Fundamental Values of Integrity

The International Center for Academic Integrity (ICAI) has proposed six fundamental values, summarized below. [1]  As you review these, note that academic integrity is more than the absence of cheating or misconduct, and that academic integrity includes all members of our academic communities.

  1. Honesty: This is the foundation for academic integrity.  It requires students to be truthful in their work, and to engage in practices and to submit work in accordance with course and institution policies.  It also extends to faculty and the institution being honest with students and each other.
  2. Trust: Trust is built over time and trust is reciprocal.  As the ICAI notes, “students promote trust by preparing work that is honest, thoughtful, and genuine. Faculty promote trust by setting clear guidelines for assignments and for evaluating student work in an equitable, timely, and forthright manner.”
  3. Fairness: Fairness involves clarity, transparency, predictability, and impartiality. Faculty members are fair to students when they clearly communicate expectations, respond consistently to dishonest behaviours, and always uphold academic integrity principles.  Students act with fairness when they do their own work, appropriately acknowledge the work of others, and respect and uphold academic integrity policies.
  4. Respect: Respect is also reciprocal.  It means taking on challenges without compromising your own values, while also being empathetic and listening to and valuing others’ opinions.
  5. Responsibility: To be responsible means to hold oneself accountable for their actions and to stand up against wrongdoing or misconduct of others.  To be responsible is to serve as a positive example.  Responsible faculty clearly communicate expectations regarding course and institutional policies, and they stick to and enforce those policies when required.  Responsible students not only follow course and institution policies, but they seek to understand them and the speak out if they disagree with them.
  6. Courage: As the ICAI states, “courage is the capacity to act in accordance with one’s values despite fear.” Courageous students uphold the standards of academic integrity, for themselves and their peers, even if there is the potential for negative consequences (e.g. bad grades or pressure from peers). Courageous faculty act to ensure everyone (students, fellow faculty, staff, and administrators) strives to maintain a culture of integrity through following these fundamental values.


  1. International Center for Academic Integrity (ICAI). (2021). The Fundamental Values of Academic Integrity. (3rd ed.).


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