Advancement Committee Procedure and Review of Academic Performance

Policy 565.10

Policy Statement

The purpose of the Advancement Committee is to protect the public and the medical profession by ensuring that the academic standards of the Larner College of Medicine are upheld. It is composed of nine faculty members and a student from each class who review the academic progress of the medical students. The Committee reviews student performance at regular intervals and determines whether classes of students should advance among the levels of the Vermont Integrated Curriculum (Foundations Year 1, Foundations Year 2, Clerkship, and Advanced Integration). It sends to the College Faculty the names of candidates to be recommended for graduation. The Committee also determines the course of action for individual students who fail to show sufficient academic progress during their studies.

There are four student members (one from each class) that serve on the Committee as full voting members. To prevent conflict of interest, student members are required to abstain from voting on advancement decisions pertaining their own class. The Committee meets approximately ten times per year. With the exception of the global graduation recommendations, the proceedings of the Committee are strictly confidential and its voting members do not advise or advocate for individual students. The Associate Dean for Students is an ex officio, non-voting member of the Committee who serves as the student advocate during the proceedings.

Policy Elaboration

Decisions made by the Committee will be based upon a simple majority vote by the voting members present while in executive session. The outcome of the vote will be recorded in the minutes of the meeting. The Committee Chair shall notify the reviewed student, in writing by emailed letter, of the Committee’s decision.

Students are encouraged, but not required, to discuss a referral to the Advancement Committee with their academic advisor (PCR mentor and/or specialty).

Formal Reviews
  1. A student referred to the Advancement Committee for formal review will be informed in writing via electronically mailed letter from the Committee chairperson. This notification shall:
    1. State the specific reasons for which the student’s performance is being reviewed.
    2. Indicate the student has been referred for formal review, and state that any student who appears before the Advancement Committee for a formal review is at risk of dismissal from the College. 
    3. Advise the student of their right to review their file before the review.
    4. Inform the student of the membership of the Committee. (Note “Conflicts of Interest” section below.)
    5. Advise the student of their right to appear before the Advancement Committee and to be accompanied by a faculty or student advisor of the student’s choice. The advisor must be a member of the University community and shall not be an attorney or a family member. Should the student choose to use their right to appear before the Committee:
      1. At the meeting, the student shall have the right to hear the evidence upon which the proceedings are based and be given the opportunity to provide their perspective. 
      2. The student may present additional data to the committee.
      3. A student may call witnesses to give evidence on their behalf. 
      4. Additional witnesses may be called by the committee.


  2. Prior to the meeting, the student must submit the following items no later than the deadline indicated in the letter:
    1. A personal statement reflecting on their academic performance,
    2.  A remediation plan to the Committee, as stipulated in the Medical Student Handbook level-applicable Review of Academic Performance policy, and
    3. Any additional supporting documentation the student wishes to provide to the Committee for their review and consideration.


    3. Any Committee’s sanctions are limited to the provisions of the Medical Student Handbook.

    4. All formal Advancement Committee decisions may be appealed to the Dean of the Larner College of Medicine. The written appeal must be based solely upon issues of procedural error(s), clear abuse of discretion during the proceedings before the Advancement Committee, and/or new evidence which was not available prior to or during any Advancement Committee reviews. Appeal procedure and requirements are as follows:

      1. The student must provide written notification of intent to appeal an Advancement Committee decision within forty-eight hours of delivery of the committee’s written notification by email. Unless written notification of intent to appeal is received within this timeframe, the decision will be effective as of the date the Advancement Committee rendered it.
      2. If notification of intent to appeal is received within the above designated timeframe, the formal written appeal must be provided to the Dean within eight business days of the date indicated on the Advancement Committee decision letter. Unless written appeal is received by the office of the Dean of the College on or before the eighth business day, the decision will be effective as of the date the Advancement Committee rendered it.
      3. In the specific instances where the decision of the Committee is dismissal from the Larner College of Medicine, if the student submits notification of intent to appeal, they may request a personal leave of absence during the interval between receipt of written notification of the decision and the expiration of the appeal period, the student remains actively enrolled in the College or they may continue normal student activities, except in instances in which a student has been placed involuntarily on an administrative leave of absence.
      4. If a student files a formal written appeal within the stipulated requirements, and the Dean affirms the decision of the Committee, the decision shall be effective on the date of the Dean’s decision.
      5. The decision of the Dean shall be final. The Dean, or their designee, will provide the decision in writing via an electronically mailed letter to the student’s Larner College of Medicine email account.
    Informal Reviews

    A student referred to the Advancement Committee for informal review will be informed in writing via electronically mailed letter from the Committee chairperson. This notification shall:

    1. State the specific reasons for which the student's performance is being reviewed.
    2. Indicate the review is an informal review, due to concerns flagged regarding the student's academic performance.
      1. An informal review is designed to provide students with a more formal structure to develop a plan to return to Satisfactory Academic Progress before a student is escalated to a level that may be captured in a student’s permanent record. Students are expected to engage in the process actively and professionally, sharing in the goal to return the student to academic success.
    3. Advise the student of their right to review their file before the review.
    4. State that the student is not at risk of dismissal but is being asked to submit a remediation plan to the Committee by a deadline specified within the letter, as stipulated in the Medical Student Handbook level-applicable Review of Academic Performance policy.
      1. If a student fails to engage in the informal process, the student may be escalated to a formal review of their academic performance.
      2. If the Committee declines to endorse the provided remediation plan, the Committee may provide constructive feedback to the student and ask that the student, in partnership with the course/rotation director, revise the plan and resubmit it for review.
      3. Only the Advancement Committee may endorse a remediation plan.
      4. Failure of a student to successfully remediate to Satisfactory Academic Progress following endorsement of their remediation plan may result in the Committee commencing a formal review.
    5. Inform the student of the membership of the Committee. (Note “Conflicts of Interest” section below.)
    Conflicts of Interest

    The bases for recusal and objection are the same regardless of the type of review. The student will be informed of the membership of the Committee .

    1. Members of the Advancement Committee are reminded at each meeting by the chair that anyone who has provided sensitive health, psychiatric or psychological services to a medical student before the Committee must recuse themselves from taking part in decisions regarding that student’s advancement and/or graduation; moreover, each member reviews, reaffirms and signs a documented commitment to recuse themselves under the aforementioned circumstances on an annual basis.
    2. If the student objects to the participation of any member of the Committee, the student must provide a written statement of the objection, including the factual basis for the objection, to the chairperson of the Committee at least twenty-four hours before the meeting of the Committee.
    3. If the objection is deemed reasonable by the chairperson, the member(s) challenged shall recuse themselves from the students review and be replaced by an alternate, if necessary, to maintain quorum. The alternate member will be appointed by the Senior Associate Dean for Medical Education in consultation with the chairperson of the Committee. If the student challenges the Committee’s chairperson, the Senior Associate Dean shall consider the objection and if deemed reasonable shall appoint a substitute chairperson from the faculty membership of the Advancement Committee or the faculty-at-large. The appointed alternate member will have full voting rights in the deliberations of the Committee.
    4. Generally, a member of the Committee will only be removed for an actual demonstrated conflict of interest.

    Applicability of the Policy

    All Medical Students

    Related Larner College of Medicine Policies

    Related University of Vermont Policies

    Not Applicable

    Related Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) Standard(s)

    • 9.6 Setting Standards of Achievement
    • 9.9 Student Advancement and Appeal Process
    • 10.3 Policies Regarding Student Selection/Progress and Their Dissemination


    • 1/22/2003 Policy Adopted/Affirmed [Medical Curriculum Committee]
    • 6/22/2004 Policy Revised [Medical Curriculum Committee]
    • 5/20/2014 Policy Affirmed [Medical Curriculum Committee]
    • 12/19/2017 Policy Revised [Medical Curriculum Committee]
    • 9/18/2018 Policy Revised [Medical Curriculum Committee]
    • 6/16/2020 Policy Reformatted [Medical Curriculum Committee]
    • 1/26/2021 Policy Edited/Re-titled [Medical Curriculum Committee]
    • 12/19/2023 Policy Revised [Medical Curriculum Committee]

    Policy Oversight

    Associate/Assistant Dean for Students (Student Services Coordinator)

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