The MBA disciplinary process serves to safeguard the values of our community. Below you can learn more about how the process works and what you can expect if you are raising a concern about or responding to a violation of HBS Community Values, MBA Honor Code, or policy. This information is meant to be a resource for you as you navigate, or help someone navigate, the process.

In designing the process, we wanted it to:

  • reflect our Community Values;
  • protect the rights of and be fair to all students involved;
  • be transparent.

Process

A disciplinary process will be handled by the MBA Program for minor infractions or the Conduct Review Board (CRB) for more serious violations. The information below includes the notification and initial review process regardless of the violation, and specific information based on the severity of the infraction.

For a more detailed version of the process or if you have questions, please email the MBA Program.

Notification of Possible Violation

Please email the MBA Program if you wish to report a possible violation and you will be put in touch with the staff member who manages the disciplinary process.

When the MBA Program is notified of a violation, the responding student will be notified as soon as possible unless there are extenuating circumstances such as the claims are without merit or there is a risk that critical information could be destroyed.

Initial Review of Possible Violation

Both the individual raising and student responding to a possible concern will meet with a member of the MBA Program staff to provide information on what happened and answer any additional questions. The chair of the MBA program and its executive director determine the severity of the infraction and whether the violation will be treated as minor or more serious. Students will be offered contact information for the ombudspersons, who can offer support.

If the MBA Program determines that the situation involves special circumstances (e.g., a severe alleged violation or where the safety of the community is at risk), the responding student's activities may be limited, including withdrawal from the School until the matter is resolved.

Minor Infractions

For minor infractions, the chair of the MBA Program and its executive director determine the appropriate sanctions such as warning letters, temporary notations on student transcripts, probation, and community service. The responding student may appeal the Program’s decision to the chair of MBA Community Standards (CCS) if there is new evidence that was not considered in the original investigation or belief that the sanctions are too severe.

Serious Infractions & CRB Process

When a possible violation is determined to be more serious, it is referred to the Conduct Review Board (CRB). For cases involving allegations of sexual and gender-based harassment, Harvard University conducts this investigation (see procedures) and the CRB will apply sanctions if the ODR determines a violation occurred.

  1. Formal Investigation – Individuals involved in the case will provide information, evidence, and names of witnesses with direct knowledge of the situation.
  2. Initial Fact-Finding Report – Based on information discovered during the investigation stage, a report will be drafted. Both the responding student and the individual (or the School in some cases) who reported the complaint will receive a copy of this report and will have the opportunity to submit a written response.
  3. Meeting – The CRB (comprised of 3 students, 1 staff member, and 3 faculty members, including the chair, MBA Community Standards) meets in a closed session to review the Initial Report and interview the responding student and individual who reported the complaint, as well as anyone else deemed appropriate. If further allegations are raised that were not already shared with the responding student, the student will be notified and given an opportunity to respond.
  4. Vote – The CRB will vote to determine whether or not a violation occurred and what, if any, sanctions should be applied. The legal standard that the CRB adheres to is a “preponderance of evidence.” The chair of the CRB votes only if there is a tie.
  5. Determination & Sanctioning – The CRB will issue a draft report, describing any violation and sanctions, to be shared with the responding student and the individual who reported the complaint. They will have three days to respond in writing, if desired. The CRB will consider any response as it deems appropriate and will issue a “Final Determination Report” that states its conclusion on violations and any sanctions that should apply. The sanctions imposed by the CRB range from warnings to probation and suspension. The most severe sanctions – dismissals and expulsions – require a vote by the HBS faculty.
  6. Appeal – Students have the right to appeal the CRB findings on two grounds: new evidence or the severity of the sanctions. The appeal is to the Dean and his/her decision is final.