Two and a half year after Marilee Jones admitted to lying on her resume and resigned as dean of admissions at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the outspoken champion of admissions reform is back in college admissions -- albeit as an outsider.
Jones has opened a consulting firm aimed at advising college admissions offices on management strategy and coaching families through the anxiety-ridden process of applying to colleges. Jones, who in 2006 co-wrote a book called Less Stress, More Success: A New Approach to Guiding Your Teen Through College Admissions and Beyond, pushed to shift the admissions focus away from class rank, SAT scores, prizes, and other resume ornaments.
In April 2007, a tipster alerted MIT officials to dubious aspects of Jones’s résumé -- namely that she had falsely claimed to have earned degrees from Albany Medical College, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and Union College when she applied for an entry-level job at MIT in 1979, and had failed to correct the bogus items while applying for promotions over the next three decades. Jones admitted falsifying her résumé and resigned, sending shock waves through the admissions world.
According to Jones’s Web site, her new venture has two components: Marilee Jones Consulting, where she “specializes in the identification and training of new admissions deans/directors, team building, long-term planning and goal setting, effective and authentic marketing practices and intergenerational work issues”; and Tru Star Consulting, where Jones advises parents on how to “guide, participate and observe while their child lives, learns and grows throughout the process of applying to college.”
Jones did not return a request for comment from Inside Higher Ed. But last week, she told MIT’s student newspaper that she does most of her work pro bono, is trying to revitalize her public speaking career, and is “very, very happy.”
Joyce E. Smith, president of the National Association for College Admission Counseling, said she thinks Jones’s return will be widely appreciated in the admissions world. “I think she’s proven through having risen through the ranks in the admissions office that she’s a professional, and has learned if not by degree, then by experience,” Smith said. “I don’t feel that she’ll be met with any ill will in the community, because people know her.”