Friday, April 27, 2007

Obviously, A Degree Is Unnecessary For This Job

M.I.T. ADMISSIONS DEAN STEPS DOWN over resume-faking scandal. "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 M.I.T. Officials of the institute said she did not have even an undergraduate degree."


If she could work there for 30 years without a degree, then a degree was unnecessary for the job.

Hat tip: Instapundit.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

There are a lot of jobs that fit that description, but so what?
What's wrong with an institution of higher learning wanting its administrators to have attended and graduated from college themselves, even if it's not absolutely necessary in order to do the job?

But that's beside the point, since she's resigning because she got caught lying for 28 years, not because she's unqualified.

rightwingprof said...

"If she could work there for 30 years without a degree, then a degree was unnecessary for the job."

Obviously, but she lied on her resume. I have to come down on the side of the university on this. But you have to wonder: How did she work there for thirty years before somebody checked? Didn't they check her degrees when she applied?

skh.pcola said...

Well, yeah. But don't expect anybody else to actually air that view publically. They have to protect the elitist caste system of the upper-tier skools, even when the positions are purely administrative.

Darren said...

I don't object to her having been fired for lying. I merely point out that the university has created an artificial barrier to employment.

It's entirely their option to do so--again, I only point out that the requirement is artificial.

David said...

The university had to take action in order to discourage future applicants from lying.

However, when anonymous asks: "What's wrong with an institution of higher learning wanting its administrators to have attended and graduated from college themselves, even if it's not absolutely necessary in order to do the job?"...I think plenty is wrong with a university, or other employer, demanding credentials that aren't relevant to the job. It creates barriers to social mobility and to the effective use of human resources.

More than 30 years ago, Peter Drucker wrote that he expected it to someday be made *illegal* to ask employment candidates about their college background. It's not completely clear whether he was talking tongue-in-cheek, but it is clear that credential-worship is doing this country a lot of harm.

Darren said...

I don't think the university has any moral or legal obligation to provide "social mobility"; in fact, it can and should, within the law, make whatever job requirements it deems are appropriate. I reserve the option of pointing out the silliness of some of those requirements, however.

Anonymous said...

I don't see why a college degree is irrelevant to a job that consists of determining whether applicants are qualified to be admitted to college.

As for artificial barriers, we don't actually know what the requirements were 28 years ago for the entry level position. Maybe she would have been hired even without the (fake) degree.

Meanwhile, here's this bit of extreme irony, from the MIT student newspaper account:

>>In Jones's book, she writes that parents should "insist on integrity." "But just remember that 'what goes around comes around,' … If you do not live honestly, you will draw suffering into your life because you will always be afraid of getting caught."<<

Darren said...

And she was right--and she didn't need a college degree to be correct about that statement, either!

Chanman said...

College administrators are oh-so degree conscious. At the institution where I just finished my Masters, you oughta see the doors of all the offices as you walk down the hall:

John Smith, Ed.D.
Jane Doe, Ph.D.
Dave Jones, M.A.
Orville Boring, D.P.A., Ph.D.

So, so pretentious.

David said...

Darren...I don't question their legal *right* to require such credentials; I question their *judgment* in doing so. In the private sector, General Electric would be completely within its rights to insist on a PhD in mechanical engineering for all its locomotive salesmen--but they probably wouldn't sell very many locomotives if they did so!

In business schools, universities have been reluctant to hire actual experienced businesspeople to teach courses if these bizpeople lack PhDs (which of course most of them do) See my post here.

Denever said...

From the same newspaper quoted above:

"In 1979, Jones took a secretarial job in the Admissions Office that
[Chancellor] Clay described as 'a very junior entry level position [that] did not require a bachelor's degree.' Jones, however, listed multiple
degrees on her résumé."

No college degree was needed for the first job she applied for and lied her way into.