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Policies & Regulations - Involuntary Withdrawal Policy

A.  Involuntary Withdrawal and Readmission

A student may be subject to involuntary withdrawal or their presence on campus restricted where because of a mental, emotional, physical or psychological health disorder, their continued presence in a University activity or program, residing on campus or their presence at the University, poses a significant risk of substantial harm to others. A significant risk is one that is based upon an individualized assessment and constitutes a high probability of substantial harm and which cannot be mitigated by other reasonable means.

Emergency Withdrawal

The Vice President of Student Life or his/her designee may immediately withdraw a student on an interim basis where the student’s condition or conduct poses an imminent or significant risk to others. Prior to the emergency withdrawal the student must be notified in writing of the proposed interim action; given an opportunity to address the basis for the emergency withdrawal with the Vice President of Student Life or their designee and informed that a formal hearing on the involuntary withdrawal will occur as expeditiously as possible. Such emergency withdrawal or restricted access may remain in effect until a formal decision has been made or the reasons for imposing the interim action no longer exist. If a formal hearing is to occur, the student shall be afforded a formal hearing within 5 days of an emergency removal.

Procedures

The involuntary withdrawal of a student or a decision affecting their presence on campus must be preceded by a hearing. The hearing shall be convened by the Vice President of Student Life or his/her designee and the student must be informed in writing of the time and place of the hearing, the nature of the reasons for the proposed action and the right to challenge the proposed decision. The hearing is not judicial in nature and the rules of evidence do not apply. The student has a right to be accompanied by an advisor or advocate; to present information relevant to the student’s behavior, including the testimony or written reports by healthcare providers, whether affiliated or not with the University; and to review and comment on all documents, information and statements considered regarding the proposed decision.

The hearing shall be conducted by the Evaluation Committee which may include, but is not limited to, the Associate and/or Assistant Dean(s) of Students, the Campus Conduct Officer, the Director of Health Services,  the Chief of the University of Maine Police (UMPD), the Director of Residence Life, the Director of the Counseling Center and the Director of Disability Support Services. In the case of the absence of or a conflict of one of these, the hearing may be conducted by the remainder or a designee may be placed on the Committee by the Vice President of Student Life or his/her designee. The Chair shall be an Associate or Assistant Dean of Students, the Director of Community Standards or other designee of the Vice President. Other than questions asked by the Committee all questioning of a witness shall be made through the Chair, who shall make all determinations regarding the relevancy or admission of testimony, information or written materials. A tape recording shall be made of the proceedings. The hearing may be recessed to gather further information if necessary. The deliberation of the Committee shall be private and shall not recorded. The decision to involuntarily withdraw or place other restrictions upon a student’s participation or presence at the University shall be made by a majority of those present based upon fundamental fairness, the information presented, and the individualized objective assessment of the student’s particular circumstances. The student shall be informed in writing.

Assessment

The assessment must include, but is not limited to:

  • reasonable medical judgment relying on the most current medical knowledge, or  the best available objective evidence (such as the student’s conduct, actions and statements);
  • the nature, duration and severity of the risk;
  • the probability that the threatening injury will actually occur; and
  • whether there are reasonable alternatives to sufficiently mitigate the risk, such as modifications of policies, practices or procedures

Right to Review

Within 5 business days from the delivery of the decision of the Committee, the student may request, in writing, that the Vice President of Student Life or his/her designee review the Committee’s decision. The review shall be limited to whether the proper procedures were followed and whether the decision is supported by the record. The student shall state in writing the specific issues the student wishes the Vice President or designee to consider. The Vice President or designee may:

  • affirm the decision,
  • modify the decision,
  • remand the matter back to the Committee for further proceedings or consideration, or
  • reject the decision. The decision of the Vice President or their designee is final.

Readmission or Removal of Restriction

A student who is involuntarily withdrawn or has been the subject of a decision restricting their activities may not re-enroll, be readmitted or have their restriction lifted, without the approval of the Committee. Approval may be granted only if the Committee determines, by simple majority vote, that in its judgment the conditions that caused the significant risk and resulting involuntary withdrawal or restriction are no longer present or that they have been or can be safely mitigated or managed. The Committee may request any information, documentation or evaluation it deems necessary. The student may appeal the decision to the Vice President of Student Life or designee, whose review shall be limited to whether the decision is supported by the record. The decision of the Vice President or their designee is final.

Deviations from Established Procedure

Reasonable deviations from these procedures will not invalidate a decision unless significant prejudice to the student results.

Fees and Refunds

The normal policies and procedures for the entry of grades or fee refunds for students who withdraw during an academic term, as described in the Student Handbook, the Residents Manual and/or other University policies, will apply to students who are withdrawn pursuant to this policy.

B. Conduct which does not Present a Risk or Others

If the conduct of the student does not present a high probability of imminent or  significant risk to others, but directly or substantially impedes the activities of other members of the campus community; the educational process, or proper activities or functions of the University or its personnel; or presents a danger to individual or University property, it may rise to the level of a violation of the law or Student Code of Conduct and the Chief of UMPD and the Conduct Officer shall be notified for determination of action.

Last Updated: August 2014


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