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MIT Dean of Admissions Resigns in Lying Scandal 351

Posted by Zonk
from the delayed-effect dept.
Billosaur writes "CNN has a report that the Dean of Admissions at MIT has resigned her post after admitting to lying about her academic record. 'Marilee Jones, who joined the staff of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1979 to lead the recruitment of women at the university, stepped down from her post after admitting that she had misrepresented her academic degrees to the institute, according to a statement posted on MIT's Web site.' The school had recently received information about her credentials and the subsequent investigation uncovered the misrepresentations. Question is, why did it take 28 years?"
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MIT Dean of Admissions Resigns in Lying Scandal

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  • by brejc8 (223089) * on Saturday April 28, 2007 @04:33PM (#18914103) Homepage Journal
    Either: She is obviously good at her job and should keep it.
    Or: University degrees aren't worth very much.
    • Or... (Score:3, Interesting)

      by b1ad3runn3r (896115)
      While she was good at her job, everyone must be subjected to the same standards of honesty and culpability. She made a mistake, and has benefited from it for a while. However, the truth came out and she must now, like she preaches to high-schoolers, accept responsibility for her actions.
      • Re:Or... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by thrillseeker (518224) on Saturday April 28, 2007 @07:00PM (#18914763)
        She made a mistake

        She obtained a high-visibility job that put her in a the position to affect the lives of thousands of applicants by intentionally and significantly lying to get her job - and now she and others want to call it an itty-bitty mistake - but only after she was caught of course. A lie is something far greater than a mistake. There are military officers who have committed suicide over less - but hey, this is the high-integrety acadmic world - blatant lies here are just - have a nice day - simple little mistakes. Poor little thing - there's got to be a way to blame this on the vast right wing consipiracy.
        • Re:Or... (Score:5, Insightful)

          by tfoss (203340) on Saturday April 28, 2007 @09:11PM (#18915457)
          She obtained a high-visibility job that put her in a the position to affect the lives of thousands of applicants by intentionally and significantly lying to get her job - and now she and others want to call it an itty-bitty mistake - but only after she was caught of course.

          Actually, she obtained a high-visibility job that put her in the position to affect thousands of lives by being damn good at it. Yes, she fucked up 28 years ago by padding her resume with degrees she didn't earn (to get a job that ironically, did not even require a degree). That deception was wrong, no question. However, she ended up being stellar at her job, and produced superb results for MIT and for the applicants and incoming students (and probably orders of magnitude more with her book [amazon.com] on trying to de-stress college admissions). Pretty much everyone [boston.com] who has dealt with her thought she was the bee's knees. I'm not sure whether i think she should have been fired, lying is bad...but in this circumstance, it seems to me that the lie had approximately zero to do with her ability to do her job extremely well (and benefit loads of kids). Context matters, and in this case it's not totally clear-cut.

          There are military officers who have committed suicide over less - but hey, this is the high-integrety acadmic world - blatant lies here are just - have a nice day - simple little mistakes.

          Right, that's why MIT sacked her as soon as they found out about the deception...'cuz academics have no integrity. You are an idiot.

          -Ted
        • Re:Or... (Score:4, Insightful)

          by hey! (33014) on Sunday April 29, 2007 @01:02PM (#18919815) Homepage Journal
          Actually not. She obtained an entry level job and worked her way up through the ranks by being the best there was at what she did.

          Does that make the fact she lied on her initial job application right?

          No.

          Should her years of devoted and innovative service be counted against that wrong?

          I think so.

          People lie all the time. It is certainly not a good thing, but not all lies are treated with equal severity. What makes this a terrible crime is not that it is a lie, but that it strikes at one of the foundations by which academia sustains itself. One such foundation is academic honesty: not claiming credit for the work of others. But this strikes at a much more questionable foundation: the importance of a degree as a entrance qualification for work.

          Had she exaggerated her participation on a research project on her CV (which is not unheard of), the moral magnitude of her crime would have been greater, but outrage less so. Her crime was two fold: first against the person who would have obtained the job instead of her; second against the pretense that a degree is necessary and sufficient qualification for doing even relatively menial work. It is the latter and lesser crime for which she is being held up for shame.

          The irrational excesss in the reaction to her crime is no better shown by your oblique suggestion that this is something for which she sould consider committing suicide. That is the kind of action that is spurred, not by a healthy sense of pride that cherishes accomplishment, but by malignant and false pride.

          Justice without mercy is not justice. Justice does not consist of treating every crime equally according to its nature. That approach is a sham by which petty crimes are elevated while greater crimes are left unpunished. Justice is best served when humanity itself is served, and this requires a certain tolerance for universal human frailty so that the human good may thrive. The best people are not those with the fewest faults.

          Though justice be thy plea, consider this,
          That, in the course of justice, none of us
          Should see salvation: we do pray for mercy;
          And that same prayer doth teach us all to render
          The deeds of mercy.


          -- Shakespeare
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by ceoyoyo (59147)
        A mistake is something you make without realizing it's wrong.

        What she did is called fraud.
    • by l2718 (514756) on Saturday April 28, 2007 @04:49PM (#18914235)

      As an academic, I'd be the first to tell you: (high-quality) academic degrees are worth a lot if you are going to do research in that field. They are of little value for "general education" and life experience. Attending a top college is good for your networking and your resume, but otherwise I'd say only go to college if you want the education.

      In this case, she was clearly doing the job well. Since we are no longer trying to predict how good she'll be at the job, her lying is irrelevant on that count, and if she had a research position, the story should have ended there (there are many professors with no undergrad or even grad degrees). However, she was Dean of Admissions. As such, she was in charge of using people's resumes for application purposes, and MIT would be sending an odd statement to future applicants by letting her keep her job had she not resigned.

      • by Orp (6583)
        ...if she had a research position, the story should have ended there (there are many professors with no undergrad or even grad degrees)

        Uh, I disagree.

        I am also an academic. If I had lied about my degrees, it means I hadn't done the work required to get the degree. It means that I not qualified to be a college professor at any university (that I am familiar with).

        Note that I do not mean to say that all college professors with degrees are doing good work / are good teachers, nor am I saying that you *have* to
        • by afidel (530433)
          The most tremendous failures I have personally seen in the classroom are people with lots of "life experience" but who are not lifelong academics.

          I would strongly disagree with this as a generality. One of the best professors I ever had was a non-academic, she was a career professional who taught Calculus to adults at night. She was able to teach me and many others a difficult subject when most of us had failed to learn it multiple times from "academic" mathematicians. Particularly in technical subjects t
        • by honkycat (249849)
          I agree with you that a researcher/teacher who was caught with a fraudulent application 30 years later should be punished, but IMO it's a matter of ethics rather than qualifications. A PhD is evidence that you're capable of managing a research program, but it's not the only proof of it. Doing the job for 30 years would be ample evidence of that capability and it's kind of a joke to claim that a PhD program is the only way to obtain it. It happens to be the standard route and certainly, if you're not capa
    • Isn't it ironic that someone managing the admissions department had a fake resume? Perhaps she was good at what she did because she knew how easy it is to fake credentials. Certainly she was at least a bit unsure of herself at times, maybe she had to work harder so that no one would suspect her.

      So, yes, she's obviously better than average at the *details* of her job. But in a job where evaluating credentials is so important, it is inadmissible to have someone in charge who doesn't try to follow the highest

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by bmeiers (191662)
      If she had her degree, she would still have her job.

      University degrees are worth plenty.
    • by PatriceVignon (957563) on Saturday April 28, 2007 @06:05PM (#18914451)

      Either: She is obviously good at her job and should keep it.
      Or: University degrees aren't worth very much.
      No, that's not the point: her (first) position did not require a degree at all. In this article from the Boston Globe [boston.com] MIT says

      Because the administrative assistant job for which she was being considered in 1979 did not require a degree, the university did not check Jones's academic credentials, said MIT chancellor Phillip L. Clay.
      If it were any other position, she should maybe be forgiven because of her strong performance. But since her job is to make sure that you do not lie on your application she was rightfully forced to quit.
    • by mrbluze (1034940)

      Or: University degrees aren't worth very much.
      I agree. They don't even come on parchment anymore, most of the time. I feel so ripped off!
  • Hypocrisy (Score:5, Interesting)

    by dshaw858 (828072) on Saturday April 28, 2007 @04:33PM (#18914107) Homepage Journal
    The thing that really annoys me about this whole ordeal is the nearly unfathomable amounts of hypocrisy which envelop the entire scenario. First of all, she was the dean of admissions--it was her job to admit and deny people, to make or break what I'm sure were many of the applicants' dreams. I'm a high school senior (trying to decide between UCSB and the University of Washington for next year), and this makes my blood simply boil. I didn't apply to MIT, but I know a lot of people who did. Think about how horrible and betrayed they must feel that the dean of admissions didn't even go to college herself! And all that talking and prodding about academic honesty...

    I think the worst part, though, is that she wasn't just the dean of admissions--she was capitalizing on her position of power as well, giving speeches to high schools (such as my own) to promote herself and the book that she wrote. That's what really irks me.

    In some situations, I would have said that after 28 years doing a good job in her position, she should be reprimanded but not asked to resign. However, her blatant abuse of the system and extensive lying and hypocrisy simply drive me crazy.

    - dshaw
    • Re:Hypocrisy (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Jazzer_Techie (800432) on Saturday April 28, 2007 @04:46PM (#18914217)
      While I agree that her actions were quite hypocritical, there is fortunately no evidence that she was doing anything wrong in the admissions process itself. There are many people involved (15-20 I believe) so its not as if she makes the admit/reject decision herself.
    • Re:Hypocrisy (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Aqua OS X (458522) on Saturday April 28, 2007 @05:42PM (#18914395)
      Eh, she had a senior administrative job. It's not like she could've majored in Bureaucracy Studies in order to prep for that position. What really mattered was experience, her ability to network, her ability to raise money, etc. Moreover, admission standards are typically set by department chairs who understand their department's student body and curriculum. In the end, those are usually the people who set the important benchmarks.

      Quite frankly, there are a LOT of desk jobs in the world that don't require a college degree as long as you're a reasonably competent and experienced individual. Thousands of college students graduate every year and enter a professional career that has nothing to do with their former major. I imagine the only college skills they reference are the the basic reading / writing / critical thought skills acquired from 1st and 2nd year General Ed. For many, a BA or BS is little more then a piece of paper that allows you to apply to new stratum of employment.

      That's not to say you don't specialized degrees for specialized fields, and that's not to day she shouldn't step down. However, those potentially "crushed dreams" probably have little do with her ability to do that job.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by DarkOx (621550)
        I am getting tired of reading how good at her job she was and how much time she had been doing it excuses her lying.

        Lying is WRONG, I don't think anyone can make a serious case against my next statememt. If you can please by all means try:

        Society as a whole should discorage or at least avoid rewarding liers.

        Serious this kind of gross misrepresentation is dangerous. Its this total lack of integrity that is destroying this nation. Just look at our politicans and leaders for cry out loud. With each passing
  • Misrespresent? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Reason58 (775044) on Saturday April 28, 2007 @04:33PM (#18914113)

    "At various times she claimed to have received degrees from Albany Medical College, Rensellaer Polytechnic Institute, and Union College and we confirmed that she had not graduated from any of these schools."
    That's not misrepresenting, that is outright, bold-faced lying.
  • Why does it matter, now? If it took 28 years to come out and she has been continually rising in both job responsibility and performance (which she has), then why does anyone really care? Obviously she can do this particular job well. She screwed up... twenty... eight... years ago.

    CNN had a poll yesterday asking if people lied on resumes. The last time I glanced at the results it was something like 85% saying they never had. Rigggggggght. I've seen more than my fair share of resumes through the years and eas
    • by gravesb (967413) on Saturday April 28, 2007 @04:51PM (#18914249) Homepage
      Because it did come out. How can she ask that kids applying not lie on their resumes if she did? It creates a standard that would make admissions to MIT almost impossible to administer. If it hadn't become public, maybe MIT could have dealt with the issue, although I'm not sure I would be comfortable as her supervisor continuing to supervise someone who lied on such a fundamental thing. You'd never know what else she lied about, and trust is important in all working relationships. Yeah, her 28 years of service and award show that a degree isn't that important for that kind of job, but honesty and credibility with the high schoolers are, and she's lost both of those.
    • by miskatonic alumnus (668722) on Saturday April 28, 2007 @06:32PM (#18914583)
      If it took 28 years to come out and she has been continually rising in both job responsibility and performance (which she has), then why does anyone really care?

      Because SOME of us actually place value on ethics. What message does it send to people by overlooking this type of behavior? Dishonesty will become the norm.

      She screwed up... twenty... eight... years ago.

      So, all is forgiven if enough time passes. Nice philosophy.
    • by Legion303 (97901)
      "CNN had a poll yesterday asking if people lied on resumes. The last time I glanced at the results it was something like 85% saying they never had. Rigggggggght."

      There is a *slight* difference between writing "Java" under your "Programming Languages" section and fabricating Ph.Ds you never earned from schools you never attended.
  • by msauve (701917) on Saturday April 28, 2007 @04:36PM (#18914141)
    Because she was qualified and was doing a good job, obviously.

    Unfortunately, even more than most of society, academia is focused on credentials instead of knowledge and ability. It makes some sense, from a self-serving perspective.
    • by king-manic (409855) on Saturday April 28, 2007 @04:58PM (#18914299)
      Because it's shared agony. A bachlors/masters/doctorate degree is a serious marathon of agony. They refuse to admit anyone into their club that did not walk through those coals. Those that can do the job but didn't ensure the same torture are excluded because of this. Thats what university is, not higher learning but a institution to excludes those who could not hack the course. We are rightly upset when someone claims the credentials when they didn't endure like we did. Like it or not a degree does show endurance and work ethic or inate brillance. Not every job needs a certain degree for it, but a applicant with a degree has endurance and work ethic or inate brillance while a person without one is a unknown quantity.
      • by fyngyrz (762201) *

        Thats what university is, not higher learning but a institution to excludes those who could not hack the course.

        Could not... or simply did not. For some people, college is largely a combination of going over things you already know more about than the college does, and going over irrelevant things some person in power thinks you should know, when in fact you don't need to know any such thing.

        I certainly wouldn't hold a college degree against an applicant, but it isn't an indicator of anything signif

  • ...then maybe she was doing a great job anyways? I am not justifying lying, but if she were to lose her job, it should've happened years ago. If she hadn't resigned, would she have been fired after all this time?
  • Has she been doing a good job during all these years?

    I guess it doesn't matter because honesty and credibility are, if not the most important traits.
  • If she's been there for nearly three decades, it sounds like she's been doing her jobs well enough to earn promotions whether she had degrees or not.
  • Jones was named dean of admissions at MIT in 1997 and received MIT's highest award for administrators, the "MIT Excellence Award for Leading Change." She was also the 2006 winner of the "Gordon Y Billard Award" given "for special service of outstanding merit" performed for the school.

    Several (unrelated) ways to look at this:
    If she has such a meritious service record, why is her educational background important?
    Wait, those awards are for people who deserve them, and education is the only way to be that

  • not just that (Score:3, Insightful)

    by minus_273 (174041) <aaaaa&SPAM,yahoo,com> on Saturday April 28, 2007 @04:38PM (#18914161) Journal
    she didnt just misrepresnet her degrees, she had none. She claimed that she went to various schools and had a phd when in reality the most college she had was some part time work and never completed anything other than high school. And the irony of this was this is the person in charge os admissions and very vocal nationally about how high school students should worry less about their resume. She got away with this in the public eye for 28 years and became the dean of admissions at a place like MIT. now that is impressive.

    Boston.com has a much more informative article [boston.com] the summary does not tell you the scope of this.

  • Additional Reporting (Score:2, Informative)

    by DTemp (1086779)
    from The Tech, the student newspaper: http://www-tech.mit.edu/V127/N21/jones.html [mit.edu]
  • I have some sympathy for her.. after all, she can't have been that bad at her job if she managed to survive 28 years. In fact, she's probably quite competent.. It's a sad state of affairs that there is so much stock held in a piece of paper that basically states "I can commit to memory a certain amount of data given several years". How many of us have been to a job interview, that you breeze the aptitude tests they give you, you wow the boss with your skill and depth of knowledge, but you get a sorry from t
    • by rs79 (71822)
      "Come to think of it, every technically brilliant person that I've worked with either dropped out of university, or never went at all."

      I've noticed that too. I do know some people I think are tehcnically brilliant and have (advanced) degrees, but I can count these on the fingers of one hand. Yet I've met so many yutzy BSc com sci grads that are just hopeless.
  • Why it took so long (Score:5, Informative)

    by Jazzer_Techie (800432) on Saturday April 28, 2007 @04:40PM (#18914181)
    The reason that it took so long is that 28 years ago she applied to be an administrative assistant. That position did not require a degree. While her credentials should have been checked then, they weren't. By the time she got around applying for Dean of Admissions, she had already been at MIT for 2 decades, and it wasn't policy to recheck credentials for internal promotions. The lie was finally discovered because of an anonymous tip. Previous to that, there wasn't any reason to check them as she was quite competently performing her duties.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 28, 2007 @04:41PM (#18914187)
    Recruiters keep telling me I'm under qualified. I was starting to believe them, and here all along I'm just as qualified as the big shots. I just don't lie as well.
    • Typically, 3 to 4 years of relevant work experience is counted as equivalent to 1 year of tertiary study. So after 28 years, this woman had the equivalent of 9 years of tertiary study - probably sufficient for her paper pushing job...
  • by digitalderbs (718388) on Saturday April 28, 2007 @04:41PM (#18914197)
    This is a special situation because she was working for a university. Integrity is the most important value in academia. I consider it unethical that she maintained her post at a university while misrepresenting herself -- it's just like plagiarism. However, the degrees themselves obivously didn't matter. She was highly competent at her job, and if this were in another setting (corporate for example), this likely wouldn't be much of an issue.
  • Than it really is about what you know.

    It's more about fundraising and research than teaching.

    It's more about the staff than the students.

    And finally, it's far more about a University's reputation than their actual quality.
  • by lancejjj (924211) on Saturday April 28, 2007 @04:52PM (#18914263) Homepage

    Question is, why did it take 28 years?"
    I know that I want my employer to continuously investigate all of its employees to make sure that everything remains on the up-and-up, and to make sure that all potential oversights regarding personnel are rectified.

    In fact, since every employer should want continual investigations of its employees, we should just let the government investigate all of us all the time. If new allegations arise, they can be added to a centralized file. It'd be very efficient, saving costs and benefiting from economies of scale. Also, a matrix of relationships can be built. Are you a graduate of MIT? Then you could be a questionable employee, since you may have been given a degree due to this deceptive LIAR admitting you into an MIT program. Did you, like many inside MIT and across the country, believe that she was one of the finest admissions deans in the country? Then you are a FOOL, because she LIED to get a job, didn't have a degree, let alone a Ph.D. And so you should be fired, or at least laughed at.

    Oh, I know some will complain... "oh, but don't investigate me - I haven't done ANYthing wrong!" Well, if you think continual employee investigations are a bad idea, then you must have something to hide. And you must be kidding yourself if you don't think they're already here, even within all sorts of otherwise pedestrian organizations.
    • by rs79 (71822)
      It's interesting that if this were a court case, unless it was murder or a war crime it wouild have been moot because of the statute of limitations. While it varies in the US on a state by state basis it runs from 1 to 15 years. In Japan even murder has a 25 year statute of limitations. I think it's six years for breach of contract in Mass.

      People exagerate. That's a bad thing. MIT didn't do it's job either. An dher track record was steller. Seems like no harm no foul to me.

      It would surprise me if some good
      • by Viv (54519)
        Of course there isn't a statute of limitations on this sort of thing. The issue isn't as much that she lied 28 years ago, it's that she had 28 years of opportunities to come clean, and instead perpetuated the lie over that 28 years.

        It's not just one incident of lying. It's 28 years of continuous lying.
  • You know (Score:5, Funny)

    by DarkOx (621550) on Saturday April 28, 2007 @04:59PM (#18914305) Journal
    As a Medical Doctor, Practicing Criminal Lawyer, Professor of Cosmology, Licensed Elevator Inspector Life Guard, and offical Breast Examiner; I am truely shocked that someone would misrepresent themselves in such a fashion.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Stormx2 (1003260)

      ...Licensed Elevator Inspector Life Guard...
      You got screwed over too? onlinedegrees.com promised so many job openings with this license, and yet I've yet to save a single elevator inspector's life!
    • by Wilson_6500 (896824) on Saturday April 28, 2007 @09:57PM (#18915633)
      Perhaps you missed a comma, or perhaps you've invented the most thankless job ever: sitting on top of the elevator as it gently rises and falls, waiting to dive underneath it to save some hapless licensed elevator inspector who happens to slip and fall below.
  • Well ... (Score:2, Funny)

    by ScrewMaster (602015)
    Good, bad, I dunno ... but her daughter [mitadmissions.org] is rather attractive.
  • In 28 years she could have taken all the courses to get the degrees she needed. She might have had to pull some slight of hand to keep people from asking why she was doing it all again. Then the only problem would be the name of the schools, and the dates. She could then just say it was a clever hack.

  • by DanielMarkham (765899) * on Saturday April 28, 2007 @06:35PM (#18914613) Homepage
    In the _real_ world, you perform well, you get rewarded. College degrees are useful, just like technical certifications, as a way of introducing yourself. A degree means you were able to memorize certain facts that were deemed relevant and play whatever game your teachers set up for you. Smart people, whether in a college environment or not, get absorbed and make a difference in the world. For some stuff, like nuclear physics, you can't get absorbed by hanging out at the local 7-11. For most day-to-day stuff, however, you need to be connected to reality as much as theory. That's not saying theory isn't important, just that those folks who change our lives the most are the folks that are able to connect information from all over the place to the common guy. Higher education has gotten so compartmentalized that it's really tough for academics to do this. Don't get me wrong -- I love the theory wonks, and we absolutely must have an ability to reason at the abstract level that a university education gives most people. It's just that context is important.

    Given that preface, I'm puzzled at MIT's response. Obviously this lady lied -- so fine her. Make her make a public apology. It seems, however, that her lie cuts to the core of the value of certificates of education: do they really reflect practical, real-world values to the organization and society? Or are they laudable records of achievement which do not directly correlate with future value to society? If MIT allowed her to keep her job, they would be admitting that there are very important jobs at the university that really don't require a college degree. This is obviously too much for them, so they'll trot out the honesty thing. As if lying on a resume 30 years ago is the same as knocking over a liquor store. It is painfully clear that a) a degree was not required to perform a high-level administrative role at the college, and b) the lady, by any measurements, was doing a great job.

    MIT needs to get honest with itself.
    • by Viv (54519)
      meh, since this question is repeated ad nauseum, so I'll just repeat my answer.

      It's soley about her lying 28 years ago. It's that she had 28 years to correct the record and chose not to do so; in other words, she was continuously lying for 28 years.

      You can't have someone in a position of public trust lying for 28 years. It's just not acceptable.

      It might have been different if she had come clean on her own, but she didn't. She perpetuated the lie.

      That's the problem.
      • We all know she lied. The question is whether the punishment fits the crime.

        It does not, by any measurement. MIT should care more about having the best admissions office in the world, not the petty failure of one of its officers 30 years ago.

        Values.
        • by DanielMarkham (765899) * on Saturday April 28, 2007 @09:58PM (#18915641) Homepage
          Let's play a little game.

          Just suppose, for a minute, that she lied about something else -- say her age.

          Would we still be having this conversation?

          How about her religion? Her High School?

          Maybe her kids, or her criminal history. Is it still so serious? Would it be okay if, as a kid, she had robbed a store and never reported it?

          To make the argument that she is a fraud, you are saying that her fake college history was the single most important thing that defined her, that defined what it takes to run an admissions office. I simply don't believe that. She's not a fraud, she's a person who showed how stupid the college degree requirement was in the first place. If you want to punish her for lying, fine. But don't cover your head and miss the thing that's glaring in your face -- her lying is such an academic crime exactly because it's about something that is not important. Something that has no impact on job performance, but puts the standards and values of the college up for closer inspection than they would like. Talk about the nameless people she cheated out of a job. What about all the other people who could have done just as well in many other college jobs that were discriminated because they lacked degrees? Who is really cheating whom here?
  • by deanc (2214) on Saturday April 28, 2007 @06:39PM (#18914633) Homepage
    Many people on campus at MIT viewed her as a lightweight. She kept trying to portray herself as a "Den Mother."

    The odd thing is that, unlike most other Deans of Admission, at MIT and elsewhere, she had a compulsion to turn herself into a public figure. First she became a public figure on campus, when the previous Dean of Admissions wasn't really known. Then she started becoming a presence among the community of Admissions officials and guidance conselors and universities at high schools. Finally she went on a very public book tour and would have frequent media appearances, making her one of the highest profile Admissions Deans in the country. It's almost as though she had a compulsion to publicly misrepresent herself to larger and larger audiences, as her fake academic would be repeated at all of these venues. She probably saw that she "got away with it" in 1978 and had a need to keep pushing the issue.
    • by Duhavid (677874)
      Many people on campus at MIT viewed her as a lightweight. She kept trying to portray herself as a "Dean Mother."

      There, fixed that for you.
  • Glad she's gone (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Somnus (46089) on Saturday April 28, 2007 @06:42PM (#18914653)
    As an MIT alum admitted prior to her regime, I'm pleased that she will be replaced. While her lies are a black eye for the institute, her admissions policies and personal philosophy had done more damage. In an attempt to admit "well-rounded" students and compete with the Harvards of the world, she chipped away at the identity that makes MIT unique: academic excellence, creativity and fun. If that makes MIT too "geeky," so be it.

    Moreover, her outspokenness reduced the dignity of her position and the process. Admissions should serve the principles of the school -- period.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by JelloJoe (977764)
      As an MIT alum myself recruite during her regime, I am sad she is leaving. Well-rounded people are necessary to keep the place sane! You know how tough it is, and without some amount of normality, the suicide rate would have kept increasing and increasing. Well-rounded is fine at MIT as long as they are mentally tough. Without that toughness you are bound to fail out. This whole thing smells like an inside job, as if someone was holding this information not only over marilee's head, but also over the I
      • by Somnus (46089)
        I don't think that post-1997 admittees are underqualified, only that it's a mistake for MIT to seek the same students as the Ivies. MIT is in a niche of its own that is incredibly important from a historical perspective;
        "well-roundedness" is a good thing, but is not the last word in what is valuable to an institution or to the future success of an individual. Over the long-term, MIT risks becoming an also-ran by pursuing the same admissions strategies as Harvard and Princeton, because it can never achieve
    • Re:Glad she's gone (Score:5, Interesting)

      by HPNpilot (735362) on Sunday April 29, 2007 @01:58AM (#18916727) Homepage
      I agree. I, also, am an alum from before her reign. Her desire to set the male-female ratio at 1:1 was a de-facto quota system which resulted in 1 out of 4 females being admitted compared to 1 out of 12 males. This, plain and simple, reduced the academic quality of the student body. I saw this when I was there and professors I have kept in contact mention it all the time. Some have had to lighten up on the course material while others have been able to make do with adjusting the grading curve a bit.

      This year's application looked more like a liberal arts college application than an engineering school's. I just hope MIT gets a hold of themselves and moves more in the direction of academic excellence over artificial quota systems. Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against women going to top engineering schools, but the reality is that right now if you want the best students in that field it will be less then 50% female.

      My donations ceased a while ago and will not resume until this situation is corrected.
  • Who shoved her way in based on a politically sensitive agenda and once she acquired enough power, could crush anyone in the system who might hurt her. But to be fair, it's Dean of Admissions. Is that Dean-worthy at all? Isn't a Dean of Admissions a glorified cool table in the high school lunchroom? As long as she was admitting an acceptable number of the appropriate demographic, geographic and economic dispersion, what possible value-add can the role bring? Probably none at all. It's like being the VP of Hu
  • I wrote to her once. I made a special effort to find out who she was so that I could address her directly. I wanted to be sure that a student of mine got in to MIT because I thought he'd do very well there. He was working in my lab and had shown quite a lot of understanding and skill.

    This news affects me but I'm not sure how. My student was accepted and perhaps my letter had an effect. If so, Jones showed good judgement according to my lights. The qualifications for college councilor, admissions off
  • She will be missed (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Piedramente (1063240)
    As a current MIT student, I am one among many who are sad to see her go. She did a great job, and has received numerous administrator awards. College admissions officers across the country appreciate all she has done to champion a more balanced admissions process. I for one am very glad we have a more balanced male/female ratio.

    Those that she changed MIT admissions policy by herself are completely mistake. She was asked by the institute specifically before she became dean to find a way to increase female at
  • As someone who was just rejected from MIT, I think it's a shame she has to resign. I heard her speak, and her ideas and influence on the college admissions community have been amazing and wonderful. I think she's made some very good changes, and I can only hope that whoever they get next will continue in that direction. It's also obvious, as some others have said, that her job didn't really require a degree, only experience. That said, I think it's clear that, now that her lying has been exposed, she couldn
  • Bigger question (Score:3, Interesting)

    by ThoreauHD (213527) on Sunday April 29, 2007 @03:03AM (#18916987)
    If she did a good job for 30 years, then are College degrees not worth the paper they're printed on? The irony is thick at ole MIT. Maybe Hawking can deconstruct that chicken and egg scenario while still maintaining MIT's credibility.

    Oh, and let's not forget really successful people. The richest man in existence, perhaps? Yea, let's not go there. The jist is, from what I've seen is this. People who don't get to sit on their sheepskin, work harder because of it. Quite the conundrum.

    Maybe they can make a degree for people who don't have degrees and yet are more successful because of it. Or maybe we should judge people by what they do, rather than what their parents could afford when they're college age. Just a thought. But cattle branding is so much easier when you hire someone- isn't it.

    And just a look back a few year, it's a good thing Abe Lincoln formed his own opinions in a log cabin, and that Edgar Allen Poe was kicked out of the University of Virginia for crappy grades. What unconsumer-like idiots these legends are. They would have gotten their work done properly if they had a degree from a certified/set curriculum.

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