Handbook of Operating Procedures

Fitness for Participation (Students)

Policy Number: 163

Subject:

Procedures to evaluate students’ fitness for participation

Scope:

All university students.

Medical residents, dental school residents in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery as well as clinical fellows employed by The University of Texas Medical Foundation should refer to the Resident Impairment Policy found in The University of Texas Medical Foundation Graduate Medical Education Resident Handbook.  Employees should refer to HOOP 218, Fitness for Duty/Fitness for Participation (Employees).  

Date Reviewed:
January 2016
Responsible Office:
Applicable school's Student Affairs Office or other dean’s designee
Responsible Executive:
Applicable Associate/Assistant Dean for Student Affairs or other dean’s designee

I. POLICY AND GENERAL STATEMENT

The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (“university”) is committed to providing a safe environment for all employees, students and patients.  To provide a safe environment, all students must be able to participate in university activities in a safe, secure, productive and effective manner.  They must remain able to do so through the entire time they are on university property or participating in university activities. Students who are not fit for participation may present a safety hazard to themselves, to other students, to employees, to the university, or to the public.

HOOP 173 Substance Abuse should be consulted as appropriate.

II. DEFINITIONS

Fit for Participation: Physically and mentally capable of safely participating in university-related activities with or without reasonable accommodation.

III. PROCEDURE

Students, faculty, or others whose observations lead them to question a student’s fitness for participation in university activities must report their observations to the applicable school’s Student Affairs office or other dean’s designee. Regardless of who reports a student’s questionable behavior, the applicable Associate/Assistant Dean for Student Affairs or other dean’s designee (“dean’s designee”) will investigate and document reported observations.

If the student appears to be unfit for participation in university activities:

A. The dean’s designee should call The University of Texas Police - Houston (“UTP-H”) (911) immediately if:

  • there is evidence a crime may have been committed;
  • the student makes threats to harm himself or others;  or
  • the student is behaving in a way that is dangerous to himself or to those around him.

UTP-H will investigate and take any necessary action.

B. If UTP-H involvement is unnecessary, the dean’s designee should:

  • Remove the student from participation in university activities, as appropriate;
  • Notify the student of the observations made;
  • Allow the student to explain his or her actions, or to correct any mistakes of fact contained in the description of those actions; and,
  • Document the student’s response.

The dean’s designee should then contact Student Health and Counseling Services, if they are not already involved. Student Health and Counseling Services will conduct an initial review of the current behavior, documentation and student response.  Student Health and Counseling Services or other approved healthcare provider designee will then, in consultation with the dean’s designee, coordinate any required evaluations to determine fitness for participation.  Student Health and Counseling Services or the dean’s designee will also coordinate notification of any appropriate university departments and leadership.   

Individuals referred to Student Health and Counseling Services or other approved healthcare provider designee must sign a consent allowing Student Health and Counseling Services or other approved healthcare provider designee to release information to the dean’s designee related to whether the individual reported to Student Health and Counseling Services or the other approved healthcare provider designee and whether the individual complies with recommended treatment. Individuals who fail to report to Student Health and Counseling Services or other approved healthcare provider designee, or who refuse to sign the required consent, may be subject to disciplinary action in accordance with the appropriate disciplinary policy.

Student Health and Counseling Services will advise the dean’s designee regarding a course of action that may include:

  • immediate assessment;
  • further evaluation at a later time; or,
  • transporting the student home. If transportation home is recommended, Student Health and Counseling Services will make the arrangements (e.g., transportation by a relative of the student). The student must not drive, nor can a fellow student, Student Health and Counseling Services staff member or other university employee (other than law enforcement) transport the student.

Student Health and Counseling Services or other approved healthcare provider designee will coordinate any evaluation, which may include medical assessment, psychiatric assessment, and/or drug/alcohol assessment and/or drug/alcohol testing.

Student Health and Counseling Services or other approved healthcare provider designee will notify the dean’s designee whether the student may return to participation in university activities.  The student will not return to participation until all aspects of the fitness for participation evaluation are completed. The student must be fully medically released to return to participation by Student Health and Counseling Services or other approved healthcare provider designee. Student Health and Counseling Services will coordinate the return to participation process and monitor compliance with any recommendations.  A request for accommodation due to a disability should be processed in accordance with HOOP 101, Disability Accommodation

IV. CONTACTS

ContactTelephoneEmail/Web Address
Applicable Student Affairs Office (or other dean's designee)

The University of Texas Police - Houston

713-792-2890 http://www.mdanderson.org/utpd/index.html