The universities comprising the Connecticut State Universities are committed to supporting the health and well-being of their students. The universities provide a wide range of counseling services to address the mental and physical health needs of their students, including counseling, psychiatric services, consultation, and referral assistance. The goal of the universities is to enable each and every student to function fully as a member of the academic community.
Students are permitted to take voluntary leaves of absence for physical or mental health reasons. If a student so requests, the Student Health Services or Counseling Center will assist a student in determining whether to take a voluntary medical leave of absence and in arranging that leave. A student on a voluntary medical leave of absence may maintain contact with, and may visit, campus friends and teaching, residence, counseling, and administrative staff.
However, occasionally students experience medical, psychiatric or psychological conditions which cause them to pose a threat to the well-being of themselves or others. Should such a circumstance arise and should the student refuse to take a voluntary leave of absence from the university, an involuntary medical leave of absence may be recommended by a physician or therapist on the staff of the Student Health Services or the Counseling Center.
A student may be placed on an involuntary medical leave of absence if it is determined that he or she poses a significant risk to the health or safety of himself or herself or to the health or safety of others. Such a determination may be based on evidence that a student has threatened or attempted suicide or has threatened, attempted or inflicted other serious bodily harm upon him or herself, has threatened, attempted or engaged in homicidal or other violent behavior towards others in the community, or has exhibited behavior which poses a significant threat to his or her health and well-being.
The following procedures shall be followed in imposing an involuntary medical leave of absence:
1. When in the opinion of a professional member of the staff of the health or counseling center an involuntary medical leave of absence should be imposed, the recommendation for the imposition of such a leave of absence shall be presented as soon as possible to the chief student affairs officer or to his or her designee. The reasons supporting the recommendation shall be set forth therein.
2. Upon receipt of the recommendation, the chief student affairs officer shall confer with other university personnel, if appropriate. The chief student affairs officer shall also, if possible, notify the student that the recommendation has been received and shall advise the student, in writing, that he or she has three (3) business days within which to schedule a meeting to confer with the chief of student affairs officer and present additional documentation for consideration.
3. During the meeting, the chief student affairs officer shall discuss with the student the circumstances giving rise to the recommendation, the implications of voluntary and involuntary leaves of absence, and the procedures for returning from an involuntary leave. If appropriate, the chief student affairs officer shall suggest to the student that he or she voluntarily take a leave of absence from the university. The affected student may be accompanied during the meeting with the Vice President of Student Affairs by a support person of his or her choosing. The support person shall not be entitled to speak during the meeting.
4. If, at the conclusion of the meeting, the chief student affairs officer determines that an involuntary medical leave of absence should be imposed, or if no meeting is requested by the student in accordance with section 2 above, the involuntary leave shall be imposed. The chief student affairs officer shall notify the student in writing of the imposition of the involuntary leave of absence. The notice shall advise the student of the anticipated duration of the involuntary leave (which shall be, at a minimum, the remainder of the semester if the involuntary leave is imposed for mental health reasons) and the conditions under which the student may seek to return from involuntary leave. The notice shall also advise the student that during the period of the involuntary leave, he or she may visit the campus only with the prior written authorization of the chief student affairs officer.
5. With the consent of the student, or when deemed appropriate to do so and in accordance with the university's student records policy and applicable state and federal law, the chief student affairs office may notify a parent, guardian, or spouse of the leave and may request that a parent, guardian, spouse, or other appropriate person make arrangements to remove the student from the university.
6. A student may appeal the imposition of an involuntary medical leave of absence to the President or his or her designee. However, at the direction of the chief student affairs officer, the leave of absence may remain in effect pending the outcome of the appeal. A student wishing to appeal the imposition of an involuntary leave must do so in a written letter of appeal, delivered to the President within three (3) business days of receipt the notice of imposition of the leave. The letter of appeal shall set forth the reasons why the student believes that the imposition of the leave is not warranted. After reviewing the letter of appeal, the President, or his or her designee, may meet with the student and consult with the chief of student affairs officer and other university officials, as he or she deems necessary. The decision of the President or his or her designee shall be final.
7. A student who has been placed on a medical leave of absence, whether voluntary or involuntary, shall be eligible to return to the university according to the following:
a. A student placed on an involuntary medical leave of absence may request to return to active status on or after a date that has been specified at the time the involuntary leave is imposed. Normally, involuntary leaves are imposed for a minimum of one (1) semester, but no longer than a full calendar year. In unusual cases, and if requested by the student, an involuntary medical leave of absence may be extended to for the duration for two (2) academic years. In the event the student is unable to return within the two-year maximum limit, the student shall lose matriculation status. Should a student lose matriculation status, reentry to the university may only be achieved by reapplying for admission to the institution, being accepted for admission, and entering the university on the terms and conditions, including academic requirements, set forth in the applicable catalog in effect at the time of admission.
b. A request to return from an involuntary medical leave of absence may only be made during the 30-day period immediately preceding the beginning of the semester in which the students seek to enroll.
c. A student who wishes to return to the university shall:
(i) Notify the university health or counseling services of his or her desire to return and the specific semester for which the reentry is sought.
(A) In the case of a physical health condition, the student shall notify the Student Health Service.
(B) In the case of a mental health condition, the student shall notify the Counseling Center.
(ii) Provide written documentation to the health or counseling service that the condition which led to the imposition of an involuntary medical leave of absence has been treated by a licensed health care provider. The documentation shall consist of a written record, signed by the treating health care provider, indication: date of original visit; diagnosis; treatment; compliance and adherence with treatment plan; assessment of any need for on-going medical/psychiatric supervision or treatment; and any recommendation regarding the readiness of the student to return to the university. The documentation must not be initiated more than thirty (30) days prior to the beginning of the semester within which the student seeks to re-enter the university.
d. Upon receipt of the documentation outlined above, the university, through either the office of the Student Health Service or the Counseling Center, as applicable, will
(i) Initiate a timely review of the student's request and the supporting documentation provided by the treating health care provider;
(ii) Conduct a re-entry assessment conference with the student and a qualified staff member from the Student Health Service or the Counseling Center, who shall not be the same individual as previously provided direct service care to the student;
(iii) Conduct a re-entry assessment conference with the Director of Residence Life (or his or her designee), in the case of students who are seeking on-campus housing;
(iv) As necessary and if warranted, consult via e-mail or phone with the health care provider who provided the supporting documentation, for purposes of coordinating a continuing treatment plan and addressing any conditions which may be imposed upon re-entry;
(v) Forward a recommendation to the chief student affairs officer (or his or her designee), relative to the student's preparedness to reenter the university community. This recommendation may include conditions which are designed not only to support the student in a successful reentry transition, but also to safeguard the university community. Conditions which may be imposed include but are not limited to: restrictions on full-time or part-time status in the semester of return; restrictions on housing eligibility; limitations in course registration options; and requirements set forth in a behavioral contract. No condition shall be assigned which is punitive in intention.
e. The chief of student affairs officer (or his or her designee) will consider the recommendation, consult with those who prepared the recommendation, and if needed, arrange a personal interview with the student and/or request a consultation with the dean/chair of the student's major department.
f. The chief student affairs officer will, based on the totality of the information available, including the student's prior academic history, make a decision on the reentry request. The student will be informed of the decision in writing.
g. In the event the request is denied, the student will be informed of the reasons for that denial and be advised as to what he/she will be required to do before another request for re-entry will be entertained.
h. In the event the request is granted, the student will be informed in writing, and any conditions which are being assigned (see subsection d(v) above) shall be outlined fully for the student, including the date on which the conditions shall no longer apply.
i. The decision of the chief of student affairs official shall be final.