MIT Dean Lied about Her Degrees

Marilee Jones, the dean of admissions at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, resigned earlier this week after confessing that she had lied about her academic credentials when she was first hired as an administrative assistant almost three decades ago, according to an article in today’s Chronicle.

Jones claimed to have degrees from Albany Medical College, Union College, in New York, and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, when, in fact, she had no degrees from any of those institutions, MIT officials told The New York Times.

In a statement on MIT’s Web site, Ms. Jones apologized for misrepresenting her academic background when she first applied to MIT 28 years ago and for not having “the courage to correct my resume when I applied for my current job or at any time since.”

The college received a call last week raising doubts about Ms. Jones’s academic qualifications, and, after reviewing them, demanded her resignation, reports Sierra Millman in today’s Chronicle.

Daniel Hastings, MIT’s Dean for Undergraduate Education, said in another online statement, “This is a sad and unfortunate event. But the integrity of the Institute is our highest priority, and we cannot tolerate this kind of behavior.”

Ironically, Jones was outspoken about the pressure students face to pad out their applications in the competition for entry to elite colleges.

In her own case, a degree was undoubtedly not a requirement for her first entry-level job in the admissions office in 1979, MIT Chancellor Phillip L. Clay told The New York Times. And little attempt was made to check her credentials when she was appointed admissions dean in 1997, as she had already worked there for many years, he said.

Read a related thread in The Chronicle Forums.

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