Process

The University-Mandated Leave of Absence Policy sets out a threshold test for determining whether the University may place a student on a mandated leave of absence. Specifically, the Vice-Provost, Students may place a student on a mandated leave of absence only in exceptional circumstances where the student’s behaviour, due to serious mental health or other similar issues, either:

  1. Poses a risk of harm to self or others, or harm that involves substantial impairment of the educational experience of fellow students; or
  2. Prevents the student from engaging in the essential activities required to pursue an education at the University, notwithstanding accommodations and/or supportive resources made available to the student.

In determining whether the threshold test has been met, the Vice-Provost, Students must follow a process of assessment and engagement with the student as prescribed in the University-Mandated Leave of Absence Policy. The process includes, but is not limited to, the appointment of a Student Support Team bringing together multi-disciplinary expertise to assist in a nuanced and comprehensive analysis of the student’s needs. It also includes the appointment of a Student Case Manager to engage with the student, liaise with the student’s division, and assist the student in accessing resources and accommodations.

In some urgent situations, such as those involving serious threats or violent behaviour, the Vice-Provost, Students may temporarily place a student on a mandated leave of absence for up to five business days without following the prescribed process. However, such placement must be reviewed by the Vice-Provost, Students within the five-business day period, and the student must be notified of a decision whether or not to continue the mandated leave.

Any decision by the Vice-Provost, Students to place a student on a mandated leave of absence may be reviewed by the Provost at the request of the student. The student’s request must in writing and submitted no later than ten business days following the decision of the Vice-Provost, Students. The Provost will consider any written submissions from the student, as well as any new or additional information the student wishes to submit. The Provost may consult with the Student Support Team, the Student Case Manager, or anyone else with pertinent information. The Provost will then render a decision in writing with reasons. The Provost may vary or confirm the decision of Vice-Provost, Students, or refer the matter back to the Vice-Provost, Students for further consideration with whatever guidance the Provost deems appropriate.

A decision by the Provost to confirm the decision of the Vice-Provost, Students, to place a student on a mandated leave of absence, can be appealed to the Senior Chair (or delegate), or the Associate Chair (or delegate) of the Discipline Appeals Board of the University Tribunal. In such a situation, the student has to file a written notice of appeal, together with any submissions they wish to be considered, within twenty (20) business days of the Provost’s decision. The Provost may also make submissions in response to the appeal.

The time limit for appealing may be extended by agreement between the Student and the Provost or by the decision of the Senior Chair (or delegate), or the Associate Chair (or delegate) where the Senior Chair (or delegate), or the Associate Chair (or delegate) are satisfied that neither party has been prejudiced by the delay.

While the decision is under appeal, the terms and conditions of the mandated leave of absence shall continue to apply.

The Senior Chair (or delegate), or Associate Chair (or delegate) will hear and decide the appeal and their decision is final.

At any time during the appeal process, the student may elect to explore the possibility of a voluntary leave of absence under their division’s policy. In the absence of an applicable divisional policy, the student may consider a voluntary leave under the provisions of the University-Mandated Leave of Absence Policy. If a voluntary leave of absence is agreed upon jointly by the Vice-Provost, Students and the student, then the student’s appeal from the Provost’s decision is discontinued.

At any stage during the review or appeal process, if the student has new information that the student believes may be relevant to the implementation of the mandated leave of absence (including but not limited to medical information), it can be provided to the Vice-Provost, Students. The Vice-Provost, Students will determine if the information is relevant. This will not result in a new right of review or appeal, but may result in a discretionary decision to alter the terms and conditions of a mandated leave of absence, or to its discontinuance. Any such change will only occur after consultation with the student.