“Transparency, honesty, kindness, good stewardship, even humor, work in businesses at all times”
-- John Gerzema
This month we continue our review of Case in Point stories from last year with a focus on the category ''Fraud & Ethics Related Events.'' The events we noted in this category during 2015 were as follows:
- Misappropriation 38%
- Academic Fraud 22%
- General ethics questions and/or conflicts of interest 18%
- Research Fraud (includes misuse of federal funds) 13%
- Miscellaneous 9%
Historically, this category has been dominated by occupational fraud/Misappropriation, which by definition is when an employee steals from their employer. As you see above, this continues to be the largest single item in this category.
As we have noted in prior years, occupational fraud actually occurs frequently within the educational industry. For the past several years, our industry has been one of the most impacted by employee Misappropriation. While the overall dollar amount lost is lower than most other industries, it is unfortunate that education remains so high in this ranking.
In the 2014 survey from the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, education's three most common fraudulent activities are: corruption, billing schemes, and false reimbursements. Corruption schemes include conflicts of interest, such as when an employee takes advantage of a particular situation for personal gain. This often involves competitive bids and related matters. Virtually every corruption scheme begins with a conflict of interest.
Conflicts of interest are the root of many events that become stories in this category. While conflicts of interest do occur within our industry, having a conflict doesn't mean someone has done something illegal or unethical. It does mean however, we need proactive attention to manage the conflict. For researchers, it is important to work with compliance officers to ensure compliance with federal requirements which can vary depending on circumstance.
Many other conflicts of interest fall outside the research area, and the best solution, in our view, is to ensure full disclosure and transparency. For example, employees may have side businesses or business interests through a spouse or family member. We've attempted to address these internally within our office with this form: OACP Conflict of Interest and Commitment Form. While this form is specific to our department, it can easily be adapted for those wanting something similar for their units. The purpose of the form is to ensure we are aware and can manage any conflicts before concerns are raised. Transparency is key to managing conflicts and protects our employees and institution.
Managers who pay attention, ask questions, and raise concerns to the appropriate authority are essential in managing this type of risk. Be sure your faculty and administrative/staff employees know where to turn if ethical issues arise. While one such option is our anonymous EthicsPoint hotline, we should foster a culture in which stakeholders are willing to bring issues directly to management. This is only possible when stakeholders are confident of management's commitment to ethical behavior.
We again invite you to review the issues occurring in higher education with a view toward proactively managing any risks under your sphere of influence. We always welcome your feedback on this publication.
M. Kevin Robinson, CIA, CFE
Associate Vice President
Office of Audit, Compliance & Privacy
Information Security & Technology Events
Mar 30, 2016: Kentucky State University in Frankfort has informed its employees about a data breach, including information from W-2 tax forms. On Tuesday, the university posted this alert on its website: "This correspondence is to inform you of a data breach that occurred on March 22, 2016, and involved the inadvertent disclosure of personally identifiable information of current and former Kentucky State University ("KSU") employees. The data included KSU W-2s for 2015 and University identification information." The posting said KSU "has already taken action to limit the effects of this breach and to identify" the responsible culprits. Federal and state authorities have been notified and are investigating this incident, KSU said. Earlier this month, the Internal Revenue Service issued an alert to payroll and human resources professionals to beware of a phishing email scheme that purports to be from company executives and requests personal information on employees. (link)
Mar 29, 2016: An infamous black hat hacker and internet troll has admitted to hijacking 29,000 printers in dozens of college campuses across the US to remotely print out multiple copies of racist and anti-Semitic flyers between Thursday to Friday 24-25 March. Andrew Auernheimer, known as Hacker Weev, explained in a blog post how he was able to exploit a vulnerability in certain online printers. Auernheimer used a single line of Bash script code to scan the internet for unprotected printers that were connected to the web using the open port 9100, and then created a PostScript file containing a flyer advertising a white supremacist news website called Daily Stormer. Since the printers were programmed to automatically print this file format out, they immediately complied. The flyers were discovered at multiple colleges, including Princeton University, Brown University, Yale, University of California at Berkley, Northeastern University, DePaul University, Smith College, UMass Amherst, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Depaulia, Mt Holyoke and Clark University, according to the multiple US TV channels that picked up the story over the weekend. (link)
Mar 25, 2016: A university in Montréal, Québec discovered keylogger devices on computer workstations used by students in university libraries. University officials reported the incident to local authorities and are increasing security in the areas where public computers terminals are located, according to Concordia University's media relations director Christine Mota. In speaking with SCMagazine.com, Mota said physical keylogger devices were found on "a few" of the university's standing workstations. The more common attack method, keylogger malware, was not used. The university said its security network was not affected. The affected express workstations were available to university students, staff, retired faculty, and alumni for up to 10 minutes. Montréal universities have an agreement in which university students attending any university in the city can use the libraries at any other university. As a result, students at any Montréal university may have been affected. (link)
Mar 02, 2016: A California college student hacked the student account of a Carnegie Mellon University student to steal her identity and attempt to get credit cards and personal loans in her name, federal prosecutors said. A federal grand jury indicted Dennis C. Liu, 23, of San Marino, Calif., in May on three counts of computer fraud, one count of bank fraud and one count of identity theft. The indictment was kept under seal until police arrested Liu Tuesday. Liu, a student at University of California-Davis, accessed and altered the CMU student's account in January and February 2014, prosecutors said. Using her Social Security number and other personal information, he applied for loans and credit cards at six different banks between January and April 2014, prosecutors said. (link)
Mar 01, 2016: A data breach at Illinois State University caused the payroll of 13 university employees to be misdirected. Chief of Staff Jay Groves explained they're working with local, state, and federal employees to find where the breach came from. "We found out about it yesterday (Monday) afternoon, immediately informed the 13 people of the compromise situation, made them whole by putting money back in their accounts so they can put it in their own bank," Groves said. Groves added it appears at least five other universities have been affected by this data breach -- none of which are in Illinois. "Don't want to go too far into the detail of that, of course, because I don't want to compromise the investigation," he said. ISU has sent an email to all employees informing them of the situation and advising them to be on the lookout for suspicious activity on their accounts. (link)
Fraud & Ethics Related Events
Mar 24, 2016: The University of South Florida placed on administrative leave the director of its communications school Wednesday when it learned he was demoted at his last job after having affairs with three students and an inappropriately close friendship with another. USF placed director Samuel Bradley, 42, on paid administrative leave Wednesday, one day after The Tampa Tribune submitted questions to the school about an investigation of Bradley's relationships with students while he worked at Texas Tech University in Lubbock. The Texas Tech investigation found Bradley violated three operating policies relating to personal relationships with students, as well as the Faculty-Student Conflict of Interest provision of the faculty handbook. The university has no formal policy prohibiting relationships between faculty and students, but ruled Bradley "engaged in generally unprofessional behavior on numerous occasions that was embarrassing to Texas Tech University."
The 87-page report includes interviews with more than 20 witnesses as well as intimate messages sent via email, text and social media. (link)
Mar 23, 2016: The University of Colorado nutrition expert who accepted $550,000 from Coca-Cola Co. is stepping down as executive director of the Anschutz Health and Wellness Center. James Hill announced Friday that he was leaving, effective immediately, but he expects to continue researching causes of obesity. The center is federally funded but affiliated with the university. Hill, an internationally known researcher, came under fire last August when The New York Times reported that Coca-Cola helped finance the Global Energy Balance Network he headed. The soft drink giant donated $1 million to CU, a gift the university returned after the story. The network, which emphasized physical activity over calorie reduction for losing weight, announced it was shutting down late last year. (link)
Mar 22, 2016: The winner of recent Florida A&M student government elections has accused President Elmira Mangum and other administrators of violating his team's rights and meddling in the student election. Justin Bruno and his vice-presidential running mate, Devin Harrison, were declared winners against the slate of Victor Chrispin Jr., running for president and Pernell Mitchell II, running for vice president. But almost immediately following the election, the Chrispin-Mitchell ticket filed an appeal asking that the results be voided, claiming several violations at the Orlando campus. Bruno maintains that his team's rights have been violated and he feels that Mangum and other administrators are unfairly taking a side in the election because of its broader implications for the president's tenure. As the new SGA president, Bruno would automatically be appointed to the FAMU Board of Trustees, succeeding Tonnette Graham. Last October, as trustees tried to oust Mangum, Graham cast the final vote to end the attempt in a 6-6 tie. Bruno asserts that Mangum supports his opponent because she feels Crispin would be her ally on the BOT. (link)
Mar 18, 2016: A former Greenville Technical College employee pleaded no contest to embezzlement of public funds. Judge Letitia Verdin sentenced Whitney Bonita Williams to 30 months of probation. A no contest plea means the state has evidence for a trial but the defendant is not necessarily admitting guilt, Verdin said Thursday in court. Williams, a former student services coordinator at Greenville Tech, signed up her aunt and cousin for work-study jobs but they never performed the work, the Solicitor's Office said. Authorities accused Williams of embezzling roughly $8,000 in work-study funds. Williams, 29, was originally charged with two counts of embezzlement of public funds and conspiracy to commit embezzlement, according to arrest warrants. Williams was ordered to pay restitution as part of the plea deal. (link)
Mar 15, 2016: A University of Cincinnati professor has been arrested on child porn charges. According to court papers, Holt Parker told agents that he's collected hundreds of videos and images of child pornography. He told them he traded child porn every day. Parker answered to charges in court on March 16. A federal judge ordered him held on $250,000 bond. The FBI says agents arrested Parker on charges of distribution and receipt of child pornography in Clifton on March 15. He's also charged with "destruction of property to prevent seizure", for allegedly trying to destroy a thumb drive as agents were entering his home. They say he told them he'd recently downloaded thousands of files. According to court documents, Yahoo reported that two child pornography files were emailed to another address to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children back in July of 2015. Yahoo also reported that multiple chat messages were observed, sent from the same email address, discussing trading images and videos with other users. (link)
Mar 14, 2016: An assistant coach for the Cal men's basketball team was fired Monday following an investigation into allegations of sexual harassment, UC Berkeley officials said. University investigators concluded after a months-long probe that Yann Hufnagel, who joined head coach Cuonzo Martin's staff two years ago, had violated UC Berkeley's antisexual harassment policy. Martin, whose team opens the NCAA Tournament on Friday as the highest seed in school history, fired his assistant after receiving the report from the Office for the Prevention of Harassment. Athletic department spokesman Wes Mallette said the investigation began in August and concluded Monday. The accuser detailed a series of interactions with Hufnagel between November 2014 and May 2015, as part of professional communications, that violated the university's antisexual harassment policy, Mallette said. (link)
Mar 05, 2016: UC Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi has apologized for her controversial moonlighting activities, which had prompted a call for her resignation and legislative hearings on paid outside activities by university officials. Katehi, who earns $424,360 annually as chancellor, had come under fire for accepting a $70,000-a-year position with the DeVry Education Group, a for-profit firm that offers college degrees online and on 55 campuses nationwide, including 13 in California. Katehi resigned from the DeVry seat last week after questions were raised by public interest groups and Assemblyman Kevin McCarty (D-Sacramento), who heads the budget subcommittee on education finance. McCarty met with Katehi on Thursday; he said he was "unsatisfied" with her explanation as to why she accepted the DeVry position. After the Sacramento Bee reported that day that Katehi also earned $420,000 over three years as a board member for John Wiley & Sons, a college-textbook publisher, McCarty said he decided to call for her to step down as chancellor. (link)
Mar 02, 2016: A 48-year-old local woman is facing unemployment compensation fraud charges after authorities say she illegally collected more than $8,000 in unemployment benefits in 2012 while working as a professor at Quinnipiac University and Goodwin College. Angela Skyers, 48, of Oxford, was charged Wednesday with first-degree defrauding a public community and unemployment compensation fraud in excess of $500, according to the Connecticut Division of Criminal Justice. Authorities say that Skyers fraudulently collected $8,033 in unemployment compensation from August through October of 2012 by failing to disclose teaching positions she held at Quinnipiac University and Goodwin College. (link)
Mar 02, 2016: Denver7 Investigates has learned a Sociology and Criminal Justice professor from Western State University in Gunnison is under arrest for internet luring of a child. Daniel Cress, 53, is facing four felony counts, according to court records. Cress was communicating online with an undercover agent that he believed to be a child under the age of 15, according to the Jefferson County District Attorney's office. "During the course of the investigation, Cress and the undercover investigator engaged in numerous and repeated communications including text, chat, telephone conversation, and web cam, much of which was sexually explicit," the DA's office stated. "Cress repeatedly asked the person, whom believed to be a child under the age of 15, to perform sexual acts. He also asked the purported teen to 'sneak-out' with him." (link)
Feb 29, 2016: A former 17-year employee of Harvard University pleaded guilty Monday to charges he used a university employee credit card to pay for $80,000 worth of personal items, according to the Middlesex District Attorney's office. Shawn Bunn, 45, of Waltham, was charged with larceny, false entry in corporate books, and uttering of forged documents last year. He was sentenced to two years in the House of Correction (with three months to serve), and probation for 10 years, according to the DA's office. He was also ordered to pay $80,000 in restitution to the university. The former computer lab manager was issued a university credit card so he could make purchases for the lab. University policy required that Bunn submit a receipt and explain the purchase reasoning for any item valued at more than $75. Authorities said Bunn instead billed televisions, Lego sets, iPads, a table saw, and a garbage disposal to the university. The items were found in his home by law enforcement, according to authorities. (link)
Compliance/Regulatory & Legal Events
Mar 30, 2016: Two faculty unions are up in arms over a new rule that would allow Minnesota's state colleges and universities to inspect employee-owned cellphones and mobile devices if they're used for work. The unions say the rule, which is set to take effect on Friday, would violate the privacy of thousands of faculty members, many of whom use their own cellphones and computers to do their jobs. "[It's] a free pass to go on a fishing expedition," said Kevin Lindstrom, president of the Minnesota State College Faculty.
But college officials say they have an obligation under state law to protect any "government data" that may be on such devices, and that as public employees, faculty members could be disciplined if they refuse to comply. For the first time, the rule spells out that MnSCU employees "may be required" to hand over their personal cellphones or mobile devices for a variety of reasons, from security concerns to misconduct investigations. It also states that the employer may inspect, copy or delete any work-related information, such as text messages, voice mail and e-mails, if necessary for a "legitimate business purpose." (link)
Mar 29, 2016: The expansion of Title IX bureaucracies -- often at great expense -- is driven in part by pressure from the federal government, which recently put out a series of policy directives on sexual misconduct on campus. More than 200 colleges and universities are under federal investigation for the way they have handled complaints of sexual misconduct, up from 55 two years ago. But the growth of these bureaucracies also reflects the difficulties that students, parents, administrators and faculty members face as they negotiate changing ideas and standards of sexual behavior.
And in a report last week, a national association of professors said that the Title IX bureaucracy had started to infringe on academic freedom, by beginning investigations into faculty members' lectures and essays. Because of these complexities, dealing with these kinds of cases has been wrenching for students, faculty members and administrators. Many women's groups have set a much lower bar for what constitutes sexual misconduct than previous generations, leading to more internal review of campus behavior. At a minimum, federal rules require colleges to designate one Title IX coordinator, at least part time. Many colleges have gone far beyond that, at a cost ranging from thousands to millions of dollars. College officials said it was difficult to put a price tag on the efforts because they often spanned more than one department and involved volunteers and doubling up on jobs. (link)
Mar 23, 2016: Prairie View A&M women's basketball coach Dawn Brown was fired for enforcing a team rule that allegedly violates Title IX. The university made the announcement Tuesday. Brown removed two of her players during the season for dating each other. Brown's rule stated that players may not have non-professional relationship with each other, coaches, managers, trainers or any others affiliated with the team. The two players filed a complaint against Brown citing that they were kicked off the team because of their sexual orientation, which violates Title IX, which bans discrimination based on sex. "The important thing to note is that the rule was not particular to women's basketball players only," said Garry Rosenfield, Brown's agent. "It was particular to everybody that has a role within the team which includes both women and men." Brown said she enforced the rule after an assistant coach was fired for having an inappropriate relationship with a player and by all accounts the rule was cleared through the proper channels - Prairie View A&M athletics director Ashley Robinson and his Title IX office. (link)
Mar 22, 2016: Kansas' conservative Republican governor signed legislation Tuesday allowing faith-based groups at college campuses to restrict membership to like-minded people, likely putting the state on a collision course with civil liberties groups. Kansas already has a religious objections law that prevents state or local governments from limiting people's freedom to express their religion, though that law doesn't touch on organizations at universities. With Gov. Sam Brownback's signature, Kansas becomes the second state after Oklahoma to have a college-specific law. "This is very good, narrow, targeted piece of legislation that will serve the betterment of our college campuses," Brownback said. The new law, which will take effect July 1, will prevent public colleges and universities from denying religious groups funds or campus resources for limiting their memberships. (link)
Mar 22, 2016: Kalamazoo College failed to monitor its financial aid awards when it used a system that considered athletics participation when determining financial aid packages for student-athletes, according to a decision issued by the NCAA Division III Committee on Infractions. In total, the financial aid packages of 567 student-athletes considered athletics leadership, ability and participation information. Division III members cannot award financial aid based on athletic performance. Penalties in this case include three years of probation and a postseason ban for teams that continue to have student-athletes who are receiving financial aid based on athletics participation. If the college repackages the aid, the teams do not have to serve a ban. (link)
Mar 17, 2016: The University of Iowa, once again, has prevailed in a lawsuit filed by a College of Law applicant accusing the institution of passing him over for a professorship due to his age. Donald Dobkin, a now 62-year-old immigration and administrative law attorney, first sued the university in 2009 after he didn't land an interview for a teaching position in 2008, when he was 55. According to that suit, the job went to a younger candidate with inferior qualifications even though administrators said they were impressed with Dobkin's resume. In July 2012, Dobkin again sued the UI College of Law based on a second attempt to land a job there in 2010. According to Dobkin's suit, the college retaliated against him for his previous lawsuit "when one of the members of the Faculty of Appointments Committee gave plaintiff a low score and specifically noted that plaintiff had a pending age discrimination lawsuit against them." That case went to trial March 8, and an eight-person jury on Tuesday returned a unanimous verdict in favor of the university, saying it did not discriminate or retaliate against Dobkin. (link)
Mar 14, 2016: Expelled Yale men's basketball captain Jack Montague will sue the university, his attorney announced Monday. Max Stern, legal counsel for Montague, said in a statement that Montague was expelled from Yale on February 10 after a panel of the Yale University-Wide Committee found that he had nonconsensual sex in October 2014 with a female student who is currently a junior at Yale. Montague was expelled during the second semester of his senior year. CNN previously had learned from a source close to Montague that, according to Montague, he had a consensual sexual relationship with a student in 2014. The unnamed woman has not spoken publicly about this allegation. "Mr. Montague intends to sue Yale University to vindicate his rights," Stern said. (link)
Mar 11, 2016: Columbia University on Friday won the dismissal of a lawsuit by a graduate over the school's decision to allow a student who accused him of rape to carry a mattress around campus in protest, even though Columbia had cleared him of the allegation. U.S. District Judge Gregory Woods in Manhattan said Paul Nungesser failed to show that Columbia discriminated against him based on his gender by allowing and condoning conduct during the 2014-2015 academic year by his accuser, Emma Sulkowicz. Nungesser had sued Columbia, its president Lee Bollinger, and visual arts professor Jon Kessler, who oversaw Sulkowicz's senior thesis "Mattress Performance (Carry That Weight)," in which she drew national attention by carrying a mattress around the campus in Manhattan's Morningside Heights. Sulkowicz had accused Nungesser of raping her in a dormitory in August 2012. Nungesser had said the sex was consensual. The university ultimately decided not to discipline him. (link)
Mar 11, 2016: The University of North Florida and its former women's basketball coach Mary Tappmeyer have announced a settlement in Tappmeyer's sex discrimination and retaliation claims associated with her termination from UNF in March 2015. UNF will pay Tappmeyer $1.25 million to settle her claims, according to attorneys representing Tappmeyer. In the complaint, Tappmeyer alleged that UNF terminated her from her long-standing position as UNF women's basketball coach in retaliation for complaints she filed about sex discrimination experienced by female student athletes, and because of alleged sex discrimination against her. According to Tappmeyer, UNF allowed male basketball recruits academic exceptions to UNF's admissions requirements, but refused any exceptions for female players. Other complaints were that the women's basketball team had unequal operating budgets, travel budgets, locker rooms, and training and office facilities as compared to the men's team. Tappmeyer also says UNF disparaged the women's basketball team coaches to current players, recruits, other members of the athletic department, UNF donors, and the UNF community. (link)
Mar 10, 2016: Officials at the University of California at Berkeley said Wednesday night the dean of their prestigious law school is taking an "indefinite leave of absence" from his position after he was sued for sexual harassment by his former executive assistant, who claims he made inappropriate advances toward her. The complaint was filed Tuesday against Berkeley Law Dean Sujit Choudhry and the University of California Board of Regents, claiming sexual harassment, retaliation and failure to stop it, among other actions. Tyann Sorrell, the former executive assistant, claims in the lawsuit that from September 2014 to March 2015, Choudhry sexually harassed her -- rubbing her shoulders and arms, kissing her cheeks and giving her bear hugs that pressed her body against him, according to court documents. (link)
Mar 03, 2016: The Chi Chapter of Kappa Sigma is suing Purdue University, alleging the school unfairly sanctioned its chapter. The university didn't allow the campus fraternity to fully defend itself against claims that an underage student was served alcohol at its chapter house last winter, according to a complaint Kappa Sigma and its house corporation filed last Friday in Tippecanoe Circuit Court. Kappa Sigma is seeking damages and is asking the university be required to provide all records, including the names and addresses of witnesses, involved with the investigation. It's also asking the school be restrained from further enforcing any related sanctions imposed on the chapter until the documents have been produced and addressed by the court. (link)
Feb 29, 2016: A University of Louisville employee claims university President James Ramsey and other administrators worked to "derail and interfere with" his duties investigating and calling attention to conflicts of interest, according to a whistle-blower lawsuit filed against Ramsey and the university on Monday. Robin Wilcox, who is an institutional compliance officer in the university's audit department, plans to leave the job effective March 11, according to a Feb. 26 resignation letter that was attached to the lawsuit. The lawsuit says Wilcox resigned because he was unable to do his job and believed his position was soon to be eliminated after being told by unnamed superiors in December that he was "too passionate" about audit and compliance issues. Among a number of other claims in his 17-page complaint, Wilcox said Ramsey was untruthful in a December letter to the university community regarding allegations of potential misconduct involving university vice presidents David Dunn and Priscilla Hancock. (link)
Campus Life & Safety Events
Mar 30, 2016: A set of fingerprints found on a bomb threat left at Montgomery County Community College in December led authorities to arrest a 26-year-old student at the school who now faces trial for terroristic threats. Jeremy Leach, 26, of Pottstown, was charged in relation to the Dec. 3, 2015, bomb threat at the college's West campus in Pottstown, according to police reports. Leach was charged with criminal attempt at causing a catastrophe, terroristic threats causing the evacuation of a building, terroristic threats that caused a serious public inconvenience, false alarm to agency of public safety, failing to prevent a catastrophe and tampering with or fabricating physical evidence. On Dec. 10, police found that Leach had a paper due on the day of the bomb threat. After speaking with Leach's teacher, police obtained a sign-in sheet from the class with Leach's name written on it. Police noted similarities between certain letters on the bomb threat and the sign-in sheet. Detectives later made contact with Leach, who claimed he did not know why officers wanted to speak with him but agreed to meet with detectives. He denied seeing or writing the note. Leach told police that the bomb threat caused him to get a poor grade on his paper. He then pulled out the paper and told police that because of the threat on Dec. 3, his teacher gave the students until 1 p.m. that day to hand in their papers and he could not hand it in until the next class because of the bomb threat, causing him to get the bad grade. (link)
Mar 23, 2016: The Purdue University chapter of Sigma Phi Epsilon is suspended until fall 2020 for violations of alcohol, hazing and unregistered functions. A Purdue Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities investigation found the fraternity violated several Interfraternity Council and university policies and wasn't compliant with a four-year probation that began in 2013 that stemmed from incidents involving illegal drugs, according to a Tuesday university press release. Someone reported to the university in late January that inappropriate behavior allegedly occurred at the fraternity at the end of the fall semester, said Jeffery Stefancic, associate dean of students in the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities.
The chapter provided alcohol to minors and some members hazed others in the organization with behaviors related to servitude, he said. He wasn't aware of any criminal charges or investigations related to the incidents. (link)
Mar 22, 2016: Two people have been charged in a double shooting on the campus of Georgia State University and one of the suspects is an 18-year-old student, a school police spokesman said. The incident began about 9:30 p.m. Monday when GSU student Bryan Rhoden met visitors Shelton Torance Flournoy II and Jalyn Isaiah Knight in the parking lot outside the Piedmont North residence hall, Deputy Chief Carlton Mullis said Tuesday morning in a statement. Flournoy, 19, and Knight, 18, were sitting in a Honda near the intersection of Piedmont Avenue and Ellis Street. Rhoden, a Piedmont North resident, "came down to the car attempting to sell some drugs," Mullis told Channel 2 Action News. Once inside the car, an argument started. Flournoy was shot three times with Rhoden's Glock .40 caliber handgun and Rhoden was shot once in the chest with Flournoy's .22 caliber handgun, police said. Rhoden and Flournoy were taken to Grady Memorial Hospital, where they were listed in serious condition, Mullis said. Each man was charged with assault, attempted murder and possession of a firearm on campus. (link)
Mar 22, 2016: Ohio University police announced they arrested a 25-year-old student on several charges after he allegedly assaulted a staff member at Bird Arena. James D. Howard, of Canfield, was charged with burglary (F2) and weapons under disability (F3). He was enrolled as a student, police say, but withdrew from classes Monday. Police say Howard reportedly entered a staff member's office at Bird Arena around noon on Monday, shoved the staff member, and "attempted to strike him with a closed fist." They say he then left campus. Police were later told that Howard planned to buy a gun. OUPD obtained warrants for his arrest and notified surrounding law enforcement agencies for help locating him. Late in the afternoon, Howard reportedly attempted to purchase a firearm in Logan. Deputies from the Hocking County Sheriff's Office found him in Logan, where he was buying ammunition for a shotgun he had. He was arrested and transported to the Southeast Ohio Regional Jail, where he is being held on a $35,000 bond. (link)
Mar 21, 2016: Three students at George Mason University have been arrested after alleged bomb-making materials were found in a dorm room, according to the daily incident report on the University's website. Two students under the age of 21, have been arrested on drug and alcohol-related charges. A third person was also charged with drug and alcohol-related offenses and possession of bomb-making materials. Police have not identified the suspects at this time. Search warrants said police discovered a leafy green substance, match books, shaved match heads, a mortar and pestle, lighter fluid, hand sanitizer, candles and a PVC pipe inside the dorm. Officials reported the items could be combined to make explosives. (link)
Mar 12, 2016: A Cook County judge on Saturday lashed out at two Northwestern University freshmen accused of spray-painting racist and homophobic messages along with the name of Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump inside a nondenominational chapel on the university's campus. "These allegations are disgusting to me," Judge Peggy Chiampas said as she eyeballed Anthony Morales, 19, and Matthew Kafker, 18, her voice rising several times during a bond hearing at the Leighton Criminal Court Building. The judge ordered both men held in lieu of $50,000 bail for charges of institutional vandalism, hate crime to a place of worship, and criminal damage to property for several spray-painted messages at the Alice Millar Chapel earlier this week. (link)
Mar 03, 2016: The 20-year-old Phi Delta Theta president at Baylor University was arrested Thursday on a sexual assault charge for allegedly forcing himself on a woman outside of a fraternity party, Waco police Sgt. W. Patrick Swanton said. According to the arrest affidavit, Anderson took the victim "to a secluded part of the grounds behind a tent in order to get some air, however once away from everyone else attending the party" he sexually assaulted the woman. Court documents stated that the victim lost consciousness, but awoke alone a short time later in the same outside area before returning to the house and finding a friend, who took her immediately to the hospital. Anderson's arrest comes as Baylor is facing heavy criticism regarding how the school has handled recent rape allegations. An ESPN "Outside the Lines" report featured multiple women who claimed they were raped by former Baylor football player Tevin Elliott, who was convicted on two counts of sexual assault in 2014 and sentenced to 20 years in prison. (link)
Other News & Events
Mar 29, 2016: The University of California has disadvantaged resident students with its recent emphasis on recruiting applicants from out of state and overseas, leading to a drop in the number of Californians enrolled at UC. That was the highly critical conclusion of a state audit released Tuesday -- and a direct rebuke of the university's long-standing assertion that it has used extra fees paid by nonresident students to make up for recession-era budget cuts and underwrite thousands of slots for Californians that the state no longer supports. The broad and blistering report also found that academic standards were lowered for thousands of nonresident admissions and that UC has not developed an actual cost of instruction to guide decisions about tuition. It slammed the university for not seeking further budget savings before pursuing the new enrollment strategy, and questioned some spending choices, including high executive compensation and a low-interest home loan program for faculty and senior administrators. UC sharply and summarily dismissed the audit's findings and most of its recommendations, including a suggestion that the Legislature limit the percentage of nonresident students UC can enroll. In an unprecedented move, the university released its own report disputing characterizations of its admissions policies and finances. (link)
Mar 17, 2016: U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today asked U.S. Secretary of Labor Tom Perez why the labor department is moving forward with its proposed "Overtime" rule "which colleges say could raise tuition by $1000 per student." At this morning's hearing on the FY17 budget request for the labor department, Senator Alexander said to Secretary Perez, "If the president is going to go around, and I'm going to go around, and all of us are going to go around saying 'we want to keep college costs down,' how can you justify an overtime rule that might raise the cost of college by one thousand dollars per student?" (link)
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