Board Of Curators Of The University Of Missouri v. Horowitz

435 U.S. 78 (1978)


P was admitted with advanced standing to Medical School. In her first year of study, several faculty members expressed dissatisfaction with her clinical performance during a pediatrics rotation. 'She was erratic in her attendance at clinical sessions, and that she lacked a critical concern for personal hygiene.' P was advanced to her second and final year on a probationary basis. Dissatisfaction with P's clinical performance continued during the following year. The Council reviewed P's academic progress and concluded that P should not be considered for graduation in June of that year; furthermore, the Council recommended that absent 'radical improvement,' P be dropped from the school. P was permitted to take a set of oral and practical examinations as an 'appeal' of the decision not to permit her to graduate. Pursuant to this 'appeal,' P spent a substantial portion of time with seven practicing physicians in the area who enjoyed a good reputation among their peers. Only two of the doctors recommended that P be graduated on schedule. Two recommended that she be immediately dropped from the school. The remaining three recommended that she not be allowed to graduate in June and be continued on probation pending further reports on her clinical progress. Finally, after much delay, when a report on respondent's emergency rotation also turned out to be negative, the Council unanimously reaffirmed its recommendation that respondent be dropped from the school. The Coordinating Committee and the Dean approved the recommendation and notified P, who appealed the decision in writing to the University's Provost for Health Sciences. The Provost sustained the school's actions after reviewing the record compiled during the earlier proceedings.