University of Michigan's 1st social media director resigns after resume inaccuracy revealed
University of Michigan's social media director resigned Monday after the school became aware she did not graduate from college.
Jordan Miller was hired by the university in February at a $100,000 yearly salary. She occupied a newly created position and was in charge of the university's social media presence and strategy.
Melanie Maxwell | AnnArbor.com
When applying, Miller stated on her resume and job application that she graduated from Columbia College in Chicago.
That is not the case.
Miller said the misinformation was "an honest mistake."
"My intention was never to deceive the university, but I acknowledge that I made a mistake, and I'm very sorry," she said in an email to AnnArbor.com on Tuesday. "In light of this, I believe that it's in the best interest of the university that I resign from my position, so I have chosen to do that."
Miller's resignation was effective Monday.
Miller's statement is a change from Friday, when she said she was "doing everything in my power to resolve this as quickly as possible."
On Friday AnnArbor.com verified with the records department of Columbia College that Miller did not graduate from the school. According to U-M spokesperson Rick Fitzgerald, university officials have also confirmed that Miller has not graduated.
Columbia College records clerk William Gregory said that under current practices the school sends letters to students informing them if they are short of credits and cannot graduate.
Miller has declined to say whether or not she was aware of her graduation status. She has also declined to say how many credits she is shy of graduation.
When Miller's position was first posted in October 2011, it was advertised as paying between $90,000 and $110,000 and requiring a "bachelors degree in marketing, communications, journalism or related field."
In a 2011 interview, U-M Vice President for Global Communications Lisa Rudgers, who was in charge of the hire, said the university received dozens of applications for the position.
Rudgers is responsible for any personnel action pertaining to Miller, said Fitzgerald.
"I appreciate all the talent and insight Jordan Miller brought to elevating the university's social space," Rudgers said in a statement Tuesday. "Her work has been stellar, and she has established a solid foundation from which to build and grow."
Fitzgerald told AnnArbor.com Monday afternoon, prior to Miller's resignation announcement, that the university hadn't "come to a conclusion yet" on Miller's employment status but said officials were having "a series of conversations" on the matter.
Fitzgerald said the school's compliance hotline was first notified of the potential inaccuracy on Miller's application on Thursday night. AnnArbor.com has been requesting information from U-M and Columbia College and reviewing documents since the inaccuracies came to our attention through an online post Friday.
AnnArbor.com requested the number of inaccurate applications U-M encounters each year, but Fitzgerald said the school did not keep a record of such incidents. "I got a sense anecdotally that it’s not very common," he said.
Fitzgerald said the university doesn't have a standard practice for dealing with academic misrepresentation once an applicant is employed at the university.
"It could depend on whether it was an error or intentional, what kind of situation it was, so there are a number of ways it could be handled," he said Monday.
Fitzgerald said that criminal background checks are standard when U-M is considering hiring an applicant. Yet education verification isn't standard for staff positions, although it is for faculty positions, he said.
"It's up to the hiring unit if they want to go beyond that standard," he said. Fitzgerald would not say whether the university attempted to verify Miller's education before hiring her, saying it was a "specific personnel question that I am not able to answer."
Miller, 31 years old at the time of her hire, is a former advertising copywriter and journalist with the Ann Arbor News and contributor for AnnArbor.com.