Overview of Mandatory Withdrawal
Liberty University strives to maintain a caring and safe learning environment for all of its community members, while encouraging them to reach their full potential and achieve their educational goals. When the University becomes aware of a student exhibiting indications of distress or other concerning behavior(s), or one who has posed a substantial threat to the safety of any person on campus or to campus itself, it will seek to provide the student with available resources for assistance and support, while also considering how the student’s behavior may be impacting the well-being, safety and security of the greater campus community. If the concerning behavior is sufficiently serious or persists to the extent that the student is determined to pose a substantial threat to any person or the greater campus community, cause disruption to the community, or be unable to perform essential functions of the student role (e.g. attending classes, completing academic assignments, living on a residence hall, etc.), with or without reasonable accommodations, the student may be considered for a mandatory withdrawal based on an individualized assessment of all available information.
When feasible and reasonable under the circumstances, the student will be given notice of University’s consideration of a mandatory withdrawal and a fair opportunity to respond by providing any relevant information to the CARE Team. During the mandatory withdrawal consideration process, provided the student is not deemed a threat to campus safety by the CARE Team or LUPD, the student is to continue to attend classes. If the student is deemed to be a threat to campus safety by the CARE Team or LUPD, the student must vacate campus immediately upon being notified, pending the outcome of the mandatory withdrawal process. The CARE Team will conduct an individualized assessment, which will consist of a review of all available information about the student pertaining to the decision, including any medical documentation, if provided, and any response from the student. In cases when the University is unable to provide the student with notice and a fair opportunity to respond before issuing a mandatory withdrawal, the student will be given an opportunity to appeal the decision. Up until the time a mandatory withdrawal decision is made, the student will have the option to leave the University voluntarily, but, if the student is unwilling to submit to the directives and conditions set forth by the University, the University maintains its right to issue a mandatory withdrawal with individualized conditions that must be met before the student can return to the University.
The decision to mandate a withdrawal is made by the Dean of Students (or designee) upon recommendation by the CARE Team. The Dean of Students (or designee) will consider the recommendation of the CARE Team, the results of any individualized assessment of the student, relevant information provided by the student, and any other pertinent information that is available. The decision of the Dean of Students (or designee) as to whether the concerning behavior is sufficiently serious or persists to the extent that the student is determined to pose a substantial threat to any person or the greater campus community, cause disruption to the community, or be unable to perform essential functions of the student role (e.g. attending classes, completing academic assignments, living on a residence hall, etc.), with or without reasonable accommodations, will be made applying a preponderance of the evidence (i.e., greater weight of the evidence) standard. This standard of review will also apply to the determination of any fact, factor, or other finding under consideration. A mandatory withdrawal will result in a broken enrollment and the student will be required to re-apply to the University while meeting certain specified conditions for return (see below for more information). A broken enrollment may have certain adverse effects on the student, such as the student receiving a certain grade (e.g., “W” or “FN”), incurring withdrawal fees, losing any money paid for tuition and fees (including room/board and a meal plan) without reimbursement, and other adverse effects consistent with the University’s generally-applicable policies associated with departing the University. A mandatory withdrawal is subject to the University’s general withdrawal policy pertaining to all students receiving a “W” for withdrawing from class(es), and/or the University’s “FN” policy pertaining to non-attendance. If the student is deemed by the CARE Team or LUPD to be a threat to campus safety, the student will be required to vacate campus immediately upon notification of the decision. Where possible and advisable, the University will work cooperatively with the student to mitigate any adverse effects of the mandatory withdrawal on the student (e.g., enrollment status, grades, financial aid eligibility, etc.). If the decision for mandatory withdrawal is not appealed, or if at the conclusion of the appeal process the decision remains in effect, the student will need to vacate campus within 48 hours. A request for additional time to vacate campus may be considered, provided that the student is not deemed a threat to campus safety by the CARE Team or LUPD.
Appeals of Mandatory Withdrawal
A student may appeal the decision of a mandatory withdrawal to the Senior Vice President of Student Affairs (SVPSA) no later than five business days from when the student receives notification of the mandatory withdrawal, or from when the student had an opportunity to respond to such notification, whichever occurs later. If the student is temporarily unable to make an appeal, due to hospitalization or other extenuating circumstances, the deadline to appeal may be extended until the student is able to appeal. The appeal must be made in writing via email to the SVPSA and should include detailed rationale for the request to overturn or modify the mandatory withdrawal, including any conditions imposed for return. The SVPSA will make a decision to either uphold, modify, or overturn the mandatory withdrawal based on the student’s rationale provided for the appeal, any information provided in the appeal, the information considered by the CARE Team and the Dean of Students (or designee), and any other pertinent information that is available. The appellate decision of the SVPSA will be based on whether, by a preponderance of the evidence, there was a rational basis for the Dean of Students’ (or designee’s) decision for mandatory withdrawal without the SVPSA weighing the evidence anew or substituting the judgment of the SVPSA for the Dean of Students (or designee). The SVPSA appellate decision will be communicated in writing to the student and will be final.
Conditions for Return
Students on a mandatory withdrawal may be permitted to return to the University when the concerning behavior has been satisfactorily addressed and the student has demonstrated that he or she is qualified to re-enroll. The student must submit documentation to the CARE Team that he or she has met or attempted to meet all the readmission conditions imposed by the University, which were individually tailored to help ensure the student would be qualified to re-enroll. The CARE Team will review the provided documentation, consult with the Dean of Students and the SVPSA, and conduct a new individualized assessment. If the student can show the conditions for return have been met (or that comparable conditions have been met) and can demonstrate the ability to effectively and safely return to the University, with or without reasonable accommodations, the CARE Team will indicate the conditions imposed for return have been met and clear the student to apply for re-admission. Enrollment management will then make the decision as to whether the student is otherwise qualified to be re-admitted based on academic and admission standards. Additional conditions may be imposed on the student by the CARE Team to help ensure the student’s health, safety, and likelihood of success upon returning to the University. Moreover, additional academic conditions may also be imposed upon the student as part of the standard re-admission process for any student returning to the University.