Ethics Anonymous Reporting Hotline

Auburn University has contracted with an outside provider, Ethicspoint, Inc. of Portland, Oregon to receive reports regarding concerns over financial irregularities (and similar ethics related matters) and NCAA violations. To file a report, click the Ethics Hotline link or read the FAQ for more information.


Kevin Robinson
Executive Director
Kevin Robinson
Monthly Newsletter
Case In Point:
Lessons for the pro-active manager
Vol. 6 No. 3

This month we continue our look back at the events from 2013 focusing on the category of Fraud & Ethics Related Events. During 2013 we linked 106 stories in this category in Case-in-Point. The breakdown of stories in this category is fairly consistent with what we have seen in prior years:

  • Occupational Fraud 50%
  • Academic Fraud 17%
  • Use of Funds/Conflict of Interest 14%
  • False Reporting 9%
  • Other Misc. 10%

Occupational Fraud occurs when an employee uses their position to commit fraud against their employer. Typically three elements are present when occupational fraud occurs: 1. Pressure of some kind (e.g. financial stress); 2. Rationalization (e.g. I'm only borrowing the funds); and 3. Opportunity (e.g. access to resources in the course of their work). In most cases where occupational fraud occurs, internal controls are very weak, and it is common for the greatest weakness to be that one person has total control of some process with virtually no oversight or monitoring by supervisors or management. The best prevention with respect to occupational fraud and avoiding it within your area is strong internal control.

The academic fraud cases involved a range of activities from falsifying credentials to grade changes. Once again as with occupational fraud, having controls in place is the best way to reduce the likelihood of this type of fraud affecting your operations.

Two areas that seem to be rising in importance involve the use of funds and false reporting. Transparency and accountability for how we use our resources have never been greater within higher education, so considering the scrutiny/appearance of how resources are used should be something we all consider in making decisions. False reporting typically involves non-financial issues within higher education. Ensuring what we report to outside agencies and the public is another thing we should consider and ensure accuracy with the increased scrutiny regarding reported figures and data in higher education.

We again invite you to review the events occurring within higher education over the past month and consider whether there are similar risks here that may require your attention. If you have any comments or suggestions, we always welcome your feedback.


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Last Updated: February 28, 2014

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