Academic Review Board and Appeal Committees
Academic Review Boards
The College of Medicine employs a periodic review system to track the academic performance and progress of students. The Academic Review Boards (ARBs) meet regularly throughout the year. There are three ARBs: Year 1, Year 2, and Years 3/4. In addition to reviewing academic performance, the ARBs also follow students' achievement of the graduation competencies, and review the professional conduct of students and adherence to College of Medicine policies.
Composition of each of the Academic Review Boards:
- Associate Dean of Undergraduate Medical Education, Chair (non-voting)
- Dean of Student Affairs, Executive Secretary (non-voting)
- Associate Dean of Student Affairs (non-voting); Representing Multicultural Affairs; Academic Support Services; and Disability Services
- University Registrar (non-voting)
- Associate Dean for Curriculum, Binghamton Campus (non-voting, Years 3/4 only)
- Assistant Dean for Diversity (non-voting)
- Course/Clerkship Directors (voting) for their respective year Academic Review Board
- Faculty (voting): The Dean will consult with the Medical College Assembly Executive Committee (MCAEC) to nominate five faculty members to serve on the Academic Review Board in cases regarding student dismissal. Course/Clerkship Directors who must recuse themselves from voting on dismissal cases will be replaced with MCAEC nominated faculty members. The number of faculty will directly reflect the number of Course/Clerkship Directors that need to recuse themselves from voting.
- Guests, as determined by the Chair and Executive Secretary
Academic Review Board Responsibilities:
- Promotion (unconditional) or Graduation (unconditional).
- Conditional Promotion (or Graduation):
- Promotion (or Graduation) contingent upon satisfactory completion of remedial work.
- Promotion with probationary status because of poor academic record, unprofessional behavior, and/or clinical deficiencies.
- Repetition of all or part of an academic year, when the student’s record does not warrant Promotion (or Graduation), but where there is the expectation that the student will benefit from repeating all or part of a year’s studies and still complete medical studies within the allowed time. In cases of more than one deficient grade, the student may be required to repeat the entire year, or at a minimum, courses with marginal grades as well as those with deficiencies.
- Dismissal for reasons outlined in the Dismissal Policy.
Procedures of Academic Review Boards:
- In order for the ARBs to conduct business, a majority of the voting members must be present.
- The ARB does not define policy nor does it modulate the importance of any academic standard or policy set by the College.
- Performance in medical school is a cumulative acquisition of an interdisciplinary set of skills, knowledge, and behaviors that requires longitudinal development and assessment. Each ARB is responsible for reviewing students' entire academic record. This comprehensive academic review represents a legitimate educational interest as the assessment of competence leading to graduation is the primary responsibility of the ARB to detect patterns of behavior or performance for which intervention can be employed in order to advance student success.
- Student performance discussed at the ARB is confidential.
- The ARB may consider whether there are relevant personal mitigating factors that could plausibly account for deficient academic performance and form the basis for a decision to justify exceptions to automatic dismissal policy.
- The ARB may solicit additional information from faculty members or College personnel, including the Office of University Counsel, to aid in decision-making.
- In cases involving dismissal, faculty members nominated by the Medical College Assembly to the ARB will replace the Course/Clerkship Directors of the courses/clerkships in which the students earned deficient grades leading to dismissal. The number of faculty will directly reflect the number of Course/Clerkship Directors that need to recuse themselves from voting.
- Decisions of Dismissal, when not automatic as defined in the Policy on Dismissal, shall require a two-thirds vote of those present. In cases of automatic dismissal, a simple majority vote of those present is required to overturn dismissal, due to extenuating or mitigating circumstances.
- Students eligible for dismissal will be notified before the ARB meeting by the Dean of Student Affairs or their designee.
- Students will be invited to submit a written statement explaining any mitigating factors that may have impacted their academic performance. Such documentation must be received by the Dean of Student Affairs Office at least two business days prior to the ARB meeting.
- The student will be advised to be available during the ARB meeting in the event that the ARB members wish to speak to them.
- In cases of dismissal, the ARB will provide a written summary of its findings and any pertinent data that led to the dismissal to the student and to the Dean of the College of Medicine.
- Directors of courses/clerkships, in which students earn deficient grades leading to dismissal, must recuse themselves from dismissal the discussions/decisions.
- Actions other than Dismissal shall require a simple majority vote. In cases of professionalism concerns that could lead to dismissal, the Course or Clerkship Director(s) of the course/clerkship in which a student has a violation, shall recuse themselves from the ultimate discussion and vote regarding the student's status.
- A student promoted with conditions, or who must repeat all or part of a year, or who is dismissed for any reason, shall be notified by the Dean of Student Affairs or their designee as soon as reasonably possible, and confirmed in writing.
A student who wishes to appeal the decision of the ARB for dismissal must submit a written request to the Dean of Student Affairs or their designee for an appeal hearing within two business days of the initial notification (verbal, email, etc.) of the ARB's decision. The student will have no less than two additional business days from date they submit the written request for an appeal to prepare for the hearing. Hearings are to be expedited within a reasonable time.
Appeals for a decision of dismissal will be considered in the following circumstances:
- New evidence not reasonably available at the time of the ARB meeting that might have changed the outcome.
- Procedural error that is shown to have had a significant impact on the outcome of the hearing;
- Errors in the interpretation or application of College policy so substantial that they interfere with a fair hearing.
The Dean of the College of Medicine, in consultation with the Dean of Student Affairs, will determine whether the written appeal meets the criteria for a hearing.
Hearings regarding decisions about dismissal will be considered by an Appeals Committee (see below) chaired by the Dean of the College of Medicine or their designee which will review the decision of the ARB and the student’s record, hear student's appeal, and may solicit additional information from the teaching faculty of the appropriate departments. The student will be notified of a final decision within five business days after the hearing of the appeal by the Dean of Student Affairs or their designee with written confirmation following within four business days.
Any other appeals (e.g., regarding a plan of remediation, an extended curriculum, and/or special circumstances) will be considered by the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Medical Education in consultation with the Dean of Student Affairs. They may modify the ARB decision while attempting to adhere to the general intention of the ARB decision and remediation plan. Where circumstances are such that a relatively straightforward modification is not possible, the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Medical Education will consult with members of the ARB.
When a student chooses to appeal a decision (other than dismissal) of the ARB, the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Medical Education will have the option of approving or denying their appeal based on individual circumstance.
Appeals Committee Membership:
Voting members of the Committee will consist of the Dean of the College of Medicine or their designee and four members of the faculty or administration appointed by the Dean of the College of Medicine. Two members will also be named as alternates to the Committee. Every attempt will be made to have the Committee composed of a balance between basic science and clinical departments and include representation from the Binghamton Campus. The Dean of Student Affairs or their designee shall serve as Executive Secretary of the committee without vote. The Chair of the appropriate Academic Review Board shall attend the meeting that reviews their decisions, as will the Registrar. The Associate Dean for Graduate Medical Education and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs (Binghamton Campus) will serve as ex-officio members.
Appeal's Committee Responsibilities:
- The Appeals Committee will be guided by the academic criteria listed in the Dismissal Policy in considering the reason for the appeal.
- The Committee’s task is defined narrowly. It does not set academic policy, nor should it modulate the importance of any academic standard or policy set by the College. It should consider changing an Academic Review Board decision only when there is information (outlined above) which invalidates the decision of the Academic Review Board. The committee may solicit additional information from faculty members of the College to aid in reaching its decision. The Committee will strive for consistency in its decision-making, so that like cases are dealt with in the same way. In order for the Committee to conduct business, at least two voting members and the Dean of the College of Medicine or their designee must be present.
- All decisions of the Appeals Committee shall require a majority vote. The decision of the Appeals Committee is final.