Guiding Principles

  • Harvard Business School (HBS) aspires to be a model of leadership, honor, and integrity. The disciplinary process and its outcomes should reflect our values and hold students to a standard that embodies the high aspirations we espouse.
  • The disciplinary process should at all times protect and uphold the safety, standards, and integrity of the HBS community.
  • The disciplinary process should be fair to the student(s) being reviewed. Students should understand the violations in question, the evidence against them, and the possible sanctions that could be applied. Students should be heard in the process and have access to an Ombudsperson for guidance.
  • The disciplinary process should protect the rights of the complainant and respondent.
  • Information on our disciplinary process should be easily accessible to all students.
  • The HBS community should support the efforts of the students, staff, and faculty who administer our disciplinary process, to enable them to use their best efforts and judgment to serve the School in a manner consistent with these principles.
  1. First Actions

    • School learns of possible violation(s)
    • Appropriate individuals notified
    • Preliminary information gathering
    • Identify special considerations (e.g., safety of community, severity of accusation)
    • Connect student to Ombuds for guidance
  2. Determine Path

    Administrative Path

    • Managed and resolved by Chair, MBA Community Standards (faculty member)
    • Typically for cases that involve minor infractions


    Conduct Review Board

    • Managed by Chair, MBA Community Standards (faculty member)
    • Typically used for cases that involve non-minor infractions. Cases of sexual harassment are referred to the CRB.
    • Case reviewed by Conduct Review Board (composed of 3 students, 1 staff member, and 3 faculty members, including Chair, MBA Community Standards)
  3. Assess if Violation of Policies / Community Values

    Common features of both paths:

    • Additional fact finding (depending on severity of incident, student may be asked to withdraw from HBS or limit activities during disciplinary process)
    • Student can provide a written statement. (In cases of sexual harassment, the complainant also has the right to provide a written statement.)
    • Findings of fact and proposed sanction drafted (sanctions vary depending on specific facts of case)
    • Student can respond in writing
    • Student can appeal based on severity of sanction or new evidence. (In cases of sexual harassment, the complainant also has the right to appeal on the same grounds.)
  4. Possible Sanctions

    Administrative Path

    • Warning
    • Probation
    • Suspension

    Conduct Review Board

    • Warning
    • Probation
    • Suspension
    • Dismissal (requires faculty vote)
    • Expulsion (requires faculty vote)