MIT admissions dean admits fabricating credentials, resigns

NATION DIGEST

April 27, 2007|By NEW YORK TIMES NEWS SERVICE

Marilee Jones, the dean of admissions at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, became well known for urging stressed-out students competing for elite colleges to calm down and stop trying to be perfect. Yesterday, she admitted that she had fabricated her own educational credentials and resigned after nearly three decades at MIT. Officials there said she did not have even an undergraduate degree.

Jones said that she would not make any other public comment "at this personally difficult time" and that she hoped her privacy would be respected.

Jones, 55, originally from Albany, N.Y., had on various occasions represented herself as having degrees from three upstate New York institutions: Albany Medical College, Union College and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. In fact, she had no degrees from any of those places, or anywhere else, MIT officials said.

A spokesman for Rensselaer said Jones had not graduated there, though she did attend as a part-time student in 1974-1975. The other colleges said they had no record of her.

Phillip L. Clay, MIT's chancellor, said in an interview that a college degree was probably not required for Jones' entry-level job in the admissions office when she arrived in 1979. And by the time she was appointed admissions dean in 1997, Clay said, she had already been in the admissions office for many years and apparently little effort was made to check her credentials.

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