Welcome to the Vital Integrities Blog

Admissions of Wrongdoing

Students and faculty at MIT were surprised when their school dropped several places in U.S. News & World Report's annual ranking of colleges. MIT fell from a three-way tie for fourth to seventh place. Only after questioning from MIT's student newspaper did college admissions officials explain the drop. Until this year, when calculating the average SAT scores of new students, MIT had been excluding the scores of foreign students; since non-native English-speaking students tend to score lower in reading on SAT tests than their American-born classmates, omitting their scores inflated MIT's average and, thus, improved its standing in the magazine's report.

"We were not at all trying to do this in any way to increase our rankings," says interim admissions dean Stuart Schmill. He said it was an honest mistake uncovered during a database software change. But wait. There's a reason MIT has an INTERIM admissions director: this isn't the first scandal involving the MIT admissions department this year.

In April, Marilee Jones resigned her position as dean of admissions after admitting she lied about her credentials when applying for a job at MIT twenty-eight years ago. Jones falsely claimed to hold degrees from Albany Medical College, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and Union College. At the time, MIT Chancellor Phil Clay said, "It represents a very long deception when there were opportunities to correct the record. This is not a mistake or an oversight."

So, if Jones had no qualms about fabricating a few degrees on her resume, is it a stretch to imagine she had been purposely fudging the numbers submitted to U.S. News & World Report every year?

Labels: ,

Bookmark this post on del.icio.us

What do you think? Post a Comment
Vital Integrities Blog - Blogged