The so-called Dean of Mean
December 13, 2012 1:27 AM Subscribe
The complicated and contradictory life of Cecilia Chang, former dean at St. John's University. [NYT]
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Having enjoyed a meteoric rise at St. John's as a fundraiser in the 1980's and 90's, and having served there as an administrator for over thirty years, in 2010 Chang was accused of embezzling $1 million from the school to pay for "lingerie, trips to casinos and her son’s tuition bills." [NYT]
Shortly thereafter, it was revealed that she was using foreign scholarship students as her servants, making them clean and cook at her home for up to 20 hours a week. [NYT]
And during her trial, it came to light that Chang's first husband, Ruey Fung Tsai - with whom she argued over millions and divorced bitterly - was executed in broad daylight back in 1990. As he lay dying in the hospital with three bullets in his back, he wrote on a piece of paper, "My wife did this" and handed it to the police.
She was never charged.
Chang appeared optimistic about her opportunity to defend herself in court against the charge of embezzlement, but alas her testimony went so poorly that jurors trembled with laughter, and prosecutors not involved in the case flocked to the courtroom to catch a glimpse of the trainwreck. [NYT]
Less than 24 hours after her testimony, and facing as many as 30 years in prison, Dr. Cecilia Chang ended her own life. She filled her home with smoke, slit her wrists, and hanged herself with speaker wire. "She was covering all the bases," said one source.