Office of Student Conduct
129 David L. Eisler Center
805 Campus Drive
Big Rapids, MI 49307
The Ferris State University Behavior Review Team (BRT) is a multi-disciplinary team of employees from across the campus that meet weekly throughout the fall and spring semesters to review referrals of student behavior that raise significant concern. These concerns typically go beyond what can typically be addressed through traditional classroom and employee management. The goal of the team is to coordinate outreach or intervention to these students.
The team is dedicated to fostering an educational environment for all members of our community through a proactive, objective, supportive, and collaborative approach. The Behavior Review Team is dedicated to the prevention, identification, assessment, intervention, management, and coordinated response to student situations that cause concern including those that may pose a wellbeing and/or safety of individuals in our campus community.
This Team focuses on student behaviors. Team members are listed below by title. Additional staff and faculty members such as the Director of Multicultural Student Services, the Directors’ of Student Academic Affairs, Faculty Member(s), the Provost and/or Deans, and the Athletic Director; and others, may be called upon to join to address specific incidents/student concerns.
Typically, employee concerns will be addressed by Human Resources, Labor Relations, and/or General Counsel.
The Ferris State University Behavior Review Team (BRT) is a multi-disciplinary team of employees from across the campus that meet weekly throughout the fall and spring semesters to review referrals of student behavior that raise significant concern. The goal of the team is to coordinate outreach or intervention to these students. The team is dedicated to fostering an educational environment for all members of our community through a proactive, objective, supportive, and collaborative approach to the prevention, identification, assessment, intervention, management, and coordinated response to student situations that cause concern including those that may pose a wellbeing and/or safety of individuals in our campus community.
The BRT typically meets on Monday afternoons during the fall and spring semesters to address new student behavioral concerns and to provide updates regarding previously reported concerns. If a report is received and is an immediate concern, the BRT will be called together outside of the regular meeting time. Additional community members may be consulted and sit on the BRT meetings as needed to assist with specific behavioral concerns for which their knowledge of the situation and/or expertise is relevant.
Although there is no single or combined set of indicators that will always reliably predict an individual’s future behavior, the BRT does take into consideration odd, suspicious and/or inappropriate behavior that rises beyond a typical classroom or employee management concern. These behaviors of concern may be observed in a variety of mediums including their speech, written words, and/or their actions. Concerns may include:
Emergencies and acts of violence should immediately be reported to the Ferris State University Department of Public Safety at x5000 / (231) 591-5000 / 911. Faculty and staff working in off-campus locations (i.e., Kendall College of Arts and Design and Statewide Locations) should report emergencies to local law enforcement / 911.
Faculty, staff and others may refer any student demonstrating behaviors of concern to any member of the Behavior Review Team. The Behavior Review Team is also available for consultation to determine who and how is best to respond given all the information available.
While there is no single set of behaviors that will reliably predict an individual’s future behavior or risk of harming others, the threat assessment process gathers and evaluates information available including behavioral evidence to make a determination of the likelihood that an individual may pose a significant risk of imminent harm to the campus community. Assessment is designed to distinguish between threatening and non-threatening cases in order to ensure the safety of the individual of concern and all others potentially involved as well as to resolve the conditions that initiated the inappropriate behavior.
Assessment assists in early identification of situations that may pose a threat to others, creates a baseline of information against which to assess future behavior, and provides a means for implementing interventions to increase the likelihood of a positive and safe resolution.
The Threat Assessment Team (TAT) is led by the Director of Public Safety and the Dean of Student Life and includes additional community members as appropriate such as:
1. Once a report has been received by the BRT, the Team will perform an initial assessment on the student’s level of risk, and whether or not there is an immediate risk/reason for concern. If the initial assessment indicates there is a moderate risk or higher, the team will call a meeting to inform and/or manage the situation as soon as possible. If not, the case will be reviewed at the next regularly scheduled BRT meeting.
2. The assessment process may include, but is not limited to, any of the following data gathering processes:
To assist in assessing the level of risk a student may pose, the BRT may utilize the NaBITA Threat Assessment Tool or some other appropriate model. Below is a summary of various risk levels and how the University may respond to those risks:
Mild risk – There is little to no threat to the individual of concern or others. At this level, the situation can generally be resolved by addressing the disruptive or concerning behavior. Counseling assessment and follow-up support may be recommended. Generally, in this situation, the individual can acknowledge the inappropriateness of the behavior and engage in behavior to make amends with the other party. These individuals may be experiencing mental health concerns, but their conduct is not generally in violation with the University’s conduct policies.
Moderate/Elevated risk - At this level, the student may be a threat to self or others, and that threat could be carried out although there is no evidence that the student has taken preparatory steps. These individuals may be experiencing mental health problems and/or displaying disruptive behaviors. Counseling assessment and follow-up support may be recommended and the student may be referred to the Office of Student Conduct.
Severe/Extreme risk – At this level, there appears to be serious danger to the safety of the individual of concern or others, and immediate intervention by Ferris State University’s Department of Public Safety and other local resources is required. It appears that specific steps have been made to carry out a plan to harm.
Based on the behavior displayed and the assessment by the BRT, the team may make any of the following recommendations for intervention. Recommendations may be made in consultation with the appropriate college, department, or administrator before any final action is taken. Below is a list of some of the intervention strategies that the University may use. Recommendations may differ based on the uniqueness of each student’s situation.
The Distressed Individual Response Continuum (see below) designates and groups an individual’s behavior from mild risk to extreme risk by identifying their need for or likely benefit from immediate intervention.
The purpose of the continuum system process for sorting individuals into groups designating mild risk to extreme risk based on their need for or likely benefit from immediate treatment is to serve in an advisory capacity for behaviors of concern that expand beyond classroom or employee management issues, and to develop the process for connecting the dots regarding individual behavior of concern on Ferris State University campuses.
Instructors are in charge of their classroom. This includes the times and extent to which he/she/they allows questions or discussion, the level of respect with which he/she/they and other students are to be treated, and the specific behaviors he/she/they will allow within their classes. Instructors are charged with maintaining order in his/her/their class and has an obligation to other students to do so. With this in mind, an instructor is authorized and expected to inform a student that his/her/their behavior is disrupting class and to instruct the student to stop that behavior. If the student persists, the instructor is authorized to direct the student to leave the class.
Employee behavior concerns should be dealt with by the appropriate authority (i.e. Department Head, Dean, and Supervisor) according to HR Policies and/or Collective Bargaining Agreement.