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Internal Auditing

Case in Point:
Lessons for the pro-active manager

June 2013
Vol. 5 No. 6
Quotable...
“What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.”

-- Ecclesiastes 1:9 (NIV)

My favorite part of Case-in-Point each month is selecting the quote that in some way goes along with the theme of this column. This month's quote from the Book of Ecclesiastes is shown true each month in the stories we link here in our newsletter. Generally speaking, data is lost, data is breached, funds are stolen, regulations are not followed, conflicts are not disclosed, someone is injured, someone is sued, and on and on it goes with seemingly the same things happening again and again each month.

Contextually this month's quote rings in some ways of despair; however, the theme of our newsletter is not intended to be one of despair (we hope) but one of the importance of pro-active management. Rather than being the headline we hope to help remind you of the risks that can happen on university campuses so that you can help limit the exposures we face. Many of the risks we face remain fairly constant but without continued vigilance in our management of them we may slip and run into problems that are avoidable. So once again we encourage you to think about the things happening in higher education and consider what high risk things may require your attention through either greater oversight, internal control, or other risk mitigation strategy. As always, we welcome your comments and feedback.

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


Information Security & Technology Events

June 27, 2013: A University of South Carolina spokesperson says a computer stolen from the physics and astronomy department at the end of April may have compromised the personal information of more than 6,000 students. (link)

June 25, 2013: After a hacker breached their network, the University of Nebraska is trying to make sure it doesn't happen again. Officials say 23-year-old Daniel Stratman faces two felony charges and 10 misdemeanor charges for hacking into UNL's secure network. (link)

June 23, 2013: A Georgia student is shocked that a photo she posted to Facebook is used by a school director of technology as an example of how what you post stays public forever. The student wants $2 million. (link)

June 14, 2013: On paper, Roy Chaoran Sun and his friend Mitsutoshi Shirasaki were remarkable students at Purdue University. But, investigators say,the high marks weren't due to hard work and studying. Instead, the duo hacked into their professors' university accounts and gave their report cards a significant boost, court documents allege. (link)

June 13, 2013: University of Michigan officials have contacted over 33,000 customers who bought tickets at the Michigan Union Ticket Office in the last two years because their personal information may have been compromised. (link)

June 13, 2013: Officials at Stanford University's Lucile Packard Children's Hospital are notifying nearly 13,000 patients that their protected health information has been compromised following the theft of a hospital laptop. (link)

June 6, 2013: Facebook connections can help first-generation college applicants believe in their abilities to both apply to school and excel once they've enrolled, according to a new study from the University of Michigan and Michigan State University. (link)

June 3, 2013: We should all be used to the temptation of the "send" button by now, but for some reason it keeps sucking people in with its spell. The latest ironic case was Geoffrey Miller, an evolutionary psychology professor visiting NYU, who on Sunday tweeted a thought he immediately regretted, about willpower of all things: "Dear obese PhD applicants: If you don't have the willpower to stop eating carbs, you won't have the willpower to do a dissertation. #truth." After fellow tweeters, including NYU colleague Jay Rosen, called Miller out for being inappropriate (Wired writer Steve Silberman compared it to eugenics), he's since deleted it and offered his "sincere apologies to all for that idiotic, impulsive, and badly judged tweet." (link)

May 29, 2013: University of Oklahoma student Roja Osman Hamad, 24, faces five counts of computer fraud. OU officials said he broke into the university's computer system and changed his grades. (link)


Fraud & Ethics Related Events

June 26, 2013: A smattering of supplemental courses might be all that's left for the University of North Carolina in its ongoing battle to rid itself of an academic scandal that has been unraveling since 2010 -- as soon as it begins to implement them. The courses are part of the University's new plan that could involve bringing nearly 400 current and former students back to class in order to repair the academic integrity of their degrees, issued from the Department of African and Afro-American Studies. (link)

June 25, 2013: An assistant physics professor at the College of Staten Island has paid nearly $65,000 in fines and restitution after improperly steering the state to purchase high-tech research software from a company that he covertly owned, authorities said. (link)

June 14, 2013: Former Muraylands Christian College (Austrailia) bursar has been sentenced to 18 months jail for stealing more than $250,000. Graham Pope stole $271,551.53 between June 2005 and January 2012 through electronic transfers from the College. (link)

June 1, 2013: A Marrero woman accused of fraudulently obtaining $23,196 in federal financial aid for her daughter's college education has agreed to plead guilty and pay what she owes, her attorney, Jason Williams, said Wednesday. Shanera Washington-Sylve, herself a college financial aid counselor, was charged Monday with lying on the aid application about being married, but Williams said that was a mistake she made when completing the form. (link)

June 8, 2013: Julius Nyang'oro, the former UNC African studies chairman at the heart of an academic fraud scandal, had a cozy relationship with the program that tutored athletes, according to newly released emails. Members of the academic support staff offered Nyang'oro football tickets and the chance to watch a game from the sidelines. One counselor offered to discuss athletes' coursework over drinks, and another negotiated with Nyang'oro to schedule a no-show class. (link)

June 4, 2013: The American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the prestigious 233-year-old scholarly society in Cambridge, Mass., said on Tuesday that it is standing behind its president, Leslie Cohen Berlowitz, after accusations that she had falsely claimed on at least two grant proposals to have a doctorate.(link)


Compliance/Regulatory & Legal Events

June 27, 2013: A Florida State College at Jacksonville sophomore who was turned away from an exam because she took her baby along may have recourse against the institution, after the U.S. Education Department warned colleges this week that they have legal responsibilities to support pregnant and parenting students. (link)

June 26, 2013: A legislative audit released Wednesday found that Towson University was slow to act when students repeatedly wrote bad tuition checks and that a $4.3 million agreement with the Maryland Department of Transportation circumvented Maryland procurement rules. (link)

June 25, 2013: A federal appeals court has upheld a jury's 2009 decision to fine a former Boston University graduate student $675,000 for downloading and sharing music on an unlicensed file-sharing network. (link)

June 24, 2013: Rather than deciding a legal battle over a race-conscious admissions policy at the University of Texas at Austin, the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday called for that battle to be waged anew, by striking down a summary judgment in the university's favor and instructing the lower courts to give the policy much stricter legal scrutiny than they had given it before. (link)

June 19, 2013: The common defense of the unpaid internship is that, even if the role doesn't exactly pay, it will pay off eventually in the form of a job. Turns out, the data suggests that defense is wrong, at least when it comes to college students. (link)

June 19, 2013: A Belton woman who sued Vatterott College over its enrollment practices has won a $13 million judgment against the college. Jennifer Kerr, 42, said the enrollment procedures caused her to spend thousands of dollars and extra time earning a certificate that proved to be useless in the job market. (link)

June 18, 2013: Columbia University won dismissal of a lawsuit alleging the school failed to use donations to promote Italian culture as the benefactors intended. Several Italian-American families in 1927 donated $400,000, worth about $5 million today, to the university to erect La Casa Italiana, the “Italian House,” on school land. The Italic Institute of America, a nonprofit group based in Floral Park, Queens, sued the school in New York State Supreme Court in Manhattan in August. (link)

June 12, 2013: Thousands of part-time Washington state school employees and college instructors would be switched from state-funded health insurance to Affordable Care Act insurance exchanges under a complicated Senate budget proposal that backers say would save the state up to $57 million over the next two years. (link)

June 10, 2013: A Pennsylvania appeals court ruled Friday that Slippery Rock University was within its rights to dismiss a professor who had sexual discussions with students on a spring break he was leading. (link)

June 9, 2013: In April, Hans posted video of a woman at Ohio State University knocking down signs that had been erected by Created Equal showing the atrocity of abortion. The vandal was identified as OSU student Calysta Santacroce, and Created Equal filed charges. (link)

June 8, 2013: A man admitted Friday that in 2011 he tried to grope several women on and around the University of Utah campus. As part of a deal with prosecutors in Salt Lake City's Third District Court, Gary Winston Fotheringham, 32, pleaded guilty to three counts of attempted forcible sexual abuse, all third-degree felonies. Prosecutors reduced the charges from second-degree felonies and dismissed two misdemeanors for voyeurism in exchange for the guilty pleas. (link)

June 6, 2013: UNC-Chapel Hill has dismissed an Honor Court case against Landen Gambill, who alleged a rape by a fellow student and spoke out about the university's handling of sexual assaults. (link)

June 3, 2013: James Van de Velde, the only person ever named as being in the “pool of suspects' in the 1998 slaying of Yale student Suzanne Jovin, has settled his lawsuit against Yale and the city. (link)

May 31, 2013: American Commercial Colleges Inc. (ACC) has agreed to pay the United States up to $2.5 million, plus interest, to resolve allegations that it violated the civil False Claims Act by falsely certifying that it complied with certain eligibility requirements of the federal student aid programs, the Justice Department announced today. (link)

May 29, 2013: A federal jury has awarded $600,000 in back pay to a former college professor in Central New York after ruling university officials retaliated against him for complaining about discrimination. (link)

May 29, 2013: The University of Maryland decided in the 1980s that it had no legal duty to inform police when it learned that its head swimming coach had confessed to sexually abusing a teenage swimmer before joining the university, according to university documents released Wednesday. (link)


Campus Life & Safety Events

Jun 24, 2013: Police nabbed an alleged peeper on Seattle University's campus early this morning. The suspect had scaled a university apartment building and climbed onto a third-floor balcony. (link)

June 20, 2013: University of Utah officials have changed course on a proposed policy that would have banned recreational skateboarding and bicycling on campus. (link)

June 14, 2013: Officers swarmed the campus of a career college Tuesday evening after a teenage boy toting what appeared to be an AK-47 was seen roaming around the campus and pointing the weapon at classroom windows, police said. (link)

June 13, 2013: A man who broke into and stole from numerous rooms and vehicles--mostly in the University of Mary Washington area--pleaded guilty to 33 charges Thursday in Fredericksburg Circuit Court. (link)

June 13, 2013: Dennis Lin and Barbara Wu had a turbulent relationship like thousands of other couples. The dating UC Riverside students would quarrel but forgive, insult yet forget, scuffle and then make up. But what made this relationship different is what caused Lin to secretly record Wu for the police and what has Lin concerned for his safety: Wu wanted Lin to be her accomplice to murder, court documents say. (link)

June 12, 2013: A University of California, Riverside, student has pleaded not guilty to soliciting an ex-boyfriend's beating and murder by another boyfriend, who secretly recorded the alleged plot. (link)

June 8, 2013: A gunman's rampage that left four victims dead in Santa Monica on Friday was a premeditated act by an emotionally troubled person who armed himself with high-powered weapons and may have had up to 1,300 rounds of ammunition, law enforcement sources said Saturday. (link)

June 4, 2013: Missouri State University might include a police presentation in future orientations for international students in the wake of sexual assault charges filed against two students from Saudi Arabia over the weekend. (link)

June 4, 2013: Eight people -- including a police officer -- were injured in a gas explosion just before noon Tuesday that blew the windows and doors off a building on the Nyack College campus. (link)

June 3, 2013: Students at San Jose State University want to know why a faculty member who -- according to a university report -- admitted to kissing and touching a student is still teaching. (link)

June 3, 2013: The U.S. Military Academy men's rugby team is temporarily disbanded after cadets forwarded emails that were derogatory to women, a West Point spokesman said Monday. (link)

May 30, 2013: Thousands of Michigan State University students and community members received a scare Tuesday evening when the institution's emergency alert system incorrectly warned of a campus shooter. (link)

May 30, 2013: Most college students are warned about the risks of binge drinking: date rapes, alcohol poisoning, accidental injuries, and even long-term memory problems. But many may not be aware of the health dangers of exceeding too many alcoholic drinks on a weekly basis; in fact, women are more likely to do this than men, according to a recent study from Massachusetts General Hospital's Center for Addiction Medicine. (link)


Other News & Events

June 26, 2013: The National Institutes of Health plans to substantially reduce the use of chimpanzees in NIH-funded biomedical research and designate for retirement most of the chimpanzees it currently owns or supports. (link)

June 25, 2013: Some 2013 Radford University graduates put their education to good use this week. They, and even a parent or two, noticed two spelling errors in diplomas that were awarded this spring -- and they lit up social media with photos and complaints. (link)

June 25, 2013: “During the last decade, total spending per student (accounting for inflation) increased about 2 percent at Virginia's six research institutions, and about 11 percent at Virginia's other nine institutions,” the report states. “Spending on auxiliary enterprises funded by students was the largest driver of these spending increases. Auxiliary enterprise spending per student, after inflation, increased $821 at Virginia's six research institutions and $906 at the other nine non-research institutions.” (link)

June 8, 2013: A plan to capture and kill geese has been scrapped at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville after strong opposition from the university community. (link)

June 4, 2013: St. Mary's College of Maryland President Joseph R. Urgo has asked the college's board of trustees not to renew his contract, effectively resigning under pressure from the public liberal arts college after intense questions and criticism of him about this spring's failure to enroll enough students for next year. (link)

June 4, 2013: Ohio State University President Gordon Gee announced his retirement Tuesday after he came under fire for jokingly referring to "those damn Catholics" at Notre Dame and poking fun at the academic quality of other schools. (link)

June 1, 2013: Washington University has stopped using cats in pediatric life support training at its medical school following years of complaints from the animal rights group PETA. (link)

May 31, 2013: As online courses multiply outside the formal structures of academe, professors increasingly have opportunities to earn cash on the side by freelancing. (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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