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Internal Auditing

Case in Point:
Lessons for the pro-active manager

August 2015
Vol. 7 No. 8
Quotable...
“I believe that everyone chooses how to approach life. If you're proactive, you focus on preparing. If you're reactive, you end up focusing on repairing.”

-- John C. Maxwell

August marks the beginning of the new academic year and is a time typically filled with optimism and excitement regarding the activities and events that will transpire over the coming year. Also with the new academic year come new or revised goals and objectives for individuals, organizations, and institutions that they will seek to fulfill in the coming months.

Goals and objectives are certainly good things for all of us (and our operations) to have considered and even documented in some way. Things that can keep us from achieving these goals and objectives are what we call risks. Within our industry of higher education there is no shortage of risk we will encounter. In fact, some have even indicated that higher education may face more unique and diverse risks than just about any industry you can find.

Since its inception, Case in Point has sought to help administrators become more aware of both current and newly emerging risks facing higher education and to proactively manage high risk activities before a problem occurs. We believe prevention is superior to remediation in numerous ways and hope this survey of current events has helped you proactively manage risks in your unique area of influence.

So as you scan the stories in this month's publication we again invite you to ask that same question we did when we began this publication in January 2009: "What can I do to prevent this from occurring here?" We believe that is still a worthwhile question. As always we invite your feedback and comments.

M. Kevin Robinson, CIA, CFE, CCEP
Executive Director, Internal Auditing


Information Security & Technology Events

Aug. 23, 2015: The identity of the hacker or hackers who crippled Rutgers University computer networks at least four times during the last school year is still a mystery. But Rutgers is spending big money to make sure cyber attackers don't knock the school offline again. (link)

August 21, 2015: A woman who worked at Winthrop-University Hospital was arrested after stealing patients' personal information, Nassau police said Friday. Jasmine Sanchez, 33, of Lawrenceville, Georgia, was an account representative for the Mineola-based hospital when she stole Social Security numbers and credit card information while she worked out of a Bethpage office, police said. (link)

August 20, 2015: The University of Rhode Island has asked law enforcement officials for help in investigating who hacked into the university’s email accounts records, possibly obtaining the email addresses and passwords to about 3,000 university email accounts, a university spokeswoman said Thursday. The breach seems to be limited to the URI email records, spokeswoman Linda Acciardo said. URI officials do not believe social security numbers, credit or other bank and financial information was involved in the incident. (link)

Aug. 18, 2015: On Wednesday, August 12, at approximately 3:30am, a barrage of malicious postings found their way to three of the University of Michigan's most popular Facebook pages: Michigan Football, Michigan Basketball, and Michigan Athletics. (link)

August 17, 2015: The University of Virginia shut down access to many of its information technology systems Friday in response to a cyberattack that originated in China, the university announced in a release. After receiving an alert from federal authorities, the university confirmed June 11 that “sophisticated attackers” from China had illegally accessed portions of UVa’s IT systems. The university quickly tapped cyber security firm Mandiant to identify the nature of the attack and work to correct it. Mandiant rose to prominence in 2013 for releasing documentation of cyberattacks on the U.S. by the Chinese military. (link)

August 14, 2015: A team of self-proclaimed activists used the "Team Ghost Shell" Twitter account to continue to protest against institutions that they claim are not doing enough to protect personal data. They claim to have released data that belonged to 30,000 high traffic ranking websites. The longest list belonged to universities across the globe. They claimed to have breached the websites for the University of Miami's College of Engineering and the Florida International University's Health Department. As they released lists, the users encouraged other hackers to join their campaign. (link)

August 11, 2015: The University of South Alabama has corrected an issue that resulted in 80 scholarship students' personal information leaking on the Internet, according to USA spokesman Bob Lowry. "Personal information contained on the applications included each scholarship applicant's name, address, phone number, date of birth, names of parents, high school grades and transcripts. Eleven of the 80 applications also included social security numbers on the transcripts," said Lowry. (link)

August 5, 2015: The personal information of Indiana University employees on school-sponsored health plans may have been among those leaked in a hack of a Fort Wayne medical software company. Medical Informatics Engineering announced the May attack in June. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said Monday that the company reported the private information of 3.9 million people was exposed. (link)

July 30, 2015: Hungry Virginia Commonwealth University students will have a speedier -- and more futuristic -- option for entering Shafer Court Dining Center this fall. The university on Wednesday installed two iris cameras that will allow meal plan holders to use their eyes instead of having to swipe their IDs to access the dining hall. (link)

July 28, 2015: Higher education institutions are treasure troves for hackers. Colleges and universities are huge repositories of research data, sensitive information for large populations of applicants and enrolled students (personal, academic, financial and health data), as well as sensitive personal and tax information for all faculty and staff. Higher education information systems are particularly valuable targets for cyberattacks. In the wake of a series of cyberattacks on several prominent colleges and universities, higher education institutions would be well-advised to review their current security posture, breach preparedness, and cyber insurance coverage. (link)


Fraud & Ethics Related Events

Aug. 26, 2015: A suspended Central Connecticut State University professor pleaded not guilty Wednesday to charges he stole more than $1,300 in a Home Depot return scheme. Ravi Shankar, 40, of Middletown, has been a source of controversy for the university after the Connecticut Board of Regents approved tenure for him without realizing he had several criminal convictions and was in jail when the vote took place. (link)

Aug. 24, 2014: A former employee of Meridian Community College has been arrested. According to the Mississippi State Auditor's office, a Lauderdale County Grand Jury indicted Sandra Gail Young on embezzlement charges. An official release says in addition to her arrest, Young was served and demanded to pay $202,919.72. The release says "this amount represents funds misappropriated by Young during the time period of August 2008 through February 2015." (link)

August 21, 2015: The former financial aid director for North Idaho College pleaded guilty Thursday to computer crimes and attempted misuse of public funds related to a scheme to entice students to have sex with him in exchange for college aid. Joseph M. Bekken, 37, could be sent to prison for up to 7 1/2 years and fined as much as $52,500 when sentenced Oct. 19 in Idaho’s 1st District Court. (link)

August 20, 2015: One of the world’s most eminent sociologists has included large amounts of self-plagiarised material in a dozen of his most recent books, an academic paper claims. Last year, Times Higher Education reported allegations that Zygmunt Bauman, emeritus professor of sociology at the University of Leeds and often hailed as the world’s greatest living sociologist, had included several unacknowledged passages in his 2013 book Does the Richness of the Few Benefit Us All? that were near-exact quotations from Wikipedia and other web resources. The book also allegedly included numerous passages from previous works written by Professor Bauman “without appropriate attribution”. (link)

August 19, 2015: The U.S. Education Department is seeking to hold colleges accountable for fraud and other wrongdoing that results in student loan discharges in light of the collapse of the for-profit Corinthian Colleges Inc. The department will begin a regulatory process next month to clarify how student borrowers who believe they were defrauded can seek relief and to hold their institutions accountable. (link)

August 18, 2015: In an unusual move, a scientific journal has retracted a paper written by a Tufts University researcher, saying that her team acted unethically by giving Chinese children genetically modified rice without informing their parents. The researcher, Guangwen Tang, was studying the effectiveness of so-called golden rice, a strain that has been genetically modified to combat vitamin A deficiency. The study included 68 Chinese children, ages 6 to 8, who had a “marginal deficiency” of vitamin A. The dispute is over an ethical matter: whether the scientists should have told the parents that they would be feeding their children a genetically modified food. (link)

August 13, 2015: University of Minnesota athletic director Norwood Teague resigned Friday amid revelations that he sexually harassed two female university employees -- inappropriately touching both at a university-sponsored event, and sending a slew of graphic texts to one. Teague acknowledged his actions and expressed concern about his substance abuse in a text message sent to media members. (link)

August 12, 2015: The president of Keiser University's Daytona Beach campus was mugged and carjacked over the weekend while meeting with two women for a "sexual rendezvous," police Chief Mike Chitwood said Monday. When 60-year-old Matt McEnany stepped out of his 2011 Toyota Venza Sunday night to speak with the two women -- identified only as "Luscious" and "Brittany"-- he was struck from behind by a man who then shoved him onto the roadway and sped off in the Toyota with the two women, a police incident report states. (link)

Aug. 10, 2015: A professor finds himself in trouble with the law several times within the span of a few years. But none of those crimes and alleged crimes relate directly to his teaching or publications, and he's apparently a good professor -- at least good enough to have been promoted to full professor last year while he was serving a jail sentence. But some -- included one lawmaker -- want him fired. So what's a college or university to do? When do personal transgressions become professional ones? (link)

August 9, 2015: A Washington, D.C.-based conservative group suspects Sen. Kurt Schaefer put pressure on the University of Missouri to keep MU law Associate Professor Josh Hawley out of the race for attorney general, according to a Sunshine Law request submitted in June. Two of Schaefer’s supporters, a state senator and a former House member, have also filed Sunshine Law requests indicating they think the university took extraordinary actions to help Hawley enter the 2016 Republican primary against Schaefer. (link)

August 8, 2015: The University of Illinois announced that several administrators violated school policy by using private emails to hide sometimes harsh correspondence from public view. Hundreds of pages of emails released simultaneously include discussions about controlling the damage from a high-profile controversy spurred by the chancellor’s revocation of a job offer to a professor who sent anti-Israel tweets. Chancellor Phyllis Wise resigned earlier this week amid the controversy. (link)

August 6, 2015: A $556 olive jar purchased for University of Akron President Scott Scarborough’s home is stirring up some controversy. The jar, located in Scarborough’s master bedroom in the university-owned home, now has a Facebook page, Twitter handle and is the subject of a call for a rally. It was purchased from interior designer Alan Garren. The university paid the designer $141,000 for decorations in the home, including $16,700 in the bedroom for such things as a makeup chair for $838, a mirror for $1,800, two chairs and an ottoman for $4,500 and two night tables for $2,600. But it's the olive jar that is getting the most attention after 213 positions at the university along with some departments were eliminated to make up for budget shortfalls. (link)

August 3, 2015: A Chinese citizen who lives in western Pennsylvania has pleaded guilty to charges she used phony passports to take English-language fluency tests used for college entrance purposes for two other Chinese women, including one now enrolled at Virginia Tech. Twenty-four-year-old Yunlin Sun, of Berlin, is one of 15 Chinese citizens indicted in May. Her sentencing was set for December after her plea Monday. Federal prosecutors in Pittsburgh allege the defendants scammed costly tests run by Educational Testing Service and the College Board. (link)

July 30, 2015: Allegations made by Jay Conover, former Horn Professor of statistics, have led to a Texas Tech investigation of possible grade tampering. Conover was transferred to the math department this summer after the claims were made. The university is thoroughly reviewing the allegations, Chris Cook, Tech spokesman said, and operating procedures prevent Tech from commenting further at this time. Conover said grades of four Master's of Business Administration students were changed, which allowed three of the students to graduate in May. The fourth student intends to graduate in August. (link)


Compliance/Regulatory & Legal Events

August 29, 2015: Citing the importance of the First Amendment, Columbia University asked a judge Friday to reject a student's lawsuit alleging the school failed to protect him after a onetime friend called him a "serial rapist" and carried a mattress around campus to protest sexual abuse. The New York City university said in a federal court filing that it was a "fatal flaw" in Paul Nungesser's lawsuit that he failed to sufficiently claim intentional gender discrimination by Columbia. His lawsuit alleged that the university's actions caused him to face gender discrimination and defamation during the last school year and damaged his job prospects. (link)

August 28, 2015: Just one week before their season opener, the Illinois Fighting Illini have fired football coach Tim Beckman amid allegations of influencing medical decisions and pressuring players to play hurt, athletic director Mike Thomas announced Friday. Thomas issued a statement that said the dismissal was related to preliminary results of an external review into the allegations, which also included efforts to avoid reporting players' injuries. (link)

Aug. 25, 2015: A romantic rival took advantage of inadequate cyber security at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center to access and disseminate the private health records of a medical assistant, an attorney told a jury Tuesday. (link)

August 25, 2015: Rutgers head coach Kyle Flood could face a suspension or firing because of impermissible contact with a university faculty member regarding the status of one of his players, two people with knowledge of the situation told NJ Advance Media. (link)

Aug. 24, 2015: On Monday, a federal appeals court ruled that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has the power to take action against companies that employ poor IT security practices. The ruling, from the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, came as part of a lawsuit between the FTC and Wyndham Worldwide Corporation, which manages a collection of hotels throughout the US. [Editor's Note: While the linked story is not outwardly related to higher education, this ruling interprets the FTC's broad authority to allow for FTC regulation of cyber security which may have implications within the higher educational environment.] (link)

Aug. 21, 2015: The University of Alabama was back in federal court this week defending its trademark rights to the houndstooth pattern when it comes to fan merchandise. At the center of Alabama's complaint is a legal settlement last year that gave the university ownership of the Houndstooth Mafia logo. A federal judge in Birmingham confirmed the settlement and ordered the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Trademark Trial and Appeal Board to vacate its 2013 opinion that granted the trademark registration to two Alabama fans who created the logo. (link)

August 21, 2015: Baylor University will conduct an investigation into the school's handling of sexual assault allegations against a football player who was allowed to transfer into coach Art Briles' program despite a history of disciplinary problems at Boise State. Following the conviction of defensive end Sam Ukwuachu on sexual assault charges, Baylor President Ken Starr on Friday called for a "comprehensive internal inquiry into the circumstances associated with the case and the conduct of the offices involved." (link)

Aug. 20, 2015: Pennsylvania's 14 state-owned universities are implementing criminal background checks on all of their professors, even though most do not teach minors and are exempt from such checks under state child protection law, the faculty union says. So on behalf of its members, the Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties has gone to Commonwealth Court, seeking an injunction that would block the program's implementation across its 6,000-member bargaining unit. (link)

Aug. 19, 2015: Janet Napolitano, president of the University of California and a former prosecutor and secretary of Homeland Security, warned in an article in the Yale Law & Policy Review published online this month that "a cottage industry is being created" on campuses dedicated to handling tasks that fall outside the expertise of colleges and universities. "Rather than pushing institutions to become surrogates for the criminal justice system," she said, policymakers should ask if "more work should be done to improve that system’s handling and prosecution of sexual assault cases." (link)

Aug. 18, 2015: A state university in southwest Ohio has announced that its foreign-worker visa program is under federal investigation. Wright State University near Dayton says it has disciplined three administrators, including its provost, in connection with the investigation. School leaders say in a statement first issued Monday that they were informed earlier this year of “credible evidence” that sometime between two and five years ago not every employee sponsored by the school under H-1B work visas was actually working for the school. (link)

Aug. 17, 2015: The US District Court for the District of Columbia ruled that the US Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) did not follow required procedures when it promulgated regulations allowing for certain extensions of F-1 Optional Practical Training (“OPT”) employment authorization. However, in a compromise move, the Court vacated the DHS regulation and all subsequent amendments (“vacatur”), but ordered that the vacatur be stayed for six months to February 12, 2016, to allow DHS time to submit the rule again with appropriate notice and comment. There is no immediate impact on STEM or “cap-gap” OPT extensions. (link)

August 17, 2015: For the last four years, a little-known civil rights office in the U.S. Department of Education has forced far-reaching changes in how the nation’s colleges and universities police, prosecute and punish sexual assaults on campus. With a strong mandate from President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden, the office's lawyers have redefined campus sexual assault as a federal civil rights issue, changed the standard by which allegations must be judged and publicized the names of a growing number of schools under investigation for allegedly failing to respond properly to complaints of sexual misconduct. (link)

Aug. 17, 2015: In a unanimous decision, the National Labor Relations Board declined to assert jurisdiction in the case involving Northwestern University football players who receive grant-in-aid scholarships. The Board did not determine if the players were statutory employees under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). Instead, the Board exercised its discretion not to assert jurisdiction and dismissed the representation petition filed by the union. (link)

August 14, 2015: The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill announced on Friday that its officials had reported additional potential violations to the NCAA that may implicate the women's basketball and men's soccer teams. The university said in a written statement that, in the course of preparing to release emails from the Wainstein investigation into Chapel Hill's academic-fraud scandal, it had uncovered "additional examples of possible instances of improper academic assistance provided to a few former women's basketball players." The university said the examples were "directly related" to one of the NCAA’s recent allegations against it. (link)

August 13, 2015: Maryland women’s basketball assistant coach Bryce McKey has been charged with sexual abuse against a player he coached while serving as an assistant with the Xavier women’s basketball team. McKey will be arraigned Friday morning in Kenton County District Court on a misdemeanor charge of sexual abuse in the third degree, which stems from a May 2 incident involving a Xavier women’s basketball player. Maryland indefinitely suspended McKey on Thursday evening, according to a school spokesman. (link)

August 13, 2015: A former Eastern Oregon University administrator who successfully defended himself against a multimillion-dollar lawsuit accusing him of raping a co-worker has lost his latest attempt to get the state to foot his $100,000 legal bill. The Oregon Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday that the state isn't obligated to pay Robert L. Davis' defense costs for the late-night encounter in an Atlanta hotel room. Davis had argued that he was being sued for something that allegedly occurred while he was on the job. (link)

August 13, 2015: Texas A&M University is quick to tout the work of its law school graduates. In one news release, for instance, university officials say A&M law students have provided more than 120,000 hours of free legal services valued at more than $2.4 million. But much of that work was done by alumni who earned degrees from Texas Wesleyan School of Law in Forth Worth before A&M purchased the school in 2013. A&M did not previously have a law school. While A&M has taken credit for their work, the school won't recognize them as A&M alumni, dozens of the graduates argue in a class-action lawsuit filed Tuesday. (link)

August 12, 2015: A former UC Berkeley football player has sued the University of California over alleged medical malpractice surrounding the prevention and treatment of concussions. Bernard Hicks played for the Golden Bears from 2004 to 2008 and suffered from multiple concussions during games and practices, according to the lawsuit filed Aug. 3 against the Regents of the University of California. The suit claims that the university failed to take reasonable measures to prevent head injuries. (link)

August 11, 2015: The University of Iowa this week acknowledged the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights is investigating its handling of sexual misconduct allegations involving a student with disabilities. It is the office’s second investigation of the UI campus this year. UI officials in June announced they had received notice of a federal investigation related to the firing of former field hockey coach Tracey Griesbaum, and officials this week acknowledged a second unrelated investigation. (link)

August 10, 2015: A Tennessee judge has ruled that a university cannot shift the burden of proof onto an accused student and force them to prove a crime didn't occur. Judge Carol McCoy has overturned a University of Tennessee-Chattanooga decision that found former wrestling star Corey Mock responsible for sexual assault, claiming the school provided no evidence to prove the assault happened. McCoy found that UTC "improperly shifted the burden of proof and imposed an untenable standard upon Mr. Mock to disprove the accusation" that he assaulted Molly Morris, a fellow classmate. (link)

August 7, 2015: Controversial bills that would arm people on college and school campuses with concealed guns will be back before the Legislature in 2016. The two National Rifle Association-backed proposals failed to pass the House and Senate in 2015. Lawmakers filed them again this week for the legislative session that starts in January. One (SB 68, HB 4001), introduced by Sen. Greg Evers, R-Baker, and Rep. Greg Steube, R-Sarasota, would allow anyone with a concealed carry license from the state to bring their guns with them on college campuses. The other (SB 72), by Evers, would give school districts the power to arm a current or former member of the military or law enforcement in each school. (link)

August 7, 2015: The University of Northern Iowa has been advised to tighten internal controls, conduct independent reviews of financial deposits, and improve the way it maintains records after the state auditor recently uncovered thousands in undeposited or improperly deposited collections in the College of Education. (link)

Aug. 6, 2015: A decision on whether a racial discrimination lawsuit filed against University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES) by a former provost and vice president of academic affairs goes to court could come mid-September. The discrimination lawsuit filed against UMES by Ronald Nykiel is one of several currently pending by white professionals against the historically black university for which they worked. (link)

August 5, 2015: A former Clark University student who was dismissed from the college on allegations he raped another student is asking a federal judge to reinstate him as a student and declare the college's policies regarding these matters as unconstitutional. The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court against Clark University by a John Doe from Connecticut, challenges the procedures used by the college to investigate claims of rape. The former student is seeking money and for a federal judge to issue an order purge the decisions made by Clark University officials who found he violated the student code of conduct. (link)

August 4, 2015: A South Carolina judge has blocked a law school in Charleston from laying off a tenured professor suing over her termination --- at least until her case plays out in court. Judge R. Markley Dennis in Charleston County has told lawyers involved in the dispute that he will issue an injunction against Charleston School of Law, allowing Professor Nancy Zisk to keep her job for now, her attorney told Law Blog on Tuesday. (link)

August 4, 2015: Kansas State University --- where a controversial $1.25 billion biosecurity lab facility is under construction --- secretly faced federal sanctions last year after repeatedly violating safety regulations during its research with bioterror pathogens, records obtained by USA TODAY show. Kansas State’s “history of non-compliance” during four consecutive inspections over two years shows a “systemic problem” and has “raised serious concerns” about the university’s ability to put safeguards in place to ensure safety and containment of dangerous pathogens, according to a March 2014 letter to the university from federal lab regulators. (link)

August 4, 2015: Colleges would not be allowed to punish a student for committing sexual assault unless the alleged victim agrees to report their attack to police, under a pair of new bills pushed by national fraternity organizations and opposed by higher education groups. The North-American Interfraternity Conference and the National Panhellenic Conference, umbrella groups representing fraternities and sororities, are promoting legislation that calls for new protections for students accused of rape. The legislation, introduced last week in the House of Representatives, would also limit the cases that colleges can investigate. (link)

August 4, 2015: The University of Oregon has agreed to pay $800,000 to settle a lawsuit brought by a student who claimed she was sexually assaulted last year by three basketball players. The 18-year-old woman, who is identified in the suit as Jane Doe, on Tuesday dismissed all claims against the university. Last week, she also dismissed all claims against head basketball coach Dana Altman. According to the settlement agreement with the university, the school will also waive her tuition, housing and student fees for four years. (link)

August 3, 2015: Wheeling Jesuit University will pay the federal government $2.3 million to settle claims that the West Virginia institution misspent research grant funds over nearly a decade. The settlement, announced by the U.S. attorney for West Virginia's northern district and by the university, resolves allegations that were raised in a 2012 audit by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, which focused on a former federal official who became a vice president at Wheeling Jesuit. (link)

July 31, 2015: The NCAA was given a respite Friday when the 9th U.S. Circuit Court delayed the implementation of possible payments to athletes for the use of their names, images and likenesses. (link)


Campus Life & Safety Events

August 28, 2015: A Savannah State University student in Georgia was killed Thursday night in a shooting on campus. Christopher Starks, a junior from the Atlanta area, was rushed to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead Friday, the university said in a statement. The shooting was triggered by an altercation at the school's student union building, the statement added. No arrests have been made so far and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation has launched an inquiry. The university campus was on a two-hour lockdown following the shooting. The lockdown was lifted around Thursday midnight. The university said Friday's classes will be delayed until 10 a.m. (link)

August 27, 2015: There was no active shooter at the Mississippi State campus and reports of shots being heard are the result of ''panic and clutter,'' Mississippi Highway Patrol spokesman Chris Turnipseed told CNN on Thursday. A person of interest related to the initial emergency call was taken into custody, he said. There was no weapon on him, Turnipseed said. Mississippi State's emergency alert system on Thursday warned of a potential active shooter on campus and asked people to seek safety. (link)

August 26, 2015: An Auburn dean says his recommendation to keep the public administration program alive in the face of closure in 2013 was not influenced by athletics. Joseph Aistrup, the dean at the College of Liberal Arts, told AL.com three factors influenced his request to keep the program afloat amid uncertainty, and none of those reasons had to do with the influx of athletes in the classroom. (link)

Aug. 25, 2015: "Fun Home" may be a critically acclaimed graphic novel, but some students at Duke University don't find it very impressive at all. A number of incoming students at the elite North Carolina institution have refused to read the book, sent to all members of the Class of 2019, because they say its sexual themes and images conflict with their moral standards and religious beliefs. (link)

Aug. 25, 2015: The national office of the Sigma Nu fraternity suspended all activities at its Old Dominion University chapter Monday as it opened an investigation into three sexually suggestive banners that were hung from the front porch of the group's off-campus house over the weekend. "The Fraternity condemns the derogatory and demeaning language used on the banners," the fraternity's executive director Brad Beacham said in a statement. "Such language has no place in our Fraternity or within any caring community, such as that of ODU." Beacham vowed that any fraternity members deemed responsible for what he called the "reprehensible display" would be held accountable. (link)

Aug. 25, 2015: Thanks to a new bill veterans won't have to worry about paying out-of-state tuition at any public university. Provisions in the Veterans' Access to Care through Choice, Accountability, and Transparency Act of 2014 will require all public universities to offer in-state tuition to veterans making use of their GI Bill. (link)

Aug. 20, 2015: A new policy governing admissions decisions was adopted Thursday by the University of Texas System Board of Regents, with the only no vote coming from the regent who raised questions about admissions practices in the first place. The 7-1 vote approved a policy that permits a campus president to order the admission of a "qualified student" who might otherwise be rejected, but only on "very rare" occasions and only in situations of "highest institutional importance." The policy, which applies to undergraduate admissions at UT-Austin and eight other academic campuses, is effective immediately. (link)

August 18, 2015: A student at the Art Institute of Tennessee in Nashville has been accused of breaking into the school and stealing thousands of dollars in equipment. Thousands of dollars’ worth of cameras and other equipment was stolen from the school back in June. Nearly two months later, officials with Metro police said Marquise Crudup was arrested Monday night in connection with the incident. (link)

Aug. 17, 2015: A fraternity at the University of Central Florida has been suspended after officials received a report about a recording that allegedly captured comments encouraging rape, documents indicate. In the video recording, at least one member of the Sigma Nu fraternity can be heard yelling phrases that include, “Let’s rape some b____,” according to a redacted incident report on the matter provided to The Washington Post by the university. (link)

August 17, 2015: Close to half of residential four-year colleges nationwide reported zero sexual assaults from 2011 to 2013, according to a new analysis of federal data shared in advance with The Huffington Post, something sexual assault advocates and experts consider a troubling sign. "If you see a school with zero reports, then it suggests that at that school, no one's comfortable reporting it," said Lara Kaufmann, senior counsel at the National Women's Law Center.(link)

August 17, 2015: After Ashland University on Friday laid off 23 instructors -- many of them tenured -- and eliminated another nine teaching positions, President Carlos Campo described the future at the financially troubled university as "bright." The move is a drastic one. Generally colleges avoid laying off tenured faculty members, and do so only if they're struggling to pay bills. Guidelines from the American Association of University Professors implore universities not to lay off tenure-track faculty unless financial exigency -- a monetary crisis that threatens the survival of the institution -- has been declared, which is not the case with Ashland. (link)

August 16, 2015: Four firefighters suffered minor injuries battling a blaze that gutted a building at Washington College in Chesterstown. The fire reported at around 8 p.m. Saturday occurred in a building housing the college's business office and Office of information Technology. (link)

August 14, 2015: A townhouse that burned last week, killing a Georgetown University graduate, marked the fourth fatal off-campus fire at a U.S. college in the 2014-2015 academic year. According to Washington, D.C. officials, the owners of the townhouse were not licensed to rent rooms or apartments. An investigation revealed that the house did not have a sprinkler system and there was no evidence of a fire escape. Although the house had smoke detectors, it is unknown at this time whether they were in working order or met inspection requirements. (link)

August 14, 2015: Something strange is happening at America’s colleges and universities. A movement is arising, undirected and driven largely by students, to scrub campuses clean of words, ideas, and subjects that might cause discomfort or give offense. Last December, Jeannie Suk wrote in an online article for The New Yorker about law students asking her fellow professors at Harvard not to teach rape law--or, in one case, even use the word violate (as in "that violates the law") lest it cause students distress. In February, Laura Kipnis, a professor at Northwestern University, wrote an essay in The Chronicle of Higher Education describing a new campus politics of sexual paranoia--and was then subjected to a long investigation after students who were offended by the article and by a tweet she’d sent filed Title IX complaints against her. In June, a professor protecting himself with a pseudonym wrote an essay for Vox describing how gingerly he now has to teach. "I'm a Liberal Professor, and My Liberal Students Terrify Me," the headline said. (link)

Aug. 13, 2015: A school and students at odds over a sign that once hung in the student center at Henderson State University. The sign reading "sagging pants" would not be tolerated upset many students on campus. After only being up for two days, the sign has been taken down. Students told Channel 7 they believe the sign was targeting them, but administration says they're just holding their students to a higher expectation. (link)

August 13, 2015: Students returning to class at the University of Texas System’s campuses this fall will be participating in the nation’s most comprehensive study on sexual assaults ever conducted in higher education.The University of Texas System has funded a $1.7-million multiyear study on sexual assaults, dating violence, stalking and sexual harassment at 13 of its college and medical campuses. The study, to be conducted by researchers at UT Austin’s School of Social Work for the UT System, will range from online questionnaires for students; surveys and focus groups of faculty, staff and campus law enforcement; and a 4-year cohort study of entering freshman to identify the psychological and economic impact of sexual violence. (link)

Aug. 12, 2015: "The traditional hardbound textbook will soon be a thing of the past, at least in terms of freshman/sophomore year," says David Anderson, executive director of higher education at the Association of American Publishers. "Many of our members in the higher education sphere really see this as the future and they stop talking about themselves as publishers; they're digital learning companies." (link)

Aug. 6, 2015: Vanderbilt football has started the season with a fumble. Managers of the team's Twitter account on Thursday posted an apology for a previous tweet containing the phrase "WE DON'T NEED YOUR PERMISSION!" The now-deleted Tweet came less than a year after a jury trial where two of the team's former players were convicted of aggravated rape. The verdict was overturned in June after the judge declared a mistrial, and prosecutors have vowed a retrial. (link)

August 5, 2015: Sixty students were left in the lurch this week when Missouri Tech, a for-profit business in St. Charles, abruptly closed its doors, locking students out in the middle of the term and producing uncertainty over what options they have to continue their education. The school’s sudden closure took many, including the state, by surprise. (link)

Aug. 4, 2015: Students hitting the college bookstore this fall will get a stark lesson in economics before they've cracked open their first chapter. Textbook prices are soaring. Some experts say it's because they're sold like drugs. According to NBC's review of Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data, textbook prices have risen over three times the rate of inflation from January 1977 to June 2015, a 1,041 percent increase. (link)

August 3, 2015: A Twitter fight with a Maryland woman has left a Texas Christian University student on probation and banned from most campus activities at a college he considered his new home. The family of Harry Vincent, 19, and an advocacy group are trying to pressure TCU to respect students’ free speech rights and reverse its punishment of Vincent. The family has even considered whether to sue. (link)

Aug. 1, 2015: The Obama Administration announced it will begin providing Pell grants to federal prisoners, effectively overturning a 1994 ban on the practice. While overturning the ban requires Congressional action, the administration is circumventing Congress by designating the plan a "pilot program." If allowed to stand, the administration's unauthorized action would be costly to taxpayers. From 1972-95, before Congress issued the ban, inmates received $34.6 million a year in Pell grants. Under the new pilot, prisoners will receive up to $5,775 for tuition, books and other related expenses -- money which does not have to be repaid. (link)


Other News & Events

Aug. 24, 2015: Besides talking about improvements to business sales, showing off the Apple Watch in store, and stating that a "global solution is coming shortly" for promoting Apple Music in stores, Angela Ahrendts (Apple Sr. VP of Retail and Online Stores) used her own personal experience with her children to introduce a new Apple Watch sales tactic. Ahrendts told employees that the Apple Watch is "the greatest back to school item this year" as it can be used in the classroom without a teacher seeing, unlike with a larger iPhone. "I don't think the teachers have caught on to the Watch yet," Ahrendts said, adding that retail staff should tell students to "jump on it before the teachers do." (link)


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Department of Internal Auditing
Auburn University
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M. Kevin Robinson, Exec. Director
robinmk@auburn.edu
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