The Columbia College Bulletin states:
Because intellectual integrity is the hallmark of educational institutions, academic dishonesty is one of the most serious offenses that a student can commit at Columbia.
and in the Economics Department, we could not agree more with that sentiment.
The statement above comes from the section entitled “Plagiarism and Acknowledgement of Sources”, but we believe that it applies much more widely. When you submit an assignment, a test, or a paper to a professor with your name on it, he or she will believe that it represents work done by you in accordance with the rules that the professor has established for completing assignments. It is a matter of trust.
Trust, however, can be broken. If a professor suspects and has evidence that a student has behaved dishonestly and submitted work (an assignment, a test, or a paper) that is not his or her own, then the department will pass on that suspicion and supporting evidence to the appropriate individuals in the university, such as the class deans or the GS advisors. The department will not tolerate academic dishonesty.
We know that the overwhelming majority of you would never consider cheating on an exam or submitting a plagiarized paper. To the few of you who in a very stressful moment might make a bad decision, however, please consider the consequences. In the past few years, students have been expelled from the university — even during their senior year — on the basis of charges of academic dishonesty pressed by the Economics Department. We sincerely hope that we are not obligated to pursue this course of action in the future.