Honesty’s Always the Best Policy

Raj knew he was smart. His classmates always turned to him for help on assignments and he always knew the answers to the questions his teachers asked in class. Raj just didn’t study for tests so his grades were often mediocre. He knew he could do better in school, it was just that school was so… well, boring.
School was coming to an end for the year and Raj needed to get a good job this summer, after all this was the end of his junior year. He desperately wanted to work at the famous Research Institute. Raj felt that if he got a job there as a summer intern, it would really boost his chances of getting admitted to the graduate engineering program of his choice. He knew the institute hired very few summer interns and generally these were students from private schools who had excellent academic records and high standardized test scores. So, Raj decided to “tweak” his resume. He rounded his GPA up from 3.0 to a more respectable 3.5 and listed his SAT scores as 700 verbal and 820 math (in reality they were 600 verbal and 720 math). Raj reasoned that these changes really didn’t matter because he would show them who he really was through the quality of the work he did for the Institute once he was hired…

Consider each of the following questions and evaluate the case study:

1. What is the action or inaction that is the cause for concern?


2. Who or what may be affected?


3. How will they be affected? (i.e., what are the possible consequences?)


4. Are there any laws, regulations written or unwritten that may apply?


5. What actions might be taken and what would the consequences of these actions be?


6. Can anything be done to prevent this from reoccurring or to minimize the severity of the consequences?


Basis for Case Study 6
In spring of 2007, Marilee Jones, the MIT Director of Undergraduate Admissions, was forced to resign after it came to light that she misrepresented her own educational history – claiming to have earned degrees from several well known universities at the start of her career in an effort to boost what she felt was an inadequate resume and get the job.


E. Hoover and S. Millman. (2007) Chronicle of Higher Education. May 11. “Shocking Admission. A Popular Dean at MIT Lied About Her Credentials, But Her Message Resonated With Many Supporters.” http://chronicle.com/weekly/v53/i36/36a04501.htm


There have actually been quite a few similar incidents. Another one you might also have heard about was the highly publicized case of Dr. Joseph Ellis, a Pulitzer Prize winning history professor at Mt. Holyoke College (eventually fired) who for years misrepresented himself to students as a Vietnam veteran in a course he taught on the Vietnam war.

A. M. Cox. (2001) Chronicle of Higher Education. June 29. “Noted Historian Misled Students That He Was Vietnam Veteran.” http://chronicle.com/weekly/v47/i42/42a01301.htm