Leaves of Absence/Dismissals
Matriculated students are expected to remain enrolled at the College for eight consecutive semesters or until they graduate. Exceptions include:
Academic Dismissal/Mandatory Leave of Absence Students who fail to make adequate academic progress may be dismissed from the College or placed on a mandatory leave of absence by the Faculty Executive Committee. Students who are dismissed from the College can petition to re-matriculate after having successfully completed at least one year of work at another college/university and satisfying any other conditions set by the Faculty Executive Committee. Students placed on a mandatory leave of absence may return to the College only after having complied with conditions set by the Faculty Executive Committee.
Expulsion/Suspension/Disciplinary Leave Students who demonstrate, through repeated and/or willful violations of the College’s rules, regulations, and standards of behavior that they are unwilling or unable to participate productively and safely in the residential and academic community of the College may be asked to leave the College permanently (expulsion) or for a designated period of time (suspension). Students who have been suspended from the College may petition to return after they have satisfied the terms of the suspension. In some cases, where the law requires, an expulsion, suspension or disciplinary leave will be noted on the student’s official transcript.
Medical Leave of Absence In the event that a student cannot, even with reasonable accommodation, remain safely at the College or meet the College’s academic or social standards, the College may require the student to take a medical leave of absence. The decision to place a student on a medical leave of absence will be made by a Dean within the Dean of Student Affairs Office, in consultation with the Vice President for Student Affairs, the directors of the Health and Counseling Center, and other members of the faculty and staff, as appropriate. Such decisions will include inquiry into the student’s current condition and may include requests for recent medical or mental health information. The decision to place a student on a medical leave will be based on an individualized assessment of the extent to which the student is able to safely meet the College’s academic standards and the extent to which the student poses a significant risk of harm to themself or another, and it will include consideration of whether the risk can be eliminated or reduced to acceptable levels through accommodations. Before placing a student on a medical leave, the Dean will notify the student that they are considering this option and explain the grounds for consideration of it, and the student will be given the opportunity to meet with the Dean and to provide relevant information.
Students wishing to return to the College from a medical leave of absence must contact the Dean of Student Affairs Office in writing by the date specified in the official notice of their leave. Students will be required to demonstrate they are fit to return by completing a Reinstatement from Medical Leave of Absence form and furnishing a written opinion from a medical professional who is qualified to assess the student’s fitness to return. The College reserves the right to seek a second opinion from another medical professional. In evaluating a student’s request to return from a medical leave of absence, the Dean of Students will confer with the Behavioral Intervention Team as appropriate, to determine whether the student can, with reasonable accommodation, remain safely at the College and meet the College’s academic standards upon return. In the process of making this assessment, the Dean may inquire into the student’s current condition and request recent medical or mental health information, as appropriate. A request to return will be denied if it is determined the student will not, even with reasonable accommodations, be able to remain safe at the College and meet the College’s academic standards.
Students who feel they have been discriminated against in the medical leave of absence process, either by being unduly placed on a leave or not allowed to return from one, should, in a reasonable and timely manner, file a detailed written complaint with the Dean of Studies, who serves as the College’s ADA Coordinator. The dean will investigate the complaint and issue a report, normally within 30 days. Students who are unsatisfied with the resolution should take up the matter with the Vice President for Administration. Further appeals may be addressed directly to the President. The Dean of Students may temporarily suspend a student, pending the resolution of an appeal, if the continued presence of that student on campus is deemed by the Dean to constitute a threat to the well-being of the student or others. Students will have the opportunity to meet with the Dean before such a suspension. Students who file a complaint are protected against retaliation in any form. If a student suspects that such retaliation has occurred, s/he should file a written complaint, as per the above.
Personal Leave of Absence Students in good academic standing who wish to take a leave from the College for one or two consecutive semesters may maintain their status as candidates for a bachelor of arts degree by applying to the Dean of Student Affairs Office for permission to take a personal leave of absence. The student will be asked to complete a Leave of Absence request form and meet with a member of the Dean of Student Affairs Office to discuss their plans. Typically, students on a personal leave of absence forfeit their financial aid for the semester(s) during which they are on leave. Students returning from a personal leave of absence must submit to the Dean of Student Affairs Office written confirmation of their plans to return. Students who provide such notification in a timely manner will be permitted to participate in room draw, as appropriate, and in course registration for the semester they plan to return.
Conditional Leave Students who experience social and personal difficulties, which are often connected with academic performance, may be required to take a leave of absence for a semester or an academic year. A social leave of absence is not a disciplinary sanction, but a recognition that the student may be at a difficult stage of personal and social development. Social leaves of absence and conditions for return are determined by and at the discretion of the Dean of Students. The Student Judiciary Board can recommend to the Dean of Students that a student be placed on a social leave.
Withdrawal/Transfer Students who wish to terminate their relationship with the College, and/or transfer to another college/university, must complete a withdrawal/transfer request form and meet with the Dean of Student Affairs staff.
Students placed on medical or mandatory leave, dismissed for academic or disciplinary reasons, suspended or expelled may have their access to campus (including but not limited to the College’s Annandale campus and its off-campus locations such as UBS and the College’s satellite campuses) limited or revoked. Access to Bard e-mail will be revoked for students who have been dismissed, suspended or expelled, and for students who have withdrawn from the College. Written notification will be provided.