Original by Pamela Rossow and Edited by Josepf Haslam
If there’s one thing you should have learned as a freshman in college, it is that lying is bad—very bad.
So bad that if you decide to use an essay mill —or something like it—and you get caught, your academic career could be over. What about degree mills? These organizations—sort of like sisters of essay mills—are more than happy to send you a “diploma” from a non-accredited “school” as long as you are willing to shell out the cash. Don’t even think about it. You’re in college for a reason and it has a lot to do with a process called learning. So who are some high profile fibbers who were caught lying about their degrees—or lack thereof—and ended up in the shamelight?
Celebrity chef dishes up embellishments.
How about being fired from your own Food Network show for lying about—you guessed it—a cake? Robert Irving, a British chef, said that he designed Diana’s wedding cake and was buddy-buddy with Prince Charles, yet he later admitted to only picking fruit for the cake at the school where it was being made[ii]. He also said he was a knight and owned a castle in Scotland, but it was just another one of his strange concoctions[iii].He was fired from Dinner: Impossible because of his fanciful transgressions, even though he later worked on Food Network’s production, Restaurant: Impossible. Add in a fake Bachelor’s of Science in Food and Nutrition from Leeds University[iv] and you have a winner in some type of B.S. department.
Three or four-year degree?
Apparently, David Edmondson, Radio Shack’s CEO, had difficulty recalling his educational attainments and how many years his college career spanned. Although he said that he had psychology and theology degrees from Heartland Baptist Bible College, he didn’t. He resigned after stating, “I clearly misstated my academic record, and the responsibility for these misstatements is mine alone”[ii].
Bachelor’s and Master’s—not.
Marilee Jones, once an M.I.T. dean, had been at the school for 28 years and lied about earning, not one, but two degrees—a bachelor’s and master’s. Reality? She had zero. She admitted that she ‘misrepresented her academic degrees to the institute,’ and she didn’t ‘have the courage to correct [her] resume’[ii]. She resigned and has a consulting practice.
Maybe he just has something in his eye . . .
it could explain Bausch & Lomb’s then CEO, Ronal Zarrella, and his shiftiness, but it probably has more to do with the fact that he never earned a Master of Business Administration from NYU like he said he did. Bausch & Lomb thought Zarrella “was too valuable to the company” to let go at the time but Zarrella ended up leaving later on when ‘extensive product recall and hundreds of product liability lawsuits’ plagued the company[ii].
Yahoo’s CEO isn’t cheering anymore.
Scott Thompson[viii] resigned after only four months on the job because he fibbed about earning a computer science degree from Stonehill College. Wasn’t it enough, Scott, that you were president of PayPal and landed a pretty cush job running Yahoo? Weren’t you proud of your existing accounting degree that was legit? Yahoo didn’t really hire you because you had a computer science degree, did they? Anyway, Daniel Loeb, shareholder of Yahoo, said, ‘Now more than ever Yahoo investors need a trustworthy C.E.O.’[ii].
Don't Lie about your Degree; Earn Your Degree Online!
Lying about any type of degree is more than just unbecoming. It could cost you your career, as many of these fibbers revealed, and it can show the world that you aren’t ethical. Having integrity is important – and you can demonstrate it in even the smallest acts, like earning an A on your psychology final because you studied hard or showing up to class and taking your own notes, instead of relying on your buddy’s notebook because you hate waking up for 8 a.m. classes. Don’t let the easy way out win over hard work and dedication!
[i] en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Essay_mill | [ii] businessinsider.com/9-people-who-were-publicly-shamed-for-lying-on-their-resumes-2012-5?op=1 | [iii] showbizspy.com/article/60040/dinner-impossible-chef-fired-by-the-food-network.html | [iv] realitytvworld.com/news/dinner-impossible-chef-robert-irvine-accused-of-cooking-up-his-past-6576.php | [viii] www.thedailybeast.com/cheats/2012/05/13/yahoo-ceo-to-resign-report.html