Ivy Dean

Our friends hired Dee Blackman for her Ivy League creds as a former dean of admissions. She pulled the plug on their contract and never gave them a speck of advice. They’re out of pocket a couple of grand and last we checked she didn’t pay them back. Lesson: do your homework folks. Just because somebody has Ivy League creds doesn’t mean they are going to deliver.

Wow, awful story. Drusilla Blackman sounds like a real piece of work.

What do you mean, “pulled the plug on their contract”?

@NUwildcat92 to “pull the plug” means to end something without notice (e.g. pulling the plug on life support).

@123JodieHickman That’s really unfortunate for your friends but I feel like it could have been avoided. There are a few general rules when hiring contractors, for example, don’t pay until the job is complete, make sure the contractor is licensed, contact BBB whether complaints were filed against her, etc.

Also I searched online; Dee Blackman has worked in admissions for over 30 years and was the dean of Graduate Admissions and Financial Aid at Harvard. It would seem highly unlikely for someone of that caliber to make such a mistake.

Who hired her? She was a brilliant admissions dean at both Harvard and Columbia. A white male senior staffer in her Harvard office told me over several conversations that a number of legally contestable actions were inflicted upon her, and that rather than go through the courts to right the wrongs she left. The thought of taking on Harvard in court apparently keeps many people from addressing bad treatment. According to the staffer, as far as anyone knew Dee Blackman was the first Black dean in the Graduate School. To think that such did not have something to do with the poor way she was treated would be ridiculous. Harvard is an extremely conservative institution with a diverse shell. But most think it quite progressive. Not.

Further, have you talked to her to see why she pulled the plug? Lots of people pull plugs - some legit some not. This is a very talented lady who is an alumna of Brown, Wharton and Yale. Colleagues of mine who worked with her early in her career found her brilliant, creative, visionary and bold. I have no reason to believe that what they said was untrue. I think that something in the milk may have been dirty in that contract. Such is not unthinkable.

So…the same administration that promoted her to Dean then chose to mistreat her because of her race?

In the same way Mr. Obama was elected president and is often mocked because of his race. Or more pertinently, did Ruth Simmons’ presidency suggest no or little racism at Brown? Or did she happen to be at the right place at the right time (that is, if you believe that her appointment was "right’ in the first place - I certainly cannot assume as much based on this thread!)? Surely you are not arguing the former!

Further, promotions do not mitigate racism, misogyny, xenophobia, homophobia, etc. that may be directed at the promotee. Dee’s then-supervisor obviously thought well of her. That says nothing about the rest of administration - it may indicate something about some – but there is nothing definitive certainly Further, that tiny promotion does not shield her from racism and misogyny internal to or external to the institution. As is the case everywhere, there are many, many at the school who would never have promoted her under any circumstances. They happened not to be in charge at that moment. Had they inherited her, her future would have been bleak. Had they chaired the search, they never would have hired her in the first place.

There was a certain former Harvard president who insulted women in public. Women faculty – especially the scientists – suffered a misogynistic assault when that happened, and they are the best scientists in the world. They were promoted to full professor. with Endowed chairs at that. Does that mean they don’t have *()_ thrown in their face by colleagues and such? If a woman does not suffer rape or domestic abuse does not imply at all that she is not a victim of sexist sociopathy. It also comes in a million forms - now understood as microaggressions. These “little” slights can devastate. Like death by a million cuts.

A colleague from down the hall has just joined me in my office and made some good points:

a. How many times on CC does a specific name come up for besmirching? VERY VERY few.
b. Clearly this is personal. Much the way someone stabbed 50 times definitely knows the perp. A stranger would not do as much – it would be quick - like a shooting or a single massive blow.
c. I should not participate in this thread further.

@cutepug - You make good points here, and I’m glad you did. Did you see that this thread was OP’s first post on CC? Interesting…

The same experience happened to us with Dee Blackman. She was entirely unhelpful, condescending and difficult to work with. She also helped someone else I heard about and offered very little assistance to that family. I would never recommend her. What a disappointment. Terrible.

The fact that a college counselor company’s name comes up is a good thing on a site called College Confidential where people shop for college advice!!! Why should anyone hire someone who is completely ineffective?

This was absolutely our own experience wth her. Awful.

Does anyone have any updates on Ivy Dean? She is still operating and wondering if her service has gotten any better? Or worse @Burke1 @cutepug

These users have not been online for years. Old threads should be used for research, but should not be needlessly bumped. As you started a new thread, I am closing this one.