Hardliner Herr Dean Clark

Harvard Rejects Applicants Who Peeked into Admissions Computer — Heaven forbid someone show any initiaitive in todays world of identity theft, corporate greed and fading liberties. These schools should be ashamed of themselves. First of all how do they know it wasn’t a friend who hacked into the records to surprise a buddy with the good news? So we have zero due-process and jumping to conclusions too. It’s a disgrace! Dean Kim Clark is a fool for making these comments. Again, control freaks running things everywhere.

BOSTON (AP) — Harvard Business School will reject 119 applicants who followed a hacker’s instructions and peeked into the school’s admission site to see if they had been accepted, the school’s dean said.

“This behavior is unethical at best — a serious breach of trust that cannot be countered by rationalization,” Kim Clark said in a statement Monday. “Any applicant found to have done so will not be admitted to this school.”

An unknown hacker posted instructions last week on a BusinessWeek online message board on how to view the status of their applications. Applicants to at least six business schools took advantage of the instructions, although most got only blank screens.

Though some Harvard applicants did find information on their application status, school officials stressed that any decision wasn’t final until March 30.

Carnegie Mellon’s Tepper School of Business has already said it will reject those proven to have tried to peek at their files

  1. Anonymous says:

    Since when do the “priviledged” schools have any fairness in admissions. The admissions have always been very arbitrary; good applicants get declined and some unworthy individuals get accepted due to money, politics or what not.

    Much of college is what one decides to get out of it. Besides, look at Bill Gates — he didn’t even finish. Did Steve Jobs? Paul Allen? Dave Thomas? Those people in India seem to get all the good tech jobs without Harvard degrees.

    Much ado about nothing new.

  2. Greg K. says:

    > Show initiative and get rejected. The wrong message as usual.

    Initiative? Gee, maybe applicants could get bonus points for breaking into a Harvard computer lab to lookup their status. These applicants showed a lack of ethics. How could they be trusted with any private data?

  3. Chris Gregg says:


    There is more to this story than you’re presenting. There was an excellent interview with the Dean of the MIT business school (they are also turning down 30 or so applicants for the same reason) on NPR this afternoon. He explained that applicants needed their username and password to log in, and he also explained that there is a process for appealing the decision. He used the example of someone in Afghanistan giving his username/password to his brother in the U.S. who checked for him without his knowledge. Furthermore, they are also allowing applicants to resubmit applications next year.

    Personally, I think denying admission was the exact right thing to do.


  4. RB says:

    Well I guess Cracking 101 is canceled this semester.
    Google requires stuff lifke this for employment.

    The Ip address is logged so they can determine who was stupid enough not to go thru a annon proxy.

    Instead of rejecting the applicants for taking a quick peek they should button up th hole. No play on words here.

    Honestly, I would have just waited for the news in the mail.

    BTW :
    John you look a bit like Dean Clark….

  5. Jojo says:

    Hear! Hear!

    About time someone in this world took a stand on personal responsibility. You took a chance, you got caught, you’re out of luck buddy. Welcome to the Universtiy of Phoenix. Kiss those visions of big bucks bye-bye. [lol]

  6. frankbaird says:

    John, I could not possibly disagree with you more. They acted untrustworthily, so now they’re not trusted. Now they’re expected to take responsibility for their actions. And from what poster #3 says, there is some due process and avenue of recourse.

    Besides, maybe they’re really being punished for being so stupid as to think they weren’t going to get caught. People that dumb have no place in Harvard or MIT or the like. But then of course, as you blogged earlier, the US is rapidly loosing ground in academics. In that case, letting in such idiots would simply be par for the course.

  7. site admin says:

    Frank, read the post above yours. Now tell me if you still feel the way you do. Furthermore, don’t you think that giving the kids some benefit of the doubt would be at least fair? Or all we all bureaucrats now? I can’t beleive all the “they got what they deserved” posts here. What a sorry indictment.

  8. Anonymous says:

    If that’s all it took to find out — changing the URL — I’d do it. I’m honest, ethical, but I wouldn’t be able to resist. The curiosity would kill me.

  9. RB says:

    Stop passing the buck Harvard
    Harvard needs to get rid of the dead wood from the Dean on down.

    would make an excellent Dean of Harvard!
    –my hat’s off to you kid.

  10. Thomas says:

    If this was truly a case of URL munging, then it is preposterous to revoke these students’s admission. I think this is more of a case of a bureaucrat making a snap decisions based on incredibly limited knowledge of technology; very much like our politicians.

  11. RB says:

    Thier genuises what elese do you expect. All they wanted to do was to find out if they where accepted to Harvard or if they should look eleswhere.

    They are looking up thier application not someone elses and they needed to enter in thier Information to gain access. .
    What they did was very basic stuff.

    We all know what its like to wait for test results.

    Universities get some kind of evil kick out of making applicants wait until the very last minute.

    A crime is breaking into a system using cracking software.
    They didn’t gain acces for $$$ , to steal, ,or to hurt another person.

    Its kinda like leaving the back door to scores open so pimple faced teens gushing with hormones can come in and then when they are in putting cuffs on them.
    Create a petiton here

  12. meetsy says:

    have you guys even SEEN some of the poorly put together “university” websites out there? Overall, they’re awful.
    I think if the kids were able to maneuver AT ALL through the system…they should get EXTRA CREDIT.
    Unfortunately, most administrators don’t even KNOW what is on the website, how it’s constructed, or how to maneuver around. For all we know, the “hackers” were directed to do what they did by an ADMINISTRATOR who only knew how to get there via a back door. (Or an office aide, or a student who couldn’t get into the site, and had found another way around.)
    People jump to conclusions…and there is so much misinformation in the world (mostly “educated by network news programs”) that I’m sure the REAL story and the reported story have little in common.
    Forget punishing the kids…..and affecting their future….let’s try making school administrators responsible, reasonable adults. But, everyone is all into “easy answers” and the unthinking reaction.
    ….I agree, Thomas and Ima…..

  13. Thomas says:

    Hank, clearly our differences lay in the fact that IMO this is only considered hacking to the uninformed. If someone changed the desktop color on the computer you provided them to fill out their application, would you fire them for that? If on this same computer you put a link called “stuff” on the desktop which contained other employee reviews, would you fire them for looking at it? If you happened to wire up a keyboard shortcut to the employee reviews document, but did not display it and an applicant was savvy enough to hit that shortcut, would you fire them for that? In my mind, those are all the same as this situation.

    This entire concept of security through obscurity and then lowering the boom on people that find the hidden content is the same kind of nonsense that brought us the DMCA. If users were able to get to this content with no login or their own login, the presumption should be that it was available to them.

  14. RB says:

    Punishment must fit the crime!

    Hank your a stickler for details .
    I don’t agree with you at all.

    Listen to meetsy

    Some of the greatest minds in the industry started off as hackers.
    I don’t think what the kids did on the harvard Computer was a hack but a simple way of beating around the bush.

    Not much different than using a short cuts used in a game program.

    If we toss away the brightest young minds then we are left with nothing!
    We as a society need to feed the bright minds and lead them in the right dierection.

    Purpose of the education system is to educate not discipline.

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  17. warCearty says:

    Georgia Offers Fresh Evidence on War’s Start
    A new front has opened between Georgia and Russia, now over which side was the aggressor whose military activities early last month ignited the lopsided five-day war. At issue is new intelligence, inconclusive on its own, that nonetheless paints a more complicated picture of the critical last hours before war broke out.
    Georgia has released intercepted telephone calls purporting to show that part of a Russian armored regiment crossed into the separatist enclave of South Ossetia nearly a full day before Georgia’s attack on the capital, Tskhinvali, late on Aug. 7.


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