policy on Involuntary Leave of Absence was developed over the summer
at the request of President Rodin and myself and subsequently sent
to the Council of Undergraduate Deans and the Council of Graduate
Deans for their comments and input. A final version of the policy
was then reviewed by the Council of Deans. The policy became effective
August 28, 2002.
Provost Robert Barchi
Leave of Absence
University of Pennsylvania provides a wide range of services to
support and address the mental and/or physical health needs of students
including assessment, short-term care as appropriate, and referrals.
Our first concern is for the health and welfare of each individual
in our community. Our goal is to enable all of our students to participate
fully as members of Penn's academic community. However, students
whose psychiatric, psychological, or other medical condition causes
them to pose a threat to themselves and/or others, or causes them
to significantly disrupt the educational activities of the University
community, may be required to take a leave of absence from the University.
Under these circumstances, students will be given the opportunity
to take a voluntary leave. Should a student decline to take a voluntary
leave, the University may determine that the student's health
and welfare, and/or the needs of the community, require a period
of involuntary leave of absence. The following policy establishes
the protocol under which an involuntary leave of absence may occur
and the process for return from leave.
University may place a student on an involuntary leave of absence
or require conditions for continued attendance under the following
circumstances when the student exhibits behavior resulting from
a psychological, psychiatric, or other medical condition that:
or threatens to harm the health or safety of the student or others;
or threatens to cause significant property damage; or
disrupts the educational and other activities of the University
a student exhibits any of the behaviors described above, the matter
may be brought to the attention of the School Dean's office
or the Provost's office. The Provost, in consultation with
the School Dean, may place a student on an involuntary leave of
absence or impose conditions upon the student's continued attendance.
The Provost will seek an immediate assessment of the student's
psychological, psychiatric or other medical condition from Counseling
and Psychological Services (CAPS), the Student Health Service, or
from other appropriate professionals regarding the student's
student will be notified that the Provost is seeking to determine
whether he/she should be required to take a leave of absence. When
reasonably possible, the student will be given the opportunity to
confer with the Provost and to provide additional information for
Provost will conclude the review of available information with a
decision that may include the following:
the student remain enrolled with no conditions;that
remain enrolled subject to conditions (including a description
of those conditions); or
the student be placed on an involuntary leave of absence.
the Provost's decision is to require an involuntary leave of
absence, the decision will also indicate the length of the leave
and, in consultation with the student's school, describe the
conditions (if any) under which the student may seek to return from
student shall be informed in writing by the Provost of the leave
decision, the effective date of the leave, and conditions for return
(if applicable). If a student is permitted to remain enrolled subject
to conditions, the student shall be informed in writing of the effective
date and the duration of the modified attendance. The student's
school will also be notified, in writing, of this action.
Process for Return from Leave
student seeking a return from leave must meet the conditions specified
by the Provost. The student must apply in writing to the Provost
with a copy to the School Dean.
is the responsibility of the Provost to review the student's
compliance with specified conditions for the return from leave and
to advise the School Dean accordingly. Appropriate administrative
duties with respect to convening this leave process and maintaining
its records will be the responsibility of the Provost's Office.
records concerning involuntary leaves of absence will be kept in
accordance with the University confidentiality policy and other
applicable policies. The student's transcript will indicate
only the notation of "leave of absence."
Almanac, Vol. 49, No. 6, October 1, 2002