On paper, Jacob Ruijskman was a decorated University professor: a graduate of MIT’s economics program, who had co-authored papers on the Great Depression and the financial crisis and made contributions to applied game theory. He had taken on five advisees from the Class of 2016.
There was only one problem: there was no such person as Jacob Ruijskman. Evidence has emerged indicating that five independent work advisers in the economics department and seven in the operations research and financial engineering department have University email addresses and offices but do not exist in real life.
The University did not respond to a request for comment, but University President Christopher Eisgruber ’83 released an email to the University student body saying that mistakes were made and that the University will try to fix them.
Economics department representative R.U. There did not respond to multiple requests for comment, but ORFE department representative I.M. There said that the rumors are true and that his department has been inventing advisers as legal fictions.
“The Princeton thesis never mattered much,” he said. “All our students end up on Wall Street anyway, so who cares if they make some halfhearted attempt at academic research?”
He added that most professors in the ORFE department felt that their most important mission was research rather than teaching, and that advising students was distracting.
Other professors in the department traded off answering emails to the nonexistent professors and putting up fake CVs, There said.
James Shin ’16, a senior in the economics department, explained that he first became suspicious after he sent off several emails to his adviser that went unanswered. After showing up at his adviser’s door and sending an email to the department coordinator, he was told that his adviser was at a conference in London. When he persisted further, the department informed him that his adviser had taken an emergency leave of absence.
Other students from both departments said that they had had similar experiences as Shin.
Sheldon Maddox GS, a graduate student in the ORFE department who precepted for ORF 309, explained that he had never met Hans Wienerhaüsen, the professor for whom he was TAing, and that all grading and teaching instructions were sent remotely.
“I wasn’t surprised that I never met him, considering that most professors don’t have time to deal with the tedium of actually administering their classes and leave it up to graduate students,” Maddox said. “But now that I think about it, professors not existing makes total sense.”
Both Maddox and Shin said that the news utterly flabbergasted them, and Maddox added that he still does not know how the department taught the class without a professor.
“It’s a strange feeling when you realize that Dolly Parton’s tits are more real than your thesis adviser,” Shin said.
*This article is part of The Daily Princetonian's annual joke issue. Don't believe everything you read on the internet!*