Ethical Leadership Statement

Ethical leadership is an integral part of how MIT students, faculty, and staff connect with each other in their communities. It constitutes principled behavior that demonstrates the community’s specific values, philosophy, and mission. Student leaders at MIT are expected to exemplify ethical leadership to ensure that member behavior furthers the mission of their respective groups.  Shared core principles allow us to live out our mission as ethical, innovative, and inclusive leaders, no matter the position or role. As members of the MIT community, we are held to high standards, and regardless of our role, status, or reputation, we commit to the following principles:


Students, faculty, and staff work collaboratively to develop enriching environments and experiences that promote students’ knowledge, well-being, independence, and accountability. Ethical leaders place what is best for the community ahead of themselves and act accordingly. Ethical leadership has to be based on MIT’s values.

Diversity and Inclusion

Ethical leadership requires active and intentional work in creating a place for all people to share their talents, skills and perspectives. Ethical leaders work to understand differences through self-awareness and mitigation of biases. Ethical and inclusive leaders ensure that people of all backgrounds and identities are welcomed and feel a sense of belonging and trust.

Academic, personal, and community integrity

In addition to maintaining high standards of integrity for themselves in and outside the classroom, leaders at MIT should hold their organizations to those same standards. They shall follow guidelines related to fiscal responsibility, timely communication, and risk assessment, while concerning themselves with the behavior of their groups as upholding integrity is a shared responsibility.


Leaders at MIT are presented with many challenges and should be prepared to respond boldly. Ethical leaders know when they need to adapt and have confidence in new approaches as well as challenge decisions that go against personal and shared values.

Development of others

In addition to meeting the mission of the group, ethical leaders help their peers develop and grow. They simultaneously leverage team strengths and support team weaknesses to achieve greater team success.


Ethical leaders must be able to acknowledge that problems will arise and respond in a way that reemphasizes the community’s values. They should strive to alleviate any confusion between policy and practice. Reflection must always follow times of difficulty.