IE Code of Ethical Conduct


All members of the IE Community, whether students, faculty, administrators or staff, have the obligation to uphold the high standards of academic integrity and professional responsibility which form the ethical pillars of IE. Through this IE Code of Ethical Conduct (the “Code”), the IE community affirms the importance of academic honesty, respect for other community members, and the expectation that students will conduct themselves in accordance with the highest standards of professionalism.

Within IE, the Code sets forth ethical standards in relation to academic and community matters, as well as rules governing the IE Ethics Committee, procedures for dealing with alleged infractions, and sanctions which may be imposed in these cases.

All students are expected to sign a statement of adherence to the Code. The Code applies to all IE students, whether or not they sign this statement of adherence, including visiting or exchange students from other institutions.



The following academic standards apply to all individual or group academic work performed or submitted as part of an IE course, seminar or workshop, including but not limited to assignments, papers, projects, presentations, quizzes, tests or examinations (including take-home examinations or online assignments), as well as contributions to online discussion forums in programs with an online learning component.



Plagiarism, defined as the dishonest and unethical practice of presenting someone else’s ideas or words as if they were one’s own, is explicitly forbidden to all IE students. Examples of plagiarism include, but are not limited to:

  • Copying or using someone else’s exact words, without using quotation marks and properly acknowledging the source;
  • Paraphrasing someone else’s ideas (restating them in different words) without properly acknowledging the source;
  • Performing academic work in collaboration with someone else (when allowed by the instructor), without properly acknowledging the other person’s help or input.

The definition of plagiarism does not presuppose intentionality. When a student has doubts about whether they have properly cited or referenced another’s thoughts, words, or collaboration, the student should seek guidance from a professor or program manager.

One should take into account that, when turning in group work, each and every member of the group is responsible for the academic integrity of the work. If sections of a group report are plagiarized, for example, it is not acceptable to just argue that those sections were written by somebody else. If your name is on the report, you are responsible for its academic integrity.


Cheating and Academic Dishonesty

Students shall refrain from all forms of cheating and academic dishonesty, defined as conduct intended to obtain an unfair academic advantage over one’s classmates or colleagues. Examples of cheating and academic dishonesty include, but are not limited to:

  • Cheating in examinations, including copying from someone else’s work, using or possessing unauthorized materials during an exam, unauthorized communication with any other person during an exam, and giving or receiving unauthorized assistance during an exam;
  • Obtaining unauthorized access to examination questions or answers; giving or receiving advance knowledge of such questions or answers;
  • Refraining from indicating the sources in the online posts in forums
  • Distributing or obtaining without authorization case solutions, solutions to problem sets, case teaching notes and other materials (in physical or electronic form) whose sharing could undermine the academic enterprise by giving some students an unfair advantage and/or by depriving students of the ability to learn on their own;
  • Using resources or information without the authorization of the professor;
  • Presenting any academic work obtained from, or based on material prepared by, another person or enterprise (including students in another section or former students);
  • Submitting the same work for credit in more than one course, without prior authorization from the instructors of each course. (If a student wishes to hand-in the same project in different courses, he or she must get approval from both professors. If a student wishes to quote a small part of a previous deliverable, he or she may do so. Nonetheless, the correct citation rules must be applied to avoid plagiarism, even if it is your own);
  • Intentional interference with others’ work, including the concealment of publicly available books, papers or other information;
  • Misrepresenting or forgery of data or academic records, including attendance records.



Students shall not forge, falsify or make improper use of any degree certificate or document attesting to academic achievement.



IE students are expected to respect the following “community standards” in any context. However, actions during off campus activities, i.e., activities outside of the physical IE campus or virtual IE educational environment, will be only within the scope of this Code if they particularly affect IE community welfare. IE internal procedure may be suspended if there is a pending judicial action and until a final decision is taken by a judge.


Respect and Tolerance

As members of a diverse academic community, students shall conduct themselves so as to maintain an environment of respect and tolerance for all individuals, and respect for the academic mission of IE. The following are examples of conduct which may constitute an infraction of this principle:

  • Violence, threats of violence or verbal abuse as or against a member of the IE community or visitors;
  • Disrupting or causing a disturbance in classes, examinations or the learning environment of IE.



Under no circumstances shall a student engage in the harassment of a fellow student, faculty member, administrator, staff, visitor or other member of the IE community. Harassment is unwanted behavior that has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with a person’s educational, work, social, or living activities as a member of the IE community. Harassment can take the form of:

  • Persistent or serious and intentional degradation, intimidation, or abuse of another person; use of sexually degrading language;
  • Conduct of an offensive, demeaning, intimidating or hostile nature based on race, color, ethnic or national origin, nationality, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age or disability;
  • Persistent or serious and unwanted telephone calls, e-mails, or content published on social media within the IE environment.


Respect for Property

Students shall respect the property of others, as well as the buildings, furniture, equipment, educational materials, trademarks, and other intellectual property of IE.



Students shall refrain from any misrepresentation which may cause detriment to the reputation and good name of IE or the members of its community.



Conduct not specifically included in the above sections may constitute an infraction of the Code, so long as it is determined by resolution of the Committee to be incompatible with the core values set forth in the Preamble, in particular the duties of academic honesty, respect for other community members, and professional conduct.



As members of the IE community, students share responsibility for the implementation of the Code. In particular, students have an obligation to work with other community members to foster and promote an environment consistent with the academic and community values set forth in the Code. This responsibility may entail:

  • Asking the Academic Director, the Committee, a professor, or a fellow student for advice and clarification when unsure about how the Code applies in a given situation;
  • Helping other students understand and adhere by the rules set forth in the Code;
  • Informing the Academic Director, the Committee, or a professor of circumstances that may constitute an infraction of academic or community standards;
  • Suggesting improvements of IE rules and procedures pertaining to academic and community standards, including improvements of the Code;
  • Serving as a student representative on the Committee.



A student who has been suspected of misconduct must keep in mind the following rights he or she has throughout the process. Such rights are as follows:

  • The right to receive notice of the infraction he or she has been suspected of in writing.
  • The right to respond to any allegation in writing.
  • The right to request to have a private meeting in person.
  • The right to see all the relevant elements of proof, whether against or for the student’s case.
  • The right to request the testimony of witnesses or present other evidence that is relevant in the case.
  • The right to defend the case in front of the Ethics Committee
  • The right to appeal the decision of the case.



When a student, professor, or staff member witnesses a potential infraction of the Ethics Code, he or she must report the infraction to the Academic Director, who shall evaluate the issue, make an initial assessment of the alleged infraction, and determine whether the allegation falls within the scope of the Code.

Depending on this first assessment, the Academic Director can:

  • Decide that the case is not within the scope of this Code.
  • Refer the matter to the Ethics Committee, if a) the case implies severe or institutional concerns for IE’s reputation or b) the student prefers to defend the case in front of the Ethics Committee.
  • Decide based on his or her own competence to assess the case if, in accordance with precedent, the maximum sanction in similar cases has been a grade of “Fail” in the course and the student does not prefer to defend the case in front of the Ethics Committee.



If the Academic Director considers he or she can deal with the case, he or she shall inform the student of the allegations made against him or her, and shall provide him or her with the opportunity to refer the case to the Ethics Committee.

If the student accepts that the Academic Director decides the case, he or she may respond to the charges in writing within a reasonable time period as determined by the Academic Director and may present evidence. At his or her discretion, the Academic Director may choose to gather additional evidence, including hearing in person from witnesses other than the student involved in the allegations. Written exchanges may occur via e-mail.

If the Academic Director decides that there has been an infraction of the standards set forth in this Code, he or she will impose a sanction according to the precedents, being limited to a maximum allowed sanction of a grade “Fail” in the course.

The Academic Director shall communicate the decision to the student, the Dean of Academic Affairs and the Chair of the Ethics Committee. Decisions will be filed by the Registrar’s Office along with all supporting documents.



The Ethics Committee is composed of appointed faculty members and elected students representatives. It is called into session as deemed necessary to hear cases referred by the Academic Director of the respective program

The Ethics Committee is presided by a Chair elected by the Dean of Faculty among the faculty to serve for a period of four years. The appointment may be renewed for such further period or periods as the Dean of Faculty may decide.

To form the Committee for a particular matter, the Chair shall call on a suitable number of faculty members from among those named by the Dean of Faculty to serve on the Committee and a suitable number of student representatives from the corresponding section(s) or program(s).

The Chair shall ensure a balanced number of faculty members and student representatives on the Committee. Whenever possible, faculty members and student representatives shall be chosen from those who are teaching or are enrolled in the program in question. In cases involving online/blended programs, personal conflict or programs with few students, the Chair may call on student representatives from another program or on alumni from prior editions of the program itself.

The Committee is considered to be formed when at least two (2) faculty members and two (2) student representatives are in attendance.



When a case is referred to the Ethics Committee, the Chair calls the meeting and conducts the procedure through the steps outlined below.

The Chair shall inform the student of the allegations made against him or her, and shall provide him or her with an opportunity to respond to the charges in writing within a reasonable time period as determined by the Chair and present evidence in his/her defense. Together with this written response, the student may also request to present his or her case in person to the Ethics Committee. The written exchange may occur via e-mail. The student’s written response shall be made available to all Committee members prior to the meeting. At its discretion, the Ethics Committee may choose to gather additional evidence, including hearing in person from witnesses other than the student involved in the allegations.

In Committee meetings, deliberations shall be held in strict confidence and resolutions are adopted by simply majority vote of all its members in attendance.

After deliberation, the Committee decides whether there has been an infraction of the standards set forth in the Code and, where appropriate, recommends a sanction commensurate with the violation and in accordance with precedent, from among those listed in Section 12. The Chair shall draw up the minutes of the Committee meeting and circulate them for comment to all Committee members who attended the meeting.

Once minutes are approved, the Academic Director will be notified of the Committee’s opinion and recommendations, who may accept or modify the recommendations prior to impose the sanction and communicate it to the Dean of Academic Affairs.

The Academic Director shall notify the student of the Committee’s decision and recommendations, including any mention in the minutes of the aggravating and/or mitigating circumstances taken into account by the Committee, and the final decision if modified.

Decisions shall be also communicated to the Registrar’s Office along with Committee minutes and all supporting documents.

The recommendations of the Committee may be communicated to the IE Community by the Dean of the School involved, as he or she may consider appropriate.



A student who has been found responsible for an infraction may appeal the decision to the Dean of Academic Affairs, whose decision is final.

Appeals may only be based on the following grounds:

  • If the procedure has not followed the rules and principles set forth in the Code;
  • If new evidence becomes available, which was not considered in the proceedings;
  • If the sanction imposed is clearly disproportionate to the infraction committed, taking into account any aggravating and/or mitigating circumstances considered in the case.

Appeals must be presented in writing to the Dean of Academic Affairs, stating the arguments and evidence in support of one or more of the grounds set forth above. It should be noted that an appeal is not a de novo reconsideration of the whole case, nor an examination of the Academic Director’s or the Committee’s authority to hear the matter. Instead, the appeal is limited to consideration of whether any of the aforementioned grounds are present in a degree sufficient to justify revising the decisions.

Appeals must be presented within seven (7) calendar days as from the date the decision is notified to the student. Appeals must be resolved by the Dean of Academic Affairs within an additional period of seven (7) calendar days as from the date the appeal is presented.

The final decision and any supporting documents shall be filed at the Registrar’s Office.



One or more sanctions may be imposed in function of the severity and intentional nature of the pertinent infraction, any aggravating or mitigating circumstances present in the particular case and in accordance with precedent. Repeat infractions (whether of the same or different nature) by the same student are considered an aggravating circumstance.


Sanctions for infraction of academic standards
  • Admonishment;
  • Written apology by the student to others affected by misconduct;
  • Re-submission of the assignment;
  • A failing grade in the assignment;
  • A failing grade in the course;
  • Permanent expulsion from the Program;
  • Permanent expulsion from IE;
  • Any other sanction deemed appropriate by the Committee or Dean of the School involved.


Sanctions for infraction of community standards
  • Admonishment;
  • Written apology by the student to others affected by misconduct;
  • Restitution for loss or damage to property;
  • Permanent expulsion from IE Business School;
  • Any other sanction deemed appropriate by the Committee or Dean of the School involved.