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Internal Auditing

Case in Point:
Lessons for the pro-active manager

September 2012
Vol. 4 No. 9
Quotable...
''Passwords are like underwear  …  change yours often …. don't share them with friends … don't leave yours lying around …''

-- Virginia E. Rezmierski
EDUCOM '98

National Cyber Security Awareness Month is upon us. In October, businesses and universities stress safe computing to their employees and students, and so shall we. Over the course of the upcoming month, consider how you can better protect yourself, your computer, and your institution in the technology world. We consistently see in Case in Point how minor lapses in user diligence can lead to major problems for institutions of higher education. Every computer user plays an important role in keeping the institution from harm in the technology area.

There are many great resources available to assist you in proactively managing technology risks, one of which is from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) which lists their Top Ten Safe Computing Tips1:

  1. Patch, Patch, PATCH! Set up your computer for automatic software and operating system updates.
  2. Install protective software.
  3. Choose strong passwords.
  4. Backup, Backup, BACKUP!
  5. Control access to your machine.
  6. Use email and the Internet safely.
  7. Use secure connections.
  8. Protect sensitive data.
  9. Use desktop firewalls.
  10. Most importantly, stay informed.

Auburn University also promotes safe computing, and we suggest you visit the "KeepITSafe" web site here at AU: http://keepitsafe.auburn.edu for excellent tips and 2012 Nation Cyber Security Awareness Month promotional material.

As with most risks, prevention is much better than dealing with the reality of a security breach or other computing failure. We hope you will think about pro-actively managing risks not only in the technology area but also the other areas presented in this month's survey of higher education risks.

M. Kevin Robinson, CIA, CFE, CCEP
Executive Director, Internal Auditing


Information Security & Technology Events

Sept. 12, 2012: The University of Miami Hospital (UMH) has begun to notify patients for the second time this year that some of their personal information may be at risk after the health care institution was hit with a data breach in July. According to a letter being sent to patients this month, two employees at the hospital were found ''inappropriately accessing'' patients' ''face sheets," documents that give doctors a quick glance at patients' information. (link)

Aug. 31, 2012: Two men who've been arrested on charges that they hacked into the website of Sony Pictures Entertainment and posted stolen data studied together at the same university, and they also participated on the university's team for the Cyber Defense Competition held in March 2011, according to a former co-captain of the team. (link)


Fraud & Ethics Related Events

Sept. 24, 2012: Two of four men convicted last month of stealing more than $5 million from New York's Columbia University were sentenced to as much as 21 years in prison. (link)

Sept. 21, 2012: The growth of the online education market appears to have spun off another, more surreptitious market – one that goes beyond the paper-writing services long available to less than honest students – and online educators are taking note. A handful of websites have sprung up recently offering to take a student's entire online class for them, handling assignments, quizzes, and tests, for a fee. (link)

Sept. 18, 2012: A Brevard Community College math instructor is being investigated by the college for allegedly using class time to urge students to vote for President Barack Obama and for distributing campaign material that says ''I pledge to vote for President Obama and Democrats up and down the ticket." (link)

Sept. 11, 2012: Already bruised by scandals involving academic corner-cutting and improper gifts to football players, North Carolina's flagship public university is confronting a new problem: Allegations of improper travel spending. (link)

Sept. 5, 2012: Marc Hauser, a prolific scientist and popular psychology professor who last summer resigned from Harvard University, had fabricated data, manipulated results in multiple experiments, and described how studies were conducted in factually incorrect ways, according to the findings of a federal research oversight agency posted online Wednesday. (link)

Sept. 4, 2012: Harvard University revealed Thursday what could be its largest cheating scandal in memory, saying that about 125 students might have worked in groups on a take-home final exam despite being explicitly required to work alone. (link)


Compliance/Regulatory & Legal Events

Sept. 26, 2012: The presidents of the Virginia's public colleges and universities are seeking legislation to protect administrators and campus counseling centers from liability in lawsuits such as the one filed after the Virginia Tech massacre. (link)

Sept. 26, 2012: UNC-Chapel Hill Chancellor Holden Thorp said Wednesday the university is planning to strike a new – and possibly ground-breaking – balance between athletics and academics at one of the nation's leading public universities. Among the coming changes: tougher admissions requirements for athletes. Thorp also said in an interview with News & Observer reporters and editors that faculty members will have more oversight of classes that athletes take once they are on campus.

Sept. 26, 2012: Today attorneys for 21 UC Davis students and recent alumni announced the details of their settlement of the federal class-action lawsuit against UC Davis over the shocking incident in which campus police repeatedly doused seated, non-violent student demonstrators with military grade pepper spray at close range. (link)

Sept. 26, 2012: Thousands of logos depicting an American Indian warrior will remain inside the University of North Dakota's hockey and basketball arenas under a reworked agreement announced Wednesday by the NCAA and the state's attorney general. (link)

Sept 24, 2012: For the first time, anyone at Kansas University who becomes a victim of discrimination or harassment has one central place to call. That would be the university's office of Institutional Opportunity and Access, which opened at the beginning of the fall semester. (link)

Sept. 23, 2012: Christopher Newport University is signaling a willingness — and we think it's a wise willingness — to change its student protest policy in light of students being blocked from demonstrating at a political rally last week. Under CNU's policy for student protests, students must give 10 days notice before holding an on-campus demonstration. (link)

Sept. 19, 2012: The Connecticut Supreme Court has ruled that a fraternity can be sued in connection with a 2003 crash that killed four Yale University students, including two Yale baseball team members. The students were returning from a Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity event in New York City on Jan. 17, 2003, when their SUV slammed into a tractor-trailer that had crashed on Interstate 95 in Fairfield. (link)

Sept. 18, 2012: The U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of California and the Inspector General of the U.S. Department of the U.S. Department of Education announced today that 21 individuals have been indicted for participating in Federal student aid fraud schemes that preyed on at least 15 schools across California. (link)

Sept. 18, 2012: A well-known computer programmer and activist who allegedly downloaded millions of files from JSTOR, a nonprofit journal archive, now faces nine additional felony charges from federal prosecutors in an indictment issued last week. (link)

Sept. 16, 2012: A former University of Southern Mississippi faculty member has brought numerous civil claims against the university, asking for reinstatement and unspecified actual and compensatory damages in a lawsuit removed to U.S. District Court. (link)

Sept. 13, 2012: A University of California patent licensee which has sued some of the biggest U.S. companies is taking on three more -- Facebook Inc, Wal-Mart Stores Inc and the Walt Disney Co. (link)

Sept. 13, 2012: The University of California on Thursday released the final version of a report, first outlined in May, that offers a series of recommendations on the handling of campus protests. The university's president, Mark G. Yudof, commissioned the report after students and police officers clashed last year on the system's Berkeley and Davis campuses. (link) (link)

Sept. 12, 2012: Smokers on campus are now facing citations instead of warnings at the University of Arkansas. In 2008, the University of Arkansas adopted a voluntary tobacco-free policy on campus. The state law banning smoking on college campuses anywhere in Arkansas went into effect on August 1, 2010. (link)

Sept. 12, 2012: A Wesleyan University student pleaded not guilty to a voyeurism charge in Middletown Superior Court on Wednesday. The victim told police she went into the shower and was aware there was a male in the shower next to hers, as the bathroom was co-ed. The victim said she heard the shower shut off at least twice and saw a hand with a camera phone reach under her stall and possibly take pictures. (link)

Sept. 11, 2012: Amy Bishop, the ex-professor at the University of Alabama in Huntsville that shot and killed three of her colleagues during a faculty meeting two years ago, wounding three others, has pleaded guilty to some of the charges, including capital murder involving two or more people and attempted murder. Her defense had been insanity prior to that. (link)

Sept. 11, 2012: The University of Alberta's new head of psychiatry is facing an allegation of sexual misconduct involving a female patient in Ontario. Documents obtained by CBC News indicate the Ontario College of Physicians and Surgeons will hold a hearing into the allegation that Dr. Claudio de Novaes Soares had sexual relations with a woman who was a patient between November 2007 and May 2009. At that time, he was a professor at McMaster University in Hamilton. (link)

Sept. 11, 2012: Florida A&M University is not responsible for drum major Robert Champion's hazing death, according to a court document filed Monday night. Champion himself is. In a 23-page motion seeking dismissal of a wrongful death lawsuit filed by Champion's family in Orange County circuit court, FAMU's attorneys laid out a blunt response. (link)

Sept. 10, 2012: The current cheerleading coach for Coastal Carolina University had a brief run in with the law in Conway over the weekend. (link)

Sept. 10, 2012: Kimberly Muhich is suing Vanderbilt University over a grant payback requirement, citing that Vanderbilt failed to inform her that the money guaranteed to her came from a federal grant, which requires repayment from the recipient. (link)

Sept. 6, 2012: A federal watchdog agency has initiated an investigation into the care of three UC Davis patients who died after undergoing experimental treatments for brain cancer. (link)

Sept. 6, 2012: A fraternity at Miami University in southern Ohio has dropped a $10 million lawsuit against the school that alleged that university officials acted with "malice, hatred and ill will" by suspending the organization for a fireworks battle and having marijuana. (link)

Sept. 5, 2012: Several states with financial difficulties have moved quietly in recent years to reduce spending on college education by denying low tuition rates and financial aid to American citizens who are the children of illegal immigrants. But in separate decisions over the past month, courts in New Jersey and Florida have rebuffed those efforts, adding new limits to the measures state officials can take to crack down on illegal immigrants by denying benefits to them and their families. (link)

Aug. 31, 2012: A diminutive Grand View University student whose jaw was broken after dorm mates wrapped him in carpet, beat him and let him fall to the ground with his arms immobilized by duct tape and rope has sued the school and six of its students based on alleged negligence and bullying. (link)


Campus Life & Safety Events

Sept. 27, 2012: The University of Tennessee says it has suspended a fraternity chapter indefinitely and may refocus its alcohol education programs after police said a student was hospitalized following a weekend incident involving alcohol enemas. (link)

Sept. 27, 2012: Texas Southern University has suspended its famous marching band after university officials received a report of hazing among its members. (link)

Sept. 27, 2012: A Florida State University fraternity has been suspended by its national board and FSU police are investigating a reported rape at the fraternity. (link)

Sept. 25, 2012: A Princeton University student has been charged with invasion of privacy after a fellow student accused him of taking sexually explicit photographs of him while he slept. (link)

Sept. 25, 2012: Sigma Alpha Epsilon's national headquarters has closed its 107-year-old chapter at the University of Iowa, one of the longest-standing fraternities at UI, because of hazing. (link) (link)

Sept. 23, 2012: Dartmouth College administrators have sent the message that hazing among Greek organizations will not be tolerated. (link)

Sept. 22, 2012: Appalachian State University has changed the way it handles allegations of sexual assault, following up on promised reforms after controversy arose last school year when two female students said they were raped by football players. (link)

Sept. 21, 2012: The University of Vermont has concluded that a fraternity was not responsible for a survey that asked members whom they would like to rape. The campus chapter of Sigma Phi Epsilon was closed last December and an investigation launched after a student reported the survey to university officials. (link)

Sept. 19, 2012: There's an arrest but no apparent motive in the bomb threat that led authorities to evacuate the Louisiana State University campus earlier this week. (link)

Sept. 18, 2012: The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is again extending its reach onto University of California campuses, raising questions about the limits of free speech and how welcome Jewish and Muslim students feel at their schools. But this time, the controversy does not spring from the kind of direct confrontation that occurred two years ago when Muslim protesters tried to shout down the Israeli ambassador during a speech at UC Irvine and then faced criminal prosecution. Instead, the current debate is being stirred by studies UC commissioned about how to cool tempers and whether anti-Semitism and anti-Muslim bias are serious problems on the system's 10 campuses. (link)

Sept. 17, 2012: Yale University is requiring students to inform the school in advance of any off-campus party that involves more than 50 people. The policy, which went into effect this semester, involves registering the location of the party and the name of an official host with the school, the New Haven Register reported Monday. (link)

Sept. 11, 2012: A North Dakota State College of Science football player has quit school after the head coach removed him from the team following revelations the player is homosexual. (link)

Sept. 10, 2012: An interesting tweet popped up on my feed today from @SMU. The message for students: watch a Youtube video and win free lattes. The video is a short clip, titled ''SMU Know What To Do: Lockdown,'' and shows steps students should take during an emergency — whether a chemical spill in a lab, a natural disaster or a shooter on the SMU campus. (link)

Sept. 10, 2012: University of Virginia President Teresa A. Sullivan says the school has many recreational activities for students. But climbing scaffolding around the Rotunda isn't one of them. (link)

Sept. 10, 2012: Middle Tennessee State University officials are warning students who came into close contact with Jacob Nunley, 18, a freshman from Dyersburg, Tenn., to get checked for meningitis. (link)

Sept. 7, 2012: A Towson University student says he's gathering support for a white-pride organization on campus, a semester after his efforts to start a related group stalled amid a campuswide debate over race and free speech. Matthew Heimbach, a senior U.S. history major, is leading the effort to create a White Student Union. His former group, Youth for Western Civilization, had sparked controversy with its public displays against Islam, same-sex marriage and multicultural education. (link)

Sept. 4, 2012: Florida A&M University has suspended a school dance team amid an allegation of hazing over the Labor Day weekend. Interim President Larry Robinson today ordered the immediate suspension of the Torque Dance Team after FAMU received an anonymous report from a parent about an off-campus hazing event, FAMU announced this evening. (link)

Sept. 2, 2012: A night of drinking at a fraternity party had a tragic outcome for Fresno State freshman Philip Dhanens, who died Sunday at a Fresno hospital. Even before the 18-year-old pledge's death, the university had taken steps Saturday to suspend recognition of the Theta Chi fraternity. The Theta Chi national organization informed the university the same day of its own suspension of the chapter. (link)

Sept. 1, 2012: Clark Atlanta University temporarily suspended band performances by its Mighty Marching Panthers this week after receiving an allegation of possible hazing, the university announced on its website. (link)


Other News & Events

Sept. 26, 2012: As colleges scramble to offer so-called massive open online courses, or MOOC's, faculty members have found themselves struggling to keep up with those plans and to make sure their views are heard. A dozen colleges, including Duke University and the California Institute of Technology, announced partnerships with the MOOC-platform company Coursera in July, and 17 more signed up this month. In some of those cases, faculty members had little input in the fast-moving negotiations, which took place over the summer. (link)

Sept. 26, 2012: A student newspaper at a Christian college in Dayton planned to write a story about a Biblical studies professor who resigned after being arrested on attempted child molestation charges, but the story was spiked by the college president. (link)

Sept. 25, 2012: They're the pride and backbone of American higher education, doing essential research and educating en masse the next generations of scientists and engineers. But a new report argues the mission of the country's 101 major public research universities is imperiled by budget cuts amounting to one-fifth of their state funding over the past decade. (link)

Sept. 24, 2012: Science professors at American universities widely regard female undergraduates as less competent than male students with the same accomplishments and skills, a new study by researchers at Yale concluded. (link)

Sept. 22, 2012: E. Gordon Gee makes millions as president of Ohio State University, but a Dayton Daily News investigation found the university spends almost as much for Gee to travel the globe, throw parties, wine and dine donors, woo prospective faculty, hang out with students and staff and maintain a 9,600-square-foot mansion on 1.3 acres. (link)

Sept. 20, 2012: City College of San Francisco is perilously close to bankruptcy, in part because it employs nearly twice as many faculty as similar colleges and pays them better - yet educates no more students on average, says a new financial analysis of the state's largest public school. (link)

Sept. 17, 2012: Mark Heinrich, who was chosen in a unanimous vote of the State Board of Education, will be the seventh person to lead the Alabama Community College System since 2006. He will take over a system that has been plagued by corruption, instability, underfunding, and a poor public image, but he says he is ready for the challenge. (link)

Sept. 17, 2012: St. Louis University on Monday said it is dropping a controversial  proposal that would have changed the way the school handled tenured faculty. (link)

Sept. 11, 2012: The higher education world is on the cusp of massive upheaval spurred by competition from digital learning systems, according to a report by Pew Internet/Elon University. Some of the most prestigious schools in the United States are fighting encroachment from online class providers by joining the digital revolution. (link)


If you have any suggestions, questions or feedback, please e-mail me at robinmk@auburn.edu. We hope you find this information useful and would appreciate hearing your thoughts. Feel free to forward this email to your direct reports, colleagues, employees or others who might find it of value. Back issues of this newsletter are available on our web site at http://www.auburn.edu/audit.

If you have any suggestions for items to include in future newsletters, please e-mail Robert Gottesman at gotterw@auburn.edu.

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Department of Internal Auditing
Auburn University
304 Samford Hall
M. Kevin Robinson, Exec. Director
robinmk@auburn.edu
334.844.4389

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