In my (mathematics) PhD program, the administration has started to crack down on students who are not making their way through the program in a timely manner. This has only started in the last year, and is being aimed mostly at the lower years students who have not passed their qualification exams yet.
The problem is, there is a third year student who has not passed all of their qualifying exams, but is doing good research, and has a published paper, has an advisor, and so on.
They might pass their quals now (we offer them at the beginning and the end of the year), but if they does not, the executive officer of our has made it clear that they will be kicked out (they are one of the six, out of twelve, third years under such threat). This seems ridiculous to several of us, since they are working much harder and making more progress than many of the older students.
Several of us have decided that this outcome is not acceptable, given the circumstances. How should we proceed, if they do not pass the two quals they need to? At this point we are planning to draft a joint email. Should their advisor cosign this, or would a separate approach be better? There are several other faculty who would cosign as well, if that is relevant. Are there other actions we could take?