|''Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.''
-- Nelson Mandela
Unbelievably, 2014 marks the completion of our sixth year of publishing Case-in-Point: lessons for the pro-active manager. Looking back at the origins of this publication, our idea was (and is) very simple: we thought it would be a good idea to send leaders at our institution an overview of monthly events in higher education with the hope that if we had similar issues or risks here, we could address them before a problem happened. Cynics would say that the idea is naive but for some reason it seems to have worked at least in some small ways and on a few specific occasions.
The January 2009 issue went to about 70 people all at Auburn University (AU). Today's mailing will go to over 1,100 people at institutions all over the USA and a couple of institutions outside the USA. While we never intended for this to be anything other than an institutional publication, we are happy that many outside of AU have found Case-in-Point helpful in some way.
To help the seventh year of publication be even better, we ask for your assistance in helping identify stories that you believe would be good for inclusion each month. If you come across an item that you think would fit well within Case-in-Point, please email us at email@example.com.
The ultimate goal each month of this publication is to help leaders be pro-active in managing the risks we face within higher education. Next month we will begin our annual look back at what occurred in 2014 and consider possible trends that may be emerging. Until then, we invite you to review this month's events and consider how you can use your influence to help reduce and pro-actively manage risks.
M. Kevin Robinson, CIA, CFE, CCEP
Executive Director, Internal Auditing
Information Security & Technology Events
Dec. 17, 2014: The Maricopa County Community College District continues to deal with fallout from the massive computer-system breach last year, and the latest figures show the cost to taxpayers to deal with it has now topped $26 million. (link)
Dec. 15, 2014: On September 16th of this year, the servers that were used for the capital projects and physical plant units at the University of California, Berkley were compromised. The breach involved servers and workstations in the Real Estate division which is responsible for commercial leasing and campus filming and facility use permits to name a few of their functions. (link)
Dec. 10, 2014: Nearly a year after a massive data breach at the University of Maryland, state auditors say the campus network is still vulnerable to hackers -- in part because gaps they identified five years ago remain.. While patching those holes would not have prevented the breach, auditors and university officials said Wednesday, some of the network still lacks proper firewalls or systems to detect intruders or malware. (link)
Dec. 9, 2014: The University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center announced Monday that a College of Nursing Web server was compromised. University personnel discovered the security breach Oct. 20, according to a news release. While working to recover the system on Nov. 3, they learned the compromise could have enabled unauthorized access to sensitive data. (link)
Dec. 9, 2014: Despite a growing number of data breaches occurring under the glare of the public spotlight, 71 percent of employees in a new survey report that they have access to data they should not see, and more than half say that this access is frequent or very frequent. As attention shifts from sophisticated external attacks to the role that internal vulnerability and negligence often play, a new survey commissioned by Varonis Systems, Inc. and conducted by the Ponemon Institute suggests that most organizations are having difficulty balancing the need for improved security with employee productivity demands. Employees with needlessly excessive data access privileges represent a growing risk for organizations due to both accidental and conscious exposure of sensitive or critical data.
Fraud & Ethics Related Events
Dec. 17, 2014: A former Clarke University bookstore director pleaded guilty Thursday in federal court for stealing over $300,000 from the university in a book vendor scheme from 2011 to 2012. (link)
Dec. 14, 2014: Joseph N. Fonge pleaded guilty last Wednesday to three counts of wire fraud after inaccurately reporting financial information to the Harvard College Office of Admissions and Financial Aid between 2010 and 2013. Joseph N. Fonge and his wife Barbara E. Fonge reported false income figures to the University to defraud the College of financial aid funding for their child, who graduated from the College in 2013, according to a criminal complaint filed on June 27. (link)
Dec. 8, 2014: Online court records show that the former IT director at Ripon College has pled guilty to stealing from the school. On Friday, Ronald Haefner pleaded guilty to 10 counts of theft or fraud while another 54 counts were dismissed. Haefner will be sentenced on March 26. (link)
Nov. 28, 2014: Simmons College is seeking fraud charges against a former employee accused of misappropriating student funds for her own use, and the school's president says some of the employee's colleagues ignored ''red flags''that something was wrong. ''Fraudulent activity is an aberration at Simmons,'' president Helen Drinan said in a letter posted Nov. 24 on the school's website. ''Moving forward, I am confident that we have enhanced our policies and financial protocols across all of Simmons to detect anomalies sooner.''(link)
Compliance/Regulatory & Legal Events
Dec. 18, 2014: University of Iowa officials are defending their decision to reassign an employee who is suing over claims that she suffered employment discrimination because of her conservative views. The university transferred Teresa Wagner, a Republican, from her eight-year job as associate director of the law school's writing center to a position in the main library's unit that preserves special collections. (link)
Dec. 15, 2014: The University of California will pay nearly a half-million dollars to settle federal allegations that UC Davis received research money from two agencies for the same projects by submitting ''false and misleading statements'' in grant applications. Without admitting wrongdoing, the university paid $499,700 to the agencies and agreed to expand training for student-researchers at UC Davis on proper reporting and other aspects of federal grants, according to a news release Thursday from the United States Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of California. (link)
Dec. 12, 2014: Southern Methodist University violated Title IX when it failed to provide a ''prompt and equitable response''to the alleged sexual assault of a male student by another male student in 2012, the U.S. Department of Education announced Thursday. The university then failed to protect the victim from further harassment and embarrassment following the assault, the department said, leading him to drop out. (link)
Dec. 2, 2014: UNLV English professor Mustapha Marrouchi was fired last month after a university review found he plagiarized the works of 18 people. In September the Chronicle of Higher Education reported that Marrouchi, a professor of post-colonial literature at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas since 2008, had been accused of ''serial plagiarism,'' stealing from other authors in his fiction, nonfiction and critical works that appeared in books, essays and blogs. (link)
Campus Life & Safety Events
Dec. 13, 2014: A Cleveland State University fraternity and a student associated with the fraternity have been suspended after a sexual assault allegation according to CSU. (link)
Dec. 12, 2014: The University of Maine will allow the halls to be decked with candy canes, after all. After an administrator sent out an e-mail to employees telling them ''religious-themed'' decorations -- which he said included the peppermint confections -- could not be placed in common areas on campus, students went into an uproar. And they got their Christmas wish. (link)
Dec. 12, 2014: A study of sexual assault released by the federal government on Thursday challenges conventional wisdom about the heightened danger on college campuses, finding that women there are less likely than nonstudents to be victims. College women are also less likely, the study found, to report the incidents to the police. (link)
Dec. 9, 2014: Colchester Police arrested a man they say was involved in multiple burglaries on the St. Michael's College campus. Chancy Smith III, 35, of Winooski, Vt., is accused of stealing clothing, alcohol, money, computers, video game systems, and other items from dorm rooms. Police say they located and recovered the stolen property at his residence. (link)
Dec. 9, 2014: A man convicted of breaking into three dorm rooms at the University of Maryland College Park campus has been sentenced to 60 years in prison. (link)
Dec. 9, 2014: The Clemson University chapter of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity has suspended ''all activity'' and most of the chapter's officers have resigned after what the university called ''an inappropriate theme party organized by several of its members at a private, off-campus residence.'' White students dressed as gang members at the ''Cripmas party.'' The event sparked widespread backlash from some on social media, and Clemson University President Jim Clements said it raised concerns about the campus racial climate. (link)
Dec. 8, 2014: The past two years have brought unprecedented public focus on the issue of sexual assault on campuses. The issue is hardly new, but a combination of factors -- more women speaking out about being attacked, media attention, heightened scrutiny from the White House -- has changed the discussion. The reaction to ''A Rape on Campus,'' an article published in Rolling Stone last month, reflected this changed environment. (link)
Dec. 5, 2014: A public art display meant to denounce racism in the United States was removed Friday after some University of Iowa students were angered by its image of a large Ku Klux Klan robe. Serhat Tanyolacar, a visiting professor at the university's art school, said he displayed the 7-foot-tall fabric sculpture in the center of campus Friday morning to join with protesters upset over the Michael Brown shooting in Ferguson, Missouri. (link)
Dec. 3, 2014: Keene State College has disciplined 170 of its students for participating in the riots that occurred while the city of Keene, N.H., was holding its annual pumpkin festival in October, college officials said. Allegations against the students range from alcohol policy violations to disorderly and disruptive behavior, according to a statement Monday from college president Anne Huot . (link)
Nov. 30, 2014: Five male students at William Paterson University were arrested and charged with sexually assaulting a woman in a residence hall on the Wayne campus last week, the school's president said Sunday. Kathleen Waldron said in a statement circulated to students and faculty that the men who were arrested were living in campus residence halls. (link)
Nov. 26, 2014: Leaders of San Diego State University's Greek community announced Tuesday that they are indefinitely suspending all socializing at campus fraternities. Instead of partying, members of fraternities and sororities will undergo sexual assault prevention training. ''It was time to really address these issues,'' said J. Cole, president of the Associated Students. (link)
Other News & Events
Dec. 11, 2014: The University of Missouri-St. Louis on Wednesday announced a hiring freeze in response to an unexpected enrollment drop that campus officials are linking to the fatal police shooting in nearby Ferguson.
Dec. 10, 2014: A growing number of university administrators are consulting the performance data of former students to predict the outcomes of current ones. The little-known effort is being quietly employed by about 125 schools around the U.S., and often includes combing years of data covering millions of grades earned by thousands of former students.(link)
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