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Committee on Students



The Committee on Students conducts detailed reviews of the total performance of any student referred to it. The COS also makes decisions regarding promotion and graduation, including reviewing the needs for alternative schedules. Review of student performance within the curriculum may include scores from examinations and performance in the clinical clerkships, as well as professional attitudes and behavior and compliance with the university’s Student Code of Conduct. The University Disciplinary Process is described in the Undergraduate Student Handbook.

Students may be referred to the Committee on Students in several ways:

  1. Poor performance in any of the School’s competencies (Evaluation of Student Performance)
  2. Early concerns submission, if deemed appropriate by the Professionalism Working Group
  3. Concern of violation of any of the University’s Standards of Conduct
  4. Need for scheduling accommodations that would extend medical school (excluding graduate study) beyond 5 years

If a student is referred to the COS, the Society Dean shall inform the student in writing in advance of the meeting. The referral letter will inform the student of the issue(s) to be addressed by the Committee and the possible range of sanctions. The student shall be advised in writing that any information they want to submit should be submitted in writing to the Committee before its meeting.

At the meeting, the Committee will review the student’s complete academic record and any information provided by the Society Dean and student. The Committee shall have the discretion to hear from the student at any point in the review process, and to question the student on any matter relevant to the student’s academic performance, Student Code of Conduct violations, professional behavior or attitudes. The Committee also has the discretion to consider and review any other evidence, including any documents or testimony from witnesses. Formal rules of evidence are inapplicable to the Committee’s meetings. The Committee has the discretion to determine whether the student may be present and/or participate in the meeting, but the student does not have such a right. The review process is done in order to determine the best course of action for each individual student. This Committee is responsible for all determinations of promotion and graduation, repetition of a portion of the curriculum, and any sanctions including dismissal from the School. The Committee's decision on a student need not be unanimous, but is by majority vote. Actions from the Committee on Students are noted in the student’s permanent record as well as the Society Dean’s working file and in some cases may appear on the Medical Student Performance Evaluation and official transcript of the School. The Society Dean shall notify the student in writing within three business days of the Committee’s decision and actions taken.

Appeals Process

Any student has the right to request an appeal hearing for reconsideration of a decision made by the Committee on Students concerning him or herself. Notice to request a hearing must be presented in writing to the Society Dean within ten days of the Committee’s initial decision for transmittal to the Committee on Students. The formal written request should be supplemented by a statement of the student’s reason(s) for requesting an appeal and faculty who can provide pertinent information in support of the reconsideration. If the request for appeal is approved, the appeal hearing will be scheduled for the next regular meeting of the COS. At the reconsideration hearing, the student is expected to be available to address the Committee and respond to questions. The student has the right to have a faculty advocate appear before the Committee. The faculty advocate may not be a family member nor a Society Dean. No other advisor or advocate, other than the CWRU faculty member designated by the student, is permitted to accompany the student to the Committee hearing. The student and advocate are not present during Committee discussion and vote. The Committee may choose to either sustain or alter the original decision. The Society Dean or their designee shall notify the student in writing within three business days of the Committee's decision regarding the appeal.

A student may make one further appeal to the Dean of the School of Medicine only on the basis of the use of inappropriate procedures. Any appeal to the Dean must be made in writing, including the basis for the appeal, and submitted to the Office of the Dean no later than ten working days from the Committee on Students’ decision. If not received by the Dean’s Office within that time, the right to an appeal is forfeited. If the Dean finds the student’s appeal to have merit, the Dean may then request that the Committee reconsider the case and relate the reasons for the request. The Committee will then reconsider the case and either sustain or alter the original action. The Society Dean shall notify the student in writing of the Committee’s decision in any matter where the Dean has asked for reconsideration. The Dean may, but is not required to, personally meet with the student. The Dean has the discretion to review the record before the Committee and, where the Dean deems it appropriate, consider any other evidence relevant to the student.


Students are entitled to review their files; under FERPA students “have the right to request that a school correct records which they believe to be inaccurate or misleading” or a violation of their right of privacy. The student may schedule a meeting with his or her Society Dean to request that the record be amended. If the student’s request is denied, the student may appeal the decision to the Senior Associate Dean for Students or the Vice Dean for Medical Education for a hearing. The Senior Associate Dean will conduct a hearing and will make a final decision concerning whether the record should be amended. If the decision is made to not amend the records, the student has the right to place in the student's record a written statement contesting information and/or giving reason for disagreement with the decision to not amend the record.

University Sanctions

The medical school, through the Office of the Vice Dean for Medical Education and the Office of Student Affairs, reserves the right to suspend any student (through Interim Separation) whose behavior indicates that his or her continued presence on campus or at academic/clinical sites constitutes a danger or disruptive force to the normal functions of the institution, the sites, to property, to others, or to the student him/herself. The process for this separation involves the following steps:

  1. To the extent reasonably appropriate, the student will be notified in writing of the interim suspension and the reasons for the action.
  2. To the extent reasonably appropriate, the student will be provided with a preliminary meeting with the Vice Dean for Medical Education, the Senior Associate Dean for Students, the Associate Dean for Student Affairs, and the Chair of the COS (either in person or via teleconference).
  3. The student may be required to have a psychological evaluation, the results of which may be used in the hearing.
  4. The formal meeting with the COS will follow the procedure outlined under the normal disciplinary process.


Approved by vote of the Faculty Council November 16, 2015

Published and maintained by the Office of Student Affairs and the Academic Societies
Revised 3/07/17