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From the President

Posted: Friday, December 2, 2016

Response to College Senate Recommendation: Leaves of Absence Policy

At its April 8, 2016, meeting, the College Senate voted to forward a recommendation to the president to revise the college Leaves of Absence Policy as indicated in the motion below:

WHEREAS, Buffalo State College currently has three ways—unofficial leave of absence, leave of absence, and medical leave of absence—for a matriculated undergraduate or graduate student to be absent from the college for up to two years; and

WHEREAS, the same outcome is achieved through three processes—do nothing, fill out a form to be signed by the dean, fill out the same form to be signed by the director of the health center upon receipt of medical documentation and then signed by the dean—which creates process confusion for students, faculty, and staff; and

WHEREAS, the same outcome is achieved through three processes, but there is a different form to fill out for a leave of absence and a medical leave of absence depending on whether a student is an undergraduate or graduate student, which creates process confusion for students (especially those who completed their undergraduate degrees at Buffalo State and encounter a different process as a graduate student), faculty, and staff; and

WHEREAS, the current policies prevent probationary students from taking leaves of absence when they are, perhaps, the students most in need of a leave from school in order to not further damage their academic progress,

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that Buffalo State revise its three Leaves of Absence policies into the following consolidated policy, to be implemented in a process consistent for undergraduate and graduate students, effective fall 2016:

Leaves of Absence
Matriculated undergraduate and graduate students who wish to leave the college for academic, financial, medical, military, or personal reasons may be granted leaves of absence of one full calendar year. Leaves may be renewed one time, for a maximum absence of up to two full calendar years. Students who do not either renew their leave of absence before its expiration or register for courses for the semester after their leave expires will be deactivated as students and must apply for readmission to the college when they are interested in resuming their progress toward a degree. Upon return from a leave of absence, students will be allowed to complete the program requirements in place at the time they took the leave of absence. Students who change their majors when they return will be required to meet the curriculum of the new program in place at the time of their return. Students should seek financial aid eligibility consultation and academic advisement before registering for courses for their return semester.

If a student wishes to take a leave of absence during a semester already in progress, a Leaves of Absence form must be received in the Registrar’s Office no later than the last day of classes in that semester. A leave of absence will begin on the date a student initiates the leave of absence request; this date will be used to calculate financial aid eligibility.

I hereby approve the revision to the Buffalo State College Leaves of Absence policy as recommended by the College Senate and authorize the revised policy to take effect with the fall 2016 semester. I charge the provost and the vice president for student affairs with the joint responsibility of implementing the revisions, notifying all individuals under their supervision who are responsible for leave decisions, and communicating the revisions broadly and widely throughout the campus community.