Administrative Health Officer
From Appalachian State University Policy Manual
- 1 Introduction
- 2 Scope
- 3 Definitions
- 4 Policy and Procedure Statements
- 5 Additional References
- 6 Authority
- 7 Contact Information
- 8 Original Effective Date
- 9 Revision Dates
1.1 The purpose of this policy is to establish the conditions and procedures for addressing serious medical and mental health problems of students.
3.1 Administrative Health Officer
- The person designated by the University to perform the duties specified in this statement of policy.
3.2 Administrative Withdrawal
- An administrative action that involuntarily removes a student form the University with the stipulation that re-enrollment is conditional on the student meeting stated criteria.
3.3 Medical Proble
- A health-related condition which seriously threatens the well-being of students or others.
3.4 Mental Health Problem
- A documented disturbance in thought, affect, or behavior of a student.
3.5 Threat of Harm
- A condition which would lead the Administrative Health Officer to conclude that a person's behavior of predisposition to act out behavior is likely to cause harm to the person or others.
4 Policy and Procedure Statements
4.1 General Policy
4.1.1 The University has an interest in the health and welfare of students. For this purpose, it has established the Student Health Service and the Counseling and Psychological Services Center and has staffed them with qualified medical and mental health professionals. These responsible professionals provide short-term health services to students seeking assistance. It is not within the normal course and scope of these professional staff's activities to provide for long-term mental health care, daily supervised mental health care, or in-patient mental health care. When such services are needed, students are referred to private practitioners, hospitals, treatment centers, and appropriate state agencies. Previous mental health problems or severe stress beyond and individual's tolerance occasionally results in a student becoming dysfunctional. In some of these instances, students become a threat to themselves or to others in the University community.
4.1.2 In other circumstances, students' health-related problems or behavior present a threat to the health and welfare of others within the University community. Such circumstances commonly find their origin in contagious diseases that are transmitted by casual contact (e.g., measles, hepatitis, meningococcal meningitis, tuberculosis).
4.1.3 The University reserves the right to separate a student from the University when, in the judgment of the Administrative Health Officer, the continued presence of the student at the University threatens the health or welfare of the student and/or others in the University community, or is disruptive to the normal activities or processes of the University. Reinstatement under such circumstances is at the discretion of the Administrative Health Officer but will not be considered for at least six months after administrative withdrawal, except in unusual or exceptional circumstances. Action by the Administrative Health Officer is not intended to be a substitute for disciplinary action that may also be taken under the Code of Student Conduct when appropriate.
4.2 Operating Guidelines
4.2.1 The following are guidelines for the implementation of this policy. It is recognized that special circumstances may arise which require deviation from these guidelines, and that administrative discretion must be exercised in these circumstances.
- The Vice Chancellor for Student Development shall appoint a person to serve as Administrative Health Officer.
- The duties and authority of the Administrative Health Officer shall be as follows:
- To determine a student's fitness to remain at the University after evaluating relevant medical, behavioral, and mental health information.
- To administratively withdraw students whom it has been determined threaten the health of others or the safety and well-being of themselves or others.
- To readmit, either unconditionally or conditionally, students who have been withdrawn through the procedure outlined herein and who are otherwise academically eligible.
- To require that a student be evaluated by a qualified mental health professional or physician of the University's choosing, and to condition a student's continuation at the University on compliance.
- To require that a student be engaged in psychotherapy or other relevant treatment as a condition of continued enrollment.
- To receive and evaluate mental health and medical reports relevant to a student's continuation at the University.
- To act on behalf of the University in instituting appropriate procedures for the involuntary mental health commitment of students.
- To conduct administrative hearings to determine if a student should be allowed to remain at the University or to determine the condition under which a student could remain.
- To suspend a student from classes and extracurricular activities pending the outcome of a medical or mental health evaluation.
- Upon learning that a student has a medical or mental health problem which threatens the health or well-being of the student or others, the Administrative Health Officer will initiate an inquiry and, if warranted, conduct an administrative hearing after delivery of written notice to the student.
- The purpose of an administrative hearing by the Administrative Health Officer is to determine a student's fitness to remain at the University. At a administrative hearing, the Administrative Health Officer will interview the student and evaluate information pertinent to the Student's medical or mental health problem. The student shall have the right to be present, to ask questions of any witnesses, to be accompanied by an advisor of his or her choice, to present evidence on his or her own behalf, and to view any documents submitted as evidence.
- Prior to or subsequent to the administrative hearing, the Administrative Health Officer may require the student to be evaluated by competent medical or mental health professionals of the University's choosing. This evaluation usually shall be at the student's expense. Failure of the student to comply with this request in a timely manner will result in the administrative withdrawal of the student.
- The Administrative Health Officer will render a decision based on the available information. Generally, the decision will result in one of the following actions or a combination thereof, but other reasonable actions may also be taken:
- No action taken. The student is permitted to remain in the University without special condition.
- Administrative withdrawal, with or without a date established for re-enrollment. The student will be immediately withdrawn from the University without special conditions.
- Temporary suspension from the University, pending the outcome of an evaluation by competent medical personnel or mental health professionals.
- Conditional enrollment, defined as the continued enrollment of a student conditioned on compliance with one or more actions the student must take (e.g., to be engaged in psychotherapy, to receive appropriate immunizations).
- In the event that a student is unable, unwilling, or incapable of participating in an administrative hearing, the Administrative Health Officer shall render a decision in consultation with competent medical or mental health professionals.
- Students who have been administratively withdrawn by the Administrative Health Officer shall not be held responsible for grades in the semester of their withdrawal. The student will receive the letter grade of "W" on all official transcripts. In special circumstances, grades or "incompletes," or a combination thereof, may be assigned by the student's instructor.
- All financial matters with the University shall be resolved under existing refund policies, unless the Administrative Health Officer specifies a refund greater than the policy.
- All student records which include personally identifiable medical or mental health problems of a student, maintained by the Administrative Health Officer, shall be considered "medical records" under University policies and shall be subject to confidential restricted access.
- Reinstatement to the University after an administrative withdrawal will be at the discretion of the Administrative Health Officer. A minimum of six months time after the administrative withdrawal is usually required before any consideration will be given to reinstatement. Evidence (e.g., a letter from a qualified mental health professional) that the medical or mental health problem has been resolved or is under control will be required of students seeking reinstatement. Reinstatement may be conditioned on compliance with one or more stipulations (e.g., participation in psychotherapy).
- No notation shall appear on a student's transcript of this action except for "W" or other such grades as may be required.
- Actions of the Administrative Health Officer are subject to review by, and may be appealed to, the Vice Chancellor for Student Development. Appeals should be filed within 48 hours of a decision by the Administrative Health Officer. The decision of the Vice Chancellor for Student Development ends the appeal process.