The University of Tampa (the “University”) is committed to maintaining a learning environment where all persons feel safe and secure on campus. The University values the safety and well-being of each individual in its community. To ensure the safe operation of the University’s services, programs and activities, the University may determine that it is necessary to place a student on an involuntary withdrawal. If a student is exhibiting concerning behaviors or is in crisis or distress, the University remains committed to supporting the student while maintaining the safety and good order of the University community.
Process for Involuntary Withdrawal
The process for Involuntary Withdrawal may be deemed necessary by the chair of the Student of Concern program, dean of students or director of Counseling Services. Absent exigent circumstances concerning a potential safety threat or emergency, the University will conduct an individualized assessment of the student prior to placing the student on an involuntary withdrawal, giving careful consideration to the opinions and recommendations of the student’s treating physician or mental health professional, if available, along with any opinions and recommendations of healthcare professionals consulted by the University. The student will be encouraged to provide any other additional information that the student believes is relevant to the determination.
In cases where there is concern that a student poses a direct or substantial threat to the health or safety of others, the individualized assessment will be based on reasonable judgment that relies on current medical knowledge or on the best available objective evidence, to ascertain:
- 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 or the provision of auxiliary aids or services will mitigate the risk.
Based on the results of the individualized assessment, the University will determine whether there are reasonable modifications that can be made to University polices, practices or procedures, that would be effective to allow the student to continue to safely participate in the student’s essential academic duties and the University’s educational programs, while seeking treatment for, or recovering from, any related medical or mental health conditions.
The University may require the student to provide medical releases for access to the student’s medical and mental health records as reasonably necessary to complete the individualized assessment. If the student refuses to provide medical releases, the University will base its decision on the best available medical evidence.
The University will ensure that any assessment or other actions taken by the University are based on legitimate safety concerns and appropriate factual records and not on speculation, stereotypes or generalizations about persons with disabilities.
The student will be notified in writing of the determination. If the student is placed on an involuntary withdrawal, the student will be provided with a letter outlining the terms and conditions of the involuntary withdrawal, as well as any conditions or requirements that must be satisfied before the student will be approved to return to the University. The conditions or requirements will be determined on an individualized basis.
Appeal of Decision
If a student is placed on an involuntary withdrawal, the student will be advised of the appeal procedures available to challenge the University’s decision. If a student wishes to appeal a decision regarding an involuntary withdrawal, the student may do so by submitting an appeal in writing to the vice president for Operations and Planning, who will act as the appeal officer. The appeal must be submitted within five business days of the decision and must clearly state the basis for the appeal. The basis for appeal is to determine if the assessment was conducted fairly and according with procedures prescribed in this policy. The appeal will be reviewed in a timely manner, and the decision of the appeal officer will be final.
Immediate Temporary Withdrawal
If a student’s behavior poses an immediate and significant risk to the health or safety of the student or others, the vice president for Student Affairs or the chair of the Student of Concern Committee or designee may implement an immediate temporary withdrawal for the student from the University. An immediate temporary withdrawal may be a complete withdrawal from the University or restriction from particular areas and/or programs until an individualized assessment can be made using the procedures outlined above or until it is determined that the immediate risk has been mitigated. The student will be provided notice of the immediate temporary withdrawal and the terms of any restrictions.
In addition to satisfying any stated conditions or requirements, the student must also provide evidence that the student can safely participate in the University’s educational programs as a student, with or without reasonable accommodations, before the student will be approved to return to the University.
Returning to the University
When the student believes that the stated conditions and requirements for return have been satisfied, and that the student can provide evidence of ability to return safely, the student should contact the chair of the Student Clearance Committee or designee to request to return. When making the request to return, the student must provide the chair of the Student Clearance Committee or designee with proof that the student is able to safely participate in the University’s educational programs as a student and has satisfied all conditions and requirements necessary for return. The chair of the Student Clearance Committee will consult with the Student Clearance Committee, University staff, including University health and/or counseling services, as well as the student’s treating physician or other healthcare professionals, as necessary, prior to making a final determination as to whether the student may return.