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 10: No 07

I believe the biggest risk facing higher education institutions today is that someone (faculty, staff, or administrator) is aware of a major issue and keeps quiet. An ''issue'' here is very broadly defined as anything that can harm the institution or its stakeholders, from compliance failure, to regulatory violation, to whatever else you can imagine. Many in higher education assumed that after the Penn State scandal, no administration would let similar circumstances develop at their institution; however, we continue to see large and prestigious schools incurring major reputational damage due to a known issue not being appropriately addressed or, in some cases, completely ignored. That got me thinking about the importance of institutional culture.

Perhaps now more than ever it is imperative that we create a culture where people are willing to come forward when something doesn't seem right. It only takes a few people unwilling to speak up to create an institutional crisis. Therefore, I thought it wise that we ask ourselves three questions this month:

  1. Am I creating a culture within my sphere of influence that encourages people to come forward with concerns?
  2. Are the people I lead willing to speak up if they become aware of a problem?
  3. Do I take concerns brought forward seriously?

Ideally, you have a culture where employees work through the chain of management to address problems; however, most institutions today have ways stakeholders can report problems anonymously. At AU, we use EthicsPoint, which is managed by an outside hotline provider and completely anonymous.

We invite you to scan the news stories we've linked from the prior month with a view toward proactive risk management. 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: June 27, 2018