Today when it was discovered that Marilee Jones, the Dean of Admissions at MIT, lied about her credentials 28 years ago it sent a shockwave through the college admissions community. According to her own statement on MIT’s website, Marilee apologizes:
“I have resigned as MIT’s Dean of Admissions because very regrettably, I misled the Institute about my academic credentials. I misrepresented my academic degrees when I first applied to MIT 28 years ago and did not have the courage to correct my resume when I applied for my current job or at any time since. I am deeply sorry for this and for disappointing so many in the MIT community and beyond who supported me, believed in me, and who have given me extraordinary opportunities. I especially apologize to the Institute’s leadership and to my extraordinary staff, whom I have every confidence will continue to deliver on the Institute’s mission. This is the only public comment I wish to make at this personally difficult time and I hope my privacy will be respected.”
While the college admissions community deeply admires and respects Marilee Jones for her efforts in depressurizing the college admissions process, it is with sadness that we learn of her deception. When colleges are holding students to the highest standards, when there are strict honor codes in place at high schools and colleges, when schools such as UC Berkeley do background checks on students, and when there are discipline questions on applications that students are required to answer truthfully, then we can certainly understand why students and parents would find it extremely difficult to find compassion for the Dean of Admissions at one of the most highly selective colleges in the country.
Perhaps, instead of judging her on her indiscretion, we need to applaud her for the work she’s done and for getting her message out to students, parents, and colleges. If she is able to continue that work, then maybe, just maybe, this stressful process of college admissions can become just a little more sane.
Marilee Jones’ statement can be found here.
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