Returning from Leave
The phrase “returning from leave” pertains to two distinct matters: how one gets permission to return from leave, and what one does once that permission has been granted (or if one anticipates that it will be granted).
The procedures for gaining permission to return from leave vary according to the sort of leave you are on:
- College Leave: Students who are placed on College Leave must fulfill certain specific requirements, which are set forth in the leave letter CSSP sent you or, if this pertains to the Honor Code, in your Honor Council resolutions. All students who are on College Leave due to a decision by CSSP must write to the Dean of the College to ask for permission to return; please consult the leave letter CSSP sent you for a fuller description of what this letter should discuss. If you cannot find your leave letter, please contact your Dean and they will help you get a copy.
- Medical Leave: You will need to send a letter to the Dean of the College asking for permission to return to the College from a Medical Leave; please consult your leave letter for a fuller description of what your letter should discuss. If you do not have a copy of your leave letter, please contact your Dean to ask for a copy.
- Dean’s Leave with Conditions: If you were granted a Dean’s Leave with conditions for return, you need only to write to your Dean, saying that you intend to return, specifying how you have satisfied the conditions of your leave, and offering, where needed, documentation demonstrating that you have satisfied those conditions (for example, if you were required to take a course at another college or university, then send your Dean a copy of the transcript documenting that you have done so). If you do not have a copy of your leave letter, please contact your Dean to ask for a copy.
- Dean’s Leave (without conditions): If you were granted a generic Dean’s Leave without conditions to return, you need only to write to your own Dean to say that you intend to return.
The most ideal time to send letters requesting permission to return is before preregistration and room draw for the semester you hope to return. However, we realize that many students will not be ready to do so by these preferable dates, and if you are one such student, please see the “to-do list” below, which will give you some sense as to where we can be flexible.
Please note, furthermore, that there are some definite limits in terms of getting a positive answer if you are petitioning late, particularly if you are on a College Leave, Medical Leave, or a Dean’s Leave with conditions for return. Particularly for these sorts of leave, you will need to write to the Dean (specifically to the Dean of the College in cases of a College or Medical Leave, and to your own Dean in the case of a Dean’s Leave with conditions) as directed at least one month before the end of the Fall semester if you hope to return for the spring semester and by July 1 if you hope to return in the fall semester. If it looks like you might be writing to the Dean later than these dates, please contact your own Dean as soon as possible to discuss the feasibility of doing so.
If you are on a Dean’s Leave without conditions for return, you can write as late as one week before the end of the fall semester to your own Dean for a spring return and by August 1 in the case of fall semester return, but please keep in mind that the longer you wait, the less likely it is that you will have a chance to get College housing and/or get into courses that suit your preferences or needs. Please note that if you wait too long to declare an intention to return even from a leave without conditions, your Dean might need to deny you permission to return.
Finally, this is the most basic take-home advice we can offer: it is best to err on the side of consulting with your Dean sooner than later about the possibility of returning, even if you are not sure if you are ready to return. Your Dean is here to advise, and if the outcome of your discussion with your Dean is that it might be best to delay your return, your Dean would consider that as good as an outcome, and investment of their time, as a decision to return—we want only to ensure that you make an informed, well-considered decision that suits your individual circumstance.