Involuntary Protective Withdrawal Policy


The University of North Carolina at Asheville (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 a sufficient showing that the student is engaging or is likely to engage in behavior that presents a real danger of substantial harm to self or others, or substantially disrupts the learning environment and 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.  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.


  1. 1.    Grounds for Involuntary Protective Withdraw
    A student may be required to involuntarily withdraw if 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
    B. substantially impedes the lawful activities of other members of the campus community, or the educational processes or proper activities or functions of the University or its personnel.
  2. Initiation of Involuntary Protective Withdrawal Procedure
    Upon receipt of information from any credible source that a student’s behavior may violate this Policy, the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs (or his/her designee) may take any of the following action(s) as he/she deems appropriate:
    A. impose an emergency protective withdrawal of the student when the student’s behavior poses an imminent or substantial danger or threat to the health and safety of the student or other member of the campus community.  The emergency protective withdrawal shall become effective immediately upon imposition. 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 procedures 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.  Such notice shall include a description of the alleged behavior(s), a summary of relevant evidence and a list of any witnesses, statement that the student must appear before the Committee, and a description of the hearing procedures detailed in Section 4 below; or
    C. in either (a) or (b) above, the Vice Chancellor (his/her designee) or the Committee may require that the student submit to an external, independent evaluation by a qualified medical or mental health professional and consent to the disclosure of the results of such evaluation to the University, the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs (or his/her designee), and the Committee.  The cost of the evaluation shall be borne by the University.    A student who chooses not complete the external evaluation may be involuntarily withdrawn from the University.
    The Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs (or his/her designee) may meet informally with the student prior to taking action under this Section 2.
  3. Composition of the Committee
    The Committee is comprised of the following individuals, or their designee in the event the individual listed is unavailable to meet, or the individual has prior knowledge of the matter at hand: the Administrative Director of Student Health and Counseling Services (and/or the University Physician and/or the lead Counselor); the Assistant Director of Advising and Learning Support, The Dean of Students, who shall serve as Chair of the Committee; the Associate Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs; the Chief of Police (or his/her designee), the Director of Residential Education and Citizenship Education;
  4. Committee Hearing Procedures
    A student who has received notice of a referral to the Committee under Section 2B or notice of an emergency protective withdrawal under Section 2A must appear personally before the Committee.  An emergency protective withdrawal shall not be suspended pending a hearing under this Section.
    The Committee shall schedule a hearing as soon as practicable, but in no event less than three (3) days nor more than five (5) calendar days after the student has received notice.  In the event the student chooses not to attend the hearing, the hearing will continue in absentia.
    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 at the hearing.
    The Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs or his/her designee shall present his/her evidence first.  The student shall then have the opportunity to respond.  The parties shall each have the opportunity to present the testimony of witnesses and other evidence, to cross examine witnesses, and to examine any and all documentary evidence.  The Chair of the Committee may directly question either party or any witness, and shall ensure that a record of the hearing is made.  Upon request, a copy of the record shall be furnished to the student at a reasonable cost.
    The Committee may consider only the evidence presented at the hearing, and its decision must be supported by a preponderance of the evidence.  Based upon the Committee’s review, the Committee 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 Vice Chancellor 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 of the hearing.   In the event the student submits to an external evaluation, the Committee shall provide notice of its decision 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.
  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.    Further, the Committee and the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs must approve the student’s re-enrollment or readmission based upon a 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 is not entitled to a hearing or appeal of this decision.
    The involuntary protective withdrawal shall be deemed a “University withdrawal” on the student’s transcript.
  6. Reporting Requirement
    At the end of each academic year, the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs shall report to the Chancellor concerning the frequency and nature of any and all involuntary protective withdrawal proceedings.