Policy on Due Process for Academic Adverse Action

The Zucker School of Medicine (ZSOM) ensures that there is a fair and formal process for taking an adverse action that may affect the advancement, graduation, or dismissal of a medical student. Other than for those student conduct violations deemed by the ZSOM to fall within the University’s Code of Community Standards, this process for taking adverse action is set forth in detail below, and includes timely notice of the impending action, disclosure of the evidence on which the action would be based, an opportunity for the medical student to respond, and an opportunity to appeal any adverse decision related to advancement, graduation, or dismissal. For student conduct violations deemed by the ZSOM to fall under the University’s Code of Community Standards, the Community Standards Procedures set forth in that Code will apply.

Timely Notice of Impending Action:

A student who is at risk for an adverse action relating to advancement, graduation, or dismissal is notified in writing via formal letter.

Disclosure of Evidence:

A student who will undergo review for an adverse action relating to advancement, graduation, or dismissal will receive a copy of the evidence upon which the action would be based at least five (5) business days before the evidence is presented to the appropriate committee, to ensure that the student has enough time to ask questions and respond to that evidence.

Student Response:

The student will have an opportunity to prepare a written statement for the committee to review prior to the committee meeting; this written statement must be completed and submitted to the associate dean for student affairs at least three (3) business days before the committee meeting. The student will also have an opportunity to attend the committee meeting to address the committee and answer questions posed by the committee. If desired, a student may bring a ZSOM faculty member to the committee meeting for support purposes. The name of this individual must be submitted to the associate dean for student affairs at least three business days before the committee meeting.

Appeal:

The chair of the committee must convey, in writing, the committee’s recommendations to the vice dean, who will render a decision and notify the student. A student has the right to appeal the vice dean’s decision if it results in an adverse action related to advancement, graduation, or dismissal. The appeal must be submitted, in writing, to the dean within five (5) business days of the student’s notification of the adverse action by the vice dean. The dean’s decision in all such matters is final.

The dean shall have the authority to investigate the matter fully and to request material from and/or speak to the chair of the committee and/or the student. If the dean requests to meet with the student, the student may have an adviser of their choice present but that adviser may not address the dean. The dean may elect to:

  1. Take no action, allowing the adverse action to stand;
  2. Modify the adverse action; or
  3. Empanel an ad hoc appeals committee to investigate the appeal and make a recommendation.

Procedure for an Appeals Committee:

If the dean elects to empanel an ad hoc appeals committee, it shall be composed of up to five (5) faculty members who have no role in the determination of the student’s grades or other conflict of interest. The appeals committee shall have the authority to investigate the matter fully and to request material from the student and the relevant committee chair. The charge of the appeals committee is to determine if due diligence was followed and a reasonable course of action was taken by the committee and the vice dean. The appeals committee shall proceed from the assumption that the adverse action was justified and the burden of proof (that due diligence was not followed and/or a reasonable course of action was not taken) shall lie with the student. The student will be given an opportunity to present their argument and answer questions of the appeals committee in person. The student may have an adviser of their choice present at the meeting with the appeals committee, but that adviser may not address the committee. The appeals committee will submit a recommendation, in writing, to the dean following any meeting with the student. In all cases, the dean’s decision will be conveyed, in writing, to the student, the relevant committee, and vice dean. The dean’s decision in all such matters is final.

 

References to Regulations and/or Related Policies:
Hofstra University’s Code of Community Standards
LCME Element 9.9: Student Advancement and Appeal Process
Policy on the Composition and Authority of the Student Advancement Committee
Policy on Educational Conflicts of Interest and Recusal

Last Updated: September 2021