East Carolina University

Division of Student Affairs

Involuntary Protective Withdrawal Policy





East Carolina University (the “University”) is committed to the well-being and safety of its community members and the integrity of its learning environment.  The University may require a student to take an involuntary protective withdrawal if there is sufficient evidence that the student is engaging in, or is likely to engage in, conduct that presents an imminent danger or threat of causing substantial harm to self or others, damage to property, substantially disrupts the learning environment and impedes the lawful activities of the campus community.


This policy and associated procedures do not take the place of disciplinary action associated with a student’s conduct that is in violation of University policies and regulations.  Actions taken under this policy are considered to be therapeutic, not punitive and are not considered disciplinary action.  This policy is to be invoked only in those extraordinary circumstances in which the regular disciplinary system cannot be applied or is not appropriate, and after attempts to secure a voluntary withdrawal have been exhausted.






Section 1.        Grounds for Involuntary Protective Withdrawal


A student may be required to involuntarily withdraw if there is evidence that the student engages or is likely to engage in behavior that:

(a)  poses an imminent or significant danger or threat of causing physical  harm to self or others; or property; or substantially impedes or disrupts the lawful activities of other members of the campus community, or the educational processes or proper activities or learning environment or functions of the University or its personnel.


Section 2.        Initiation of Involuntary Protective Withdrawal Procedure


Upon receipt of information from any credible source that a student’s conduct may be subject to this Policy, the Dean of Students shall appoint a Coordinator, who in conjunction with other appropriate administrators, may take any of the following actions as he/she deems appropriate:


(a)    Impose an immediate emergency protective withdrawal of the student when, in the professional opinion of the Coordinator, the student’s behavior meets

            the grounds set forth in Section 1, above.  The student shall be notified of the action in writing delivered in person or by certified mail.  Such notice shall include a description of the   behavior(s) giving rise to the withdrawal, a summary of relevant evidence, a list of any witnesses, a statement that the student must appear before the Protective Withdrawal Committee     (the “Committee”), and a description of the hearing procedure detailed in Section 4 below; or


(b)   Refer the matter to the Committee for its review and disposition.  The student shall be provided with written notice, delivered in person or by certified mail, of the referral to the Committee, and a description of the hearing procedures detailed in Section 4; or


(c)    May meet informally with the student; or


(d)  Take any other appropriate actions that comply with applicable University procedures


In either (a) or (b) above, the Coordinator or the Committee may select an appropriate mental health professional to conduct an external, independent evaluation of the student.  The results of such evaluation shall be made available to the student and the Coordinator, and may be presented to the Committee.  The cost of the evaluation shall be borne by the University.  A student who chooses not to complete the external evaluation may be involuntarily withdrawn from the University.


Section 3.        Composition of the Committee


The Committee is comprised of the following individuals, or their designated assistant or associate directors, in the event the individual listed is unavailable to meet, or the individual has prior knowledge of the matter at hand: Vice Provost who shall serve as Chair of the Committee; the Associate Director of The Center for Counseling and Student Development; the Associate Director of Disability Support Services, the Associate Director of Health Services; the Associate Director of Student Judicial Affairs, the Associate Director of Residence Life, relevant faculty member(s), the Chief of Police, and if appropriate, a representative from the Graduate School.


Section 4.        Committee Hearing Procedures


(a)        A student who has received notice of an emergency protective withdrawal under Section 2(a) above may appeal the withdrawal to the Committee.  An emergency protective withdrawal shall not be suspended pending a hearing under this section.

(b)        A student who has received notice of a referral to the Committee under Section 2(b) above must appear personally before the Committee, or the Committee may involuntarily withdraw the student from the University.

(c)        The Committee shall schedule a hearing 48 hours after the student has received notice.  In the event the student chooses not to attend the hearing, the hearing will continue in absentia.


(1)        The hearing shall be informal, and the rules of evidence shall not apply.  The Chair of the Committee has the authority to reject evidence that is redundant or has no relevance to the matters at issue.  The hearing will be private and confidential.  Attorneys are not permitted to participate at the hearing; however the student may designate one (1) advisor to provide assistance.  The advisor may not speak or participate directly in the hearing.


(2)        The Coordinator shall present his/her information first.  The student shall then have the opportunity to respond. The Committee will review the information presented at the hearing and may take any of the following actions:  (1) terminate this procedure if there are no grounds for action; or (2) terminate this procedure and recommend that the Dean of Students take any other action deemed necessary or appropriate, including initiating disciplinary action; or (3) impose an involuntary protective withdrawal if there are grounds for action.  The Chair of the Committee shall provide written notice of the Committee’s decision to the student within two (2) calendar days following receipt and review of the evaluation.  The decision of the Committee shall be final and non-appealable unless otherwise required by state or federal law, or University of North Carolina Policy.


(d)       In instances where a student is appealing an involuntary withdrawal, the Coordinator shall present his/her evidence first.  The student shall then have the opportunity to respond.   Committee will review the information presented at the hearing and will consider the following:

(1)        The reliability of the information concerning the student's behavior;

(2)        Whether the conduct and surrounding circumstances reasonably indicate that the continued presence of the student on the University campus and/or in the Residence Halls poses a substantial threat:

            -to self or others, or

            -of causing significant property damage, or

            -to the stability and continuance of normal University functions, or

            -of directly and substantially impeding the lawful activities of others and

(3)        Whether or not the student has completed an independent medical evaluation.

The Committee may take any of the actions outlined in (c)(2) above.


Section 5.        Readmission/Continued Enrollment


A student who is involuntarily withdrawn under this policy may not re-enroll or be readmitted to the University before the start of the next term.  Involuntarily withdrawn students may not participate in research or other scholarly activities until they are re-enrolled in accordance with this policy.  Further, the Committee and the Dean of Students must approve the student’s re-enrollment or readmission based upon review of the entire record including any and all new information relevant to the matter, and may impose conditions on the student’s re-enrollment or readmission.  The student must also meet all of the admission or enrollment requirements of the University and of any applicable School or College in which s/he wishes to enroll.  The student is not entitled to a hearing or appeal of the decision.

The involuntary protective withdrawal shall be deemed a “University withdrawal” on the student’s transcript.


Section 6.        Reporting Requirement

At the end of each academic year, the Dean of Students shall report to the Provost concerning the frequency and nature of any and all involuntary protective withdrawal proceedings.


Section 7.        Compliance

The Dean of Students shall ensure that all actions taken related to this Policy shall comply fully with all applicable University policies and procedures.  































Updated 04-04-08