Professor‑Student Contract for Academic Integrity

Professors should always:

  • Ensure that at the beginning of every course all students are asked if they understand the Faculty’s rules on academic integrity and an opportunity is created for discussion or questions on the Faculty’s rules and processes on academic integrity.  
  • Ensure that course syllabi and other documentation include standard reference to Faculty rules and processes on academic integrity.
  • Focus on prevention by education and reinforcement, not punishment.  Real examples should be used to promote best practice as well as what is considered unacceptable.
  • Ensure that assignments are clearly defined with respect to individual and (where appropriate) group responsibilities for delivery and integrity.
  • Ensure that assignments and exams are organized well and results delivered promptly.
  • Act consistently and transparently across all cases
  • Act in a timely and serious way when lapses in academic integrity occur
  • Determine whether the issue is one of education or discipline and ensure the consequences of the actions are clearly defined
  • Report suspected lapses immediately in line with Faculty policies and procedures 
  • Keep confidential all matters and materials associated with suspected breaches of academic integrity

Professors should never:

  • Allow minor offences to pass without a definite and memorable warning or consequence.
  • Focus solely on penalties with no support for learning and improved practices.
  • Have – or attempt to have – an inappropriate personal relationship with a student (including the deliberate or unwitting selection of favourites or non-favourites) that may lead to compromise of the teacher-student contract on integrity.
  • Apply policies inconsistently or set ambiguous assignments
  • Act without confirming facts
  • Tolerate repeat offences
  • Use unprofessional language or other poor role modeling in class

Students should always:

  • Understand that the Dalhousie Faculty of Management ‘brand’ means training future business, government and civil society leaders who will manage with integrity and get things done and that this starts with setting standards of behaviour while at University.
  • Understand the rules and procedures for maintenance of academic integrity and the consequences of lapses.
  • Know what/when/where/why/how to cite something. Understand the difference between public knowledge (which does not require citation) and specifically owned knowledge (which does).
  • Seek help from teachers or teaching assistants if you are in any doubt about expectations and procedures on assignments and exams.
  • Commit to continuous improvement: find a way to use sources wisely and fairly; always try to improve information management and research practices and writing skills; try to continuously improve study and learning skills (time management, talking to teachers, asking for help).

Students should never:

  • Misrepresent someone else’s work as their own (i.e. plagiarize).
  • Cheat on an exam or test.
  • Collaborate on an assignment unless specifically authorized.
  • Share electronic files of completed, or semi-completed, assignments to “help” another student as this may aid plagiarism inadvertently.
  • Have – or attempt to have – a personal relationship with a professor that may lead to compromise of the teacher-student contract on integrity.
  • “Think that by copying something over and changing every couple of words that you’ve put it in your own words.” 
  • “…procrastinate on assignments and homework so that you end up under too much deadline pressure and become tempted to take shortcuts.” 
  • Be afraid to ask for an extension.
  • Hesitate to ask for clarification if unsure about proper information management, research or citation methods for an assignment or exam.
  • Hesitate to notify the Assistant Academic Integrity Officer ( about colleagues who cheat or plagiarize and who undermine our standards and therefore the Dalhousie Management ‘brand’.