This Is Auburn Office of Audit, Compliance & Privacy
Office of Audit, Compliance & Privacy

Our Mission

The mission of the Office of Audit, Compliance & Privacy is to assist Auburn University, Auburn University at Montgomery, the Alabama Cooperative Extension System, and the Alabama Agricultural Experiment Station (the "University") in fulfilling its vision of being a preeminent comprehensive land-grant university. Our office provides services in three distinct yet related disciplines - audit, compliance, and privacy - in support of Auburn University's three-pronged mission of teaching, research, and service.

The Office of Audit, Compliance & Privacy functions in partnership with University leadership to:

  • improve the internal control system and culture;
  • improve and enhance the management of operational, financial, compliance, strategic and reputational risks;
  • enhance governance processes;
  • ensure strong stewardship and management accountability at all levels of the University.

Case In Point: Lessons for the proactive manager

It is hard to believe we've reached the end of 2021. Here at AU, things were relatively normal for the latter part of the year and for that, we are thankful. We close 2021 with ominous warnings of new variants and hope those prove unwarranted over the coming weeks.

This marks the close of our thirteenth year of Case in Point. We appreciate those of you who take the time to read our publication every month. Also appreciated are the kind notes we've received throughout the year thanking us for this monthly effort. We hope our fourteenth year will continue to provide information to help you succeed in higher education.

Since we focus on risk each month in this publication, I thought I'd share some thoughts I've had lately on the topic. It appears to me that the pandemic has brought us to a place where a large segment of the population can no longer objectively assess risk. Perhaps it's the constant barrage of dire warnings, media hype, or even just the isolation that has occurred over the prior couple of years, but for some reason the ability to objectively look at risk and make intelligent decisions based on facts seems to be waning.

5 Random Thoughts I Have About Risk:

  1. Life is full of risk, and we will never eliminate it completely as either individuals or organizations.
  2. Both individuals and organizations that wisely assess risk and make intelligent decisions have an advantage over those who do not.
  3. It is okay to take risks. In fact, overly avoiding risk is a substantial disadvantage.
  4. Before taking a risk, objectively think about why it's a good idea to take the risk and why it might be a bad idea to take the risk. Related to this assessment, consider if there are things you can do to lower the risk.
  5. Security theater does not reduce risk no matter how much better it may make you feel.

We again invite you to review the various risks occurring across our industry with a view towards proactive risk management over your area. We hope you have a happy and safe holiday season.

Read this month's issue of Case In Point

Case In Point Archives

Anonymous Reporting Hotline

The University uses the EthicsPoint anonymous Reporting System to enhance communication and empower individuals to promote safety, security, and ethical behavior. Use this anonymous, confidential system to report situations, events or actions by individuals or groups that you believe unethical or otherwise inappropriate. Frivolous or unfounded reports do not help foster a positive workplace. This hotline service does not replace our existing reporting methods for reporting fraud, waste, abuse or other potentially illegal activities. The University continues to encourage stakeholders to report concerns or suspected violations to their supervisor or other campus entities as appropriate.

If you are uncertain if a situation violates University policy, is illegal or constitutes harassment or discrimination, you may use EthicsPoint to obtain clarification. We would much rather have you ask questions than let potential problems go unchecked. However, EthicsPoint should not be used for immediate threats to life or property. If the situation presents an immediate threat to life or property call emergency -- 911

Last Updated: December 17, 2021