Behavioral Consultation Team


The Minnesota State University (MSU), Mankato’s Behavioral Consultation Team (BCT) is a committee that collaboratively addresses issues related to student behavior on campus.  Members of the BCT include faculty and staff with considerable experience in student life issues.  The team functions to:

  • Identify students who may be distressed or distressing to others
  • Centralize the gathering of comprehensive information
  • Increase communication, collaboration, and coordination of response
  • Discuss intervention strategies and referral options


Support for Students

The BCT works collaboratively within and outside of the group to identify resources and strategies for MSU Mankato students who are in need of care, or who are experiencing distress.  The goal is to support student wellbeing, an important component of student success.

Threat Assessment

In the interest of safety for students and the MSU community, the BCT also works collaboratively to address situations that have the potential to be disruptive and/or threatening to the campus community.  The BCT focuses on situations as they arise and decides the most productive course of action to minimize impact to the community and to facilitate the most positive outcomes possible for the student(s) involved.  Threats are generally lower level events that affect a limited number of students.  MSU’s emergency procedures take precedence when significant threats arise.

The following student behaviors may warrant consultation with the BCT:

  • Threats of harm to self or others
  • Acts of physical aggression
  • Use or possession of weapons
  • Marked changes in personality, weight, grooming, sleep
  • Rapid speech or delusional thinking
  • Violent themes in writing assignments, if the student is perceived as angry or hopeless


Behavioral Consultation Team Membership

The Minnesota State Mankato Behavioral Consultation Team includes the following individuals:

  • Cindy Janney, Dean of Students and Director of Student Conduct - Co-Convener
  • Jeffrey Buchanan, Professor of Psychology - Co-Convener
  • Brian Martensen, Associate Provost and Senior Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs
  • Wendy, Schuh, Director of Student Health Services
  • Sandi Schnorenberg, Director of University Security
  • Linda Alvarez, Director of Equal Opportunity & Title IX
  • Kari Much, Director of Counseling Center
  • Torin Akey, Associate Director or Residential Life
  • Beth Claussen, Director of Accessibility Resources or Designee
  • Amy Staloch, Director of Student Success Communications and Systems
  • Kenneth Reid, Director of African American Affairs
  • Jeremy Riesenberg, Assistant Director for Orientation and Transition Programs
  • Sean Wachsmuth, Professor of Special Education

The BCT meets bi-weekly throughout the academic year, and more frequently if situations necessitate more immediate action.

BCT process:

  1. Identify students of concern
  2. Gather and share information
  3. Determine whether the student poses a threat or is exhibiting concerning behavior
  4. Develop and implement individual case management plan
  5. Document information and case management plan


Reporting of concerns

To effectively identify students of concern, several methods are available to be used:

  1. Reports from the University Security Department
  2. Informal or formal reports from academic departments, student services or other departments
  3. Reports collected through the University’s Student Conduct web-based reporting system (Maxient)
  4. Reports collected through the University’s Student Concern web-based reporting system (MavCares) and other established reporting mechanisms

It is important to have multiple reporting mechanisms to identify students of concern, to inform/train faculty and staff about the BCT and the reporting systems that are in place, and to have a monitoring system that ensures that reports that are made are addressed in a timely manner.

Gathering and verifying information received is significant.  Corroboration of the facts from a variety of sources is important to get the whole context of the situation.  The BCT will: 

  1. Use the resources of the representative members of the team
  2. Consider information provided in the report. The reporting individual may be invited to attend the team meeting
  3. Investigate other arenas of the student’s life, providing important information for understanding the context of the concerning behavior
  4. Explore issues related to the situation and context for the student involved
  5. Ask questions that may be used as appropriate to the situation to drive the exploration of the broader context
  6. Gather information in a timely manner (if the situation is high risk with imminent danger, the team will be convened as soon as possible)


Determine whether the student poses a threat or is exhibiting concerning behavior. Analysis of the situation involves looking at information gathered from a wide context, using psychological, environmental, system, and contextual questions, with the awareness that situations are dynamic and always changing.

  1. Address the riskiness of the situation first
  2. Have a standard approach that gives consistent results
  3. Monitor over time as safety issues change as the context changes


Develop and implement key action plans:

  1. Determine level of risk
  2. Use a variety of actions steps as they seem relevant to the individual student given the evaluation
  3. Use preventative steps as well as disciplinary or support steps
  4. Determine who will complete and follow up with various steps of the action plan
  5. Monitor ongoing progress of the plan in a systemic way at the BCT meetings


Document information and case management plan:

  1. Document student actions and information
  2. Document action plan details in minutes of BCT meetings (minutes include the student’s name, student ID number, a brief summary of the issue, and notation of the action steps and responsibility for completing them)
  3. Document ongoing monitoring of the action plan in minutes of BCT meetings (minutes include the student’s name, student ID number, a brief summary of the issue, and notation of the monitoring activity of the action steps)


Operational System

A consistent system for managing a threat assessment policy helps ensure consistent action, increased safety for the community, and increased fairness for the student of concern.

  1. BCT meets regularly – bi-weekly, 9 months a year, flexible times as needed in the summer
  2. BCT may be convened on an as needed basis if the situation needs immediate attention. The BCT will be convened upon the recommendation of any member of the team
  3. Meeting starts with new issues of student concern
  4. After new issues have been addressed, monitoring of old issues occurs
  5. Preventive issues are addressed after current student issues are addressed
  6. The process will be reviewed annually and improved as needed to fill in gaps