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Office of Audit, Compliance & Privacy

Case in Point:
Lessons for the proactive manager

May 2019
Vol. 11 No. 05
Quotable...
"Ethical decisions ensure that everyone's best interests are protected. "

-- Harvey MacKay

Last month we wrapped up our review of the events of 2018. This month we will focus on what may be the hottest topic in higher education right now: conflicts of interest. I came to this conclusion not only from our analysis of Case in Point, but also from conversations with colleagues across the country and issues we've worked on here at AU. This spring I presented on the topic of conflicts of interest at ACUA's Audit Interactive and the room was at capacity with many attendees standing. I can only speculate what has driven this topic to prominence over the past year but my guess is that these issues will not go away anytime soon.

To begin this column we need to define what we mean by a conflict of interest. Here is our definition:

A conflict of interest is a situation in which a person or organization is involved in multiple interests, financial or otherwise, and serving one interest could involve working against another. Typically, this relates to situations in which the personal interest of an individual or organization might adversely affect a duty owed to make decisions for the benefit of a third party.

Effectively, conflicts of interests are about competing interests. In our world, one of those interests usually involves the personal benefit of a member of the faculty, staff, or administration. Take a look at the following hypothetical scenarios and think about whether you see a conflict of interest present in the actions taken.

  1. An RFP is about to be issued by an institution for a major enterprise-wide system. The responsible administrator is invited to a weekend getaway by a company that may submit a proposal for the project. The event is held at an exclusive beach resort, and the administrator was invited ''due to their extensive knowledge of the education industry.'' The administrator believes that since the event is on the weekend and not during regular working hours, it's his personal time and therefore fine to attend.
  2. A faculty member has a side business conducting specialized tests for companies in her area of expertise. The faculty member uses university equipment, labs, and even personnel to operate her business.
  3. An executive is in a romantic relationship with a salesperson for a company that does business with the institution -- specifically, his department. The executive engages in transactions with this company and also promotes the company to other departments, referring them to the individual with whom he has a relationship.
  4. A dean wants to find employment for her daughter over the summer. At first she thinks of hiring her to work in the dean's office; however, after thinking about how this would look, the dean directs one of her department heads to hire her daughter instead.
  5. An administrator needs to provide meals for a departmental event. Luckily, his spouse has a catering business, so he hires this business to cater the departmental event.

All of these hypothetical situations are based on real events that have occurred in higher education. All of these involve actions that are wrong, and all of these should have been immediately recognized by the involved faculty, staff, or administrator as being poor choices.

The key to effectively dealing with conflicts of interest is proactive disclosure and management; however, some conflicts of interest simply cannot be managed and must be avoided. Conflicts of interest bring risks to the individual and the institution. With increased calls for transparency and accountability within our industry, failing to proactively disclose and manage conflicts is a highly risky endeavor.

We again invite you to review the issues occurring across higher education with a view toward proactive risk management. As always, we welcome your comments and suggestions.

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



Information Security & Technology Events

May 13: Personal data, including social security numbers and dates of birth, of Augustana College students and staff have been compromised, according to a letter sent to students. In the letter, the school told recipients that "a ransomware attack" took place on one of the school’s servers "on or about February 19, 2019" but said there was "no evidence of attempted or actual misuse of this information." (link)

May 06: Imagine having your personal and medical information stolen not once, but twice. It happened to a VCU Health System patient. And it was an inside job. The news of the security breach came in a letter. It stated her "clinical information, name, social security number, diagnosis and medications" had been inappropriately accessed by an employee. The letter also stated it had been going on for nearly two years. (link)

May 04: A group of hackers has planted malicious JavaScript code that steals payment card details inside the e-commerce system used by colleges and universities in Canada and the US. The malicious code was found on 201 online stores that were catering to 176 colleges and universities in the US and 21 in Canada, cyber-security Trend Micro said in a report released on Friday. (link)

May 01: Seattle University is warning that the names and Social Security numbers of more than 2,000 people could be exposed after a university-issued laptop was lost last month. Files containing information for 2,102 current and former faculty, staff and their dependents are accessible from the unencrypted laptop, which a university employee lost on a King County Metro bus on March 26, according to a statement from the university. (link)


Fraud & Ethics Related Events

May 29: A Gulf Coast State College employee charged with larceny after deputies say she stole more than $60,000 from the school. They say after an audit, administrators believe the suspect, Emily Batson,30, stole the money. Deputies say Batson was responsible for giving out weekly cash allotments to pay for food on the weekends for athletes on scholarship. (link)

May 24: The University of Oklahoma has been stripped of its US News & World Report ranking due to reports of false data. Every year, colleges are ranked based on a number of factors, including alumni donations. According to the OU Daily, the university’s giving rate was listed at almost 14 percent. However, data shows the average number was half of that, just seven percent. Another report reveals the university forged the numbers for two decades. (link)

May 23: Amid soaring U.S. concern about China’s infiltration in Western scientific research, Emory University has found that two of its researchers did not disclose money they were taking from Chinese sources, and that the two did more work for research institutions and universities in China than they had let on. The two are no longer working at Emory. (link)

May 21: MIT professor Ram Sasisekharan made his name on the idea that algorithms and computer models could lead to better and more potent therapies, a promise that launched three biotech companies and attracted hundreds of millions of dollars. But two treatments purportedly discovered with Sasisekharan’s computational approach are almost identical to compounds that had previously been described by other labs, according to a new paper by outside researchers. The finding casts serious doubts on the integrity of Sasisekharan’s research, the authors claim. (link)

May 14: Tenured journalism professor Buck Ryan has initiated legal proceedings against some of the University of Kentucky’s top administrative officials, alleging they defamed him and retaliated against him after he refused to resign. The lawsuit comes after UK administrators initiated termination proceedings against Ryan in May 2018, following the publication of an internal audit that said Ryan profited from the sales of his self-authored textbook that was required for some of his classes. (link)

May 14: Daniel Cabanillas, 49, an administrator at an Erie university was ordered to serve probation Monday at his sentencing in a federal visa fraud case related to his former employment at another local university. The charges stemmed from his time at Mercyhurst University, where he served as the designated school official for the student exchange visitor program. The government charged that Cabanillas falsely claimed on a visa form that a student had been accepted to a Mercyhurst master’s degree program. (link)

May 14: Seven individuals face arrest warrants from the Ingham County Prosecutor’s Office for 22 counts of fraudulent claims of more than $527,000 in connection with the fund set up to assist victims of pedophile Larry Nassar. In a press release Wednesday, the MSU Police Department said it had received information about the fraudulent reimbursements in fall 2018. After a review of invoices, officials discovered the fraudulent payments. (link)

May 14: Laura Janke, a former USC soccer coach who is cooperating with a federal investigation into college admissions fraud, pleaded guilty Tuesday in Boston to a racketeering conspiracy charge. Janke, 36, admitted to conspiring with Newport Beach college admissions consultant William "Rick" Singer to slip the children of wealthy and powerful families through what Singer dubbed the "side door" -- a scheme in which Singer traded six-figure bribes for seats the universities set aside for recruited athletes. (link)

May 10: Agents have arrested a North Charleston man accused of stealing a College of Charleston student's transcript in order to get into graduate programs and land a job at Boeing. According to SLED investigators, in May of 2018, Billy Joe Bell went to the registrar’s office at the College of Charleston and brought several documents including a sworn affidavit in order to change a student’s personal information to that of his own. (link)

May 08: Signs appeared at the food court in Loyola’s Damen Student Center at the start of the spring semester, notifying students of cameras in an apparent attempt to discourage shoplifters. However, neither Loyola’s Campus Safety, other departments, or Aramark -- the company that runs the food court -- acknowledge being the ones to post the signs. Regardless, interviews by The Phoenix reveal theft has been a problem at the student center, which sells snack food, candy and some fresh produce to students. (link)

May 06: A former assistant athletics director was sentenced Monday to 21 months in prison for stealing $361,336 from the University of Minnesota over five years. Brent Holck, 37, was given a lighter-than-expected sentence because he’s taken responsibility for his crime and is making efforts to pay back what he stole. From April 2012 through January 2017, Holck would cancel ticket sales to games after they’d taken place and deposit the refunded money into his own accounts. (link)

May 06: Purdue University President Mitch Daniels says he "bent over triple-backwards" to avoid the appearance of favoritism in the school's agreement to let his daughter's company showcase its tiny homes during tailgating on football weekends at the West Lafayette campus. Purdue Research Foundation signed a contract this year with Daniels' daughter, Maggie Daniels, allowing her Try It Tiny company to rent out up to eight 200-square-foot homes as a tailgate village near Ross-Ade Stadium. (link)

May 03: The former house director for a University of Wisconsin sorority is accused of embezzling more than $225,000 from the Madison group over a period of six years. The State Journal reports that Madison police have issued an arrest warrant for 61-year-old Pamela Dorton. She’s facing charges of theft and fraudulent writings. (link)

May 02: A former University at Buffalo architect has pleaded guilty to bilking the school out of more than $15,000 in wages. From June 17, 2016-Sept. 30, 2017, James Spratz was working as a UB Project Manager with the Facilities Planning and Design Department. The DA says Spratz defrauded his employer by reporting he was working at his full-time university job when he was not, sometimes being paid by private outside firms not related to UB. (link)

May 02: St. Louis Community College says a longtime employee embezzled at least $5.4 million in state money that was supposed to be used for a job-training program. The theft went undetected for at least a decade, college officials claim. The college has filed suit in St. Louis County Circuit Court against the employee, Donald Robison. (link)

May 01: Former Chief Justice of the Arizona Supreme Court Ruth McGregor will conduct an independent investigation into alleged unethical practices within ASU's economics department, according to a letter sent to Undergraduate Student Government Tempe Senate Tuesday morning. The practices in question at ASU came to light two weeks ago, when clinical assistant professor Brian Goegan blasted an email to students and created a website that accused the University of requiring economics professors to fail students, forcing students to pay for software to turn in their homework and profiting from the software designed at the expense of students. (link)


Compliance/Regulatory & Legal Events

May 30: A former University of Oklahoma student is seeking a class action lawsuit against her former school for submitting false information in an effort to boost rankings in U.S. News & World Report. The plaintiff, Elani Gretzer, filed the lawsuit in Oklahoma City federal court on behalf of herself and "others similarly situated." The lawsuit against the University of Oklahoma board of regents alleges breach of contract and unjust enrichment. (link)

May 22: Psychology professor Jennifer Freyd filed a notice of appeal Wednesday after the pay discrimination lawsuit Freyd v. University of Oregon was dismissed in federal court. This is the most recent development in a two-year court battle between UO and the tenured professor in Eugene, OR. Freyd, a highly-regarded instructor and researcher on the psychology of sexual violence, asked for a raise "to bring her salary in line with her expected salary" after conducting an analysis of the Psychology Department and becoming concerned that her pay was lower due to her gender, court documents show. (link)

May 22: It was acceptable for Michigan State University to suspend a student while it waited to hold a live hearing on whether he sexually assaulted a fellow student, a federal court ruled last month. The ruling forms another piece of the puzzle that federal courts are putting together as a road map for how universities must handle sexual assault accusations on their campuses. (link)

May 22: An assistant professor for Pennsylvania State University's Beaver campus moonlighting as an Uber driver has been charged in an additional kidnapping case after police already arrested him earlier this month for holding two women against their will. Richard Lomotey, 36, was charged with kidnapping, unlawful restraint, assault and reckless endangerment after Pittsburgh police connected him to an another case of a woman being held against her will. (link)

May 21: A lawsuit filed in Oconee County last week claims Clemson University violated anti-discrimination laws after a student came forward about being sexually harassed and assaulted by a professor. According to the suit, Bradley Hieronymus was a junior food science major at Clemson when a professor started showing interest in him last year. The lawsuit claims Professor Felix Barron asked him to come to Mexico on a "business trip" with him. When Hieronymus suggested he couldn't afford it, Barron offered him a job paying $7.50 an hour. (link)

May 21: In New Haven, some women are tackling sexual discrimination head-on. NBC Connecticut’s Keisha Grant sat down with the students spearheading a lawsuit against Yale University and its fraternities to find out why they call the culture on campus dangerous. They are two of three students who filed an 85-page class action lawsuit against Yale in federal court. (link)

May 20: Concluding he didn’t violate any school policy, a state appeals court panel has backed the reinstatement of a Bloomsburg University professor who was fired for having sexual relationships with two female students. The Commonwealth Court ruling upholds a June 2018 arbitrator’s decision that voided the termination of Assistant Professor John Barrett. (link)

May 20: Duke and the University of North Carolina are fierce competitors on the basketball court, but when it comes to medical hiring, they have been cozy collaborators, according to a class action that Duke moved to settle Monday for $54.5 million. The lawsuit, filed in 2015, alleges the rivals agreed not to hire each other's medical faculty in certain circumstances. (link)

May 17: The Kentucky Court of Appeals has ruled that the University of Kentucky failed to follow the state's Open Records Act with regard to documents its own student newspaper requested about an investigation of possible sexual misconduct by an ex-professor. In 2016, UK sued its campus newspaper, the Kentucky Kernel, which sought records related to associate professor of entomology James Harwood, whom the university investigated after two students accused him of serious misconduct. (link)

May 17: An investigation has determined that Ohio State University officials ignored nearly two decades of accusations of sexual abuse against a long-time university doctor, according to an independent report released Friday by the university. Dr. Richard Strauss, an Ohio State team doctor and sports medicine researcher, is accused of sexually abusing at least 177 men over an 18-year period from 1979 to 1997, nearly his entire time at Ohio State, according to the report. (link)

May 16: For decades, a powerful professor was permitted to use the University of Alaska Anchorage campus as his own personal "hunting ground," preying on women who depended on him for academic and professional success, all while the university chose to shield its reputation rather than protect female students, according to a federal lawsuit filed on Wednesday. (link)

May 16: A nonprofit group sued the University of Texas on Thursday in state District Court in Travis County, contending that it is violating the Texas Constitution and state law by considering the race and ethnicity of applicants for admission. The latest lawsuit was expected, as Students for Fair Admissions said last month that it was preparing another case with students who were rejected this year and last year. (link)

May 15: A Georgetown University undergraduate student whose dad has already pleaded guilty to paying $400,000 to the ringleader of a nationwide college admissions bribery scheme is now suing the school. Adam Semprevivo, the son of Los Angeles executive Stephen Semprevivo, sued Georgetown in Washington D.C. federal court Wednesday, arguing the university has deprived him of due process and violated procedures outlined in the university's honor system as it investigates his admissions into the school and considers discipline. (link)

May 14: University of California San Diego officials stonewalled attempts to notify women in an HIV research study that their confidential data was breached more than seven months ago, an inewsource investigation has found. UCSD researchers conducting the EmPower Women study told university officials in October that participants’ names, audio-taped conversations and other sensitive materials were made accessible to everyone working at Christie’s Place, a San Diego nonprofit supporting women with HIV and AIDS (link)

May 14: A former program director at the Ohio State University filed a lawsuit against the school and her director claiming she was wrongfully terminated because of the color of her skin. Mary Faure filed the lawsuit against the Ohio State University and Monica Cox, the Chair in the Department of Engineering Education. Faure claimed she was terminated for racial reasons after 14 years by her supervisor who is black. (link)

May 14: Starting Tuesday, colleges must tell the U.S. Department of Education if they’re being sued in connection with the federal student loan program. The requirement promises a wealth of new information about student complaints for department officials who oversee higher ed institutions and could provide earlier warning signs to those officials of financial instability. It has also created new headaches for college administrators, who have scrambled in recent weeks to identify litigation they must report. (link)

May 13: A bill designed to protect the health and safety of college athletes has been signed into law in Maryland. State Del. Shelly Hettleman said the bill was a direct result of the "unfortunate and tragic death" of Jordan McNair, a 19-year-old University of Maryland athlete from Randallstown, Maryland. McNair was an offensive lineman at the College Park campus who collapsed after a preseason conditioning drill and later died last year. (link)

May 13: Five more former Ohio State students have filed a lawsuit against former Buckeye team physician Richard Strauss claiming that they were sexually abused during their time as students and that that the university was aware of these actions. The group of former students is made up of three former student-athletes and two former student health center patients. (link)

May 13: Jay Lyle Dobberke, a University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee physics department lab technician, was charged with 10 counts of possessing child pornography, according to a criminal complaint issued Monday. The 63-year-old was tracked down using the Milwaukee Police Department's CyberTip, which discovered that an IP address, which eventually traced back to Dobberke's computer, had viewed child pornography on Feb. 13, the complaint said. (link)

May 09: Sex discrimination claims against George Washington University for alleged preferential treatment given to a male athletics department employee will proceed, a federal court in Washington ruled. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission stated plausible claims that the university violated the Equal Pay Act and violated the civil rights of staffer Sara Williams by denying her advancement on the basis of her sex, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia said May 8. (link)

May 09: In another escalation in the widening scandal surrounding the University of Southern California (USC) and Dennis Kelly, a physician who treated student-patients, 18 more current and former students joined in a lawsuit alleging sexual harassment and misconduct, bringing the total number of men who have come forward to 50. The complaints allege Dr. Kelly engaged in inappropriate sexual misconduct and discriminated against them based on their sexual orientation or gender. (link)

May 09: Gov. Kim Reynolds on Thursday signed a dozen bills into law, including ones that restrict the use of the state’s revolving loan fund for land conservation and that allow stun guns on public university and college campuses. (link)

May 09: Harvard University has barred prominent former professor Jorge Dominguez from its campus and stripped him of his emeritus status after an investigation found repeated "unwelcome sexual conduct" targeting multiple students and faculty over four decades. The school Thursday announced the completion of a yearlong Title IX investigation into Dominguez, a government professor who was accused last year amid the #MeToo movement of a pattern of groping and other sexual harassment by at least 18 students and junior faculty members. (link)

May 08: A judge has taken the extraordinary step of ordering the president of the University of Michigan to court to discuss a sexual misconduct case against a student. A graduate student accused of sexual misconduct, identified as John Doe, is suing the University of Michigan. The school froze Doe’s undergraduate degree and academic transcript until Tarnow intervened in 2018, said his attorney, Deborah Gordon. (link)

May 07: A transgender Iowa State University employee will be paid nearly $28,000 to settle a claim that the school discriminated against her because its health insurance policy failed to cover reassignment surgery and other associated care. Elyn Fritz-Waters, 34, was assigned male at birth. She was diagnosed with gender dysphoria in 2016, legally changed her first name and was shortly thereafter denied care by her employee health insurance though ISU. (link)

May 07: Lock Haven University has not effectively accommodated female students’ athletic interests and abilities, a federal judge says. That was the assessment Tuesday by U.S. Middle District Judge Matthew W. Brann in a suit filed two years ago by eight female athletes who charge the university violates the equal participation clause of Title IX. (link)

May 07: Christine Cieplinski was an attorney and employee of the state of Connecticut for 17 years, moving from the Office of Policy and Management to become Director of Labor Relations at UConn Health in 2014. But all that ended when she investigated and secured the resignation of a UConn Health employee who had cost the state $100,000 in fraudulent compensatory time and investigated sexual harassment allegations against a highly-regarded professor. (link)

May 06: A man whose wife died at age 33 of liver failure is suing the University of California Board of Regents and a UCLA doctor, alleging the woman was overprescribed a statin that caused her death from liver failure. Ashley Steele’s Los Angeles Superior Court lawsuit stems from the February death of Maria Isabella Steele, a native of the Philippines who lived in Winnetka. The wrongful death suit filed Friday alleges Dr. Patrick Yaffee did not warn her to be aware of side effects of Atorvastatin, a generic for Lipitor. (link)

May 06: Former University of Montana women's soccer coach Mark Plakorus, fired last year after revelations he used a university-issued cellphone to text with escort services in Las Vegas, has sued the university for defamation and breach of contract. The lawsuit, filed May 1 in Missoula County District Court, alleges UM violated Plakorus’ right to privacy and breached its contract with him by releasing certain employment information to media outlets following his dismissal. Additionally, Plakorus alleges the university defamed him in releasing complaints of sexual misconduct that were found to be without merit. (link)

May 06: Feeling hopeless after what they say are multiple delays, biased comments from investigators and bungled reports, two Michigan State University alumni have filed federal complaints about how the school handled their Title IX cases. Both allege external investigators working with MSU's Title IX office, which investigates gender discrimination claims including allegations of sexual assault and harassment, were incompetent, biased in favor of university professors and took too long to investigate. (link)


Campus Life & Safety Events

May 24: Officers say arrest led to charges in an attempted rape investigation on the Missouri State University campus. Gregory E. Morton, Jr., 32, of Springfield, is a registered sex offender. He faces first-degree burglary, unlawful use of a weapon and first-degree rape. Police responded to Cheek Hall on South National on the morning of May 23. A Missouri State University employee said she had been assaulted by a man in the bathroom. (link)

May 22: The mother of a Winston-Salem State University student shot to death last year after attending a party at Wake Forest University is suing the school, along with others, saying that Wake Forest officials were negligent and had inadequate security at the party. Najee Ali Baker, 21, a WSSU football player from Brooklyn, N.Y., was shot outside The Barn, an event venue at Wake Forest, at 1:01 a.m. on Jan. 20, 2018. (link)

May 21: Officials at Louisiana State University have confirmed that the Pi Kappa Phi chapter on campus will close until May 2023. The complaints being made against the fraternity include hazing, coercive behavior, and drug accusations. The suspension comes after LSU police issued misdemeanor charges last month against three unidentified members. (link)

May 21: University of Pittsburgh police believe a 28-year-old woman released bear spray -- a type of pepper spray designed to deter bear attacks -- inside a University of Pittsburgh building Monday, sickening six people. Mary C. Siegert, address unknown, was charged with risking catastrophe and simple assault. (link)

May 21: Most students know the list of items they can’t bring into a university dormitory. They can’t haul in their own beds. They can’t set up a microwave. Candles usually aren’t allowed. The family golden retriever would usually fall in this banned category. But no longer does that stop students from asking for emotional support animals -- requests for them have skyrocketed at colleges and universities nationwide. (link)

May 17: Texas A&M police has around 799 videos showing at least 20 partially clothed women in an employee’s restroom. A former employee of the university’s transit building is accused of hiding a video camera under a sink in what appeared to be a phone charger device. 54 year old Peter Baty, who was arrested on a charge of invasive visual recording, was released from jail the day after his arrest after posting a $25,000 dollar bond. (link)

May 14: Twenty-one students from the University of Florida were ambushed and robbed at gunpoint while on a school trip near Pretoria, South Africa on Monday. A spokesperson for the university said in a statement that the students, a UF faculty member and a staff member were on a trip for the Lombardi/ Stamps Scholarship program. "UF has been sending students on this trip to South Africa every two years for many years without incident," said Steve Orlando, a spokesperson with UF. (link)

May 10: Stanford University officials confirmed Friday they had no idea a visiting scholar, who has been on campus since the start of the spring semester, is a registered sex offender. Stanford’s student online publication, The Fountain Hopper, first reported on Thursday that Kurt Mitman had been convicted of sexually assaulting a young boy while Mitman worked at a Pennsylvania summer camp in 2004. The news stunned Stanford students who believed the university should have better screened Mitman. (link)

May 08: Sonoma State University police arrested a 21-year-old student Wednesday on suspicion of committing a rape in December. Patrick James O’Regan turned himself in at the Sonoma County criminal courts complex, after police issued a warrant for his arrest, university spokesman Paul Gullixson said. The reported rape occurred late on the night of Dec. 7 in a university housing complex, according to the statement. (link)

May 08: Seven people were arrested Wednesday morning at Johns Hopkins University as Baltimore police reopened an administrative building where the doors had been chained shut for a week in a protest over issues including the creation of a separate campus police force. Baltimore police and Hopkins officials said trespassers who had seized control of Garland Hall were offered "full amnesty" in an operation that began before 5 a.m. They were given chances to leave the building without being charged, police said, but some chose not to leave. (link)

May 06: Bridgewater State University police charged a male student with "peeping tom" offenses Thursday after they say he secretly recorded students showering in a dorm, the Enterprise reported. Ryan Gilbride, 20, of Lowell was charged with disorderly conduct, photographing an unsuspecting nude person and attempting an unlawful wiretap. (link)

May 05: The Newark Police Department said it has made an arrest in the case of a 21-year-old woman who was sexually assaulted at knifepoint after being tricked by a man posing as a ride-share service Saturday. Police said after releasing photos of the suspect's vehicle they received various tips leading to the arrest of Roberto Rodriguez, 41, of Newark. (link)

May 03: A DePaul University student was robbed of her laptop at knifepoint Friday morning, as she was leaving the Richardson Library on campus in Lincoln Park. DePaul Public Safety officials said the student was leaving the library at Fullerton and Kenmore around 7 a.m., when a robber dressed in all black showed a knife and demanded her laptop. (link)

May 02: A student at West Virginia University was arrested Wednesday night after authorities learned that he had threatened to carry out a "shooting spree," according to university police. Cheickna Kagnassy, a 21-year-old freshman, was charged with making terrorist threats, West Virginia University police said in a statement. (link)

May 02: UT Austin Police are responding after a smoke device was used to interrupt a student event. The incident happened on Monday evening at the school’s Mary E. Gearing Hall, according to police. The building was evacuated. UT Austin Police confirmed the smoke device disrupted a pro-life event put on by the campus's Young Conservatives of Texas group. (link)

May 01: Colorado State University is urging its students not to run around campus in their underwear. The Fort Collins university is asking participants in a traditional end-of-the-year event called the Undie Run -- during which students dart across campus in their skivvies -- to skid to a halt, citing safety concerns. CSU officials estimated they’ve spent more than $150,000 in student tuition and fee money to cover the costs of property damage and security related to the annual undie run. (link)

May 01: Two people are dead after a shooting on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, authorities said Tuesday. Three people are in critical condition and one other person was injured, UNCC Chief of Police Jeff Baker said. An officer quickly went to the room where the suspect had fired, disarmed him and took him into custody, Baker said. The suspect was armed with a pistol, he said. (link)

May 01: Swarthmore College’s two fraternities announced Tuesday that they are disbanding after weathering intense criticism over leaked documents that contained allegations of a "rape attic" as well as homophobic, racist and misogynistic language. In April, a redacted version of a 116-page document that reportedly contained Phi Psi’s old meeting minutes and details of pledge tasks was published by two campus publications, revealing troubling details about the culture within the selective Pennsylvania college’s fraternities. (link)


Other

May 16: The College Board plans to assign an adversity score to every student who takes the SAT to try to capture their social and economic background, jumping into the debate raging over race and class in college admissions. This new number, called an adversity score by college admissions officers, is calculated using 15 factors including the crime rate and poverty levels from the student's high school and neighborhood. (link)




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.

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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