Rapid Response BIT Meeting, Part II

By: Brian Van Brunt, Ed.D. President, NaBITA Partner, TNG

In the previous Tip of the Week, we discussed the importance of a rapid response BIT meeting to address reports that are triaged at the elevated or critical level of risk. In these scenarios, it makes the most sense to call together the entire team (or a smaller key subset of the team) to bring together different departments to quickly address a complicated issue from a variety of perspectives.

The purpose of the rapid response BIT/CARE meeting is two-fold:

  1. to guide decision-making and intervention and
  2. to mitigate legal liability related to a higher risk case.

These are accomplished by bringing together a diverse team that is able to look at incident reports and new cases through the lens of various departmental perspectives (e.g., law enforcement, counseling, student conduct, disability, health, and academic affairs). This brings together the best experts at the school to discuss the initial report, assess the risk, and develop an intervention plan in a well-documented, clear, fair, and equitable process. While this is important for all cases that come to the BIT/CARE team, it is particularly pressing for cases that present a higher level of risk (as noted by the elevated or critical rate of the risk rubric).

The purpose of the team is to gather key faculty and staff to improve decision-making, increase communication to reduce silos, and brainstorm interventions that bring the best options to reduce risk and provide service to the student.

While we stress the importance of using the rubric, particularly attending to cases that are in the elevated or critical rating, some general examples that would benefit from a rapid response meeting would include:

  • Multi-departmental cases without a resolution
  • Scenarios that present a legal risk to the institution or the likelihood of public backlash (e.g., cases involving race, marginalized populations, sexual assaults, plans for mass violence, or students/faculty/staff in key positions of power or public view)
  • Students who fall between the cracks of a 5150 evaluation and outpatient referral
  • Students who have chronic mental health issues that cause immediate disruption around normal academic progress
  • Issues related to COVID-19, race relationships, police, protests, or those that have the potential for escalation

While this list is not exhaustive, it provides a starting place to understand the rapid response meeting. In part three of this series, we will address the best ways to conduct the rapid response BIT/CARE meeting in terms of agenda, information gathering, process, and selection of interventions.