Shin Jeong-ah was the youngest professor at the esteemed Dongguk University in Seoul. Boasting a doctorate from the History of Art department at Yale, she was a rising star, the curator of a celebrated South Korean art museum and the newly-appointed director of one of Southeast Asia’s largest art exhibitions.
But Shin, it turns out, never attended Yale. In Korea, prestigious diplomas are currency for landing top jobs, and Shin has been shunned after the University confirmed this summer that her purported credentials were actually fiction.
The scandal did not stop with Shin. Her downfall spurred a wave of resume-checking across the country, with leading artists, scholars and celebrities falling from grace almost daily as the authorities discovered fabricated credentials.
--Thomas Kaplan, Yale Daily News, on social climbing in a credential-obsessed country