Involuntary Withdrawal Policy

  1. Purpose and Introduction
    Gonzaga University is committed to fostering student success, maintaining an environment conducive to learning and assuring the health and safety of the University community. Accordingly, the University takes appropriate measures to address student behavior that presents a direct threat of harm to the health or safety of any community member and/or causes a serious disruption to the learning environment or educational mission of the institution. In such situations the safety and security of the Gonzaga community is paramount and University officials may accordingly consider the appropriateness of a number of reasonable security and health and safety measures. In extraordinary circumstances, the University reserves the right to request or require the student to withdraw. If a student declines to voluntarily withdraw, the University may determine that the needs of the community require an involuntary withdrawal.
  2. Guidelines
    A student may be subject to an involuntary withdrawal when the student exhibits behavior that:
    1. Harms or threatens to harm the health or safety of any Gonzaga community member, or any member of the non-campus community; or
    2. Significantly disrupts the learning environment or educational mission of the University
    The process outlined in this policy will be followed prior to the implementation of an involuntary withdrawal. All references to the Assistant Vice President/Dean of Student Well-Being and Healthy Living ("the Dean") in this policy include their designee.
  3. Process
    1. Individualized Assessment
      The involuntary withdrawal process may be initiated when the Dean receives a referral or other information regarding a student who appears to be demonstrating behavior consistent with one or more of the criteria listed above.
      If the Dean determines that the student’s actions create a significant health, safety or welfare concern or threaten to disrupt the learning environment of the University the Dean may seek an immediate assessment of the student’s ability to remain at the University. The assessment will be based on the students observed or recorded conduct, actions, or statements and may require consultation with other appropriate professionals, including but not limited to, the Student Health Center and the Student Counseling Center. The student will be required to sign a waiver allowing the exchange of relevant information between the assessing clinician and the University. Failure to appear for a mandated assessment will result in an involuntary withdrawal without further process. The University may also request authorization to consult with health care professionals that are providing, or have provided, care to the student. In addition, the Dean may initiate parental notification or consultation as part of the information gathering process or as part of the effort to work more effectively with the student to address their behaviors of concern.
      The Dean will make every reasonable attempt to meet with the student to inform the student that an involuntary withdrawal is being considered; what the withdrawal would require (i.e. leaving academic program, housing, or other aspect of the University’s services); and the reasons for the withdrawal being considered. The Dean will explain the next steps in the process, including a meeting with an Administrative Panel, invite the student to provide any relevant information, and provide the student a copy of this involuntary withdrawal policy. The Dean will also review all other available options for the student to pursue, including a voluntary withdrawal from the institution.
      If a review of the available information leads the Dean to believe that pursuing an involuntary withdrawal is not appropriate the institution may still impose conditions or requirements under which the student is allowed to remain enrolled.
      If the Dean believes that it is appropriate to pursue an involuntary withdrawal the Dean will coordinate a meeting of the Administrative Panel as described below.
    2. Administrative Panel
      Any administrative panel assembled to consider the appropriateness of an involuntary withdrawal will be composed of the Dean and two additional professional staff members selected from any of the following areas:
      1. Academic Affairs
      2. Campus Security & Public Safety
      3. Center for Cura Personalis
      4. Counseling Center
      5. Health Center
      6. Housing and Residence Life
      7. Respective professional school (i.e. graduate school for graduate student cases only, law school for law student cases only, etc.)
      The student will be informed in advance of the time and location of the Administrative Panel meeting and be provided the opportunity to submit relevant information and present relevant witnesses.
      The Administrative Panel will make an individualized assessment based on all available information. The Panel may consider, among other factors, the effect of any behavior on community members, as well as the impact on academic, residential, and extracurricular activities. The student will be notified of the decision in writing and the notification will include the rationale behind the decision and any appropriate next steps, including timelines for those steps (e.g. process for departing campus and any specifying conditions of reinstatement if reasonably available). The panel may also decide to inform the student’s parents, emergency contact, or other close relative if concerns exist for the student’s ability to process and react safely and appropriately. The student has the right to appeal this decision as detailed below. The decision of the Administrative panel will remain in effect pending any appeal.
      If a review of the available information leads the Administrative Panel to determine that pursuing an involuntary withdrawal is not appropriate at this time, the institution may still impose conditions or requirements under which the student is allowed to remain enrolled.
    3. Appeal
      A student may appeal the Administrative Panel’s determination to the Vice President for Student Development ("VPSD"). A student has three (3) business days to request this appeal in writing. The VPSD (or designee) shall review all available information (i.e. all information considered by the Administrative Panel and any additional information subsequently made available by the student) and may seek additional information from the student. The decision of the VPSD will be communicated to the student in writing. The decision of the VPSD (or designee) is final.
  4. Process for Return
    A student involuntarily withdrawn may not re-enroll or be re-admitted before the start of the next semester. Although a request for re-enrollment or re-admission will be considered whenever submitted, to ensure timely consideration of the student’s request, the following deadlines have been established for all materials to be received by the Dean:
    1. November 1 for consideration for the spring semester
    2. April 1 for the summer sessions
    3. June 30 for the fall semester
    A student who is being considered for re-admission is not entitled to a hearing on the re-admission request. The Dean, in consultation with appropriate University officials, will conduct an individualized risk assessment that addresses the particular conduct that led to the involuntary withdrawal. A recommendation for re-admission – the determination of which is made by the Dean of Admission - may be granted only if the Dean determines, in their professional judgment, that the conditions that led to the leave are no longer present. The Dean may require any documentation or evaluation deemed necessary to make this decision.
    If a student is allowed to return from an involuntary withdrawal they may be required to meet certain conditions. Depending on the circumstances conditions for return may include, but not be limited to, examinations by independent or school employed medical health professionals, release of relevant medical records, compliance with treatment plans, demonstrated ability to meet the institution’s academic and conduct standards, interviews with school officials, or personal statements.
    The student’s re-entry is also contingent upon the student meeting any admission or enrollment requirements of the University and of the school/college in which he/she was enrolled or wishes to enroll, and the successful completion of any expectations from the Office of Community Standards as a result of any Student Code of Conduct violations.
    If the Dean determines that it is not appropriate for the student to return the student will be advised in writing of the outcome and the rationale that guided the decision. A student may appeal the Dean’s decision by submitting a written appeal to the Vice President for Student Development within ten (10) business days of their receipt of the decision from the Dean. The VPSD will review the relevant information and a decision will be communicated in writing to the student within ten (10) business days of the submission of the appeal. The decision of the Vice President is final.
  5. Relationship to Conduct Process:
    An Involuntary Withdrawal is not a substitute for appropriate action pursuant to the Student Code of Conduct and administrative actions outlined in the Student Code of Conduct, including interim suspension, may be enacted if one or more of the following situations exist:
    1. an imminent threat of danger or harm to any member of the community
    2. a significant new or continuing disruption to the community is imminent
    3. a student is unwilling or unable to meet with the Dean
    4. a student refuses to complete a required assessment; or
    5. other exceptional circumstances exist that make administrative action appropriate.

Last Updated: 8/21/15