''I believe in obedience to law because it protects the rights of all.''
-- Dr. George Petrie
from The Auburn Creed
We have noted in multiple past issues of Case in Point that the compliance burden within higher education appears to be greater than at any time in history. We have linked more stories from the compliance realm than any other tracked category for the past couple of years.
Over the past month there have been several stories dealing with just how much this compliance burden costs higher education. A study from Vanderbilt University garnered substantial press this month when it calculated their cost of compliance at $146 million per year (or 11% of their entire budget). While we can debate how to calculate the costs associated with compliance there is little argument that this number is substantial. The cost increases even more when an institution has major non-compliance in some area; therefore, it is important for us to remain vigilant to the compliance landmines we may encounter in our respective areas.
Few things can grab the attention of the campus community like one of their own being sentenced to prison. Recently I had a conversation with peers from an institution that had experienced a substantial issue of non-compliance that ultimately resulted in a faculty member being sentenced to prison for several years (note: the institution wasn't penalized because they had best practices in place). In this case multiple individuals had attempted to dissuade the individual from making a non-compliant choice, but at the end of the day compliance often comes down to individual choices. We can write policies, implement controls, and conduct training but if someone is determined to ignore or circumvent these efforts they can sometimes find a way. In these cases compliance choices become very personal things with very personal consequences.
While we may even agree that some regulatory requirements are unnecessary or perhaps even ridiculous, whether we like it or not we are charged with attempting to do our best to abide by those requirements. So if you are ever tempted to circumvent policies or avoid some legal mandate remember the story told to me by a peer institution. Ensuring best practices are in place will protect the institution but ''getting around these systems'' can have some sobering personal consequences.
Beyond compliance there are many other risks we encounter within higher education. We again invite you to review the current events within our industry and consider how you can proactively manage these risks within your sphere of influence.
M. Kevin Robinson, CIA, CFE, CCEP
Executive Director, Internal Auditing
Information Security & Technology Events
July 31, 2015: The University of Connecticut is responding to a criminal cyberintrusion through which hackers apparently originating in China gained access to servers at UConn's School of Engineering. UConn has implemented a combination of measures intended to further protect the University from cyberattack, and to assist individuals and research partners whose data may have been exposed. (link)
July 17, 2015: A months-long cyberattack on the University of California, Los Angeles hospital system put at risk the personal information for up to 4.5 million people, officials said Friday. UCLA Health said in a statement that while there's no evidence hackers acquired personal or medical data, it can't be ruled out yet. (link) Class Action Suit Filed (link)
July 10, 2015: More than 1,400 Howard University Hospital patients accidentally received letters intended for other patients with the same last names, the university disclosed on Friday. (link)
July 6, 2015: Cuesta College is offering one year of free identity theft protection to current and former community college employees who were affected by a recent database breach. The college board of trustees last week voted unanimously to enter into a one-year contract with LifeLock, an identity theft protection company, at a cost of up to $156,000, according to a news release. (link)
July 2, 2015: UC San Francisco is alerting individuals about a burglary involving an unencrypted laptop belonging to a faculty member in the Cardiac Electrophysiology & Arrhythmia Service that contained some personal, research and health information. (link)
July 1, 2015: A seventeenth-century university has become the victim of a twenty-first-century crime. Harvard University on Wednesday announced that on June 19, it discovered a breach in the IT systems of its Faculty of Arts and Sciences and Central Administration, currently impacting eight different schools and administrative organizations at the university.
Fraud & Ethics Related Events
July 30, 2015: A graduate student at the University of Oregon has admitted to faking the data behind four scientific papers, the blog Retraction Watch reports. David E. Anderson told the blog he had made an ''error in judgment'' in falsifying the data. (link)
July 23, 2015: A former employee of Emory University has been sentenced to federal prison following her April guilty plea on charges of embezzlement, the U.S. Attorney's Office announced Thursday. Brenda Michael, 53, was sentenced to 18 months in prison and three years of probation for stealing $317,923.33 of tuition fees from university students. Michael directed students looking to enroll in certain medical programs to submit tuition payments to a PayPal account they thought belonged to the university but in fact belonged to Michael. (link)
July 22, 2015: The University of Iowa has instituted new accounting safeguards after discovering evidence a former employee diverted thousands of dollars from other employees' health care spending accounts. UI officials discovered the alleged theft of $7,404 from six employee health care spending accounts during an internal investigation and reported it to the State Auditor's Office during its annual audit for the budget year that ended June 30, 2014. (link)
July 16, 2015: An adjunct professor at the Goldsboro campus of North Carolina Wesleyan College has been charged with stealing textbooks from the school, police said. (link)
July 14, 2015: Some Ohio University students and faculty members are calling for one of the school's biggest donors to resign as an OU Foundation trustee and for the university to strip his name from its communication building after he sent an email they're calling racist. In an email exchange with Ohio University administrators, Steven Schoonover advised them to '' play the race card'' against those protesting a university plan to buy a mansion for President Roderick McDavis, who is African-American. (link)
July 12, 2015: Popular Arizona State University faculty member Matthew Whitaker has been demoted after the university found ''significant issues with the content'' of his recent book. It is the second plagiarism-related incident in four years involving Whitaker, a former full professor who now is an associate professor. (link)
July 12, 2015: Jessica Zhang, a 21-year-old Chinese student from Jiangsu Province, says her English wasn't strong enough to fill in her U.S. college admission form. So her parents paid three consultants $4,500 to fill out the application, write her personal essay and compose teacher recommendation letters. They also arranged her visa and communicated with her prospective colleges -- eight ranked between 40 and 100 on the U.S. News & World Report College rankings. (link)
July 8, 2015: David Shen, a former Washington University investment manager indicted in April 2014 on computer fraud charges, has been acquitted of all charges. Shen worked at Washington University Investment Management Co. from 2009 to October 2011, when he resigned, according to court records. The indictment alleged that after he left Washington University, Shen downloaded protected and sensitive financial information without authorization and attempted to gain access to additional information. (link)
July 6, 2015: The recently detected cyberattacks at Pennsylvania State University may spell bad news for other colleges and universities, according to IT security experts. Hackers such as those that targeted Penn State don't set their sights on individual institutions, but on entire industries. (link)
July 6, 2015: The focus on Dolezal has renewed scrutiny of Andrea Smith, associate professor of media and cultural studies at the University of California at Riverside, who is being accused of faking a Cherokee heritage that many say she lacks. Smith, unlike Dolezal, is a prominent scholar. Her books are considered significant in Native American studies, and her writing and public appearances have routinely included references to her having Cherokee roots.(link) (link)
July 1, 2015:
A scientist who confessed to faking the results of an AIDS vaccine experiment, and whose supposed success garnered millions of dollars in government grants, was sentenced on Wednesday to four years and nine months in prison. (link)
Compliance/Regulatory & Legal Events
July 31, 2015: A federal judge has directed officials at Chicago State University not to interfere with the operations of a faculty blog that has been highly critical of the administration. (link)
July 27, 2015: A California judge said Friday that she was issuing a temporary injunction to restore control over a massive database of research on Alzheimer's disease to the University of California at San Diego. UCSD sought the injunction after the scholar who has led the project announced he would move to the University of Southern California and take the research with him. (link)
July 24, 2015: We may have a winner of the Black Hole Award for transparency: Teacher preparation. It's hard to tell if states are doing anything about poor teacher education programs, since many are not monitoring or reporting on their effectiveness like they're required to. (link)
July 23, 2015: Today, more than eight years after his unjust expulsion, student Hayden Barnes' federal civil rights lawsuit against Georgia's Valdosta State University (VSU) and former VSU president Ronald Zaccari concluded with the announcement of a $900,000 settlement. In the spring of 2007, Barnes was expelled from VSU by Zaccari for a satirical environmentalist collage he posted on his personal Facebook page. With the help of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), Barnes fought back by filing a civil rights lawsuit in 2008 against the university, Zaccari, other VSU administrators, and the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia. (link)
July 17, 2015: An Ann Arbor resident is suing the University of Michigan after being denied a permit to open carry a gun on campus. Joshua Wade charges in the lawsuit that the university is in violation of the state and U.S. Constitution by banning him and others from being allowed to open carry on the Ann Arbor campus. (link)
July 17, 2015: On Thursday, Rolling Stone magazine responded in court to a $7.5 million lawsuit filed by University of Virginia associate dean Nicole Eramo over a now-retracted article titled ''A Rape on Campus: A Brutal Assault and Struggle for Justice at UVA.'' For perhaps the first time, there's a suggestion that the University may have contributed to the faulty story. (link)
July 16, 2015: In the intensifying debate over whether to reduce federal government regulations on universities and colleges, one number has been at the forefront: $150 million. That's what Vanderbilt University says a study found it spends each year complying with government red tape: 11 percent of the university's entire budget. (link)
July 15, 2015: Louisiana Tech University will discontinue a fee paid only by full-time, female students that caused a student to file a Title IX complaint with the U.S. Department of Justice and U.S. Department of Education. (link)
July 15, 2015: Two female graduate students have filed suit, alleging that UCLA officials failed to act on complaints that a history professor had sexually harassed them.. In a federal lawsuit filed last week, the students allege that Gabriel Piterberg made suggestive comments and unwanted advances --- such as pressing himself against their bodies and forcing his tongue into their mouths. (link)
July 15, 2015: Shaw University has revised its admissions policy after a federal complaint was filed against the school for denying acceptance to a student with cerebral palsy. Officials at the historically black university in Raleigh said Wednesday that they initially admitted Alamari Moore when he applied last spring, then backed off because they felt the school could not adequately accommodate his disabilities. (link)
July 13, 2015: UC San Diego failed to give a fair trial to a male student it found responsible for sexual misconduct last year by refusing to allow him to fully confront and cross-examine his accuser, a judge has ruled.. San Diego Superior Court Judge Joel M. Pressman found there was insufficient evidence to support charges that the student, identified as John Doe, had pressed a classmate to engage in sexual activity against her will in February 2014. Pressman ordered the university to drop its finding against Doe and all sanctions, including a suspension of one year and a quarter. (link) (link)
July 12, 2015: Lawsuits by unpaid interns, which flourished in recent years, may face tougher tests under new court rulings. In its July 2 decision to send a lawsuit involving two former interns of Fox Searchlight Pictures back down to district court, the Second Circuit rejected the U.S. Department of Labor's ''six-prong test'' to assess whether internships can be unpaid, arguing that it was too rigid. Instead, the court established its own set of guidelines for characterizing unpaid internships. The court's jurisdiction includes New York, Connecticut and Vermont, but such cases tend to be watched by legal observers elsewhere who are looking for precedents. (link)
July 1, 2015: Seven former University of Illinois women's basketball players sued the university Wednesday, accusing coach Matt Bollant and a former assistant of violating their civil rights by using race to divide the team and try to force some players out. The lawsuit adds to this year's stream of accusations against the school's sports programs over player treatment. Some of the plaintiffs' parents made similar complaints to the school in May, claims that are being investigated by a university-hired law firm along with one from a former football player who says his injuries weren't properly handled. A former soccer player has sued the school over the handling of her concussions. (link)
July 1, 2015: The American Association of University Professors has threatened to take unspecified action against Louisiana State University over its dismissal of a tenured faculty member accused of using obscene language and making sexually explicit jokes in class. (link)
June 30, 2015: The Supreme Court's decision to reconsider a challenge to affirmative action at the University of Texas at Austin has universities around the country fearing that they will be forced to abandon what remains of race-based admission preferences and resort to more difficult and expensive methods if they want to achieve student diversity.
Campus Life & Safety Events
July 30, 2015: A book of parody songs updated in 2012 and circulated privately by members of the Ohio State University marching band included a sendup of the Holocaust with joking references to furnaces used in Nazi concentration camps and the train cars used to transport Jews to their deaths. (link)
July 28, 2015: More than two-thirds of the state's 73 known cases of mumps are in Champaign County, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health. Most of the cases are linked to the University of Illinois campus, where thousands of students who were away for the summer are expected to return to campus in the next few weeks for fall classes. (link)
July 28, 2015: Admission applications used by the UC system are giving potential students a host of choices for gender-related questions -- including six varieties to describe ''gender identity.'' The questions, which will go into circulation this fall, are voluntarily answered and responses don't impact the admissions process. (link)
July 27, 2015: More than half of the 900 respondents to a 2013 survey of NCAA athletic trainers and team physicians said they had felt pressure to return concussed players to action before the athletes were medically ready. (link)
July 26, 2015: A new milestone must have been established recently -- we're now officially in a new era of the $400 new college textbook and the $300 used college textbook. (link)
July 24, 2015: Sunday night, a University of Cincinnati police officer followed a car off campus before pulling it over for not having front license plates. A few minutes later, a shot rang out and the man inside the car was dead. The death of Sam Dubose, an unarmed black man, at the hands of a white officer is sparking protests in Cincinnati, and the university president is taking steps to build community connections that he hopes will prevent future incidents. (link) (link)
July 22, 2015: Four Southern University at New Orleans professors who died within three months of each other had all worked on the second floor of the Multipurpose Classroom Building. So Cynthia Ramirez found it ironic that SUNO chose to hold a vigil for the dead on the same floor. (link)
July, 21, 2015: An Ontario college announced one of its professors ''is no longer an employee'' at the school after he allegedly posted a homophobic comment on Facebook. (link)
July 18, 2015: In the wake of the shootings in Charleston, South Carolina, and subsequent removal of imagery and items related to the Confederacy from public places, retailers and elsewhere, the debate over the name of Dixie State University has been reignited. Earlier this month, Dannelle Larsen-Rife, a psychology professor at DSU, wrote a guest editorial in The Spectrum that has since rekindled the conversation about the Dixie name and what is means to different people. (link)
July 16, 2015: An outspoken University Wisconsin-Madison professor has tweeted herself into a world of controversy. Sara Goldrick-Rab is under fire for finding future Badgers on Twitter and essentially encouraging them to take their money elsewhere --- as well as for comparing Gov. Scott Walker to Adolf Hitler. (link)
July 13, 2015: A tip to the FBI from a Boston police captain about his son's desire to fight for the Islamic State prompted federal agents to monitor --- and then arrest --- the 23-year-old in connection with an alleged plot to attack a university, according to law enforcement officials and court records unsealed Monday. Alexander Ciccolo, of Adams, was inspired by the Boston Marathon bombers and allegedly plotted with a witness working for the FBI to set off explosives and shoot up a cafeteria at the unnamed university, according to legal filings unsealed in US District Court in Springfield. (link)
July 13, 2015: With one player kicked off the team and another's future in doubt after episodes of violence against women, Florida State president John Thrasher met with Seminoles players and coaches on Monday to reiterate the importance of personal conduct. ''In light of recent off-field incidents, I reiterated to our players that they simply cannot put themselves in situations that reflect poor behavior or cause harm to others,'' (link)
July 8, 2015: President Eric Kaler has agreed to postpone a new sexual-assault prevention policy at the University of Minnesota to give members of the Board of Regents time to debate it. The policy would subject students to disciplinary action for having sex unless both parties give what's known as ''affirmative consent.''(link)
July 8, 2015: Gov. Andrew Cuomo has signed into legislation what he called the most aggressive policy in the nation to combat the rise of sexual assault on college and university campuses statewide. The ''Enough is Enough''law requires colleges to adopt a set of comprehensive procedures and guidelines, including a uniform definition of affirmative consent, a statewide amnesty policy and expanded access to law enforcement to ensure the safety of students attending colleges in New York. (link)
July 8, 2015: UNC Chapel is one of four universities since April where similar words have been written on statues, a building wall or a painting -- all of which are linked to racist figures or ideas from the Confederate or Jim Crow days of the South. Authorities are investigating all the incidents. (link)
July 6, 2015: A 39-year-old registered sex offender admitted Thursday to videotaping unsuspecting women in restrooms at Johnson County Community College. Saysavat Bounyadeth pleaded guilty in Johnson County District Court to three felony counts of breach of privacy. Sentencing is scheduled for Aug. 27. (link)
July 5, 2015: Canadian researchers say ''only 22 women would need to take this program to prevent one additional rape from occuring within one year.''
Other News & Events
July 31, 2015: LSU is planning to open its doors on successive Fridays this fall so sixth-graders from public middle schools in Baton Rouge can get a taste of what college is like in hopes that they will later pursue higher education. New East Baton Rouge Parish Superintendent Warren Drake and LSU Chancellor and President F. King Alexander agreed in principle to the visits during a recent face-to-face meeting, but the details are still being worked out. (link)
July 8, 2015: Parents have plenty of things to worry about when they send their kids off to college: money, physical safety, their happiness, empty-nest syndrome, their future. Do they now have to worry about identity theft and data security, too?
July 6, 2015: Of the 3.6 million students who entered college for the first time in fall 2008, over one third (37.2 percent) transferred to a different institution at least once within six years. Of these, almost half changed their institution more than once (45 percent). Counting multiple moves, the students made 2.4 million transitions from one institution to another from 2008 to 2014. (link)
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