Neglect of Academic Work

Neglect of Academic Work by Students: Exclusion

A student who is neglecting course work should be warned in writing that he or she risks exclusion from the course and that exclusion is equivalent to a failing grade. A copy of the instructor’s warning must be sent to the Secretary of the Administrative Board of Harvard College in the case of an undergraduate and to the Dean of Students in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences in the case of a graduate student. If the student continues to neglect academic work after receiving this written warning, the instructor should then send a second letter requesting exclusion to the Secretary or Dean of Students as appropriate, who will forward it to the Administrative Board for action. Upon the Board’s approval of the exclusion petition, the student is denied any right to further course evaluation, including final and makeup examinations.

It is to the advantage of both the student and faculty member to address early a case of gross neglect of course work. An undergraduate has the option of withdrawing from the course before the seventh Monday of the term. Beyond that date there remain only a few weeks for the instructor to pursue the process of warning and exclusion or, conversely, for the student to recover much lost ground.

Faculty policy gives the Administrative Boards no choice but to grant a makeup exam to any student who remains in a course until the end of the term and presents a medical excuse, signed by an appropriate Harvard University Health Service (HUHS) staff member, for missing the final examination. This policy applies even when circumstances clearly indicate the student’s gross neglect of academic work during the term.