|''Awareness without action is worthless.''
-- Phil McGraw
This month we conclude our look back at the events that occurred in higher education during 2013 and were reported here in Case-in-Point. Last month we discussed legal/compliance issues which provided the largest number of stories over the past year from a sheer volume standpoint. This month's discussion of campus life issues may well provide the most diverse category we monitor each month. Campus life generally refers to the issues we see related to students. Many unique, sometimes frightening, and often interesting events occur each month in this category.
When looking at the most common stories linked in this category, here are the top five:
- Violence/crime on campus
- General heath/safety on campus
- Drug/alcohol use
- Free speech related issues
Certainly maintaining a safe campus has to be a priority for our institution. In this month you will note a story related to Title IX investigations at 60 institutions regarding ''sexual violence policies.'' Ensuring we have appropriate policies, processes, and a culture where campus stakeholders are encouraged to report issues they become aware of is more important than ever.
We again invite you to review the issues that occurred across higher education in the past month and consider your sphere of influence here and how you might help proactively manage risks at Auburn University. As always we encourage and welcome your comments and suggestions.
M. Kevin Robinson, CIA, CFE, CCEP
Executive Director, Internal Auditing
Information Security & Technology Events
May 29, 2014: Determined hackers will always develop new ways to circumvent security measures, which means institutions need to audit their security measures regularly to test their effectiveness. Auditing will also ensure that both users and administrators are in compliance with security policies. Ultimately, auditing is an effective method for ensuring accountability and preventing large-scale and concerning security incidents. (link)
May 27, 2014: If it wasn't our devices and data at risk, it would be pretty fascinating to see the creative new ways hackers find to attack various systems. But it is our data and devices being compromised constantly by nefarious hackers, and their latest tactics use Apple's own security tools against Apple device owners in one of the most devious hacks we have seen in quite some time. (link)
May 23, 2014: The digital thievery of hackers rarely resembles a big bank heist. With the prevalence of personal information being traded among websites daily, hackers are beginning to focus on some unconventional targets, and higher education continues to find itself in the crosshairs Colleges have consistently been a prime target for hackers. (link)
May 21, 2014: The president and chief executive officer of Virginia-based Symplicity Corporation pleaded guilty today to conspiring to hack into the computer systems of two competitors to improve his company's software development and sales strategy. (link)
May 21, 2014: Two men -- including a sailor aboard a nuclear-powered Navy aircraft carrier -- conspired to hack into the computer systems of dozens of government agencies and universities, with much of the cracking done from the ship itself, according to guilty pleas filed Wednesday in federal court. Why? Because they were "bored" and "because we can," according to charging documents and plea statements. (link)
May 20, 2014: So as if we didn't have enough breaches in higher education recently, San Diego State University is notifying students who were enrolled in Pre-College Institute programs that their name, Social Security number, date of birth, address, and other personal information was in a database that enabled any computer connected to the SDSU wired network (offices, some laboratories, and the library) to view it with the program ''FileMaker.'' (link) (link)
May 14, 2014: The Kansas Board of Regents on Wednesday approved a social media policy that will allow a university leader to fire a faculty member or staff member for posting messages on social media that are "contrary to the best interests of the employer." Regents Chairman Fred Logan said the policy strongly supported free speech. (link) (link)
May 5, 2014: Many on-job postgraduates applying for master degrees in China are fearing a possible leak of their personal information, the Wuhan Evening News reports on Sunday. It's reported that many of the candidates have been receiving phone calls and text messages touting test questions and answers since they signed up for this year's degree examination in March. (link)
May 8, 2014: Only one in three companies surveyed by Ponemon Institute LLC have a cyber insurance policy to manage the risk of data breaches, but the average cost per compromised record was US$145, with some respondents reporting more than 100,000 compromised records. ''An interesting finding is the important role cyber insurance can play in not only managing the risk of a data breach but in improving the security posture of the company,'' Ponemon Institute notes. ''While it has been suggested that having insurance encourages companies to slack off on security, our research suggests the opposite. Those companies with good security practices are more likely to purchase insurance.''(link)
May 8, 2014: Dozens of employees at a New Jersey university say their identities were stolen by someone who filed federal tax returns in their names. (link)
May 1, 2014: Less than one-third of those affected by a massive data breach at the University of Maryland, College Park, have signed up for complimentary credit monitoring offered by the university, with some students and staff questioning the benefits of the free service.
Fraud & Ethics Related Events
May 29, 2014: The former accounting director of N.C. A&T's foundation has been charged with stealing about $400,000 from the organization over three years. (link)
May 29, 2014: A former Santa Rosa Junior College police officer was sentenced Thursday morning to four years in prison for stealing more than $100,000 from campus parking machines. (link)
May 28, 2014: A man is facing charges after police say he stole thousands from the University of Memphis. Memphis police say Jaime Walsh went online and made a couple bogus donations to the university earlier this month. (link)
May 27, 2014: The former director of information technology at Ripon College was charged for allegedly spending more than $400,000 in school funds for his own use. (link)
May 23, 2014: During a special meeting Friday, the Merced College Board of Trustees voted to terminate the contract of a school employee who has been under investigation in the possible Misappropriation of money. After a recommendation from the college's administration, the board voted unanimously to end the employment contract of Joseph Bisinger, 47, of Atwater. As Merced College's lead purchasing buyer, he was in charge of dealing with vendors and purchasing supplies for the campus, according to the college. (link)
May 23, 2014: The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has fired the 70-year-old physics professor who was arrested in 2012 after flying to Argentina to meet who the woman who he thought was Miss Bikini World, and instead was arrested by drug agents after getting entangled in a scheme to smuggle 2 kilos of cocaine. (link)
May 23, 2014: The former director of information technology at Ripon College was charged Friday for allegedly spending more than $400,000 in school funds for his own use. (link)
May 22, 2014: Southern Illinois University cannot account for hundreds of computers and overlooked the thefts of tens of thousands of dollars in cash, potentially for nearly two years, a state audit shows. (link)
May 21, 2104: A sloppily forged transcript and diploma led to the arrest of a well-liked Polk State College business professor. David Scott Broxterman, 55, was arrested Wednesday on charges of grand theft of more than $100,000 and cheating. The University of South Florida president's name was incorrect and the word ''board'' was spelled ''baord'' on the USF diploma that hung in Broxterman's office, yet he taught at the college for five years. (link)
May 13, 2014: A sixth person is pleading guilty in the ongoing public corruption investigation at South Carolina State University. Edwin Givens pleaded guilty in federal court in Charleston on Tuesday to misprision of a felony. Prosecutors say that Givens received a $500 kickback in 2011 for helping direct the entertainment contract for the school's homecoming dance to a specific company. The 50-year-old Givens was then chief of staff and general counsel at the historically black university in Orangeburg. (link)
May 5, 2014: A Channel 2 Action News investigation has learned that a Georgia Tech professor has agreed to repay nearly $50,000 that he improperly took from his own students and a private company. (link)
May 1, 2014: The University of Moncton is getting a lot of heat over a public relations contract awarded to the wife of a previous university president. When Yvon Fontaine served as the University of Moncton's president, the university hired a public relations company owned by his wife, Rejeanne Blais. (link)
Compliance/Regulatory & Legal Events
May 30, 2014: Reporters hoping to find out more about sexual assault allegations against three University of Oregon basketball players remain largely in the dark after the university blacked out most of the documents requested by media. (link)
May 28, 2014: The U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights said Wednesday that it has opened investigations into the sexual violence policies at five more higher education institutions, after disclosing earlier this month its comprehensive list of current inquiries. For the first time in its history, the federal agency on May 1 released a list of 55 colleges and universities that are being investigated for possible Title IX violations related to sexual violence on campus. (link)
May 27, 2014: In the nine years Gene Marsh spent on the NCAA Division I Committee on Infractions, among the most difficult cases to decide were those involving academic misconduct. There were some easy ones, like when college staff members made a completely indefensible admissions decision, or when athletics-department employees completed coursework and took tests for students, or when coaches taught a course with multiple-choice exam questions asking how many points were in a three-point shot. But more than a few cases were close and hard to decide. (link)
May 27, 2014: While Northwestern University football players might have been the first in the country allowed to unionize, student athletes in North Carolina could be the first to actually join a union.Starting this month, the State Employees Association of North Carolina, or SEANC, will allow college student athletes on scholarship at any of North Carolina's 16 public universities to join the same union as all other state employees. (link)
May 25, 2014: The college presidents were appalled. Not only had President Obama called for a government rating system for their schools, but now one of his top education officials was actually suggesting it would be as easy as evaluating a kitchen appliance. ''It's like rating a blender,'' Jamienne Studley, a deputy under secretary at the Education Department, said to the college presidents after a meeting in the department's Washington headquarters in November, according to several who were present. ''This is not so hard to get your mind around.'' (link)
May 23, 2014: The president of Cathedral Bible College in Marion was in Federal court Friday morning, where a judge set his bond at $250,000. Investigators say Miller made international students work long hours with little pay, threatened their legal status and exposed them to substandard living conditions. (link)
May 22, 2014: A UW-Whitewater professor is suing her former graduate student, saying the student's comments on websites are defamatory. ''When you make false statements of fact repeatedly about another person with the intent of harming them, that's over the line,'' said Tim Edwards, attorney for UW-Whitewater communications professor Sally Vogl-Bauer. (link)
May 21, 2014: Following the latest in a string of arrests on public indecency charges, a prominent University of Chicago neurologist has been suspended from caring for patients at the university's medical center and temporarily barred from practicing medicine in Illinois. (link)
May 19, 2014: Both the prosecutor and public defender in the case of a woman charged with phoning in bomb threats in an attempt to cancel Quinnipiac University's graduation ceremony asked that she be released without bail. (link)
May 14, 2014: Negotiations between industry, consumer groups and universities on U.S. rules for banking services aimed at college students have stalled over a Department of Education proposal to ban most account fees. Financial companies say that if the proposal is adopted it could upend the multimillion-dollar marketing deals between universities and firms including Wells Fargo (WFC:US) & Co., U.S. Bancorp and Huntington Bancshares Inc. (HBAN:US) Advocacy groups maintain that the banks are deliberately painting a worst-case scenario. (link)
May 10, 2014: The University of Colorado paid $32,500 in a settlement agreement to the woman who sparked a federal investigation into the Boulder campus's handling of her sexual assault. The settlement agreement, obtained by the Daily Camera under the Colorado Open Records Act, shows that the university and Board of Regents reached an agreement with Sarah Gilchriese in late February. The settlement does not constitute an admission of liability or fault by the university.(link)
May 2, 2014: A University of Iowa researcher who reported being assaulted by a professor and an athlete who claimed intense workouts left her debilitated are among those who received some of the $2.3 million in secret settlements made by Iowa's three state universities since 2011, new details released Thursday show.
Campus Life & Safety Events
May 29, 2014: The University of Arizona ''screwed up'' when it made thousands of recent graduates wait outdoors for hours in near-100-degree heat and failed to make enough water accessible during commencement, officials now acknowledge. (link)
May 29, 2014: Stephen Griffes, operations supervisor at the University of Michigan's (UM) Shapiro Library, remembers studying in the library during his time as an undergraduate at UM. He also remembers occasionally taking an inadvertent nap or two in that library--as hallowed a college tradition as the keg stand and far more in line with academic values. Now, the Shapiro library is officially enshrining the importance of a catnap among the stacks, opening a napping station where weary students can recharge by crashing out on convenient cots. (link)
May 28, 2014: Berry College's proposed stadium, Valhalla, is being relocated out of respect for the nesting site of Georgia's most famous pair of bald eagles, college officials announced today. (link)
May 27, 2014: Six students at the University of California at Santa Barbara were killed by a man who went on a rampage Friday night. Authorities have identified the killer, who left various video and written manifestos saying that he was seeking to kill sorority women and others at the university as revenge for the way women had rejected him. The killer -- who subsequently shot himself -- has been identified as a student who enrolled but frequently dropped out of classes at Santa Barbara City College. (link)
May 20, 2014: Engineers were working Tuesday to close a yawning sinkhole that gobbled up a part of the end zone of a Tennessee university's football stadium. The 40-foot-wide and 40-foot-deep chasm appeared at the Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, as a construction crew on Monday tried to fill in a much smaller hole that was discovered during a $19 million facelift of the stadium. (link)
May 12, 2014: Thirty students from a Maryland university on a trip to South Africa will return home early after they were robbed at gunpoint on a tour bus, university officials said Monday. (link)
May 8, 2014: Another day, another Greek organization shut down on a college campus over hazing -- but the case of the University of Connecticut's Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority is rather ... unique. Sophomore Hillary Holt is charging that she and others were hazed at the school's Sigma Alpha Epsilon frat house, and that they told to ''lay on the floor and sizzle like bacon'' and jump up and down and grab their ankles while chugging booze. (link)
May 7, 2014: Davidson College will end a long-standing perk a year from now, the college notified its 2,000 students it will no longer offer a free laundry service. They'll be on their own, though the college will add more free washers and dryers to those already available. (link)
May 6, 2014: In 2011, six speakers who had been asked to offer graduation addresses fueled student or faculty unrest. That led two of those speakers to be formally uninvited. In 2012, 11 commencement speakers sparked complaints, causing one to be uninvited and one to have his honorary degree rescinded. In 2013, 16 planned graduation speakers stirred protests and three opted to withdraw. Those cases are tracked by the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, (FIRE), a Philadelphia-based, nonpartisan nonprofit that advocates for free speech. (link)
May 5, 2014: The more than a century-old Manzanita and Lincoln resident halls at the University of Nevada, Reno are steeped in history, but their vulnerability in the event of an earthquake is causing some concern about the students who live in them. Michael Wixom, a member of the Nevada Board of Regents, is among those who have raised concerns about the situation in recent weeks. ''If we have a seismic event, those two are the sites that will have the most damage and the most loss of life,'' Wixom said. (link)
May 3, 2014: San Jose State has expelled three of the students charged with the racially tinged bullying of a freshman and extended one other student's suspension, requiring him to go to counseling and to remain on probation for the rest of his college career if he returns to school. (link)
May 2, 2014: Johns Hopkins University said Friday it will commission an independent review of the school's response to an alleged fraternity house gang rape, which students have charged in a federal complaint violated a campus security law. Johns Hopkins administrators knew Baltimore police were investigating the reported gang rape at the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity in March 2013, but decided against informing the campus, The Huffington Post reported Thursday. Students have accused the university in a federal complaint filed in February of violating the Clery Act, a federal law that mandates the reporting of certain campus crime and security issues, by failing to issue a warning as students continued attending parties at the fraternity.
Other News & Events
May 30, 2014: The state Board of Regents for Higher Education decided Monday to let stand the promotion of a Central Connecticut State University professor who is serving time in prison.(link)
May 21, 2014: The University of Michigan fired back at an organization that portrayed it as one of the worst in the nation for high executive pay, soaring student debt and low-wage faculty labor, saying the data is wrong. (link)
May 14, 2014: A University of Illinois adjunct lecturer with ties to a 1970s revolutionary group asked the school's board this morning to consider the unique perspective he can bring to the classroom if allowed to continue teaching there.
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