Administrative Withdrawal for Non-Academic Reasons


The University may require a student to take an administrative withdrawal if there is sufficient evidence that the student is engaging, is likely to engage, in behavior that represents a real danger of harm to self or others, or substantially disrupts the learning environment and activities of the campus community. There are limits to the University's ability to care for students with serious physical or psychological conditions[U1]  and the University reserves the right to decide, in certain circumstances, when it cannot provide educational or other services to a particular student.

These policies and procedures do not take the place of disciplinary action associated with a student's behavior that is in violation of the student code of conduct. This policy is only invoked in extraordinary circumstances, at the discretion of the Dean of Students (or his/her designee), when the standard disciplinary system cannot be applied or is not appropriate. This policy may be invoked when a student is unable or unwilling to request a voluntary withdrawal.

Examples of extraordinary circumstances that are applicable to this policy include, but are not limited to: suicidal threat or attempt; eating disorders, including self-starvation and/or purging behavior; ongoing substance abuse or addiction; serious threats of harm to self or others; or bizarre or destructive behavior.

In most cases, before a required administrative withdrawal is considered, the Dean of Students (or his/her designee) will give the student the option to take a voluntary withdrawal.

In emergency situations, the University reserves the right to do any or all of the following:

  • Consult with and refer the student to a mental and/or health care facility or provider (University's Office of Counseling and Life Development, Health Services, an area hospital, or licensed mental health or health care professional) for a mental health or other medical evaluation. The cost for any off-campus referral will be at the expense of the student
  • Remove the student from campus (including on-campus housing) until such time that a full mental health and/or medical evaluation is completed and the Dean of Students (or his/her designee) approves the student's return to campus.
  • Require the student to sign appropriate release forms allowing designated staff at Webster University to consult clinician(s) serving the student.
  • Refer the student to the University judicial process if the student's behavior has violated any rules, policies or procedures

If a student experiences serious psychological difficulties that become chronic, dangerous, or excessively disruptive, the Dean of Students (or his/her designee) may require the student to be assessed off campus by an appropriate psychological provider. The purpose of this assessment is to assure:

  • The student is safe to return to campus and does not pose a threat to him/herself or others and is able to adequately care for him/herself.
  • The student is able to function both socially and academically and will not cause any disruption to the community or normal functioning of the University.

After receiving a written assessment, the Dean of Students (or his/her designee) will make a decision about the student's status, which may include the following options:

  • Immediate return to the campus, providing the student follows a plan for care with on- or off-campus providers. Failure to follow the plan will result in immediate withdrawal from the University.
  • Student's return to campus deferred until additional assessment or treatment can be obtained.
  • Student's return to campus deferred indefinitely due to significant and specific concerns about continued danger to self or others and/or disruption to the community.

Written appeals must be submitted to the Dean of Students Office, within ten days of being informed of this policy being implemented. Written appeals will be reviewed by the Assistant Provost.