of Higher Education®
February 17, 2012 • $6.99
Volume LVIII, Number 24
After a Death, a Question: Are Students Hard-Wired for Hazing?
By Eric Hoover
THE DRUM major’s death de- manded a response, a plan, a solution. Something that
ensured Robert Champion had left
behind a world where one student
would never again beat the last
breath out of another.
After a football game last No-
vember, Mr. Champion boarded a
bus with other members of Florida
A&M University’s Marching 100
band. Soon thereafter, he was dead.
A medical examiner found deep
bruises on his chest, arms, shoul-
ders, and back. He died, the autopsy
report said, of “hemorrhagic shock
due to soft tissue hemorrhage due to
blunt force trauma sustained during
a hazing incident.”
Reactions to Mr. Champion’s
death have taken many forms. Flori-
da A&M suspended that band, fired
its director, and halted recruitment
of new members. With help from a
public-relations firm, the university
voted to create an “anti-hazing com-
mittee,” a panel of outside experts
that will examine how other colleg-
es have dealt with violence among
students. Late last year, a Congress-
woman from Florida announced her
plan to introduce legislation that
would strip federal aid from all col-
lege students punished for hazing. In
Georgia, where Mr. Champion grew
up, lawmakers are considering leg-
islation that would ban any student
convicted of hazing from the state’s
high schools and universities.
ZUMA PReSS, NeWSCoM
The Marching 100 of Florida A&M U. performed at the Super Bowl in 2010.
The prestigious band has a brutal hazing tradition, a former member says.
Crunch Time for Polar Science
to Track Ph.D.’s
A review of the U.S. Antarctic Program could bring changes
By Stacey Patton
for researchers who depend on the region’s unique conditions
How do you O
not to want
CHRoNICLe PHoTo By PAUL BASkeN
A C-130 military transport plane brings researchers to the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station. The State Department
sees year-round staffing of the three American research stations in Antarctica as “essential” to U.S. interests.
American research ■ on the
vast continent is part of a
geopolitical strategy that
dates to the 1940s. A12
Studies of ice cores ■ yield
THREE WEEKS before the history de- partment at Rutgers University began making decisions about whom to ad-
crucial and sometimes sur-
prising results for climate-
change researchers. A13
The South Pole ■ is home to
telescopes that may help
scientists learn about the
edges of the universe. A15
mit to its doctoral program this year, about
one-quarter of its faculty gathered over lunch
to talk about the employment crisis, the future
direction of their field, and all the things they
don’t know about their recent Ph.D.’s.
Some participants voiced frustration be-
cause the department does
not have comprehensive
data on how many grad-
uate students entered the
program, how long they
stayed, and where they
eventually found jobs.
The department keeps
a good list of contacts of
graduates for an annual
newsletter, and a depart-
ment administrator has
undertaken the arduous
task of locating former
students, but some faculty members say the
results are still well short of a complete re-
cord of what Ph.D.’s have or have not done.
Rudolph M. Bell, a Rutgers professor
who specializes in Italian history, says that
tracking Ph.D.’s is a matter of quality con-
trol. Being able to provide accurate data,
he says, is important for making the case
to potential donors and foundations that a
department is worthy of their support.
But fear and faculty resistance, he says,
have hampered the collection of data in some
programs, including at Rutgers.
Continued on Page A6
By focusing O
the field lost
“I cannot believe an organization is allowed to do the things they do in modern America.
It’s as if the Constitution and rules of society don’t apply to them.”
New York Times columnist Joe Nocera takes on the NCAA: A3