"A smart man makes a mistake, learns from it, and never makes that mistake again. But a wise man finds a smart man and learns from him how to avoid the mistake altogether."
-- Roy H. Williams
We continue our annual review of last year's Case in Point focusing this month on the category with the most stories linked, Compliance /Regulatory & Legal Events. As we have previously noted, this category seems to have grown in importance over the past few years. There has been no substantial reduction in the amount of regulation facing higher education. Reducing the compliance burden is often discussed but rarely comes to fruition. Therefore, it is important that we be mindful of the types of issues that are problematic across our industry.
The top 5 most frequent topics in the Compliance/Regulatory & Legal Events category were:
- Title IX Related - this has been without a doubt the hottest topic now for a few years. We’ve seen stories related to many high profile cases at institutions across the country. Certainly the Larry Nassar issues at Michigan State were the most reported; however, issues on this topic were noted throughout the country. We also linked stories related to the broader discussion of Title IX and proposed changes to the interpretation of this law. Certainly, we will continue to monitor this important topic during 2019.
- Constitutional Issues - a distant second involved constitutional related litigation with the majority of it related to debates surrounding free speech. This is a topic that will likely to continue in importance during 2019.
- Discrimination Litigation - ranked closely behind Constitutional Issues, was litigation alleging discrimination of some type. We saw cases dealing with race, religion, sex, salary/wage, and unlawful termination issues.
- Contract Dispute Issues - this topic involved disputes over contractual obligations either owed to, or required by, institutions. These issues were wide ranging, and included items such as, alleging a breach of fiduciary duty, to using funds in a manner that one party alleged violated the law.
- Violence Related Issues - rounding out the top five were issues involving violence by either students or employees that resulted in litigation or criminal arrest. We will no doubt see more related to this topic in next month’s review of Campus Life issues. Safety and security are certainly going to be important topics for all institutions to monitor.
We again invite you to review the events occurring throughout higher education with a view towards proactive risk management. If you see areas of concern or risks you have influence over, take action before you become the crisis.
As always, we welcome your comments and suggestions.
M. Kevin Robinson, CIA, CFE
Associate Vice President
Office of Audit, Compliance & Privacy
Follow Case in Point on twitter @AUOACP
Information Security & Technology Events
Mar 26: A class action lawsuit has been proposed which seeks to recover damages for patients whose protected health information (PHI) was exposed in the UConn Health phishing attack that was discovered on December 24, 2018. The lawsuit has been filed against the University of Connecticut and UConn Health and seeks damages, equitable, declaratory, and injunctive relief to prevent a recurrence of a data breach. A jury trial is being sought. (link)
Mar 17: Frictions between Washington and Beijing have reached American academia as China hawks in the Trump administration and Congress increase scrutiny on Chinese companies' collaboration with U.S. universities and the exchange students who attend them. The increased oversight, which includes looming rules on transferring technology abroad, poses a risk for U.S. schools as they seek to maintain their status as world leaders in research. Huawei Technologies, the world's largest supplier of telecommunications equipment, has become the most visible target of scrutiny. (link)
Mar 08: As she sat in the airport with a one-way ticket in her hand, Tiffany Filler wondered how she would pick up the pieces of her life, with tens of thousands of dollars in student debt and nothing to show for it. A day earlier, she was expelled from Tufts University veterinary school. Filler, 24, was accused of an elaborate months-long scheme involving stealing and using university logins to break into the student records system, view answers, and alter her own and other students’ grades. (link)
Mar 08: Personal information including names, student numbers, addresses and banking information of some University of Waterloo students was accidentally sent to a mailing list of 2,000 students, the school says. The emails went out Wednesday evening. Of the emails sent to the mailing list, 15 contained some private information like names and student numbers, Matthew Grant, the university's director of media relations, told CBC Kitchener-Waterloo in an interview. (link)
Mar 08: Three colleges across the U.S. have been hacked. And now, the hackers are seeking a big payday before they hand over information. Oberlin College in Ohio, Iowa-based Grinnell College, and New York’s Hamilton College were targeted recently by hackers that stole data on students applying for admission to their schools, according to The Wall Street Journal. The hackers were able to dupe college staff members into handing over passwords and took control over databases that housed student applicant information. Those who stole the data are now seeking one bitcoin--currently traded at approximately $3,800--from students to retrieve their "entire admission file," including teacher recommendations, admissions department comments, and more. (link)
Mar 06: A $1-million study once led by Peter Jones -- a professor under investigation by the University of Manitoba -- is on pause and its research is in jeopardy after an audit revealed the personal health information of more than 400 participants was breached. Letters went out on Tuesday to 420 participants of The Manitoba Personalized Lifestyle Research Program (TMPLR) -- a study that looked at how genetics and lifestyle influence chronic diseases -- informing them of the breach under The Personal Health Information Act. (link)
Mar 05: Chinese hackers singled out over two dozen universities in the US and around the world in an apparent bid to gain access to maritime military research, according to a report by cybersecurity firm iDefense, which was obtained by The Wall Street Journal. The hackers sent universities spear phishing emails doctored to appear as if they came from partner universities, but they unleashed a malicious payload when opened. Universities are traditionally seen as easier targets than US military contractors, and they can still contain useful military research. (link)
Mar 01: A Naperville man was charged this week with stealing the identity of a west suburban couple after their personal information was compromised during a 2015 data breach at the University of Chicago, police said. Rehan Arif, a 21-year-old from Plainfield, was charged with felony counts of financial identity theft after he was arrested Tuesday in an investigation on behalf of a Riverside couple who reported thousands of dollars in fraudulent purchases made in their names, according to a news release from Riverside police. The woman, 58, and her husband were former employees at the UChicago Department of Medicine, which was hacked in 2015, police said. (link)
Mar 01: Florida Keys Community College is taking action after discovering that it became the target of a phishing email campaign that compromised several employee email account credentials. On October 19, 2018 Florida Keys Community College learned of suspicious activity regarding an employee's email account. The investigation determined that an unknown individual had accessed certain College employees' email accounts between May 5, 2018 and November 5, 2018. The investigation in this matter confirmed that some combination of the following types of personal information may have been accessible as a result of the incident: name, address, date of birth, Social Security number, passport information, medical information, and username and password (link)
Mar 01: A data breach at the University of Connecticut Health Center has potentially compromised information for approximately 326,000 individuals, the facility said in a recent letter to patients. The Health Center also said in a statement that for 1,500 patients that information includes Social Security numbers. After learning that "an unauthorized third party" gained access to employee email accounts, health center officials notified law enforcement and hired a forensic security firm. (link)
Mar 01: Almost one million University of Washington (UW) Medicine personal health information files were exposed for most of December 2018 due to a misconfigured database. The healthcare facility reported a website server was searchable on the internet from December 4-26 containing the data on 974,000 patients. The files did not contain specific medical records, patient financial information or Social Security numbers. (link)
Fraud & Ethics Related Events
Mar 25: Duke will pay $112.5 million to the federal government in a settlement for a lawsuit regarding its handling of falsified data that the suit alleged was linked to $200 million in federal research grants. The lawsuit, filed by former lab analyst Joseph Thomas, alleged Duke used the data to obtain grants and covered up the fraud. (link)
Mar 22: Two men are facing several charges after police say he stole instruments and equipment from the University of Louisville School of Music. According to court documents, 52-year-old Anthony Abrams and another man have stolen equipment valued at more than $70,000 in the past 30 days. Police say Abrams entered the school and stole the equipment on at least two occasions. (link)
Mar 21: A former employee has been charged with using University of Minnesota funds to buy dozens of computers that he resold, possibly to fund his travel and gambling expenses. Michael J. McDaniel, 34, told university authorities that three men assaulted him in 2017 and coerced him into making the purchases, according to charges filed in Hennepin County District Court. (link)
Mar 19: Louisiana State University "improperly compensated" a faculty member with more than $400,000 in salary and benefits over nearly three years even though he admitted to not doing his job, according to a new state audit. A report released Monday (March 18) by Louisiana Legislative Auditor Daryl Purpera also found the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine failed to address the employee's lack of work. The employee reportedly failed to fulfill his employment duties during the period of August 2015 to September 2018. (link)
Mar 19: University of Southern California students allegedly embroiled in the college admissions scandal that has rocked universities across the country won't be allowed to register for classes while officials conduct an internal investigation. "USC has placed holds on the accounts of students who may be associated with the alleged admissions scheme," the university announced in an update on its website on Monday. "This prevents the students from registering for classes or acquiring transcripts while their cases are under review." (link)
Mar 12: Hollywood actresses Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman are among at least 40 people charged in a $25 million college entrance exam cheating scheme, according to court documents unsealed Tuesday. The alleged scheme focused on getting students admitted to elite universities as recruited athletes, regardless of their athletic abilities, and helping potential students cheat on their college exams, according to the indictment unsealed in Boston. (link)
Mar 08: The former business director of Washington University’s Division of Medical Education was sentenced Friday to 30 months in prison for embezzling almost $400,000 in three separate schemes that lasted nearly a decade. Barbara "Basia" Skudrzyk, 38, of Rock Hill, was also ordered to repay $381,583. Skudrzyk paid her moving company, a home cleaning service, divorce lawyers, painters and construction companies by creating, submitting and approving about $155,000 in false invoices to the university, Assistant U.S. Attorney Hal Goldsmith wrote in a court filing. (link)
Mar 05: The email from Maryland's university system chancellor promoting a jewelry company's charm bracelets was so unusual, it prompted a top Virginia university official to write to an aide to Chancellor Robert Caret, questioning its authenticity. The 2017 email also triggered a chain of events that led to a grievance over alleged retaliation by Caret and a settlement signed by the chancellor, according to emails and documents obtained by The Associated Press. In a recent interview Caret acknowledged he was wrong to send the email, but added that he did not consider it a significant ethical lapse. (link)
Mar 04: A former administrative officer in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry is facing one charge of felony theft after being accused of embezzling $130,000 from the university. Former staff member Linda Heard, who started working at UTD in 1991, was indicted for theft of property, a second-degree felony, on Feb. 26. Her first court appearance is scheduled for March 29. Heard’s alleged misconduct was discovered through an internal audit of the department in 2018. (link)
Mar 01: A husband and wife who worked at Utah Valley University for more than 15 years have been charged with taking more than $380,000 from the college through multiple alleged schemes that funneled money into their business accounts. An audit from the university allegedly show that Jennifer and Phil Clegg, of Lindon, were using the university’s money to renovate the family movie theater they own and pay for unauthorized travel expenses, including a trip to New York with students following a conference that attendees said "was nothing more than a vacation," according to charging documents. (link)
Mar 01: You'd think there would be plenty of educational opportunities for highly-paid University of New Mexico workers that want to get another degree. However, a News 13 Special Assignment reveals UNM used taxpayer money to send those employees to other universities, out of state. The schools include the University of Southern California, Johns Hopkins University, Carnegie Mellon University and Harvard. A UNM audit shows the Health Sciences Center spent hundreds of thousands of New Mexico taxpayer dollars on college degrees from out-of-state universities. (link)
Compliance/Regulatory & Legal Events
Mar 28: Governor Kim Reynolds on Wednesday signed a bill into law aimed at protecting free speech on college campuses--a measure Democratic lawmakers argued could open the door to discrimination. The proposal requires the Board of Regents -- the governing body over Iowa State University, University of Northern Iowa and the University of Iowa-- and directors of each community college to adopt a free speech policy on campus. (link)
Mar 27: A former Baylor equestrian athlete has filed a lawsuit against the university alleging that its Title IX investigators took too long and did a poor job handling her reported assault, causing her mental distress and prompting her to withdraw from the school. In the federal lawsuit filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Waco, Texas, the woman alleges that two football players sexually assaulted her and one of her friends while they were incapacitated by alcohol on the evening of Nov. 11, 2017, and that another football player videotaped the encounter and posted one or more videos on a "freshman football Snapchat group." (link)
Mar 26: The Department of Education has opened a "preliminary investigation" into the $25 million college admissions cheating scandal in which 50 people were criminally charged, according to a letter sent to one of the universities involved. The investigation overseen by the department's enforcement unit will examine where there were any violations to laws and regulations related to federal financial aid programs, a letter sent to the University of Southern California president stated. (link)
Mar 23: A former University of Oklahoma employee is suing the school’s board of regents, claiming workplace discrimination and retaliation. Dierdre Williamson has claimed age, pay and racial discrimination in a lawsuit against that moved to Oklahoma City federal court this week. Williamson, a black woman, also stated she endured retaliation for a discrimination complaint she made while working for the OU College of Medicine. (link)
Mar 22: A South Carolina man has sued the University of South Carolina for allegedly failing to comply with open records laws. Frank Heindel, of Charleston, alleges USC failed to provide a log of all Freedom of Information Act requests in accordance with state law, according to the suit filed Wednesday in Richland County. (link)
Mar 22: Within six months, University of Michigan animal testing laboratories accidentally lost a mutant rabbit, poisoned nearly 11,500 zebra fish with bleach, caused 53 mice to die of thirst and gave an unknown number of mice terminal gastrointestinal cancer, federal records show. Four legally required letters detailing the research animal losses, which occurred between March and September of last year, were mailed to the federal Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare by the UM Research and Animal Care and Use offices. (link)
Mar 22: In a move that appeared aimed at what some view as a growing trend of political correctness on college campuses, President Trump signed an executive order Thursday to bar federal research grants to institutions that don't "avoid creating environments that stifle competing perspectives." His executive order conditions research funding on "compliance with the First Amendment" and directs federal agencies to ensure that institutions receiving federal research or education grants "promote free inquiry." (link)
Mar 21: The University of Wisconsin-Madison has agreed to pay $1.5 million to the United States to settle assertions that it violated the False Claims Act. According to a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s office, UW Madison failed to properly account for rebates and credits it received from vendors to reduce costs related to federal grants and awards. (link)
Mar 21: Boozed while on duty. Slept on the job. Failed drug tests. Conducted a side vaping business while assigned to be on patrol keeping Rutgers-Newark students safe. It’s a glimpse at some of the allegations former Rutgers University police Sgt. Michael Jason Farella of Middlesex County charges in a complaint against the university filed March 6 in state Superior Court in Essex County. (link)
Mar 20: South Dakota became the first state in the country to pass a law requiring its university system to promote intellectual diversity after Gov. Kristi Noem signed a bill into law Wednesday. The measure also bars the South Dakota Board of Regents and the state’s six public universities from interfering with constitutionally protected speech, including speech that some might find "offensive, unwise, immoral, indecent, disagreeable, conservative, liberal, traditional, radical or wrong-headed." (link)
Mar 19: Former Auburn assistant coach and 13-year NBA veteran Chuck Person pleaded guilty Tuesday to a bribery conspiracy charge in the widespread college basketball bribery scandal, ensuring that none of the four coaches charged in the probe will go to trial. Person, 54, of Auburn, Alabama, entered the plea in Manhattan federal court, averting a June trial. (link)
Mar 18: A senior federal judge from Cincinnati will handle the mediation of two lawsuits filed against Ohio State by scores of men alleging the university ignored or failed to stop decades of sexual misconduct by a now-deceased team doctor. After lawyers for Ohio State and the men couldn't agree on a mediator, the suits were referred Friday to U.S. District Judge Michael R. Barrett by Judge Michael Watson in Columbus, who has overseen the cases. (link)
Mar 18: The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver ruled unanimously against Kansas State University’s request to have a Title IX lawsuits thrown out. This means that the case will continue through the civil court system. The lawsuits, filed separately by former students Sara Weckhorst and Tessa Farmer, allege the university acted indifferently toward the sexual assaults of the two women. (link)
Mar 14: In a class action suit, two Stanford University students are suing the University of Southern California, Yale, the University of California Los Angeles and other institutions involved in a massive alleged admissions cheating case involving affluent parents allegedly paid bribes to get their kids into top universities. Erica Olsen and Kalea Woods say they were denied a fair opportunity to gain admission to their choice of a top college, and that their Stanford degrees were devalued, by criminal racketeering charges leveled by federal prosecutors. (link)
Mar 13: LSU acknowledged Wednesday, Mar. 13 that four highly-compensated university employees continue to refuse to follow a state law tied to their employment. Louisiana law requires any state employee earning over $100,000 per year must obtain a Louisiana driver’s license and register any vehicles in their name in Louisiana. The four LSU employees have refused to do either. (link)
Mar 12: Former Kansas Jayhawks football head coach David Beaty has sued the athletic department at the University of Kansas, alleging that it sought to concoct a reason to fire him for cause to avoid a $3 million payout. In a complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Kansas on Tuesday, Beaty accuses KU athletic department officials of looking to "find something" on the former coach, like finding a "dead hooker in (Beaty’s) closet" to justify withholding the $3 million owed for firing Beaty without cause. (link)
Mar 08: LSU men's basketball coach Will Wade has been indefinitely suspended in the wake of a report that he discussed an offer for a recruit with a convicted middleman, the school announced Friday. LSU president F. King Alexander and athletics director Joe Alleva said in a joint statement that the school has suspended Wade "until such time as we can ensure full compliance with the NCAA, as well as institutional policies and standards." Assistant coach Tony Benford will serve as the interim coach in Wade's absence. (link)
Mar 07: Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court has refused to hear Lock Haven University’s appeal of a lower court’s order requiring it to rehire a professor who was fired over a 28-year-old conviction for molesting two children. That means the order to reinstate mathematics Prof. Charles Morgan that was issued by Commonwealth Court in August must stand. (link)
Mar 06: The federal appeals court in Atlanta has upheld a Board of Regents policy that prevents immigrant students who’ve received a special deportation reprieve from attending three of the state’s top universities. The court’s ruling Wednesday applies to immigrants who have been accepted into the Obama administration’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. The regents’ prohibition involves those students who want to attend the University of Georgia, Georgia Tech or Georgia College & State University, the ruling said. (link)
Mar 04: College students who have reported sexual assaults will be called to answer questions in a live hearing from the very people they’ve accused of abusing them -- a significant change that critics say turns a classroom into a courtroom. The Jan. 4 ruling in a lawsuit filed by a male undergraduate USC student against university administrators has immediate repercussions for dozens of students across the state whose reports of sexual harassment, assault or rape are currently under investigation. (link)
Mar 04: A former Tiger Transit driver was found guilty Monday for the 2017 sexual assault of an Auburn University student. Tony Martin Patillo, 53, of Columbus, Ga., was found guilty Monday by a Lee County jury on first-degree rape, first-degree sodomy and public lewdness, according to the Lee County District Attorney’s Office. Patillo faces 10 years imprisonment to life on the rape and sodomy charges, according to Lee County District Attorney Brandon Hughes. (link)
Mar 03: A University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee professor appeared in court Sunday on multiple sexual assault charges, according to online circuit court records. Anthony A. Azenabor was charged Saturday with two counts of second-degree sexual assault, use of force and one count of fourth-degree sexual assault in offenses that took place in March, April and May of 2018, according to court records. Azenabor can have no contact with two individuals, the UWM campus or UWM faculty. (link)
Mar 02: The story of a former Idaho State University graduate student’s federal lawsuit against the school that made international headlines when first revealed in 2015 quietly went to trial this week without a jury. Former ISU graduate student Jun Yu’s trial at the U.S. Courthouse in Pocatello centers around the civil lawsuit he filed against ISU in September 2015, alleging discrimination, ethics violations and a breach of contract. (link)
Mar 01: Former University of Michigan doctor Mark Hoeltzel abused his position to manipulate, sexually assault and ruin their lives, victims of his actions said during his sentencing Monday. Hoeltzel, 47, of Ann Arbor, pleaded no contest in January to two counts of criminal sexual conduct -- second and fourth degree. UM police were initially notified of Hoeltzel’s conduct when the State of Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs called the hospital to speak with him in December 2017. (link)
Mar 01: The University of Kansas is seeking more than $1 million in restitution from former Adidas executive Jim Gatto, claiming the school has suffered financial harm as a "victim of Mr. Gatto’s and his co-conspirators crimes" involving payments to basketball recruits. Gatto, along with former Adidas consultant Merl Code and former sports agent Christian Dawkins, were found guilty on all seven federal counts of wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud on Oct. 24, 2018. (link)
Mar 01: USC faces yet another legal battle -- this time with accusations against former campus doctor Dennis Kelly. Six former students, who identify as gay or bisexual, have filed a lawsuit against the University and doctor, claiming Kelly committed sexual battery, sexual harassment and gender violence against them, according to the complaint. Kelly was the only men’s sexual health doctor at the Engemann Student Health Center for nearly 20 years. (link)
Campus Life & Safety Events
Mar 25: A student gun-rights group has announced a settlement with Ohio State University over the ability of concealed-carry permit holders to store guns in vehicles.The Students for Concealed Carry Foundation group says the settlement resolves a lawsuit first brought in 2014. Under the agreement, the university updated its student code of conduct last month to allow storage of firearms in locked motor vehicles on campus by concealed handgun licensees. (link)
Mar 24: Tulane University police booked two men and a woman into New Orleans’ jail late Saturday on allegations that they set a sign on a dorm room door on fire. Robert Money, 21; David Shelton, 20; and Naima Okami, 20, face counts of aggravated arson, said Blake Arcuri, general counsel of the Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Office, which runs the jail. (link)
Mar 23: A fraternity at the University of Georgia has been suspended after video allegedly showing members whipping someone and referring to them picking cotton surfaced on social media. Georgia's chapter of Tau Kappa Epsilon was suspended by the national chapter and the video was condemned by the university. The frat also announced it had expelled four members who were involved in the video on Saturday. (link)
Mar 20: A 20-year-old Northwestern University pre-med student charged with sexually assaulting an 18-year-old student was released Wednesday after posting the cash portion of a $50,000 bond, law enforcement officials said. Scott Thomas, 20, a Northwestern freshman from Bernardsville, N.J., is charged with criminal sexual assault in connection with an early morning March 16 incident, prosecutors said Wednesday. (link)
Mar 20: A former San Diego State University student accused of setting a string of fires around the campus over the course of three days was charged with a dozen felony counts Wednesday, including burglary, arson and vandalism. Madelyn Delarosa, 19, was taken into custody Saturday morning, following four fires she's suspected of setting to apartments and vehicles across campus between March 13-16. (link)
Mar 19: Students with UC Berkeley’s Black Student Union plan a demonstration on campus Wednesday to protest the arrests of two black students the group says were racially profiled by campus police. A UC Berkeley student and a student from the University of San Francisco were arrested at around 9:30 p.m. on March 8 by two university police officers who stopped the two black students and their friend, another UC Berkeley student, on Upper Sproul Plaza, the BSU said in a statement posted to social media on Monday. (link)
Mar 19: University of Missouri officials say they have fired a campus police officer after verifying he was in a photo in blackface. The university said Tuesday in a news release that Marcus Collins acknowledged he was the person in the picture and that it was taken before he was hired with the Police Department in January 2018. (link)
Mar 16: The number of reported cases of the mumps at Temple University continued to rise this week, and the Philadelphia school is taking new steps to try and curb the spread. Nearly 50 students have either tested positive or been listed as probable for mumps, Temple’s Student Health Services announced Friday. Twelve students have tested positive, and another 37 have been listed as probable. Temple has updated its immunization policy in the wake of the outbreak. (link)
Mar 11: University of Maryland Professor David Weber has resigned following complaints of discrimination from a group of Chinese students and reporting by WAMU into the allegations. The students said Weber discriminated and harassed them on the basis of race and national origin arising from seven incidents throughout several weeks last fall. Weber accused a group of Chinese international students of cheating on their final forensic audit exams in November 2018. Weber says he intended to uphold the academic honesty policies at the University of Maryland, but that the university didn’t adequately support professors. (link)
Mar 10: According to UW-Madison Police, a student is under arrest after police say he assaulted an officer in an on-campus dorm. UW Police said officers were originally called to Witte Residence Hall around 1 a.m. Sunday after someone reported a student urinating on the floor. When an officer approached Logan Mitchell, 18, to stop him police said the student punched the officer in the face. (link)
Mar 07: A University of Kansas engineering professor says administrators have suspended him from teaching a course for the rest of the semester after comments he made in class. Gary Minden, a professor of electrical engineering and computer science, said administrative leaders of KU’s School of Engineering informed him Thursday morning that he is suspended from teaching the course because he told a student to "learn English," which upset other students and started an "hourlong discussion" on the matter. (link)
Mar 07: Texas Tech has issued an official notice about a sexual assault reported recently at Stangel Hall. The suspect has been removed from campus. This alert was issued Thursday night: In compliance with the Jeanne Clery Act, Texas Tech University is giving a timely notice of a report of a sexual assault that occurred at Stangel Hall. The alleged perpetrator has been identified and removed from campus. His access to campus during the immediate administrative investigation has been revoked. (link)
Mar 06: Samantha Wu had high hopes when she left her small town in southern China to study at an American university. But she didn’t expect to be under investigation by the University of Maryland after a professor accused her and other Chinese students of cheating on an exam. Wu denies the accusation. Wu is one of a number of Chinese students who reported that U.S. professors said their nationality made them more likely to cheat. But some professors insist they see many instances of Chinese students cheating, and that universities aren’t sufficiently addressing the issue. (link)
Mar 05: Protesting the University of Tennessee’s handling of a blackface controversy, 40 to 50 students dressed in black occupied seats behind UT’s goal Tuesday night at the men’s game against Mississippi State. Vice Chancellor for Student Life Vince Carilli said Monday afternoon, at a meeting with students and UT officials, that the university was still deciding how to discipline students who appeared in blackface in a Snapchat image last week. The university quickly condemned the photo, but at Monday's meeting Carilli said they were unlikely to be expelled for "expressing their First Amendment rights." (link)
Mar 04: A student organization at the University of South Dakota has been told that holding a "Hawaiian Day" social event violates the school’s policy on inclusiveness. As a result, the Student Bar Association of the USD School of Law changed the name of the event to "Beach Day." In a Facebook message to its members, the group said: "We greatly apologize to those we offended; it was unintentional." (link)
Mar 02: U.S. President Donald Trump said on Saturday he would soon sign an executive order requiring American universities and colleges to maintain "free speech" on campuses and threatened that schools not complying could lose federal research funds. Trump made his remarks at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference after bringing to the stage Hayden Williams, a conservative activist who was punched at the University of California, Berkeley, last month while recruiting students for a conservative group. (link)
Mar 01: A 21-year-old former Connecticut College student has been charged with seven counts of felony voyeurism for allegedly taking photos of women in dormitory bathrooms this academic year, police said Friday. Police said Carlos Antonio Alberti of Richmond, Mass., learned of the warrant for his arrest and turned himself in Friday morning. The warrant for his arrest details seven incidents involving five female victims, but police said they found 213 shower stall videos on Alberti's iPhone XR and their investigation is ongoing. (link)
Mar 01: LSU officials received at least two specific warnings over the past three years about problems at the Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity, records show, despite the university’s recent announcement that key administrators had no prior credible information about hazing at DKE that could have triggered an investigation. The administrators’ halfhearted response to the reports they received about DKE raises new questions about the school’s level of commitment to investigating allegations of misconduct in the Greek system. It’s not the first time such questions have been raised. (link)
Mar 01: A student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill alleges that the institution took down her parody website that lampooned officials' handling of race relations and only restored it after a lawyer and civil rights group intervened. The website, called UNC Anti-Racist Jeopardy, modeled off the game show, asked questions about the university’s history and ties to racism and police and administrators' interactions with activists. For instance, in the category "violence against students," the game asks what was deployed against students at a dance party in August. Answer: pepper spray. (link)
Mar 01: A Virginia Tech student was arrested Wednesday, a week after police recovered disguised video cameras placed in public restrooms on campus. Andrew Wildman, of Blacksburg, is charged with unlawful creation of an image of another, a misdemeanor, according to a Virginia Tech news release. (link)
Mar 19: When a 26-year-old Saudi student first arrived on a Midwest college campus two years ago, he looked forward to meeting new friends, learning how to think differently, and organizing on campus. But unlike his fellow undergraduates, he says he is not allowed to speak freely. The student, who requested anonymity for fear of reprisal, is on a Saudi government scholarship. And for years, according to intelligence experts and eight current and former Saudi students interviewed by the PBS NewsHour, the Saudi government has closely monitored them when they leave to study in the U.S. (link)
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