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 11: No 03

We continue our annual review of last year's Case in Point focusing this month on the category with the most stories linked, Compliance /Regulatory & Legal Events. As we have previously noted, this category seems to have grown in importance over the past few years. There has been no substantial reduction in the amount of regulation facing higher education. Reducing the compliance burden is often discussed but rarely comes to fruition. Therefore, it is important that we be mindful of the types of issues that are problematic across our industry.

The top 5 most frequent topics in the Compliance/Regulatory & Legal Events category were:

  1. Title IX Related – this has been without a doubt the hottest topic now for a few years. We’ve seen stories related to many high profile cases at institutions across the country. Certainly the Larry Nassar issues at Michigan State were the most reported; however, issues on this topic were noted throughout the country. We also linked stories related to the broader discussion of Title IX and proposed changes to the interpretation of this law. Certainly, we will continue to monitor this important topic during 2019.
  2. Constitutional Issues - a distant second involved constitutional related litigation with the majority of it related to debates surrounding free speech. This is a topic that will likely to continue in importance during 2019.
  3. Discrimination Litigation - ranked closely behind Constitutional Issues, was litigation alleging discrimination of some type. We saw cases dealing with race, religion, sex, salary/wage, and unlawful termination issues.
  4. Contract Dispute Issues - this topic involved disputes over contractual obligations either owed to, or required by, institutions. These issues were wide ranging, and included items such as, alleging a breach of fiduciary duty, to using funds in a manner that one party alleged violated the law.
  5. Violence Related Issues - rounding out the top five were issues involving violence by either students or employees that resulted in litigation or criminal arrest. We will no doubt see more related to this topic in next month’s review of Campus Life issues. Safety and security are certainly going to be important topics for all institutions to monitor.

We again invite you to review the events occurring throughout higher education with a view towards proactive risk management. If you see areas of concern or risks you have influence over, take action before you become the crisis.

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