4.07 Procedures for Consideration of Academic Performance

Faculty and staff of the Registrar’s Office, the Academic Societies, and the Promotion and Review Board (PRB) review at regular intervals all grades, evaluations, and reports of academic and clinical performance. Ordinarily, in the case of a student who shows an initial deficiency of academic or clinical performance, or when concerns arise about inappropriate or irresponsible conduct, the relevant course/clerkship directors and the student’s Academic Society will assist the student in preparing a plan of remedial action within a reasonable period of time.
 
The Academic Society will provide support for the student’s progress with the remediation plan. If the deficiencies continue or are repeated, the PRB will take up the case officially. The PRB will review the student’s record and current situation and will determine a course of action that may include, but is not limited to, placement in any of the previously indicated structured academic categories (Section 4.03). The student will be notified in writing of the decision of the PRB. A copy of such notice will be sent to the student’s Society Advisory Dean, the Dean for Medical Education, the Dean for Students, and the Registrar. The student may be asked to respond to the stated concerns of the PRB.
 

Reconsideration of Academic Probation (AP)

A student who is placed on Academic Probation may be given an opportunity to request the PRB’s reconsideration of an AP sanction, since it is a permanent citation in the student’s academic record. The student may request that the PRB reconsider the sanction in writing to introduce new information that the PRB was not aware of during its deliberations. The request must be received by the PRB within 10 business days of the student’s receipt of notice of the decision for placement on AP. The PRB will consider the request for reconsideration at its subsequent meeting and will notify the student of its decision in writing following the meeting.
 

Requirement to Withdraw (With or Without a Recommendation to Dismiss or Expel)

A student who is being presented to the PRB for consideration of a serious academic or professionalism infraction that could result in requiring the student to withdraw or in dismissal or expulsion may submit to the PRB a written response to the concerns being considered before a serious sanction is imposed. In the event that a student is required to withdraw by the PRB (with or without a recommendation to dismiss or expel), the student may request that the PRB reconsider its decision. The request must be in writing and must be based on one or both of the following grounds: a procedural error occurred that may change the outcome of the decision; or the student has substantive and relevant new information that was not available at the time of the PRB’s decision investigation and that may change the outcome of the decision. Disagreement with the PRB’s findings or determination is not, by itself, a ground for appeal.
 
The request must be received by the PRB within 10 business days of the student’s receipt of notice of the decision for requirement to withdraw (with or without a recommendation to dismiss or expel). Any such student who has been required to withdraw (with or without a recommendation to expel) as a result of the PRB’s deliberations and is requesting such reconsideration by the PRB will have the opportunity to appear before the PRB or a specially designated subcommittee of the PRB to present his/her/their account of the case. The student may bring a personal advisor/supporter to the meeting, but that advisor/supporter is not to speak for the student and may not be a legal advisor, as this is an academic, not a legal proceeding. Personal advisors may view a redacted version of any documents provided to the parties and provide general advice to the student.
 
The PRB may consult with HMS faculty and/or administrators or conduct other fact-finding (or appoint a fact-finder) to better understand the new information upon which the student has requested reconsideration. The PRB will then meet to discuss the case. After reviewing the application for reconsideration, the PRB may affirm, revise (make more or less severe), or revoke its decision. Written notification of the action on reconsideration will be sent to the student, to his/her/their Society Advisory Dean, and to the HMS Registrar, ordinarily within 10 business days of the meeting at which the application was considered and the decision was rendered. Such notification will constitute the final action of the PRB.
 
A student who has requested reconsideration from the PRB may appeal the final action of the PRB to a three-member Appeals Panel designated by the Chair of the Standing Committee on Rights and Responsibilities (SCRR; Section 4.04) in consultation with the Chair of the PRB. The student’s appeal must be in writing and must be based on one or both of the following grounds: a procedural error occurred that may change the outcome of the decision; or the student has substantive and relevant new information that was not available at the time of the PRB’s decision investigation and that may change the outcome of the decision. Disagreement with the PRB’s findings or determination is not, by itself, a ground for appeal.
 
The Appeals Panel must receive the appeal within 10 business days of the date of final action by the PRB. The Appeals Panel will hear the student in person and will review the documentary record. The Appeals Panel may adduce and consider any other information it deems useful in reaching a decision. The Appeals Panel will submit a written report of its findings and recommendations to the student and to the Dean for Medical Education, also informing the PRB and the Registrar of the outcome of the appeal. In so doing, the Appeals Panel may affirm, revise (make more or less severe), or revoke the final action of the PRB.
 
The student may request review of the decision of the Appeals Panel by the Dean of the Faculty of Medicine. The Dean of the Faculty of Medicine must receive any such request for review within five business days of the date of the decision of the Appeals Panel. The Dean of the Faculty of Medicine will review the matter, in consultation with the Dean for Medical Education, Academic Society Advisory Dean, or others (e.g., the Faculty Council) at the Dean’s discretion, and will provide a written decision to the student, the student’s Society Advisory Dean, the Dean for Medical Education, the HMS Registrar and the PRB. The Dean’s decision will be final and binding, except in cases of dismissal or expulsion, in which a two-thirds vote of the Faculty Council is required.
 
Any student who was required to withdraw from the Medical School may not submit an application for readmission until two academic years have passed (See Section 2.07 for definition of academic terms and Section 2.11 for the policy on Readmission).
 

Withdrawal or Leave of Absence during Pendency of a Disciplinary Proceeding

The transcripts of students who are placed on a leave of absence from the MD program pending the outcome of disciplinary proceedings will contain an appropriate notation. Students who have been required to withdraw (with or without a recommendation to dismiss or expel) are not permitted to be enrolled while any request for reconsideration or appeal is pending; the transcripts of such students will contain an appropriate notation.
 

Grade Appeal

As a component of a fair and formal process for assessing student performance, students may request reconsideration of their assessment results, including narrative assessments and course/clerkship grades. Please refer to Section 1.04 for the Grade Appeal policy.

 

Last updated 5/28/21