Office of Audit, Compliance & Privacy

Our Mission

The mission of the Office of Audit, Compliance & Privacy is to assist 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
Volume 09: No 07

Proactive (adjective) - serving to prepare for, intervene in, or control an expected occurrence or situation, especially a negative or difficult one; anticipatory. (source:

For over nine years we've published this newsletter at the end of each month with the intent to improve risk management at Auburn University (and throughout higher education). Specifically, we've called for you to become a proactive risk manager. For the next two months, we want to delve more into what we mean by the phrase ''proactive risk management.''

The Beginning: Objectives

We believe the first place to begin is by considering our objectives, those things we hope to help AU accomplish. In our industry, these will largely fall into broad categories of teaching, research, or outreach. Objectives come in various shapes and sizes, from those that are strategic to those that are transactional. Your specific role will determine which types of objectives you are responsible for helping AU accomplish.

  1. What is it we are trying to accomplish?
  2. What does success look like with respect to this objective?

The Next Step: Evaluation

After we consider our objectives, the second step in becoming a proactive risk manager is to evaluate what could prevent us from being successful. Sometimes risk assessment can sound complicated, but at its heart are a couple of very simple questions:

  1. What could prevent us from being successful in accomplishing our objectives?
  2. Of the things that could prevent us from being successful, which are the most likely to actually happen?

In August, we will continue our discussion with what happens next in proactive risk management. One way you can improve your risk evaluation is by looking at the stories listed below and thinking about whether similar issues could prevent success at AU. As always, we welcome your comments and suggestions.

(Read more of Case In Point)

Anonymous Reporting Hotline

Auburn 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: October 31, 2016