WASHINGTON — Howard University Assistant Dean of Admissions Sharelle Williams knew something was wrong the moment she stepped into the office this week dozens of admissions officers commit suicide.
“My boss, [Dean of Admissions] Mr. [Clarence] Ross, usually empties out all the fax trays when he comes in, and they were full,” Williams said on Wednesday. “Also, there was a strong smell of blood and feces that I’d never noticed before.”
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Dozens of Admissions Officers Commit Suicide
It was only when she walked into Ross’ private, inner office that Williams’ suspicions were confirmed – the dean had killed himself by microwaving aerosol cans and embracing the appliance until it exploded. Entrails and copies of the latest U.S. News & World Report littered the desk and floor.
Eleven months out of the year U.S. News & World Report is ignored. The publication, which has less than half the circulation of Time, was once described by Tom Wolfe as a “third-rate news weekly, aimed at businessmen who don’t like to read.”
Once a year, however, U.S. News releases its annual rankings of American colleges and universities—a event that, historically, boosts both the publication’s sales and the incidence of suicide among college administrators.
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They Killed him,” Williams Said
“It was those rankings that did it; they killed him,” Williams said. “He always said we live and die by those rankings. I just didn’t know he meant it so literally.”
Howard University dropped 22 spots in the 2013 list, falling to 142nd; in addition to Ross, one of the school’s professors killed himself with a paper-slicer.
Howard’s loss was nothing compared to that of Rutgers, however. The Newark, N.J., university fell 27 places in the latest rankings. On Tuesday, a mass suicide via printer ink consumption claimed seven at Rutgers’ admissions office.
“We have brought shame and ignominy to one of the finest institutions in New Jersey,” reads a suicide note signed by “The Rutgers 7.” The note goes on to apologize to the student body for an education found so horribly lacking.
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