Friday, April 27, 2007


Marilee Jones was the dean of admissions at MIT until an anonymous tip last week led MIT officials to investigate her credentials. They sadly discovered that she did not earn a Bachelors and a Masters from Rensselaer. In fact, she only attended there for one year, in 1974. In 1979, she added the degrees to her resume when she applied for a junior role in the admissions department at MIT.

I feel badly about her downfall because she did eventually run the admissions department, when she was promoted to dean in 1997. From all reports she helped redefine the admissions process at MIT. She clearly had the talent. She spoke at conferences. She served on boards. But she didn't have the credentials. MIT had no choice but to ask her to resign. Institutions tend to frown on anything that diminishes their integrity.

Bizarrely enough, in my own industry, not one single person has asked for proof about my own credentials. Eventually, I suppose, the history of your work speaks for itself. I think the most anyone would do is shrug their shoulders if I announced that I did not graduate from college. Yet, I've never considered removing my degree from my own resume. I guess it pads it nicely.

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