Involuntary Leave of Absence


Scope:  Who is Covered by this Policy?

Undergraduate and Graduate Students


Policy

Purpose

The University is particularly concerned with the health and safety of its students. Miami University provides physical and mental health services to students through  University Health services. Physical and mental health services are also available from licensed treatment providers in the Oxford area community.

Involuntary Leave of Absence Standard

In situations where a student is unable or unwilling to carry out substantial self-care obligations; where current medical knowledge and/or the best available objective evidence indicates that a student poses a significant risk to the health or safety of others; or where a student poses an actual risk to their own safety not based on mere speculation, stereotypes, or generalizations about individuals with disabilities, and the student does not want to take a voluntary leave, the Dean of  Students has the authority to place the student on a mandatory leave of absence. Before placing any student with a disability on a mandatory leave of absence, Miami University will conduct an individualized assessment to determine whether there are reasonable accommodations that would permit the student to continue to remain enrolled without taking a leave of absence.

Any member of the University community who has reason to believe that a student may meet any of the standards described above should contact the Dean of Students. In the event of an emergency contact University Police at 911.

Involuntary Leave of Absence

If, based on the available information, the Dean of Students, after conducting an individualized assessment, determines that an involuntary leave of absence is warranted the student may be  place  on a leave of absence and involuntarily withdrawn. The Dean will notify the student in writing of the reasons for the proposed involuntary leave of absence and provide the student with an opportunity to meet and respond. If the Dean of Students finds there is insufficient initial information to make a determination, the Dean of Students shall refer the student to the Evaluation Committee (EC). The EC shall be comprised of a physician from the Student Health Service, the Director of Student Counseling Service and the Emergency Case Manager or their designee, The Dean will  notify the student in writing of the reasons for the  referral to the EC.

In the event the matter is referred to the EC, the Dean will provide  the student  with an opportunity to meet to:

  1. Discuss the reasons for the proposed involuntary l leave of absence.
  2. Discuss this policy and provide the student with a copy of this policy.
  3. If appropriate, inform the student that he or she must meet with a University professional(s) selected by the EC (e.g., a physician, psychologist, or psychiatrist) within 24 hours for an individualized assessment. The physician, psychologist and/or psychiatrist should obtain written permission from the student to discuss his or her findings with the Dean and/or members of the EC.

The purpose of the individualized assessment is to determine whether the student, ,  is, in fact, unable or unwilling to carry out substantial self-care obligations; poses a significant risk to the health or safety of others based on current medical knowledge and/or the best available objective evidence; or the student poses an actual risk to their own safety not based on mere speculation, stereotypes, or generalizations about individuals with disabilities, and whether there are reasonable accommodations that would permit the student to continue to remain enrolled without taking a leave of absence.

Review and Recommendation

If the EC determines that the student does not meet the standard for an involuntary leave of absence it will recommend that no action be taken and that the student be permitted to remain enrolled, with or without reasonable accommodations.

If the EC determines that the student meets the standard for an involuntary leave of absence, the EC may recommend one or more of the following actions:

  1. The student be placed on an involuntary  leave of absence and withdrawn, with or without a date established for re-enrollment. The EC may recommend conditions for readmission.
  2. Conditional enrollment, i.e., continued enrollment at the University conditioned on compliance with all actions required of the student. The EC may monitor the student and may, at any point, with the concurrence of at least two panel members, terminate the conditional enrollment and withdraw the student from the University.

Other reasonable actions or conditions may also be recommended to or imposed and taken by the Dean of Students or designee.

The review and recommendation of the EC will be shared with the student. Prior to making a decision, the Dean of Students will provide the student with an opportunity to meet and present any information he or she believes is relevant to the Dean’s decision.

Students may be temporarily excluded from campus life in the event of an infection with a communicable disease or risk of infection, in accordance with the University’s Infectious Disease Policy.

Readmission

If a student is withdrawn pursuant to this provision, the student may petition the Dean of Students for readmission. In some cases, the Dean of Students may establish specific requirements for reinstatement if the circumstances of the student’s departure warrant it. The goal of such conditions is to prepare the student for a successful return to the University; for example, a student may be asked to participate in a reinstatement consultation with University Health Services to facilitate a successful return. If the leave is health-related, any conditions or requirements for reinstatement will be based on an individualized assessment of each student including consideration of current medical knowledge and/or the best available objective evidence. Careful consideration will be given to the opinions and recommendations of the student’s treating physician or mental health professional, if available.

Appeal of Denial of Reinstatement

In the rare circumstance that a student’s request for reinstatement is denied on grounds of health or safety, the decision may be appealed in writing to the Vice President for Student Affairs.  

Records and Fees

All records concerning these proceedings will be maintained by the Office of the Dean of Students. The normal policies and procedures for grades for students who withdraw during an academic semester or term, as described elsewhere in The Student Handbook, will apply to students who are placed on an involuntary leave of absence. The first time a student takes a voluntary medical leave of absence or is place on an involuntary leave of absence, the student may elect to receive either a refund of tuition and fees in accordance with the University’s established refund schedule or a Tuition Credit. Subsequent leaves of absence are eligible for tuition and fee refunds only. A  Tuition Credit is a credit in an amount equal to that paid for tuition and general fees for the semester or term of the  leave of absence less any student financial assistance that must be returned to the financial aid program.  A   Tuition Credit will be applied to the first semester or term of re-enrollment following the student’s leave of absence and must be used within three years.  A student is eligible for only one Tuition Credit.  Students are strongly urged to consult with the Office of Student Financial Assistance to determine how their leave of absence will affect their financial aid before determining whether to seek a refund or Tuition Credit.  Any refund of tuition or fees due the student will be determined from the last date of class attendance, regardless of the date of the onset of the condition prompting the leave of absence.


Related Form(s)

Not Applicable.


Additional Resources and Procedures

Not Applicable.


FAQ

Not Applicable.


Policy Administration

Next Review Date

7/1/2023

Responsible Officer

  • Associate Vice Presidents & Dean of Students
  • Director of Student Counseling Services

Legal Authority

Not Applicable.

Compliance Policy

No

Revision History

Amended July 2018

Reference ID

  • Student Handbook 4.6
  • Graduate Student Handbook 2.10

Reviewing Bodies

  • Student Affairs Counsel
  • Administrative