|''Example is the best precept.''
I've heard it said that higher education faces more unique and diverse risks than any other industry. As you read the stories linked here each month there certainly seems to be an argument for that viewpoint.
Recently on one higher education risk-related listserv the question was asked, ''Do you have a policy on pillow fights?'' I doubt there are many other industries that run into risks as unique as those from pillow fights. I have to admit that even though I've considered and evaluated risk extensively in my career, I've never really thought about the pillow fight topic or the risks that activity can actually bring.
We've frequently discussed how compliance risks have grown substantially the past few years in higher education. Just today the Chronicle of Higher Education tweeted a link to a story on Title IX they originally published back this summer. This story describes the evolution of Title IX and how it went from a law dealing with gender equity to ''now being interpreted to require colleges to investigate and resolve students' reports of rape, determining whether their classmates are responsible for assault and, if so, what the punishment should be. That is the case whether or not an alleged victim decides to report the incident to the police.'' This is just one area where the compliance burden has changed dramatically since the original law was passed in 1972. This article provides an excellent overview of how this change occurred.
While not all laws have expanded to the degree of Title IX, there are few (if any) instances where our responsibilities have decreased. This makes the need for proactive risk assessment and management even more important. We again invite you to review the wide world of risks within higher education, and more importantly, to consider whether your area of influence has high risk items that deserve attention before problems occur.
M. Kevin Robinson, CIA, CFE, CCEP
Executive Director, Internal Auditing
Information Security & Technology Events
Nov. 24, 2014: The University of Chicago announced Monday that a student's threatening Facebook post thought to be a hack was the student's own, and that the account was not compromised at the time of its publishing. The initial posting occurred after some students criticized fellow students for dressing in Halloween costumes that perpetuated offensive stereotypes of Latinos. (link)
Nov. 13, 2014: Schools are no strangers to being victim of cyber attacks, and now hackers are targeting their emails to get ahold of payroll information. According to a public advisory issued by the Research and Education Networking Information Sharing and Analysis Center on Wednesday, universities and colleges have been "targeted by spearphishing campaigns designed to steal user credentials for many years." The stolen credentials are used for many reasons, including "sending spam from compromised e-mail accounts, optimizing search engine results for black market pharmaceutical web pages, gaining access to university-licensed resources, and hosting malware." (link)
Nov. 10, 2014: On October 29, some students received e-mails from the University of Toronto enrollment services indicating that they were awarded funding through University of Toronto Advanced Planning for Students (UTAPS) only to find that they had also been sent 179 files containing sensitive information that was not theirs. (link)
Nov. 4, 2014: 68 percent of all healthcare data breaches since 2010 are due to device theft or loss, according to the 2014 Healthcare Breach Report from Bitglass. Despite the recent headlines of hacker attacks to hospitals, only 23 percent of healthcare data breaches were a result of cybercriminals compromising networks and exfiltrating data. (link)
Oct. 30, 2014: Businesses are at serious risk of data loss and compliance violations due to risky file-sharing practices, a study by the Ponemon Institute has revealed. Business leaders are failing to respond to the escalating risk of ungoverned file sharing and regular breaches of security policies by staff, according to the study commissioned by Intralinks.
Fraud & Ethics Related Events
Nov. 19, 2014: A Weber State University math instructor violated NCAA ethical conduct rules when she completed coursework for five football student-athletes, according to a decision issued by a Division I Committee on Infractions panel. During the investigation, student-athletes said they received hints about the proper approach, formulas or help with quiz and test answers. (link)
Nov. 18, 2014: The University of Illinois at Chicago has approved a dissertation by a Chicago State University official, who is suing UIC for publicly discussing her student work. An independent hearing officer retained by UIC rejected its handling of a plagiarism accusation, the Chicago Sun-Times has learned. (link)
Nov. 18, 2014: Rockland Community College's longtime union president was arrested Tuesday on charges of stealing $200,000 from the union and overbilling the college by $3,000 for several European jaunts. (link)
Nov. 18, 2014: The former production manager for the Music, Dance and Theater Department at New Jersey City University today pleaded guilty to embezzling $87,587 in box office proceeds from university theater performances, state authorities said. (link)
Nov. 11, 2014: In September 2011, Ball State was notified by the U.S. Attorneys' Office that the university might have been a victim of fraud. The university lost $13.165 million in two fraud cases from 2008 and 2010. Since the 2011 fraud case, the university is missing about $12.6 million. A little less than half, $5.8 million, will be replaced using the university's contingency fund, said Bernard Hannon, associate vice president for Business Affairs and assistant treasurer. (link)
Nov. 8, 2014: When Lehigh University professor Yujie Ding and his wife proposed to develop technology for NASA in 2010, the $600,000 project was supposed to be carried out by their small Center Valley company in conjunction with Ding's lab at Lehigh.. In reality, federal authorities say, the work was done by a graduate student at Lehigh while Ding and his wife, Yuliya Zotova, "executed a scheme to defraud NASA," pocketing $300,000 in federal grant money they had told NASA the company needed to do its share of the work. Lehigh University got the rest, court documents show. (link)
Nov. 5, 2014: Harvard University has revealed that it secretly photographed some 2,000 students in 10 lecture halls last spring as part of a study of classroom attendance, an admission that prompted criticism from faculty and students who said the research was an invasion of privacy. (link)
Nov. 1, 2014: The men's basketball program at Westchester Community College has been suspended for the season following allegations of grade fraud. The allegations are now reportedly being probed by the New York State Office of the Inspector General, along with the National Junior College Athletic Association. The probe is looking into whether the transcripts of a number of former and current star players were altered at the college's Valhalla campus. (link)
Compliance/Regulatory & Legal Events
Nov. 23, 2014: In secretly recorded conversations, a Kilgore College official admits to covering up asbestos violations and talks about withholding environmental reports from the public. Dan Beach, Kilgore College's director of special projects and liaison to the board of trustees, said in the recordings made by a whistleblower that violations the college committed were ''gone'' and that no one would get ''in trouble.'' (link)
Nov. 22, 2014: A lecturer in the University of Georgia's psychology department faces the loss of his job after UGA officials found him in violation, for the second time, of a school policy that prohibits professors from dating students under their supervision. But the professor, Rich Suplita, says UGA officials are over-reaching, especially in their second investigation. (link)
Nov. 21, 2014: The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill paid more than $3.1 million to a Washington, D.C., law firm for its outside investigation of academic fraud at the school, according to an invoice. (link)
Nov. 21, 2014: The University of Colorado has agreed to pay philosophy professor Brad Monton $120,000 plus the rest of his salary for the academic year -- about $65,000 -- in exchange for his resignation. Monton's departure, which Chancellor Phil DiStefano termed "a business decision," comes during a year of turmoil for the Boulder campus' philosophy department, which has been accused of creating a culture that's perceived to be unfriendly to women. (link)
Nov. 17, 2014: Controversial professor Steven Salaita, whose job offer at the University of Illinois was rescinded after he made anti-Israel comments on social media, filed a lawsuit Monday alleging that the university has violated the state's open records law. (link)
Nov. 14, 2014: Yale Medical School has removed a doctor after a finding of sexual harassment as director of its Cardiovascular Research Center, the latest development in a nearly five-year-old case that has agitated the institution. (link)
Nov. 14, 2014: University of Arizona police are investigating an allegation that a longtime professor who oversees a student-run meat store has skimmed more than $130,000 from the proceeds in the past three years.(link)
Nov. 13, 2014: A University of Iowa professor said Thursday she believes the school is improperly withholding documents from the public that contain embarrassing information about its management of the women's field hockey program. (link)
Nov. 11, 2014: Ohio University will pay $1 million to settle a wrongful-death lawsuit filed by the parents of afreshman who died of bacterial meningitis in 2010, an OU official confirmed yesterday. (link)
Nov. 8, 2014: The North Carolina academic fraud scandal has now reached federal court. A former Tar Heels football player is suing the university and alleging North Carolina broke its promise to legitimately educate football players in exchange for their participation in athletics. (link)
Nov. 7, 2014: The former executive director of a foundation that raises funds for students at Los Angeles Trade Technical College pleaded guilty to felony embezzlement at a hearing Friday.. Jiah "Rhea" Chung, 44, admitted taking $50,500 and was sentenced to three years of formal probation and 60 days of CalTrans work. She was also ordered to repay the Los Angeles Trade Technical College Foundation the amount she admitted taking. (link)
Nov. 6, 2014: A Utah State University administrator was fired in September after allegations of a sexual assault involving a female student were brought to the attention of police and university administrators. Marvin Roberts, the university's assistant vice president of student engagement and diversity, made "no attempt to provide information to refute" the allegations either in interviews with police or USU administration, according to a copy of a Sept. 18 termination letter obtained Thursday by the The Salt Lake Tribune. (link)
Nov. 6, 2014: A judge has proposed firing Moulay Tidriri, an Iowa State University associate professor of mathematics, because of ''unacceptable'' performance in his teaching, research and service over a five-year period, according to a recommendation issued by an administrative law judge. (link)
Nov. 5, 2014: The University of Minnesota is suing the four largest wireless service providers in the United States, saying they are infringing on several university patents. In the suit filed in U.S. District Court in Minnesota, the university says Verizon, AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile are illegally using technology developed by a university professor that improves the speed and reliability of 4G LTE service. The university is asking the companies to pay a royalty for using the technology. (link)
Nov. 5, 2014: Princeton University reached an agreement with the U.S. Education Department today to end an investigation over its handling of sexual assault on campus. To bring it into compliance, the Princeton, New Jersey-based Ivy League school will provide education about its policies on sexual assault and support services available, implement a campaign on awareness and bystander intervention, conduct annual climate checks with students, improve the reporting of assaults and communication with local law enforcement, according to the statement. (link)
Nov. 4, 2014: Washington State University is paying former journalism professor David Demers $120,000 to drop his five-year-old federal free-speech lawsuit against four WSU administrators. Demers claimed that administrators retaliated against him in 2007 after he submitted a plan urging them to seek national accreditation for the Murrow School (now a college), to provide a stronger voice for non-tenure professional faculty, and to separate the speech communication studies program from the journalism and mass communication programs.(link)
Oct. 31, 2014: The ringleader of a beating ritual that led to the death of a Florida college marching band member was convicted on Friday of manslaughter and felony hazing, the first case to go to trial in an incident that drew national attention to hazing abuses. (link)
Campus Life & Safety Events
Nov. 22, 2014: The University of Virginia is suspending all fraternities and associated parties until January 9 following a Rolling Stone magazine article that described a student's account of being gang raped and her frustration at trying to bring her alleged attackers to accountability. (link)
Nov. 22, 2014: A speedy response by police officers and a quick campus alert system stopped gunman Myron May after he shot three people outside Florida State University's Strozier Library Thursday. (link)
Nov. 18, 2014: A troubled fraternity already facing possible expulsion from the University of Arizona is being accused of more wrongdoing after members of a Jewish UA fraternity were attacked Friday, school officials said. About 15 local members of Sigma Alpha Epsilon ''forced entry into the off-campus residence of UA students, yelling discriminatory comments at the UA students and physically assaulting them,'' said a letter to the fraternity from the school's dean of students. (link)
Nov. 18, 2014: The state health department is still looking into the cause of a rash of gastrointestinal illness on University of Virginia grounds last weekend. Officials at UVa are now saying 18 students had to be admitted to the hospital over the weekend, most of them first-years. Spokesman Anthony de Bruyn said the illness has passed within 24 hours in most of the cases. (link)
Nov. 18, 2014: The Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office has opened an investigation after a video emerged on social media of a man being held and pepper-sprayed during his arrest Friday by campus police at Brookdale Community College, officials said. (link)
Nov. 17, 2014: A university student has been ''counseled'' after using campus resources to film a live solo sex show -- and the library where the show was filmed had to be ''steam cleaned.'' (link)
Nov. 15, 2014: Syracuse University students occupying the administration building for the last 10 days could now be disciplined, the administration has told the protesters. Daniel French, SU's general counsel, delivered Friday night to students in the administration building a personalized envelope containing a copy of SU's code of student conduct and the campus disruption policy, with sections highlighted under which each student could be disciplined. (link)
Nov. 15, 2014: Four students attending Olivet Nazarene University in Bourbonnais, Ill. were arrested in connection with the missing Ronald McDonald statue at Illinois Route 50, the life-size statue was found at an ONU dormitory room earlier this week. (link)
Nov. 12, 2014: An Elon University fraternity has been suspended for at least three years after school officials said they found evidence of hazing. "A campus investigation found evidence of existing members hazing new members during the fall pledge period," Elon officials said in a statement. No details about the alleged hazing have been released. (link)
Nov. 8, 2014: One of two Brown University students who drank an alcoholic punch at a fraternity party at Sears House on Oct. 17 has tested positive for a common date-rape drug, the university announced in a campus-wide email late Saturday. (link)
Nov. 6, 2014: All fraternity social activity has been suspended at Atlanta's Emory University in response to an alleged rape at a campus fraternity house on Halloween. In a letter to members of the Emory community, Senior Vice President and Dean of Campus Life Ajay Nair said the school's Interfraternity Council (IFC) will not host social events until ''a comprehensive plan is developed to ensure the safety of our community members.''
Other News & Events
Nov. 23, 2014: It costs more than $44,000 in tuition to attend Kean University for four years, and many of the school's students struggle to pay the bill. But the taxpayer-supported school in the township of Union spent $219,000 so far and has authorized up to $270,000 -- about the average price of a house in the nearby working-class neighborhood -- for a custom-made, circular conference table that seats 23 and features data ports, microphones and an illuminated map of the world in a glass panel at its center. (link)
Nov. 18, 2014: U.S. law-enforcement officials on Tuesday arrested 17 people accused of trying to collect almost $2 million in bogus tax refunds using college student accounts, the latest identity scam to defraud the Internal Revenue Service. (link)
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