Corporate Conflicts . com
Insight & Commentary
Corporate Conflicts
Special Commentary:
Is Apprentice Street Smart Candidate a College Graduate ?

A tip of the hat to STEVE KORNACKI of for his investigative reporting that broke this story.

Donald Trump's reality show "The Apprentice - Season 3" broadcast on NBC has a neew twist this season. The premise of this season's show was "Book Smarts" (College Graduates) versus "Street Smarts" (High School Graduates).

With the show underway, New Jersey native Tara Dowdell was shown competing alongside eight other high school graduates on a team dubbed Street Smarts. Prior to joining the cast of "The Apprentice", Dowdell was employed as Director of Appointments in the Office of the New Jersey Governor. She received the position after working on former N.J. Governor Jim McGreevey's initial election campaign.

According to Dowdell's biography posted on NBC's website, "This young woman has made her mark in government not with any fancy degrees, but with determination and hard work".

The only problem is Dowdell is a 1998 graduate of the University of Virginia. According to Dowdell’s self-submitted profile in the 2002 edition of Fitzgerald’s Legislative Manual, she spent her undergraduate years in Charlottesville, Va. majoring in government, with a concentration in minority group politics.

Prospective contestants of "The Apprentice" are asked to complete a questionnaire. The application form requests the candidates to list their level of education. Sources close to the situation said that Dowdell told Mark Burnett Productions, which produces the show, that she had not received her degree.

There is speculation that Dowdell may have completed all of the necessary coursework to earn her college degree but did not officially graduate or receive a degree because of a financial dispute with the University of Virginia.

With the thousands of applicants vying to participate on "The Apprentice", was it really necessary for the show to classify Dowdell as a "Street Smart" ? While it may be legal based on a technicality, whatever happened to the ethics that Donald Trump often refers to while in the boardroom of the show ? It's clear that corporate conflicts creates drama that translates into television ratings.

2005 Nelson Chin.
To inquire about consulting or speaking engagements, e-mail: Nelson Chin

Other Commentaries:

Former Computer Associates CEO faces new indictment. Could auditors have detected the fraud ?

Adelphia and ex-CEO Rigas to settle fraud case.

Arthur Andersen Conviction Overturned: Too Little Too Late.

Worldcom's Ebbers faces $30 Million Fine and life in prison.

Russian Oil Tycoon Mikhail Khodorovsky: Guilty of Fraud and Victim of Politics?

Accounting Giant KPMG Probed for Unlawful Conduct.

Former CEO of HealthSouth Scrushy acquitted.

Former Tyco CEO Kozlowski convicted, faces 30 years.

Outgoing TOYS R US CEO's Favorite Toy? The Golden Parachute.

Sayanora Citigroup. Japan shuts down Private Banking Unit.

Heist at the Bellagio or plot twist for the New Ocean's Eleven sequel?

Eisner versus Ovitz. The Showdown in Tinseltown.

Marsh sinks deeper in insurance scandal.

Managers disconnected at Verizon.

What is Martha stuffing in her stocking this holiday season?

Is Apprentice Street Smart Candidate a College Graduate?

Outsourcing Employees - coming soon.

Samples of Written Policies:

Conflicts of Interest v1
Conflicts of Interest v2
Conflicts of Interest v3

Audit Committee v1


Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002

Final Arthur Andersen Alumni Letter

Corporate Conflicts Website 2004 - 2005 Nelson Chin. All rights reserved.
All logos are trademarks of their respective owners.