In recent days articles have appeared in the press about three admissions directors who serve or have served on an advisory board at a private admissions consultancy in
What is AIGAC’s position? An arrangement where a consultant or a member of the consultant’s staff is also working for a graduate school violates AIGAC’s Principles of Good Practice (“PGP”). The Principles state, regarding consultant relations with schools, that members agree to “Maintain independence of thought and action.” That independence could be compromised if a consultant (or one of its staff members) is receiving payment from a school.
Furthermore, one of the articles quotes one of the three as saying that to avoid any conflict she arranged to receive from the consultancy a list of applicants to her school and intended to recuse herself from consideration of these applications. The consultancy’s release of client names would also violate AIGAC’s PGP. AIGAC members agree to “Maintain client confidentiality” and providing a list of client names (presumably without clients’ permission) to someone who is an associate director of admissions at the school to which the clients are applying conflicts with that principle.
AIGAC encourages and values communication with the graduate schools. However, that communication must maintain client confidentiality and come without strings attached. And the ties that bind most tightly are compensation and payment.
Finally, I have added an additional comment on my analysis of Wharton's MBA essay questions for Fall 2008 admission to reflect these recent events.
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