The essay concerns the questions of applying microsociology tools to the academic failure phenomena in Russian universities. Using some preliminary empirical results drawn from the author’s teaching experience and from observations, the trial of constructing a microsociological model of academic failure was undertaken. This model differs in many respects from the conventional macrosociological ones, simultaneously being affected by socio-economic or macro-level factors. This model is supposed to develop a new view of the phenomena by discovering the collective shared meanings and senses, the typical everyday situations and practices linked with academic failures, repeating examinations and finally expulsions. These typical situations and practices can be viewed as interaction rituals which involve corresponding roles and performances.