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Entries in Harvard (3)

Wednesday
Oct102012

Parents Sue Consultant for $2M After Sons Don't Get into Harvard

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- A couple in Hong Kong is suing a Boston-area education consultant for the $2 million they say they paid him to get their two sons into top prep schools and, ultimately, an Ivy League university. The suit is seen by some as an example of an "arms race" in education.

Gerald and Lily Chow, citizens of Hong Kong, say they hired Mark Zimny and his company, IvyAdmit Consulting Associates in Cambridge, Mass., to help their two sons get into elite schools in the U.S.

"They decided in 2006 that their sons, First Son and Second Son, would benefit most by being educated in the top schools in the United States," says the lawsuit, first filed in 2010 with a U.S. district court in Massachusetts.

The Chows had determined that their "target university" was Harvard, the Boston Globe reported.

Their first son, then 15, graduated as a ninth grader from a junior boarding school in Deerfield, Mass., in June 2007.  The Chows say Zimny approached them at his graduation ceremony, claiming he was a professor at Harvard University, and that he could use his connections to help their sons get into New England boarding schools and Ivy League colleges.

The lawsuit says that Zimny made a number of false claims, including that he was a professor at Harvard.

"Zimny was never a Harvard professor; he had briefly been a visiting assistant professor and a lecturer, but any faculty relationship with Harvard had ended by June 30, 2005, two years before he met the Chows," the suit says.

John Fitzpatrick, an attorney representing Zimny, refuted the allegations in the lawsuit.

"As made clear in the public legal memoranda filed for Dr. Zimny in this case, he absolutely denies committing any fraud or other misconduct," Fitzpatrick told ABC News.

The Chows could not be reached for comment.  Their attorney did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

The suit states that Zimny encouraged the Chows to entrust money to him, which he would then donate on their behalf to the universities to improve their admissions prospects.

"Zimny also claimed that because of 'embedded racism,' there is resistance among the schools from becoming 'too friendly with Asian donors,' and that there is 'an unwritten presumption that donations are expected from full-pay foreign students'," the suit states.

Suzanne Rheault, CEO and founder of Aristotle Circle, a tutoring and educational consulting company based in New York City, said whether or not the allegations are true, educational consulting is a burgeoning industry that has increasingly targeted families outside the U.S.

She said legitimate companies will never promise an outcome to a family. Otherwise, "You're taking advantage of peoples' desperation and eagerness," she said.

She said her company has former admissions officers from Ivy League schools who don't charge "nearly the same" fees. The Chows' fees started out at $4,000 a month for each child, excluding tuition and board, in exchange for tutoring, educational plans and other services.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Nov022011

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg To Recruit Harvard Students

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(CAMBRIDGE, Mass.) -- Mark Zuckerberg, who famously dropped out of Harvard University to start a little website called Facebook, will be back there on Monday to recruit some of its computer scientists to his now giant firm.

The university said Zuckerberg, now 27 and often cited as America's youngest billionaire, will be at a session next week with 200 computer science students.  He was once one of them -- he would have graduated in 2007 -- and he now wants their help to run Facebook for its 800 million worldwide members.

"It is Zuckerberg's first official visit to Harvard since leaving in 2004 to launch Facebook," said the university in a statement.

At a forum in California over the weekend, Zuckerberg said in passing that if he had it to do over, he might still be in the Boston area.  It might have been a better place than Silicon Valley to run Facebook as a firm. "If I were starting now,'' he said, "I would do it very differently, but I knew nothing back then.  Honestly, if I were starting now I would have just stayed in Boston."

Silicon Valley, he said, is a lively place -- one of the few places where things are going right for the American economy -- and it was the right place at the time to start Facebook.  But it is "a little short-term focused, and that bothers me," he said.  "A lot of the companies that have been built outside of Silicon Valley...seem to be on a longer-term cadence than the ones in Silicon Valley.''

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Sunday
Apr102011

Bernard Madoff: Professor of Ethics?

Mario Tama/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Bernard Madoff, the man responsible for the biggest ponzi scheme in modern history, says two of the nation’s top business schools – Harvard and Northwestern – have approached him to work on ethics courses; both schools have denied those claims.

From jail, Madoff told the Financial Times that he passes time by reading Danielle Steel romance novels. But he’s also busy constructing a story of his own.

“He loves talking, he loves telling stories,” Financial Times reporter David Gelles tells ABC News of his interview with Madoff. “Clearly he wanted to have a hand in shaping his own legacy.”

The interview is the second Madoff has given in as many months.

Serving a 150-year sentence, Madoff says he takes “full responsibility” for his actions, but calls others “complicit.”  He says four big clients “pushed” him into his ponzi scheme and repeated his claim that big banks like UBS, HSBC and JPMorgan Chase could have seen it coming.

The families of Madoff’s clients and the banks deny wrongdoing.

“I never got the sense that he felt and was deeply sorry for the smaller investors in particular, that he wiped out,” Gelles said.

Madoff has been talking to a psychologist and taking antidepressants. Four days a week he runs the prison commissary, known around the prison as the “money management department.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio