Policy on Medical Leave

The purpose of this policy is to ensure that all Barry students with incipient emotional, mental health or physical needs receive timely assessment and access to service. The policy shall cover all students.

When a student experiences serious medical or psychological problems while enrolled as a student in Barry University, he or she may request to take a voluntary medical leave. The student requesting the leave must submit documentation from a physical or mental health professional stating that a medical leave is required. If the requested leave is approved by the Dean of Students, the student will be withdrawn from the university, leave campus, be granted grades of "W" in all enrolled courses (even if the normal deadline for withdrawal without academic penalty has passed), and the student will be obligated to adhere to the readmission requirements outlined below, if he or she desires to return to Barry after the issue which caused the medical leave has been treated and resolved. If a student is granted a medical leave, all financial obligations to the university remain intact.

Similarly, the university may require a student to take a medical leave if, in the judgment of the Dean of Students or his/her designee, the student (a) poses a threat to the lives or safety of other members of the Barry community, and/or (b) has evidenced a medical condition or behavior that seriously interferes with the student's ability to function and/or seriously interferes with the educational pursuits of other members of the Barry Community.

In making the decision to require a student to take a medical leave, the Dean of Students, or his/her designee, acts out of concern for the student and his or her rights, concern for other students and concern for the university as a whole. The Dean of Students, or his/her designee, in consultation with the director of the Center for Counseling and Psychological Services and the director of Student Health Services, will have to consider whether there is a likelihood that the student will pose a threat to others and/or to what extent the student seriously interferes with the rights of the others in the community to carry on their educational pursuits. While on medical leave a student may not return to campus and/or any university leased or owned property and/or participate in any university activity until officially readmitted with the permission of the Dean of Students or his/her designee.

For both voluntary and required leaves, the policy on refunds contained in the catalogue will apply.

Readmission Requirements for Medical Leaves

If a student must leave Barry for medical reasons, he or she must take sufficient time away (normally six months to one year) to adequately address the issues that necessitated the leave. During this absence, the university expects the student to undergo professional health care and/or mental health care treatment as the primary method of resolving the issue(s). Failure to seek ongoing treatment of a kind appropriate to the health (physical or psychological) problems will raise serious doubt as to the student's readiness to resume student status, and in such cases the university may withhold re-admission until such time that appropriate treatment has been received.

A student on medical leave, who wishes to return, must initiate a request for readmission by writing a letter to the Dean of Students, or his/her designee, detailing what has been accomplished during the absence. The student's letter and a supporting letter from an appropriate health care or mental health care professional are the basis upon which the Dean of Students, or his/her designee, makes the judgment that the health circumstances causing the student to leave have been adequately addressed and that there is a reasonable assurance that the student will be able to resume his/her studies.

The letter from the health care or mental health care professional should address at least the following questions: what were the reasons for the student seeing you, what gains were made, do you feel the student is able to handle the intellectual, physical and personal demands of being a full-time resident/commuter student, do you feel the student is ready to return to Barry, and are there any special conditions under which the student should be readmitted. The letter should be directed to the Dean of Students. The information gathered is reviewed by the appropriate health-care professionals at Barry and by the Dean of Students or his/her designee. The decision to readmit a student from a medical leave is a provisional judgment which may be reversed if a student fails to be a responsible member of the Barry community. When a student is permitted to return, special conditions or requirements may be outlined at the time, and upon return, the student might be asked to meet periodically with the Dean of Students or his/her designee. Similarly, it is advisable for the student, during the first term back, to establish a professional relationship with a member of the Student Health and/or Center for Counseling and Psychological Services.

The Dean of Students renders a decision for re-admission to the university, not re-admission to individual schools or divisions (majors). This is the prerogative of respective deans. Dialogue regarding re-admission to a particular school or division is the responsibility of the individual students.

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