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Internal Auditing

Case in Point:
Lessons for the pro-active manager

November 2013
Vol. 5 No. 11
Quotable...
''If there is any one secret of success, it lies in the ability to get the other person's point of view and see things from that person's angle as well as from your own.''

-- Henry Ford

As an internal auditor sometimes there is a lot of confusion over what we do. Occasionally, we hear motivational statements like:

''Oh no! The auditors are here.''
''I bet everyone hates seeing you.''
''We have to be on good behavior now that the auditors are here.''

Honestly, there are some in our profession whose approach has helped create this stereotype of negativity. You may even hold such an opinion; however, I'd ask you to reevaluate your view as to how internal auditing can assist you and maybe even help improve your operations.

When I'm asked to explain what we do in internal auditing here at AU, I explain our role is to help AU be successful and meet objectives. We do this by evaluating systems, processes, and controls to be sure they are working as intended to reduce the likelihood of trouble. In a nutshell we try to keep bad things from happening, and if bad things do happen, we help correct them. To learn more about internal auditing in higher education you are welcome to view this short clip from the Association of College and University Auditors which describes the various roles we sometimes have.

We'd much rather work with you on the process before the problem occurs to be sure you have procedres in place and risks are being managed. That philosophy is the primary purpose of this monthly communication as well as to encourage proactive actions. As you evaluate the issues that have occurred within higher education over the past month, we again suggest you consider any unique risks in your own operations. We also encourage you to work with us if you have items for which you'd like an objective, outside opinion, or advice on how some risks can be better managed. We believe that is good business and much more valuable than reacting after a risk management or compliance failure.

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


Information Security & Technology Events

Nov. 13, 2013: A former employee at Upstate Medical University has pleaded guilty in a criminal case in which she was accused of hacking into the email accounts of then university president Dr. David Smith and his wife. (link)

Nov. 12, 2013: A blog written by Chicago State University faculty members that has been critical of the school's administration was sent a ''cease and desist'' notice by university lawyers Monday, deepening an ongoing rift between a group of professors and administrators. (link)

Nov. 8, 2013: Hundreds of employees, former employees and students of Washington State University are being notified that their personal information may have been compromised after two possibly unencrypted external hard drives were stolen from an on-campus office. (link)

Nov. 4, 2013: A University of Mississippi employee luckily got away with a reprimand in the form of a general memo. The rule infraction? Supporting rival LSU in an October 19 football game -- while on the clock for Ole Miss, according to WMCTV.com. According to a letter sent by university physical plant director, obtained by The DMOnline.com, someone in that department had "posted comments that were indicative of supporting Ole Miss' opponent - the LSU Tiger football team." (link)

Nov. 1, 2013: Maybe not the way some college students wanted to start off the month of November, as North Georgia Technical College is advising some students to keep a close eye on their credit reports -- that after one of their student data bases may have been breached. According to college spokesperson Sandra Maughon, the school was recently contacted by the FBI about a hacking attempt. (link)

Oct. 31, 2013: President Obama's health care website is not the only one creating nightmares this week. Lingering glitches bedeviling an online college-application service continue to haunt this fall's admissions season, prompting dozens of colleges to extend deadlines and threatening to throw off carefully crafted timelines for notifying students of decisions. (link)


Fraud & Ethics Related Events

Nov. 25, 2013: A Maryland woman was scheduled to appear in federal court Monday to plead to charges she embezzled $5.1 million from the Association of American Medical Colleges, officials say. Green, 44, allegedly embezzled the money by creating business names that closely resembled companies the association already had relationships with. The court documents charged Green created hundreds of fake invoices for the fictitious companies and deposited the checks into bank accounts she opened for the fake companies. (link)

Nov. 18, 2013: A top Kean University administrator has left the school after being accused of plagiarism, according to campus documents and school officials. (link)

Nov. 15, 2013: A former Harrisburg Area Community College vice president has pleaded guilty to wire fraud for buying $228,000 worth of Target gift cards online using a college credit card, then using them to buy items for herself, her family and her friends. (link)

Nov. 5, 2013: The president of the State University of New York's upstate medical campus ruined his chance to become the 18th president of Pennsylvania State University and has been placed on leave after SUNY leaders learned he has been padding his state pay without authorization, two state officials familiar with the matter said. (link)

Nov. 1, 2013: Our Lady of the Lake University's interim executive vice president and chief academic officer, Robert Bisking, resigned those administrative positions Friday after apologizing two days earlier for using ''unprofessional and inappropriate'' language that surfaced in several audio recordings posted anonymously on YouTube. (link)

Nov. 1, 2013: Vermont State Police say the former baseball coach at Lyndon State College is accused of embezzling about $10,000 from the program. (link)


Compliance/Regulatory & Legal Events

Nov. 26, 2013: Moody's Investors Service on Monday issued a negative outlook for higher education in 2014---which should come as a surprise to no one. The bond-rating agency's report last week, a survey of net-tuition revenues, was grim, and its outlook for higher education in recent years has been mostly bleak. (link)

Nov. 25, 2013: Making a half-court shot during a promotion at an Oklahoma City Thunder game might be easier for 23-year-old Cameron Rodriguez than keeping the $20,000 prize. Rodriguez, a basketball player at Southwestern College in Winfield, Kansas, made the shot Nov. 18 during halftime of the National Basketball Association team's game against the Denver Nuggets. (link)

Nov. 22, 2013: An independent arbitrator overturned the termination of Marco Dorfsman, associate professor of Spanish. In December of 2012, Dorfsman altered the student evaluations of his colleague Emilie Talpin, a lecturer in French, by lowering her student evaluation scores, according to the arbitration decision and reward document. (link)

Nov. 22, 2013: A former Rutgers University student admitted in court today to distributing child pornography over the Internet while he was a student. (link)

Nov. 21, 2013: The U.S. Department of Education says Colorado State University did not meet gender-equity requirements because it didn't offer enough athletic scholarships for women. (link)

Nov. 20, 2013: A man who pleaded guilty to charges of possession of child porn in September is still receiving paychecks from Green River Community College. (link)

Nov. 15, 2013: Legislation introduced on Friday in the U.S. House of Representatives would require colleges either to make instructional technology accessible to disabled students or to provide them with equivalent, alternative resources. (link)

Nov. 14, 2013: A group of current and former female Vanderbilt University students filed a complaint with federal officials Thursday charging that the university responded inadequately to reports of sexual assault. (link)

Nov. 13, 2013: According to the Chronicle of Higher Education, officials at Lincoln University of Missouri now face a combined $275,000 fine for multiple violations of the Clery Act, a federal campus crime reporting law. (link)

Nov. 13, 2013: A white woman who claims the University of Texas improperly denied her admission because of race will get a second hearing before a federal appeals court on Wednesday, after the U.S. Supreme Court ordered the judges to take a another look at whether the school's race-based admissions policy remains necessary to ensure a diverse student body. (link)

Nov. 11, 2013: A Title IX lawsuit filed in October against the University of Connecticut alleges that faculty members were dismissed because they called on the administration to speak out about violence on campus. But a professor at the school said that's not the case. (link)

Nov. 6, 2013: A lawsuit alleging that Drake University Law School officials tried to stop a student training a service dog from being in classes can move forward, the Iowa Court of Appeals ruled today. Nicole Shumate, a Des Moines service dog trainer and graduate of the law school, sued the university in 2011. In her lawsuit, Shumate alleged law school officials tried to keep her from bringing dogs in training to classes while she was a student between 2006 and 2009. (link)

Nov. 6, 2013: Case Western Reserve University Law School Dean Lawrence Mitchell, facing a lawsuit by a professor who contends Mitchell retaliated against him for reporting potentially inappropriate sexual conduct, is taking a leave of absence. (link)

Nov. 2, 2013: The former director of marketing publications at the University of Louisville has won a $412,000 jury verdict against the university for violating the state's whistleblower law. Harper claimed her job was eliminated after she complained about wasteful spending at the university.(link)

Nov. 1, 2013: After two students were shot in a residence hall at Virginia Tech on the morning of April 16, 2007, officials there could not reasonably have foreseen a second set of shootings, and so did not have a duty to warn the campus, the state's Supreme Court ruled on Thursday, reversing a jury's wrongful-death verdict. (link)


Campus Life & Safety Events

Nov. 25, 2013: On Monday, the Sigma Chi International Fraternity announced the suspension of Auburn University's Sigma Chi chapter. The allegations had been made through Auburn University's hazing hotline. Because hotline calls are anonymous, all hazing allegations are investigated. (link)

Nov. 22, 2013: An eighth case of meningitis has been reported at Princeton University, the school said Friday, the latest in a string of cases reported this year. (link)

Nov. 20, 2013: Students at the University of Michigan are igniting a dynamic dialogue about race and specifically what it means to be black at a predominantly white university. After Theta Xi, a fraternity at University Of Michigan thought it was a good idea to throw a ''Hood Ratchet Thursday'' party invoking cultural stereotypes, black students were inspired to take action. (link)

Nov. 18, 2013: Findings of widespread hazing and dangerous drinking have had little impact nationwide. Some universities and Greek organizations still aren't doing enough to protect students, according to several college presidents and even the head of a major fraternity. (link)

Nov. 18, 2013: Princeton University officials decided Monday to make available a meningitis vaccine that hasn't been approved in the U.S. to stop the spread of the sometimes deadly disease on campus. (link)

Nov. 17, 2013: The State University College at Cortland president issued an apology Sunday, a day after police struggled to control a large crowd and arrested more than two dozen people following the Cortaca Jug football game. (link)

Nov. 14, 2013: College students experience a tremendous amount of pressure, pulling all-nighters to cram for mid-terms and finals, and churning out papers after papers. To boost brain power, an increasing number of healthy students are popping pills, specifically called ''smart'' drugs, in order to gain an edge, and the grades they need in their classes. (link)

Nov. 14, 2013: Delaware State University in Dover today suspended its entire band amid unspecified allegations of hazing. The immediate suspension sidelines about 150 student musicians in performing groups from marching band to jazz ensembles and the band flag team and dancers. (link)

Nov. 14, 2013: Ben DeLuca was fired as coach of the nationally ranked Cornell University men's lacrosse team, two months after the program was suspended over alcohol-related hazing. (link)

Nov. 11, 2013: Grand Valley State University's now-famous pendulum sculpture -- the one students used to imitate Miley Cyrus' ''Wrecking Ball'' video -- is scheduled to be reinstalled Tuesday in its original spot behind Padnos Hall of Science, the university said. (link)

Nov. 11, 2013: Sy Stokes, a junior at the University of California at Los Angeles, remembers that he nearly dropped out his first year. He has come to see that what he had been told about UCLA -- that it was diverse and welcoming of all kinds of people -- was hype. (link)

Nov. 6, 2013: Brown University student Okezie Nwoka experienced his first manic episode in the fall of his junior year. After being hospitalized for a week, Nwoka spoke to administrators about remaining on campus to complete the semester. ''I was convinced very strongly to take a medical leave,'' said Nwoka, who had been president of his class. ''I thought about it and decided I could take the medical leave and still graduate on time.'' When Nwoka tried to return the next semester, his application for readmission was rejected. (link)

Nov. 4, 2013: Some of the dozens of people shown in video during a party gone wild at the University of Delaware now face charges stemming from the incident. Last month, police in Delaware released photos of more than four dozen suspects they'd like to identify for allegedly taking part in a wild and destructive party on the University of Delaware campus. (link)

Nov. 4, 2013: An officer shot and killed a driver Monday on Iowa State University's campus after an erratic chase that at one point forced students and others to dive out of the path of his fleeing truck, police said. (link)

Nov. 4, 2013: Firefighters rescued a 19-year-old New York University student who became trapped between two buildings in lower Manhattan. Officials say rescue workers had to breach a concrete wall to gain access to Asher Vongtau, who was found wedged in an area about six to 18 inches wide between an NYU dorm and a parking garage Sunday evening. (link)

Oct. 31, 2013: Fifteen people were arrested at the University of Massachusetts campus at the conclusion of the World Series late Wednesday, despite efforts of officials to stave off trouble by creating a peaceful party atmosphere.(link)


Other News & Events

Nov. 25, 2013: A report by the Brookings Institution states that the business model used by most universities to license patents on the technology they've developed has been a disaster. According to the report, a review showed that 130 universities did not generate enough licensing income in 2012 to cover the wages of their technology transfer staff and the legal costs for the patents they filed. (link)

Nov. 21, 2013: Yale University undergraduates voted overwhelmingly to urge the school to sell its holdings of fossil-fuel companies that are ''contributing the most to climate change and associated social ills.'' (link)

Nov. 14, 2013: In what is likely a first for the University of Illinois, school trustees decided this morning to revoke the tenure of a longtime faculty member who had a history of clashing with the administration. (link)

Nov. 10, 2013: The Fresno State Football team's logo is a cartoon bulldog, a muscled beast with sharp teeth, a spiked collar and floppy ears. But the bulldog is no longer just a college sports mascot. It has been appropriated by members of a savage street gang who call themselves the Bulldogs. (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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