Marilee Jones, who resigned today as MIT's dean of admissions, in a July 2006 photo. She admitted to misrepresenting her degrees on her resume.
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology's dean of admissions,
Marilee Jones, resigned today and admitted to the ultimate sin of her
profession: lying on an application.
Jones, a 28-year veteran of
the admissions office, listed degrees on her resume from three schools
in upstate New York but did not earn any of them, an MIT spokeswoman
said. The schools were Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI), Albany
Medical College, and Union College.
In a prepared statement, Jones said she had "misled the
Institute about my academic credentials" in applying for her first job
at the school in 1979, and "did not have the courage to correct my
resume when I applied for my current job or at any time since." She was
appointed to lead the admissions office in 1998.
Several newspaper profiles of Jones, including those in the
New York Times and Boston Globe, have reported that she earned
bachelor's and master's degrees in chemistry and biology from RPI in
Troy, N.Y. The registrar at RPI, Sharon Kunkel, said today that Jones
attended the school but did not earn any degrees.
Spokespeople for Union College, in Schenectady, N.Y., and Albany Medical,
in New York's capital, both said they had no record of Jones ever attending or receiving a degree from either school. A biography of Jones at the Web site of
the National Association of College Admission Counseling refers to her
as "Dr. Marilee Jones, Ph.D." and says she has biology and chemistry
degrees from RPI and Albany Medical. She was scheduled to speak at the
association's annual conference in September.
resignation was announced at 11:00 a.m. in a brief e-mail to the MIT
community. "This is a sad and unfortunate event," Daniel E. Hastings,
the dean for undergraduate education, said in a statement. "But the
integrity of the Institute is our highest priority, and we cannot
tolerate this kind of behavior."
Jones had been highly regarded in her field and widely praised
for MIT's efforts to reduce the stress of college admissions. She
redesigned the school's application to reflect her desire for
applicants who make strong contributions to a few extracurricular
activities rather than amass long lists of them. A book she co-wrote
last year, "Less Stress, More Success," emphasized that theme.
statement today, which indicated she would have no further comment,
apologized "for disappointing so many in the MIT community and beyond
who supported me, believed in me, and who have given me extraordinary
Imparting advice to high-school students in her 2006 book,
Jones warned against "making up information to present yourself as
something you are not." She wrote, "You must always be completely
honest about who you are."
MIT said that Stuart Schmill, formerly senior associate
director of admissions, has been named to replace Jones in the interim.
The shakeup comes at the tail end of admissions season, with
matriculation decisions due next week.
—Staff writer Zachary M. Seward can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.