A student was dismissed from the College in late November after multiple instances of alleged sexual misconduct, Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences Michael D. Smith announced at the faculty’s monthly meeting on Tuesday.
Smith told faculty members at the meeting that “the student had violated the Faculty’s policy on sexual assault and other sexual misconduct by engaging in multiple incidents of serious and persistent unwanted sexual contact.” He did not name the student, who Smith said has been notified of the decision. FAS spokesperson Jeff Neal also declined to identify the student, who was dismissed after a vote of the Faculty council on Nov. 20.
Smith said on Tuesday that 12 members of the council voted in favor of the dismissal, with none opposed and two members abstaining.
Dismissals from the college are rare. The last known dismissal was in 2010, when the Faculty council voted to dismiss an undergraduate accused of hacking into the online accounts of the teaching staff in his courses.
According to the Harvard college Handbook for Students, dismissal does “not necessarily preclude a student’s return,” but reinstatement requires another vote of the Faculty council and is “granted rarely.” An expelled student, on the other hand, cannot be offered readmission.
Cases of potential dismissal or expulsion are first heard by the Administrative Board, which can vote to require the student to withdraw from the college. The Ad Board can then recommend to the Faculty council that the student be dismissed or expelled.
FAS voted to delegate its review authority over dismissals and expulsion within the college and the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences to the Fac- ulty council in October 2009. Prior to the change, a dismissal needed to be approved by a vote of the full faculty. The change was one of many originally proposed by the committee to Review the Administrative Board in its April 2009 report.
Beyond the 2010 hacking case, students have been dismissed from the College in the past in cases involving offenses such as rape and assault. Neal declined to provide more information about offenses in past cases that have resulted in dismissals.
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This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:
CORRECTION: December 7, 2013
An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated the outcome of the Faculty Council vote to dismiss the student accused of sexual misconduct, due to erroneous information from Faculty of Arts and Sciences spokesperson Jeff Neal. In fact, the Council voted 12 in favor, none opposed, with two abstaining for the student's dismissal.