Dean of Students Frequently Asked Questions

Please use this page to review the frequently asked questions to the Dean of Students office.

General Questions

No, Federal law continues to classify the use of cannabis products as illegal, and Minnesota State colleges and universities are required to prohibit its use as a condition of receiving federal assistance. MSUM’s policies and practices related to cannabis will not change. Therefore, it is not permitted on campus and a violation of this policy may result in student discipline.

  • Manage MSUM Care Team to receive referrals about students of concern.
  • Notify faculty of extended absences from class, as outlined in Student Bereavement Policy or the Student Absence Policy.
  • Coordinate Student Basic Needs (Dragon Pantry, Emergency Assistance Funds, Swipe Out Hunger, etc.)
  • Prevention efforts and support for students who have experienced sexual harassment/violence, through our Title IX responsibilities.
  • Address violations of community standards and Student Code of Conduct.

Walk in appointments are welcome but are subject to availability of our staff. Appointments can be scheduled using our Bookings links found with our staff directory at the Contact Us link.

Student Questions

Based on the Student Absence Policy the Dean of Students Office can help for absences of 3 or more days related to long-term illnesses, family/personal emergencies, absences deemed necessary by the doctor’s medical provider, and Jury Duty. Students can request time away in advance by selecting the “Ask for Help” link at the top of the Dean of Students Office website. Please provide information and appropriate documentation, as prompted on the webform.

The best information for students considering withdrawing from MSUM can be found through the Academic Success Center. Their staff can meet with you individually and have also created a helpful resource about Withdrawing from MSUM.

If your concerns regarding the professor/class are related to: unable to communicate with professor, grades are not posted in timely manner, do not understand assignments, etc.; here are the appropriate steps for students to take to address a concern about their course:

  1. Students should always seek to resolve classroom issues by speaking first to the faculty member.
  2. If you have attempted to resolve the situation by speaking directly with the faculty and now need to pursue further options, you should contact the respective Department Chair.
  3. If the Department Chair is unable to help you, you can contact the Dean of the Academic College related to that course.

If your concerns relate to our Equal Opportunity/Non-Discrimination policy (you believe you were treated differently due to your sex, race, ability status, or other protected class), you should reach out to Human Resources to make a complaint. You could reach out to HR to get more information by emailing:

If you think this is a bias-related concern, you could also complete a Bias Incident Report Form at this website: You can read more about bias related incidents on this website that also has a link to the form.

The best information for students considering withdrawing from MSUM can be found through the Academic Success Center. Their staff can meet with you individually and have also created a helpful resource about Withdrawing from MSUM.

Yes! Any MSUM student who is experiencing (or has experienced) sexual assault, sexual violence, dating violence, or stalking is encouraged to come to the Dean of Students office for immediate support. Our Dean of Students also serves as the Title IX Coordinator and can talk with a student about any questions they may have, whether they wish to file a report or not. Our conversation will focus around the following concerns:

  1. Do you currently feel safe? If not, we will discuss how we can help you feel safe.
  2. Do you need medical support? If so, we will help you get connected to a provider.
  3. Would you like to meet with a trauma-informed counselor? We have counselors on campus and within the community who may be able to help you.
  4. Other supportive measures may be offered (No Contact Order, re-location to a different on-campus residence, change of course schedule, and other measures).
  5. If you wish to file a police report, we will help you get connected with the appropriate law enforcement agency.
  6. If you wish to file a complaint on campus, we will walk you through what that process would look like.

Please know that you can access these support measures whether or not you choose to file a complaint and you will not be pressured into a filing a complaint. More information can be found at our Title IX website.

We would first recommend that you speak with your friend about your concerns. Let them know what you have observed, that you are worried about their well-being, and that you care about them. This can help you determine which of the following options might be best for you and your friend:

  • MSUM Counseling Services are available for all students. We provide a safe, supportive, confidential environment for students to meet with a counselor, either in person or through Zoom.
  • If your friend is resistant to contacting Counseling Services, please refer them to the Care Team. Once we receive your referral, we will reach out to offer them care and support.
  • If you believe that your friend is an immediate threat to themself or others, call 911.

Yes! Any students who are experiencing challenges meeting their basic needs (food, housing, childcare, transportation, or other financial needs) are encouraged to schedule an appointment with our Case Manager. In this meeting, you will explore possible eligibility for campus and community resources that may help you in both the short-term and the long-term while attending MSUM.

Student can authorize the release of information such as a disciplinary record through the Dean of Students Office by completing this online form.

Family Questions

If you are worried about your student and would like our office to reach out to them to offer support and resources, you can submit a Care Team referral. We would highly encourage you to talk with your student about why you are submitting this referral so that we are able to have the most transparent conversation possible.

If you believe your student is a threat to themself or others, please call MSUM Public Safety at 218.477.2449 to perform a welfare check if they live on campus. Public Safety is available 24/7. If your student lives off-campus, Public Safety may be able to help connect to the local law enforcement agency to perform the welfare check.

If your student lives on campus, they should contact their RA and/or Area Director to discuss their options for resolution.

Your student was likely referred to our office through the MSUM Care Team. Care Team is a referral program that allows anyone to inform us of a concern they might have for a student. We attempt to call and email the student several times after receiving a referral. If we are unable to reach them and are concerned about their well-being, then we may call their emergency contact(s) to ensure that they are safe. We will encourage you to inform your student that the Dean of Students Office is trying to reach them and that they should contact us as soon as possible.

If we inform you of our concern for your student, that means that we have information related to their well-being. We ask that you partner with us and offer support to your student when this happens, listen to our concerns, and help us gather relevant information. We only make the call to parents/guardians if we are becoming increasingly worried about your student.

MSUM has many resources that you can talk with your student about! We would first recommend that you encourage your student to speak directly with their professor to talk about the class and how to best improve. There are also offices on campus that might be beneficial to their academic progress. The Academic Success Center offers tutoring services, academic coaching, and some academic advisement for students.

You can also refer your student to the MSUM Care Team and we can assist them in getting connected to these resources.

If your student had an IEP or 504 plan in high school, you can refer them to our Accessibility Resources Office. Students who have a condition that impacts their academic progress may qualify for accommodations that will be fully discussed with your student by our staff. Accommodations may include additional time on exams, deadline extensions, completing exams in a distraction reduced environment, absence leniency, and many more.

No. Due to the Family Educational Rights & Privacy Act (FERPA), your student’s educational records are private, unless they have signed a Release of Information Form (ROSI) through the Registrar’s Office.

If your student has not signed a ROSI to grant you access to information about their academic grades, we would still be happy to talk with you about resources that could help your student if they are struggling academically.

We recommend that you have an honest conversation with your student about your expectations around grades, sharing grades with you honestly and transparently on a regular basis, and talking about other struggles related to their time in college.

Students who are experiencing injury, hospitalization, or extraordinary circumstances resulting in an extended absence from class may contact the Dean of Students office and a notification will be sent to their professors on their behalf. Our experience is that faculty are willing to work with students upon their return to campus to determine an appropriate timeline to complete missing work. The Dean of Students Office may require documentation to verify the reason for the extended absence.

Please note, if the absence is due to hospitalization and treatment following a mental health challenge, students are to meet with the Dean of Students Office upon their return to campus and before they resume attending classes. This meeting, as outlined on the Dean of Students Office website are intended to provide an opportunity to discuss campus supports available to students, to review the student’s plan of care as outlined with their provider, and to discuss options for academic adjustments if needed.

Faculty Questions

Yes! We would first recommend that you talk with the student about your concerns in a one-on-one setting, inform them that you are worried for them and want to help them. Next, you can let them know that you will be making a referral to the Care Team and that someone from the Dean of Students Office will be in touch with them to discuss other support and resource options.

Yes! Email us at We would be happy to give you an update and provide any information that we are able to. Please note that during certain times of the semester it can take us several business days to get in touch with a student. Students can also choose not to respond to our outreach.

If you have additional information since submitting the Care Team referral, you are also encouraged to email us to share that information. Often, faculty have more direct contact with students and may receive new information that can help us in our approach to reaching out to the student.

MSUM’s Academic Honesty Policy provides faculty with information about the options available to them in addressing possible policy violations. Instructors who believe that the seriousness of the offense warrants additional action can report this to Student Conduct through the Dean of Students Office.

We would recommend you discuss this with your Department Chair or Academic Dean. Students often ask us about this option for their classes. We instruct them to talk to their professors about what their options are for completing the course remotely but if their class is listed as in person then that is how it is going to stay, regardless of their situation. You can decide to work with the student to create a remote option or not.

No. MSUM’s Student Absence Policy clearly outlines the types of absences for which the Dean of Students Office can excuse a student – as well as other offices that can approve absences for a variety of reasons. The policy also states that ‘other absences, such as short-term illnesses or personal or family reasons that are not covered above, are left to the discretion of the individual course instructor to decide whether they are to be considered excused or not.’

We highly recommend faculty to have clear language in their course syllabus outlining how they will address absences that do not meet the policy guidelines.