Academic Integrity and Ethics
Academic freedom and its attendant responsibilities are integral in a faculty member’s conduct. Professors and teaching assistants have freedom to pursue academic research interests as long as such activities do not compromise the fulfilment of other academic duties. They have full freedom of expression inside and outside of the classroom but should not subject students to topics irrelevant to the content of a given course. No limitations should be imposed on the faculty member’s right to express ideas publicly, but, when the faculty member speaks publicly, he or she must make an effort to avoid appearing as a spokesperson for the university. In addition, as a member of an academic community they recognize the importance of valuing and respecting the rights of others to express their views as well.
A university is devoted to the discovery and communication of knowledge. In this endeavour, intellectual or academic integrity is of the utmost importance and its absence is therefore taken very seriously. Professors and teaching assistants play an important role and have the responsibility to foster intellectual honesty as well as the intellectual development of students. They should carefully scrutinize methods of teaching and assignments in order to encourage students to be honest. They should explain clearly the meaning of cheating and plagiarism as they apply to the course. Their obligation is particularly serious in connection with examinations. It is their duty to arrange for careful supervision of all examinations and class exercises. Should the professor or teaching assistant detect signs of cheating or plagiarism, it is their most serious obligation to investigate these thoroughly, to take appropriate action with respect to the grades of students, and, in any event, to report the matter to the dean. The necessity to report every case of cheating, whether or not further action is required, arises particularly because of the possibility that this is not the student’s first offense. Equity also demands that a uniform practice be enforced; ensuring equal treatment of offending students.