide whether a reinstatement will be approved, and if so, under what conditions.

4.   If the request for reinstatement is approved, the AVPSA/DOS or AVPSA/DOS’s designee will initiate the reinstatement process and will provide the student, in writing, with any conditions for continued attendance.

5.   The student who is reinstated shall remain subject to the rules and regulations found in the Bulletin under which he/she originally entered the University.

6.   If the request for reinstatement is denied, the AVPSA/DOS or AVPSA/DOS’s designee will inform the student in writing when and if additional requests for reinstatement will be considered.

E.   Effect on Academic Status

In the event of an involuntary leave, changes of grades to W will be recorded on the student’s transcript for all courses taken that academic session that the student has not completed. If a student is placed on involuntarily leave from the University under this policy, the student will receive a full refund of tuition and fees for courses not completed during the academic session in which the involuntary leave occurs.

F.   Effect on Housing Status

If the student has been living in the residence halls and will not continue to do so, the contract will be canceled. If a student has been placed on involuntary leave from the University under this policy and has been living in the residence halls, the student will receive a refund of housing fees on a pro rata basis for the academic session in which the involuntary leave occurs. If a student elects to withdraw or take a voluntary leave in lieu of going forward with the procedures for involuntary leave under this policy, the AVPSA/DOS shall have the authority to approve a refund of housing fees on a pro rata basis for the academic session in which the voluntary leave occurs.

G.   Appeal

If a student is placed on involuntary leave from the University under this policy, the student may appeal the decision to the Vice President for Student Affairs of the University. The appeal must be in writing and must be received by the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs within five days of the student’s receipt of written notification of the decision by the AVPSA/DOS or AVPSA/DOS’s designee. The appeal must cite at least one of the following reasons for reconsideration of the decision:

1) Applicable procedures were not followed;

2) The decision of the AVPSA/DOS or AVPSA/DOS’s designee was arbitrary; or

3) Significant new evidence warrants reconsideration of the decision.

Within 30 days of receipt of the written appeal, the Vice President for Student Affairs will notify the student in writing of the decision regarding the appeal. The decision of the AVPSA/DOS or the AVPSA/DOS’s designee will remain in effect unless or until otherwise changed on appeal.

H.   Assistance During Process

The student may consult persons of her or his choice, but the student is responsible for presenting his or her own case at all stages in the process of this policy.