University News

This week in higher ed: Sept. 16, 2015

By
University News Editor
Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Baruch students face murder charges for hazing death

Five students from Manhattan’s Baruch College will face murder charges for the December 2013 death of Chun Hsein Deng, almost two years after a hazing incident for the fraternity Pi Delta Psi led to Deng’s fatal head injury, the New York Times reported.

A freshman at the time, Deng was forced to walk blindfolded through a field while carrying a heavy backpack and was then slammed into the frozen ground during a pledging event in Monroe County, Pennsylvania. He was subsequently kept inside a house for hours while the fraternity members covered their tracks.

The investigation lasted years due to the uncertainty surrounding exactly which fraternity members had been involved in the incident. A Monroe County grand jury recommended Monday that 37 individuals face criminal charges, including five counts of third-degree murder. The fraternity was kicked off of Baruch’s campus in 2013, and pledging events at all Baruch fraternities were suspended in 2014.

 

Obama releases College Scorecard

The Obama administration released its College Scorecard earlier this month, responding to criticisms that college rankings, such as the ones by U.S. News and World Report, create adverse incentives for schools and do not provide transparency for potential students.

President Obama’s scorecard uses federal data about each college’s graduation rate, salary after attending, school size, student debt and attendance cost data, The Atlantic reported.

While each category comes with an ordered list, the categories are not combined into any sort of overall ranking. “The status quo serves some colleges and the companies that rank them just fine,” Obama said at the Scorecard’s unveiling. “But it doesn’t serve our students well — and that doesn’t serve us well.”

The president previously expressed concern that ranking systems lead schools to focus on low acceptance rates, higher tuitions and alums over current students, according to a 2013 White House press release.

 

Double murder suspect at Delta State takes own life

A Delta State University professor allegedly murdered his girlfriend and another Delta professor Monday night before taking his own life in a police chase around 12 hours later, the New York Times reported Tuesday.

The suspect, Professor of Geography and Social Science Shannon Lamb, was pulled over 35 miles away from the Cleveland, Mississipi campus before running into a wooded area. Police officers reported hearing a gunshot, and Lamb was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital later that night.

The 3,000-student campus was placed on lockdown while the police attempted to locate the suspect, with the university sending a message to students to stay away from public spaces. The motivation for the murders of Amy Prentiss and Ethan Schmidt, an assistant professor of American history at Delta State, is not yet apparent, according to area police. This marks the 108th death related to school shootings in the U.S. since the start of 2010.

 

New study finds recent female grads narrowing the wage gap

An analysis of earnings data from 2009-13 by economists at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York indicates that women who recently graduated from college make an average of 97 cents per dollar earned by men with the same degree and job position, taking into account a number of demographics, NBC News reported. Still, the overall rate for women sits at 77 or 78 cents for each dollar earned by men.

The analysis looked at 73 majors and determined that women with degrees in 29 of those majors make more on average than men with an equivalent degree. Social service fields and treatment therapists were particularly pronounced in their wage favorability to recent female graduates.

The data concerned adults aged 22-27 with a college degree, but the study also concluded that the gap increases when examining college-graduated women over 27. The study did not consider workforce participants without college degrees.