Mutual Trust and Respect-Academic Integrity - Carnegie Mellon University

Mutual Trust and Respect

An environment of mutual trust and respect is necessary if the institution is to promote integrity. Mutual trust and respect are prerequisites for open communication and honest dialogue about values, goals and expectations. They require freedom of expression without fear of retribution, institutional or otherwise, and value the diversity of persons, ideas and choices differing from one's own. They recognize that being in a diverse community is an advantage to encouraging discovery and creativity. Both respect for individuals and respect for institutional values involves balancing the claims of personal autonomy with the goals and mission of the institution. All of us need to be alert to prevent the power structure of the classroom and the university as a whole from suppressing legitimate beliefs and practices. If trust should break down, we need to explore the reasons for the breakdown and identify ways for the community to rebuild trust among its members.

A basis for promoting trust and respect is provided by ensuring that the faculty treat the student's education and the student as ends rather than as a means to some end. For example, the graduate student's development as a researcher and professional, his or her learning and well-being, have to be honored as ends in themselves, rather than treating graduate student work merely as a means to the end of the production of knowledge (from which the professor may benefit more than the student). Students at all levels must be encouraged to value their university experience as learning and personal growth, rather than solely as the means to a career goal. They are responsible for rendering an atmosphere of mistrust by their teachers and among themselves unnecessary by consistently living up to the university's standards.