It's important to note that he requested the leave so he was not put on leave by the university.
Yes, it is most likely that if it was some sort of discipline or a step in a termination process, the announcement probably would have been worded differently.
OTOH, he could have "requested" it as an alternative to being placed on it, having to sit out some time to atone for some rules violation or something. Maybe they let him "request" it because the sin was not very serious, and they plan to reinstate him down the road.
But none of us seem to know a dang thing about this situation.