A tragic incident unfolded at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) on Wednesday, resulting in the death of three faculty members and the injury of another in a mass shooting. The suspect, who had applied for a college professorship at UNLV but was not hired, engaged in a firefight with the police and was pronounced dead at the scene.
Cha Jan Chang
Among the victims was Cha Jan Chang, 64, affectionately known as “Jerry,” who served as a business professor at UNLV and resided in Henderson, Nevada. The Clark County coroner confirmed his identity. Dr. Chang had a substantial academic career, having been an assistant professor at UNLV from 2001 to 2007 and subsequently attaining the rank of associate professor in 2007. He earned both his master’s and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Pittsburgh. UNLV President Keith Whitfield expressed deep sorrow, acknowledging Dr. Chang’s extensive contribution to the field of management information systems during his more than 20 years at UNLV.
Patricia Navarro Velez
Another victim, Patricia Navarro Velez, 39, held the position of assistant professor in accounting at UNLV and lived in Las Vegas. The coroner provided confirmation of her identity. Dr. Navarro Velez, who earned her Ph.D. from the University of Central Florida, specialized in cybersecurity disclosures, assurance, internal control weakness disclosure, and data analytics. President Whitfield highlighted her dedication to educating the next generation of accountants, noting that she had been with UNLV for nearly five years.
The UNLV community and the academic world at large are grappling with the profound loss of these esteemed faculty members. As investigations into the motive and circumstances of the shooting unfold, the university mourns the lives of Dr. Chang and Dr. Navarro Velez, remembering their impactful contributions to education and scholarship.