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You can find a better version of my blog at http://www.adammarkus.com/blog/.

Be sure to read my Key Posts on the admissions process. Topics include essay analysis, resumes, recommendations, rankings, and more.

February 07, 2008

Admissions Director & Consultant Simultaneously?

To a few readers who asked about this recent controversy, I would direct your attention to the AIGAC blog (Specific post quoted in full below). As the first member of AIGAC residing in Japan, I fully endorse my organization's position:

"Admissions Director & Consultant– Simultaneously?

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 Japan. One advisor has since resigned from her position with the consultancy, which is not an AIGAC member. The arrangement is being questioned and in many cases condemned if not as an ethical breach than at least as an example of extremely poor judgment.

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.

We look forward to enhanced communication with graduate schools as we represent applicants, our exclusive clients."

Clear Admit has done an excellent job covering this story.

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.

Questions? Write comments or contact me directly at adammarkus@gmail.com. Please see my FAQ regarding the types of questions I will respond to.

-Adam Markus
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