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Office of Audit, Compliance & Privacy

Case in Point:
Lessons for the proactive manager

June 2017
Vol. 9 No. 6
Quotable...
“If you see something, say something. ”

-- Homeland Security

This month we complete our review and analysis of last year's Case in Point articles with a focus on our final category: Campus Life & Safety. The majority of stories in this category relate closely to students and campus environment/culture. This category is particularly important in recognizing trends and topics that are growing in importance nationally. Campus Life issues can also impact our most valuable institutional resource: our reputation.

When we look back at last year, we see the following types of stories listed in order of frequency:

  1. General Campus Safety
  2. Campus Climate
  3. Greek Life Issues
  4. Free-Speech Related Issues
  5. Hazing
  6. Privacy
  7. Social Media
  8. Weapons on Campus
  9. Immigration Issues
  10. Gender Issues

Within each of the above general categories, there is a broad range of specific issues. The key, we believe, is to be aware of emerging issues occurring at other institutions and consider whether there are things we should do to proactively manage risk.

Risk will always be a part of what we do as an institution, but we hope Case in Point helps create risk-intelligent campus stakeholders to protect students, faculty, and staff from unnecessary or unmitigated risk. We again invite you to review the stories happening across higher education over the past month and consider how you can proactively manage risk at Auburn University. As always, we welcome your comments or suggestions.

M. Kevin Robinson, CIA, CFE
Associate Vice President
Office of Audit, Compliance & Privacy



Information Security & Technology Events

Jun 27, 2017: It's no secret that college and university networks have long been prone to cyberattacks of various kinds. Whether the incidents involve malicious attempts to bring down a school's network, phishing attacks or using the network as the unsuspecting host for dormant malware that can be activated remotely, the open access nature of higher ed networks makes them particularly susceptible. (link)

Jun 22, 2017: When thieves broke into an Olympia storage locker in April and hauled away an 85-pound locked safe, they set in motion a series of events that forced Washington State University to send letters to 1 million people advising them their data might have been compromised. The safe contained a computer hard drive -- a backup containing personal information, including Social Security numbers, that was stored off-site by WSU's Social & Economic Sciences Research Center. (link)

Jun 13, 2017: OU unintentionally exposed thousands of students' educational records -- including social security numbers, financial aid information and grades in records dating to at least 2002 -- through lax privacy settings in a campus file-sharing network, violating federal law. The university scrambled to safeguard the files late Tuesday after learning The Daily had discovered the breach last week. The Daily spoke to vice president for admissions and records Matt Hamilton Tuesday afternoon, when he said OU IT was aware of the breach and was working to secure the files. (link)

Jun 12, 2017: Washington State University is offering identification theft services after a safe containing personal information was stolen. The locked safe contained a hard drive with back-up files from the school's Social & Economic Sciences Research Center that included names, Social Security numbers and personal health information for survey respondents. (link)

Jun 01, 2017: Approximately 25,000 students, staff, and faculty members associated with the University of Alaska were affected following a successful phishing scam and subsequent data breach late last year. The University of Alaska sent out letters to those people who had their names and accompanying social security numbers exposed to "an individual or individuals unknown to [the university]" due to an email scam. (link)


Fraud & Ethics Related Events

Jun 23, 2017: Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vermont, and his wife, Jane Sanders have hired prominent defense attorneys amid an FBI investigation into a loan Jane Sanders obtained to expand Burlington College while she was its president, CBS News confirms. According to Politico, prosecutors might also be looking into allegations that Sen. Sanders' office inappropriately urged the bank to approve the loan. (link)

Jun 08, 2017: Wright State University will cooperate with the Ohio Inspector General and release information pertaining to the years-ongoing H-1B work visa investigation. The school's board of trustees moved to waive attorney-client privilege in order to allow the Ohio Inspector General's office to gain access to equipment and materials taken by the Ohio Attorney General's Bureau of Criminal Investigation over the investigation of H-1B visa fraud that led the school to remove its previous provost and other top leaders. (link)

Jun 08, 2017: An email scheme has cost Southern Oregon University $1.9 million in lost funds that should've gone to the contractor on the McNeal Pavilion and Student Recreation Center construction project, the university announced this afternoon. Unknown suspects allegedly posed as Andersen Construction in an email, prompting officials to send their spring payment to a bank account the contractor did not control, according to Mark Denney, SOU's vice president of budget and planning. (link)

Jun 08, 2017: Under former University of Louisville President James Ramsey, the U of L's nonprofit foundation depleted the university's endowment to fund excessive spending on things ranging from compensation to real estate to football tickets, according to special audit released Thursday. And, emails revealed in the audit show Ramsey's former chief of staff, Kathleen Smith, "expressed an interest in concealing" the foundation's more-than $20 million in extra compensation from public records and journalists, according to the report. (link)

Jun 08, 2017: Two people were indicted on federal charges related to a $12 million scam in which they stole identities in order to file fake tax returns and profit from the refunds. Taiwo K. Onamuti, 29, Doraville, Ga., and Muideen A. Adebule, 49, Indianapolis, face 23 federal charges including aggravated identity theft, identity theft, false claims and conspiracy. (link)

Jun 02, 2017: The head of sports ticket sales at the University of Minnesota has been fired, accused of stealing from the school. WCCO has learned the FBI is now involved in the alleged fraud case believed to have been going on for years. Brent Holck worked as assistant athletic director of sales and services until an audit this winter found some possible criminal activity. (link)

Jun 01, 2017: A state investigation into hiring practices at Northern Illinois University has found that NIU officials hired at least five people as though they were part-time instructors and paid them more than $1 million combined over a roughly two-year period. A 56-page report by the Office of the Executive Inspector General concludes that NIU President Doug Baker mismanaged the university by endorsing the hiring scheme, which greatly benefited one of his personal friends. (link)


Compliance/Regulatory & Legal Events

Jun 27, 2017: The University of Illinois is under investigation by the U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights because many university web pages are allegedly inaccessible to those with disabilities, according to an official notification sent to Chancellor Robert Jones in April. It's unclear who filed the complaint, which was obtained by CU-CitizenAccess through a Freedom of Information request, or what specifically was inaccessible about the web pages it listed. (link)

Jun 27, 2017: A former Texas A&M professor and scientist will go before a judge Tuesday for a status hearing after facing serious charges of harassing and stalking a female student at the university. Tarun Bhardwaj was arrested backin Decemer 2016 for the crime as well as preventing a police officer from carrying out his duty. (link)

Jun 26, 2017: In his first public comments since his arrest, Georgia State University police Chief Joseph Spillane said he does not feel he was driving under the influence of alcohol and is "looking forward to my day in court." In addition to DUI, he was arrested on charges of having an open container and failing to maintain a lane, the Fayette County Sheriff's Office said. (link)

Jun 24, 2017: The University of Alabama has released a statement regarding a former student who committed suicide after attempting to press criminal charges for rape. Megan Rondini was a UA student from Texas when she was reportedly raped by a man from a powerful Tuscaloosa family in 2015. According to Rondini's story, told to Buzzfeed News by her family and friends, the 20-year-old was mistreated by Tuscaloosa police, the university, and DCH Regional Medical Center. (link)

Jun 19, 2017: Students and Jewish community members filed a lawsuit Monday against San Francisco State University and Cal State's board of trustees, alleging that the San Francisco campus of the country's largest public university system has long cultivated a hostile environment in which Jewish students are "often afraid to wear Stars of David or yarmulkes on campus, and regularly text their friends to describe potential safety issues." (link)

Jun 19, 2017: College of Charleston baseball coach Matt Heath is under investigation by school officials after complaints from former players about alleged abusive behavior by the head coach over the past two seasons, a source close to the athletic department told The Post and Courier on Monday. (link)

Jun 16, 2017: A former Saddleback College counselor is facing criminal charges after prosecutors accused him of soliciting sex from students and extorting one into sending him naked pictures. Javier Albertino Williams, 38, pleaded not guilty in late April to a felony count of extortion, four misdemeanor counts of engaging and agreeing to engage in prostitution, and a misdemeanor count of receiving stolen property, court records show. (link)

Jun 15, 2017: A jury Thursday sided with Delta Kappa Epsilon in its claim against Wesleyan University over the closure of the DKE fraternity house on High Street in 2015. The six-member jury spent about six hours deliberating Wednesday and Thursday before finding that Wesleyan violated the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act, made negligent misrepresentations and interfered with the fraternity's business relationships. (link)

Jun 15, 2017: The NCAA Committee on Infractions has ruled that Louisville coach Rick Pitino failed to properly monitor his men's basketball program and suspended the Naismith Memorial Hall of Famer for the first five ACC games of the 2017-18 season. Louisville will not be banned from future postseasons. So that's a win. But the NCAA announced Thursday that Louisville must vacate all "basketball records in which student-athletes competed while ineligible from December 2010 [to] July 2014." (link)

Jun 13, 2017: Rolling Stone has agreed to settle a defamation lawsuit brought by the University of Virginia fraternity at the center of a discredited article about an alleged gang rape, effectively closing the door on a pivotal and damaging chapter in the magazine's history. Under the terms of the settlement, the magazine agreed to pay the Virginia Alpha Chapter of the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity $1.65 million. The fraternity had originally sought a trial by jury and $25 million in damages. (link)

Jun 13, 2017: A Marshall University engineering professor has admitted his role in a kickback scheme that routed $1.5 million West Virginia Division of Highways funds to a South Carolina consulting firm. Andrew P. Nichols, 38, of Lesage, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to impede the IRS on Monday, according to a release from the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of West Virginia. (link)

Jun 06, 2017: The University of Missouri will pay $750,000 to settle claims arising from the death of Columbia Fire Department Lt. Bruce Britt in the collapse of a concrete walkway in February 2014. The settlement, split into three parts, includes the purchase of an annuity for Stormy Britt, daughter of Bruce and Leigh Britt, that will pay $205,016 over 15 years and increase the final value of the settlement to $867,318. The payments, $1,138.98 per month, begin in 2032, when Stormy Britt turns 21. (link)

Jun 12, 2017: University of Colorado Chancellor Phil DiStefano will receive a 10-day suspension in the wake of an investigation into the university's handling of domestic violence allegations against former University of Colorado football assistant coach Joe Tumpkin. The Board of Regents announced the suspension on Monday afternoon during an intense board meeting and subsequent news conference. Before the news conference began, regents fled the room, evading reporters' questions. (link)

Jun 09, 2017: A well-known University of Nevada, Reno professor is facing misdemeanor charges for an alleged incident at a Sparks Middle School. The Sparks City Attorney's office filed two charges this week against Howard Rosenberg, a UNR Professor for Visual Foundations, Film Studies and Art Education and a former Washoe County School District Board Member. Rosenberg is accused of grabbing a 13-year-old student by the ear on April 3 at Dilworth Middle School. (link)

Jun 08, 2017: Attorneys for former University of Minnesota Duluth women's hockey coach Shannon Miller are arguing that the school's 2014 decision to part ways with the longtime coach "had nothing to do with performance." They made the argument in a 56-page memorandum filed last Friday in response to the university's motion for summary judgement in the federal lawsuit brought by Miller and two other coaches that seeks a combined $18 million in damages. (link)

Jun 07, 2017: An assistant resident director was arrested Tuesday and charged with sexual assault, authorities said. Rubadau Alverna, 32, of East Orange, was accused of sexually assaulting a female, who reported the alleged incident to Rutherford police last month. A Rubadau Alverna was listed on Felician University's website as an assistant director of residence life. (link)

Jun 07, 2017: In a 2-1 opinion released Wednesday, the Michigan Court of Appeals upheld the University of Michigan's campus gun ban. The ruling affirms an earlier decision by the Michigan Court of Claims, in a case that could be headed to the Michigan Supreme Court. Ann Arbor resident Joshua Wade had challenged the ban on Second Amendment grounds after the university refused to permit him to openly carry a handgun on campus. (link)

Jun 06, 2017: A Missouri appeals court has ruled that a white professor at predominantly black Harris-Stowe State university was fired "because of the color of her skin." A three-judge panel of the Missouri Court of Appeals on Tuesday affirmed a 2015 jury verdict that awarded nearly $5 million to Beverly Wilkins, a former professor at Harris-Stowe. (link)

Jun 06, 2017: Police issued arrest warrants on Tuesday for Michigan State defensive end Josh King, wide receiver Donnie Corley and safety Demetric Vance regarding an alleged incident that took place on campus in January. The warrants come a day after the Ingham County, Mich., Prosecutors Office charged the three players with sexual assault. The three players allegedly assaulted a woman in an apartment on January 16 and were suspended from the team in February. (link)

Jun 03, 2017: Three former Penn State administrators were sentenced Friday to jail terms for their roles in the Jerry Sandusky child-sex scandal. Former President Graham Spanier, who was the only one of the three to take his case to trial, was sentenced to the shortest time in prison: 4 to 12 months, with two months in jail and two months under house arrest. He also will serve two years probation, pay $7,500 in fines and serve 200 hours of community service. (link)


Campus Life & Safety Events

Jun 29, 2017: Police are investigating the cause of an explosion on Wednesday at a dorm at Murray State University in Kentucky that injured at least one person, according to officials. Authorities identified the victim as 26-year-old Dakota Fields, a residential director at the university, who was taken to a local hospital with non-life threatening injuries. Fields was listed in stable condition as of late Wednesday. (link)

Jun 28, 2017: The University of Maryland Police Department is conducting a "hate-bias" investigation into a piece of plastic wrap shaped like a noose that was found on campus. "Earlier today, we were notified of a knotted piece of plastic wrap laying on the ground in the 7500 block of Baltimore Ave," the police department said in a statement Tuesday. (link)

Jun 27, 2017: A staircase under construction at a Towson University parking garage fell onto a worker Tuesday, Baltimore County police said. Paramedics were called at 10:12 a.m. to the Towson University Union Garage where workers were dismantling an exterior set of stairs when it started to collapse, said police spokeswoman Officer Jennifer Peach. (link)

Jun 21, 2017: A Yale University dean is out of a job after posting controversial reviews on Yelp. The New York Post reports June Chu, who was appointed dean of Yale's residential Pierson College in 2016, is leaving her position. The New Haven, Connecticut, school placed Chu on leave last month when racist comments she made online about local restaurants went viral. (link)

Jun 20, 2017: The president of The Evergreen State College said students involved in disrupting classes at the school will be facing disciplinary action. He made those comments at a special State Senate hearing on Tuesday. It comes in the wake of protests and outside threats that shutdown the campus for several days and forced graduation to move. (link)

Jun 05, 2017: The Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) Thursday issued a policy brief advocating for the use of body-worn cameras (BWCs) for campus police departments. The report outlines the benefits, considerations and best practices for BWCs for campus leaders. One key takeaway from the report is that research indicates BWCs help reduce the risk of police officers using excessive force on civilians. (link)

Jun 05, 2017: The Facebook messaging group was at one point titled "Harvard memes for horny bourgeois teens." It began when about 100 members of Harvard College's incoming freshman class contacted each other through the university's official Class of 2021 Facebook group. They created a messaging group where students could share memes about popular culture -- a growing trend on the Internet among students at elite colleges. (link)

Jun 04, 2017: A new threat received by The Evergreen State College in Olympia over the weekend will cancel classes on the campus yet again on Monday, the college announced in a statement late Sunday. Police are investigating "new external threat information received over the weekend," the statement said. All classes during the day and evening are effectively canceled under "suspended operations," the statement said. Staff will be present to provide services and ensure safety, and law enforcement will remain active at all hours, it added. (link)

Jun 04, 2017: Penn State is making changes to its Greek system, including taking control of the previously self-governing fraternities and sororities, following the February death of a pledge. The university's board of trustees approved a set of changes during a meeting Friday. (link)

Jun 02, 2017: Looking out over a sea of people in Harvard Yard last week, Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook's chief executive and one of Harvard's most famous dropouts, told this year's graduating class that it was living in an unstable time, when the defining struggle was "against the forces of authoritarianism, isolationism and nationalism." Two days earlier, another end-of-year ceremony had taken place, just a short walk away on a field outside the law school library. It was Harvard's first commencement for black graduate students, and many of the speakers talked about a different, more personal kind of struggle, the struggle to be black at Harvard. (link)

Jun 01, 2017: Several members of the Western Kentucky University football team were hit with criminal charges for attacking a guy at a fraternity house in March and are now suspended from the team. TMZ Sports broke the story ... a group of WKU football players showed up to the Pike frat house on March 5 and attacked an alum. Video footage shows several people tackling, stomping and punching the guy, who ended up in the ER with injuries. (link)


Other News & Events


If you have any suggestions, questions or feedback, please e-mail me at robinmk@auburn.edu. We hope you find this information useful and would appreciate hearing your thoughts. Feel free to forward this email to your direct reports, colleagues, employees or others who might find it of value. Back issues of this newsletter are available on our web site at http://www.auburn.edu/administration/oacp.

If you have any suggestions for items to include in future newsletters, please e-mail Robert Gottesman at gotterw@auburn.edu.

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Office of Audit, Compliance & Privacy
Auburn University
304 Samford Hall
M. Kevin Robinson, Assoc. VP
robinmk@auburn.edu
334.844.4389

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