Involuntary Withdrawal Policy


CNM cares about the safety of all of its students, staff and visitors, including those who may be facing unique or extreme challenges.

At times, the circumstances of a student’s life may contribute to the student’s inability to be a productive member of the CNM community.  Students may have challenges that prevent them from being safe, positive and successful as a CNM community member. In such situations, a student’s continued presence in the CNM community may present a Direct Threat or a Substantial Disruption to the Education Process, warranting the student’s removal. In any of these situations, any relevant member of the CNM community may bring the student to the attention of the Dean of Students for further evaluation to consider the student’s continued presence at CNM

This Policy is intended to balance the safety for all persons who are on CNM’s property with the individual rights of each student to maintain confidentiality of the student’s educational, medical and mental health information, the due process rights of the student, and the right of the student to be free from unlawful discrimination.

Definition of Direct Threat

A Direct Threat is defined as threatened or actual behavior which poses a direct and significant risk to the health and safety of the student or others. Direct and significant risk means a high probability of risk of serious injury or death, and must be more than a remote, slightly increased or speculative risk.

Substantial Disruption to the Educational Process

A Substantial Disruption to the Educational Process is defined as behavior which substantially disrupts the educational process by interfering with the delivery of instruction by CNM faculty or interfering with other student’s ability to receive instruction. Such conduct may include but is not limited to harassment, abusive words or conduct directed at others, stalking, intimidation, cyber-bullying, hazing, repeated interruption of class or other CNM activities, misbehavior resulting from alcohol or drug abuse, or other conduct that substantially disrupts the educational process but which because of immediate safety or other concerns cannot be addressed effectively through the CNM Student Code of Conduct.

Review Process

Upon being made aware of a student whose behavior or threatened behavior may warrant involuntary withdrawal, the Dean of Students will convene and oversee a Review Team consisting of appropriate personnel which may include persons with direct knowledge of the student, CNM security personnel, disability resource personnel, counseling service personnel, medical or mental health professionals, and other individuals who can assist in evaluating whether a Direct Threat or risk of Substantial Disruption to the educational process exists. The team shall comply with FERPA, HIPAA and other applicable confidentiality requirements.

The Review Team will consider, on an individualized case by case analysis, relevant factors which may include the likelihood of potential harm; the nature, duration, and severity of the potential harm; the source of the information; individualized circumstances that may be causes of the student’s behavior; resolution options; and other relevant information.

The Review Team will provide its recommendations to the Dean of Students who is responsible for making the decision regarding the student.

Relationship to Code of Conduct

This Policy intended as a campus safety measure, and not a disciplinary action. This Policy should be used only in extraordinary circumstances where there is a Direct Threat or a Substantial Disruption to the Educational Process that cannot be addressed effectively through the CNM Student Code of Conduct.

This Policy is not intended to supplant the Student Code of Conduct, which, at the discretion of Dean of Students, may be implemented in addition to this Policy. Regardless of the results of any Student Code of Conduct charges, this Policy may be invoked.

Notice and Opportunity to Be Heard

Where practical depending upon the exigency of the circumstances, the Dean of Students will provide student with notice of the decision, stating the contemplated action[s] and the reasons therefore, and provide the student with an opportunity to respond and provide additional information. When practical the student will be served notice in writing in person or by certified mail. The Student’s email address will also be used. In emergency situations, it may not be feasible to provide advance notice, and the Dean of Students will provide notice and an opportunity to be heard as soon as it practical thereafter.

The student will have 5 business days after receipt of the decision of the Dean of Students to appeal to the Vice President for Student Services, incorporating by reference the procedures stated in the Non-Academic Discipline Appeal Process found in the Student Code of Conduct. 

Voluntary Resolution and Offer of Assistance

Especially where the Student Code of Conduct is not an appropriate conflict resolution tool for a student, the Dean of Students may seek a voluntary agreement from the student to withdraw. To facilitate this agreement, the Dean of Students will work with other campus entities to mitigate any negative consequences of the voluntary withdrawal as circumstances may allow. An example might be backdating the withdrawal date such the student’s transcript shows no grades rather than “W” grades. Note that other solutions may fit CNM’s and the student’s needs better and that this example does not fit all circumstances. Any solution should be designed to meet the needs of CNM, as well as the student, and, where feasible, should afford the student an opportunity to return to CNM.

Other assistance options may include CNM counseling services, Advisement or Academic School Advisors, the CNM Student Health Center, Accessibility Services, and/or other resources outside of CNM.

If the student’s conduct is or may be related to a disability, the student or CNM may seek assistance from CNM’s Accessibility Services to consider reasonable accommodations that may be implemented in lieu of or in addition to other resolution options.

Student Care Policy

  • If the Dean of Students reasonably determines that a medical or mental health evaluation is needed either in relation to the determination of whether a Direct Threat or Substantial Disruption to the Educational Process exists, resolution options, or student’s re-enrollment, the Dean of Students may request that the student take a mental or physical health related action. This action may include a medical or psychiatric evaluation or to receive some particular type of treatment or care. The Office will inform the student in writing of the action the student is being requested to take and why the Office contends that action is necessary.
  • Similarly, the Dean of Students may request that student participate in counseling or other support services.
  • A student’s unwillingness to obtain a requested medical or psychiatric action, counseling or other support  is not determinative for an involuntary withdrawal decision or other decision, but may be considered by the Dean of Students and/or Review Team when assessing whether a Direct Threat exists, resolution options, and/or re-enrollment .

Involuntary Withdrawal

If the Dean of Students determines that a Direct Threat or Substantial Disruption to the Educational Process exists, the Dean of Students may involuntarily withdraw the student from CNM, as well as deny the student access to CNM property.

The Office has the discretion to date the withdrawal on a day logical to the situation. Possible dates include but are not limited to the date of the interim suspension, if applicable, the last date of class attendance or the date of the receipt of a medical or psychiatric evaluation.

CNM will encourage the student to take a voluntary leave before involuntary leave is considered.

Conditions of Return

The Dean of Students may set conditions on the student’s eventual return. Generally these conditions will address the cause of the involuntary withdrawal. For example if a student is withdrawn for medical or psychiatric reasons, documentation of successful treatment, compliance with any medical plan or treatment and a readiness to be a positive part of the CNM Community may be considered prior to any eventual return. In some cases where a student was withdrawn due to demonstrating that the student was, at the time of withdrawal, incapable of appropriately participating in the Student Code of Conduct procedures, the student may be subject to pending Student Code of Conduct charges which must be resolved before the student can continue as a student.

Absent unusual circumstances, students with absences exceeding two weeks in a semester have difficulty completing their courses.  Where an involuntary withdrawal results in a student’s absence of two weeks or more, CNM may consider dropping the student from their courses.

The college is committed to protecting the community from any physical harm and providing a safe learning environment for students, faculty and staff. The college will maintain confidentiality practices and adhere to the requirements of FERPA and HIPAA. This Policy and procedures is designed to transition a student to a safer environment when remaining at the college is not in the best interest of the student or college community.

This Policy shall be implemented in a non-discriminatory manner, and decisions will be based on consideration of student’s actions, statements, and conduct, and not on perceptions or stereotypes arising from student’s race, sex, disability or other protected status.