Collaboration is a key part of the success of any organization, executed through a clearly defined vision and mission and based on transparency and constant communication.
Each month in Case in Point, you see the wide variety of risks that we face each day in higher education. The unique risk profile of our industry makes it very important that we have strong collaboration throughout the institution that focuses on proactive risk management. We routinely communicate with the Office of the Chief Information Officer (CIO), which provides leadership in the technology area, and in particular, we collaborate with the information security group. Since the month of October brings a heightened focus on cybersecurity issues, I have asked AU's Chief Information Security Officer, Bill Miaoulis, to share his thoughts on this important topic.
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National Cybersecurity Awareness Month (NCSAM) began in 2004 through the Department of Homeland Security and the National Cyber Security Alliance with a goal of raising awareness about the importance of Cybersecurity. NCSAM 2019 will emphasize personal accountability and stress the importance of taking proactive steps to enhance cybersecurity at home and in the workplace. This year's overarching message -- Own IT. Secure IT. Protect IT. -- will focus on key areas including citizen privacy, consumer devices, and e-commerce security.
- Own IT: It is important to be aware of your digital profile, and you do that by understanding the devices and applications you use every day. You have to know about something to protect it.
- Secure IT: Use all of the security tools available to you. This can include creating stronger, longer passwords and using Multi-Factor Authentication whenever possible. Use available security tools at work, on social media, and with your financial institutions. Protect yourself against phishing attacks by carefully reviewing emails and not clicking on unknown links or attachments.
- Protect IT: Everything you do on a computer creates a trail that can be used by cybercriminals. Make sure you keep your browsers and operating systems up to date. Be careful with public WiFi, and be familiar with and understand the privacy rules and settings within the applications you use. Do you really need that application on your phone or desktop?
For additional resources, you can visit the Department of Homeland Security's Cybersecurity Awareness Month Page; Stay Safe Online , or the Auburn University Cybersecurity Center.
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Thank you, Bill, for your comments on this important topic. As you will see once again this month, the risks extend well beyond the cyber world and into many different areas of our operations. We again invite you to review the events of the past month 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
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Information Security & Technology Events
Sep 14: Erroneous Email: Sacramento State accidentally accepted 3,500 waitlisted students for fall admission, resulting in 500 additional students who began classes this semester. The error occurred when the waitlisted students were mistakenly invited to the university's Admitted Students Day this year, according to Brian Henley, the university's director of admissions and outreach. The university sent an email out in March to all accepted students, welcoming them to the special event. When the university invited waitlisted students to visit the school, the email began with, "Congratulations." (link)
Sep 10: Phishing Attack: Marquette students were puzzled Tuesday afternoon when a new message appeared in their inboxes. The sender was another Marquette student, claiming their aunt recently moved to the area. The aunt was offering $350 weekly for students interested in pet sitting her dogs. The message was sent to dozens of students, and the emails came from different student senders. (link)
Fraud & Ethics Related Events
Sep 25: Visa Fraud: The University of Massachusetts Boston was one of seven campuses nationwide targeted by a Chinese government official in a visa fraud scheme aimed at bringing foreign government recruiters to the United States under the guise of visiting research scholars, according to court documents.
Zhongsan Liu, 57, of New Jersey, through his agency, the China Association for International Exchange of Personnel, allegedly worked with several unnamed people in the United States to persuade American universities to help Chinese government employees get into the country under a visa program for academics. But these Chinese officials would do little actual research, and their main purpose was to recruit scientists and experts to work in China, according to court documents unsealed in New York federal court earlier this month. (link)
Sep 19: Fraud: Montgomery College sustained a "financial loss" after falling victim to a fraud scheme, the school announced Thursday afternoon. College and law enforcement officials were mum on details Thursday, but said the incident will not interrupt student activities or operations at the college. Officials did not specify what happened or disclose how much money was lost. A news release from the college said the crime occurred "earlier this month," but Marcus Rosano, director of media relations for the college, declined to give a specific date. (link)
Sep 19: Bank Fraud & Identity Theft: A former FSU Credit Union lending director was sentenced to 66 months in federal prison after he pleaded guilty to 20 counts of bank fraud, aggravated identity theft and theft from a lending institution, the U.S. Department of Justice announced in a press release. Kevin Robert Lee, 35, stole more than $800,000 while he worked at the credit union, according to the Department of Justice. Lee was the lending director of FSU Credit Union from June 2014 to November 2017. (link)
Sep 18: Conflict of Interest: State university system staff will have to revise a proposed policy on disclosing conflicts of interest after higher education officials voted against suggested changes prompted by an audit that found fault with the North Dakota State College of Science. The proposal comes five months after the state auditor's office found Tony Grindberg, North Dakota State College of Science vice president of workforce affairs, did not disclose on paper that his wife, Karen, is the chief financial officer for the Flint Group, which was hired to promote a proposed career workforce academy in Cass County. (link)
Sep 13: Fraud: A former University of Texas at Austin facilities director facing felony charges ran an elaborate financial scheme from his perch at one of the state's top law schools, costing the university nearly $1.6 million, an internal memorandum released Friday found. Jason Shoumaker is said to have engaged in a variety of financial and professional improprieties at UT-Austin, including funneling payments to vendors who may have been friends and associates, falsifying travel documents and educational credentials, and manipulating procurement processes to make a host of questionable purchases with little oversight. (link)
Sep 12: Wire Fraud & Money Laundering: A Stony Brook University professor is under arrest and on administrative leave after authorities say he stole more than $200,000 in cancer research funds to make payments on his home mortgage. Geoffrey Girnun, an associate professor in the Department of Pathology and Director of Cancer Metabolomics at the Renaissance School of Medicine, was charged in a seven-count indictment unsealed Thursday with theft of state and federal government funds, wire fraud and money laundering. (link)
Sep 12: Plagiarism: History professor Charles Armstrong cited nonexistent or irrelevant sources in at least 61 instances in his 2016 book, "Tyranny of the Weak: North Korea and the World, 1950-1992," according to the findings of an investigation by the University's Standing Committee on the Conduct of Research. In a letter sent to select faculty on Tuesday, Interim Executive Vice President of the Arts and Sciences Maya Tolstoy announced that Armstrong, who is on sabbatical for the 2019-2020 academic year, will retire at the end of 2020. (link)
Sep 11: Academic Fraud: In a transcript of a conversation recorded by the FBI in June 2017, but not previously published in the media, former Arizona assistant basketball coach Emanuel "Book" Richardson told undercover agents he paid $40,000 to a "high school coach" to help ensure the academic eligibility of former Wildcats player Rawle Alkins. Academic fraud and payments to a player's family are potential Level I infractions, the most serious on the NCAA's scale of violations. (link)
Sep 06: Research Fraud: A judge sentenced a former Virginia Tech scientist convicted of grant fraud to probation Friday, finding no need for prison given that the man served a combined two years in jail and on home confinement, didn't profit personally, lost his career and reputation and is unlikely to reoffend. Yiheng "Percival" Zhang, 47, fell from bioscience acclaim after being charged with defrauding the National Science Foundation, a federal agency that pours billions into basic research at U.S. colleges and universities, according to court filings. (link)
Sep 05: Use of Funds: The California State University system is investigating the business spending of a Cal State San Marcos dean who stayed at Ritz-Carlton hotels, took chauffeured car rides and bought expensive meals including a $110 steak. Michael Schroder, dean of extended learning and associate vice president for international programs, filed dozens of such expenses over the past two years, including first-class travel, limousine rides and multi-night stays at luxury hotels like the Ritz-Carlton in Bahrain, where the $345 daily rate exceeded the university limit, according to a U-T Watchdog review of his expense reports dating to August 2017. (link)
Sep 03: Admissions Scandal: The emails to the dean of admissions flagged students that the athletic department had taken a special interest in -- not, apparently, for their prowess on the field or in the pool. "Long time donors," read a note about one applicant. "$3 mil to Men's Golf-Thailand," read another. And the notes about applicants -- and donated sums -- went on: "$15 mil." "Previously donated $25K to Heritage Hall." "Pledged 1 million." The spreadsheets, along with emails reflecting sometimes crass internal discussions of such applicants, were made public on Tuesday as part of a legal filing in the nation's largest-ever college admissions corruption prosecution. (link)
Sep 01: Embezzlement: A former University of Georgia employee stole more than $1.3 million from the school's Greek Life Office over 10 years before committing suicide on campus in June, an internal investigation revealed. Authorities determined Lasina Evans, an administrative associate who worked in the Greek Life Office since 2000, diverted university funds into personal accounts and made unauthorized withdrawals from 2009 through June 2019, according to documents obtained Saturday through an Open Records request. (link)
Sep 01: Academic Fraud: Several exchange students from China were denied re-entry to the U.S. by Customs and Border Protection while returning to Arizona State University. In a statement, ASU said the students were detained by federal authorities at Los Angeles International Airport and denied admission to the U.S. to continue their studies. Officials said they are working as quickly as possible to coordinate with the federal government to understand the circumstances surrounding these actions and to rectify the situation. (link)
Compliance/Regulatory & Legal Events
Sep 27: NCAA Sanctions: Georgia Tech coach Josh Pastner still has the support of his athletic director even after the Yellow Jackets basketball team was slapped with NCAA sanctions Thursday, including a ban on postseason play for upcoming season. Dealing a major blow to Pastner's efforts to rebuild the struggling Atlantic Coast Conference program, the NCAA hit Georgia Tech with four years of probation for major recruiting violations committed by Pastner's former assistant coach and an ex-friend. (link)
Sep 25: Public Records Lawsuit: A University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign graduate student and lecturer has filed a lawsuit against the University of Illinois Board of Trustees, alleging the university withheld public documents regarding faculty sexual misconduct that should have been released through public records requests.
John Bambenek filed the complaint with the Champaign County Circuit Court on Monday that claims the university's denials of Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests represent "a pattern of activity to thwart the public's right to know the activities of a public body ... specifically in the matter of the faculty-staff sexual misconduct epidemic on the Urbana-Champaign campus," according to a copy Bambenek shared with NPR Illinois. (link)
Sep 25: Sexual Harassment Lawsuit: A member of the Niagara University women's swimming team and two of her former teammates have sued the university, charging that they and others were sexually harassed by members of the men's swimming team, with the knowledge of their coach. The plaintiffs are Nastassja Posso, a senior who remains on the swim team; Jaime Rolf, a senior who quit the team in February 2018, forfeiting her swimming scholarship; and an unidentified woman who competed as a diver for four years before graduating in 2018. The suit, filed Friday in U.S. District Court in Buffalo, says Posso and Rolf sought treatment for depression, while the former diver "suffered from anxiety and depression." (link)
Sep 25: Title IX Lawsuit: Two students are suing the University of Kentucky, claiming the school is violating federal law by failing to offer women enough opportunities in varsity athletics. The lawsuit says UK has to add about 183 women to its athletics programs to comply with Title IX, the civil rights law that prohibits sex discrimination in federally funded education programs. The suit was filed in federal court Wednesday morning against UK, its board of trustees, athletic director Mitch Barnhart and university President Eli Capilouto. (link)
Sep 23: Mishandled Sexual Assault Allegations: A federal jury ruled in favor of the Boston College alumnus who had sued the University for improper interference in violation of fair process in his 2012 disciplinary hearing on Monday. The jury awarded the alumnus--referred to by the pseudonym "John Doe"--$102,426.50 in damages: $24,819.50 for tuition and fees for the semester he was suspended and $77,607 for one year of lost income as a result of his delayed graduation from BC. The jury said that the plaintiff proved by a preponderance of evidence that the Dean of Students office improperly interfered with the hearings in two communications with the head of the board, and therefore breached its contract with Doe to provide basic fairness. (link)
Sep 23: Fees Class Action Lawsuit: he controversy over fees the University of Florida charges for preview programs is moving into the courts. A class action complaint has been filed by a student who says she was overcharged for preview fees which resulted in the university receiving millions of dollars. Court documents claim that since 2007, students were charged a preview fee that exceeded the state statute maximum of $35. More than 6,000 new students enroll and pay the preview fee every year. (link)
Sep 23: NCAA Violations: The University of Kansas received a Notice of Allegations from the NCAA on Monday that alleges significant violations within its storied men's basketball program, including a responsibility charge leveled against Hall of Fame coach Bill Self. The notice includes three Level 1 violations tied primarily to recruiting and cites a lack of institutional control. It also includes notice of a secondary violation in football tied to then-coach David Beaty that involved the use of an extra coach during practice. (link)
Sep 21: Open Records Law: Sometimes three makes a crowd. With the University of South Carolina board of trustees, a gathering of three members on any committee is a quorum that triggers public notification, according to the group's bylaws. Problem is that three members of the board's executive committee met at least twice in secret while they were trying to hire a new president. And in both cases, they were meeting to get retired West Point Superintendent Bob Caslen into the top job at South Carolina's largest college. The secret meetings violated the state's open-records law and could open the university to lawsuits calling into question how Caslen was hired, said Jay Bender, a Columbia attorney who is a legal expert in journalism issues. The same could be true for group texts that trustees shared while debating Caslen's candidacy, Bender said. (link)
Sep 20: Sexual Misconduct: A tenured Cal Poly professor is out of a job as of Friday following his conviction earlier this week for using a cell phone to peep up the skirt of a female colleague on campus. Cal Poly spokesman Matt Lazier confirmed Friday afternoon that Jason Alan Williams "is no longer employed by the university."
Lazier wrote that Williams "is appealing the decision regarding his employment." (link)
Sep 20: Sexual Exploitation: The alleged victims of former University of Illinois Professor Gary Xu have reached an agreement on extending the statute of limitations and won't be suing the university today. The alleged victims apparently faced a Friday deadline to sue the UI, so a tolling agreement gives them more time to negotiate a settlement with the UI while still allowing them to sue if talks break down. In a federal lawsuit filed last week against Xu, two of his former students alleged he used his position to sexually and emotionally exploit his young female Chinese students, who depended on him for their visas. (link)
Sep 19: Negligence Lawsuit: A graduate of the University of Oklahoma has added a negligence claim to his lawsuit against the university, former Vice President Tripp Hall III and the Board of Regents for the University of Oklahoma. In June, 25-year-old Levi Hilliard filed a tort claim against the university and officials over alleged sexual misconduct. According to court documents, Hilliard claims he was sexually assaulted by Hall on at least five occasions dating back to the fall of 2017 through September 2018. (link)
Sep 19: Wrongful Termination Lawsuit: A former Michigan State football staffer said under oath that head coach Mark Dantonio ignored his assistants' warnings while recruiting a player who subsequently was convicted of sexually assaulting a fellow student on campus and that important information was omitted from an investigation into how the athletic department handled a pair of sexual misconduct allegations involving football players. Former Michigan State recruiting director Curtis Blackwell is suing Dantonio, former athletic director Mark Hollis, former university president Lou Anna Simon and two university police officers for wrongful termination and unlawful arrest. (link)
Sep 17: Verbal & Sexual Harassment Lawsuit: A former University of Hartford volleyball player has filed a lawsuit claiming that her UHart coach verbally berated and sexually harassed her on and off the court, causing her to develop an eating disorder and drop out of school. Kathryn Capua filed the suit on Aug. 21 in the 431st District Court in Denton County, Texas. In the suit, Capua is seeking more than $1 million. According to the suit, Capua was the first person recruited by current UHart head volleyball coach Vinh Nguyen, who started at the university in February 2018. (link)
Sep 17: Bullying & Assault Lawsuit: A University of Arizona student and former track athlete has filed a $3 million lawsuit against the university, accusing the track program of bullying and alleging assault by head coach Fred Harvey. The lawsuit, filed Monday in U.S. District Court, also lists the Arizona Board of Regents and students and coaches from the track and field team as defendants. The former athlete makes multiple claims against the school, including defamation, Title IX violations and assault. (link)
Sep 17: Anti-Male Bias Lawsuit: A former Baylor University economics professor is suing the university, accusing officials there of mishandling sexual misconduct claims against him. The professor, who is identified in court documents as John Doe, resigned from the university last year amid an investigation into the professor's relationship with a student. In the lawsuit, the professor acknowledges he had a sexual relationship with an undergraduate, but says officials were overly zealous in their handling of his case, driven by the recent sexual assault scandal at the Baptist university. (link)
Sep 18: Breach of Contract Lawsuit: The University of Louisville Athletic Association and Rick Pitino have agreed to settle a federal lawsuit, with the former Cardinals men's basketball coach's changing his termination to a resignation.
Pitino sued the ULAA for more than $38.7 million in November 2017, accusing it of breaching its contract by firing him for cause the previous month in the wake of a federal bribery investigation of college basketball. Louisville countersued, seeking monetary damages from vacated games and bonuses. The agreement comes a week after representatives for the association and Pitino held settlement talks at the federal courthouse that included the coach. (link)
Sep 17: Public Records Law: Ohio State University violated Ohio public records law in its handling of a records request by the student newspaper, a court of claims judge ruled this week. The university failed to produce public records within a reasonable time and improperly redacted a suspect's name on an initial police report, the court found. (link)
Sep 14: Clery Act: Texas State University, under scrutiny from federal authorities, says it misreported campus crimes in recent years and is overhauling the way it tracks and records crime statistics for its locations in Round Rock and San Marcos. At issue is Texas State's compliance with the Clery Act, a federal statute that requires universities to report campus crime data and promptly warn students about ongoing or serious safety threats. Schools that don't adhere to the rules can face significant financial penalties. (link)
Sep 12: Sexual Misconduct: A University of Wisconsin-La Crosse professor has been placed on leave and removed for now as a department chair in the wake of sexual misconduct allegations from a student. Last week, a UW-L student accused an unidentified art professor at the school of inappropriate conduct while she was a freshman. Caycee Bean, a student and athlete at the school since 2014, said she reported an incident last semester to the university and was dissatisfied with UW-L's response. (link)
Sep 11: Sexual Misconduct: A Michigan State University administrator has been suspended due to an allegation of sexual misconduct. Tomas Hult was suspended from his position as director of the university's International Business Center for 12 weeks beginning Oct. 1, MSU spokesperson Emily Guerrant said. He will not be suspended from his duties as a faculty member. Hult told the State Journal in an email that an investigation by MSU's Office of Institutional Equity found he had not violated any university policies. (link)
Sep 10: Abuse Lawsuit: Two former students at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a professor at another college filed a lawsuit Tuesday against a former UIUC professor, claiming he assaulted, bullied and raped multiple students. The lawsuit, filed in federal court in Urbana against Gary Gang Xu, seeks damages for distress from emotional, physical and sexual abuse. The lawsuit claims Xu specifically targeted female Chinese students, who often depended on the university for their visa status. (link)
Sep 10: Sexual Exploitation: She said she was 13, a 7th grader living in Aurora, but "Brandi" was game to meet the 40-year-old man emailing and texting her, seeking sex. Aurora police say University of Denver music professor Scott Bean, a renowned trombone player, fell hook, line, and sinker for their online sex sting earlier this year, believing "Brandi" was really a teenage girl. "I can't wait to have fun with you," Bean emailed Brandi. "Brandi" was actually an Aurora police detective posing as a teenage girl.Bean, 47, has been charged with internet sexual exploitation of a child, internet luring of a child, attempted sexual exploitation of a child, and criminal attempt at sexual assault on a child. He is expected to enter a plea in the case later this month. (link)
Sep 09: Fraud Charges: U.S. prosecutors have charged a Chinese professor with fraud for allegedly taking technology from a California company to benefit Huawei, in another shot at the embattled Chinese telecommunications equipment maker. Bo Mao was arrested in Texas on Aug. 14 and released six days later on $100,000 bond after he consented to proceed with the case in New York, according to court documents. According to the criminal complaint, Mao entered into an agreement with the unnamed California tech company to obtain its circuit board, claiming it was for academic research. (link)
Sep 05: Nassar Scandal Fine: Michigan State University agreed to pay a record $4.5 million federal fine and the university's provost resigned on Thursday after the Education Department determined that the school failed to report and address claims of sexual abuse by a former team doctor, Lawrence G. Nassar, who was convicted of sex crimes. The fine was part of a settlement with the department, which initiated two investigations into the university's handling of abuse by Mr. Nassar and the complicity of William Strampel, a former dean of the university's College of Osteopathic Medicine. (link)
Sep 01: Sexual Harassment: A veteran University of Illinois police officer has been placed on administrative leave after another accuser came forward with complaints of sexual harassment dating back four years, UI officials have confirmed. Officer Brian Tison was placed on leave effective Aug. 5 after the department learned of new allegations regarding his conduct in 2015 and 2018, according to police Chief Craig Stone. The accusations are separate from other complaints filed against Tison earlier this year that are still being investigated by an outside attorney, and from a 2017-18 sexual-misconduct investigation prompted by complaints from a female officer trained by Tison, officials said. (link)
Sep 01: Clery Act: On a December night in a Pollo Tropical parking lot, Sarah sat next to FAU quarterback Chris Robison in her gray Honda Civic and watched him cry. Sarah said it made her feel guilty, even though just days earlier, she says he raped her in his IVA North apartment. So, Sarah changed her story --something she would regret for months to come, to the point where she thought of killing herself. She told the police she was able to recall everything that happened between them was consensual, but there are conflicts in the police report that tell another story. And after a Title IX investigation through FAU, and from what Sarah's story and supporting documents show, FAU may have violated federal law. (link)
Sep 01: Sexual Harassment: A star scholar scheduled to start a new job at Rutgers University next week was accused of making inappropriate sexual remarks and creating a sexual culture in her former job that prompted complaints from co-workers and students, a report said. Marybeth Gasman -- who is slated to take a $250,000-a-year post heading an institute and an academic center at Rutgers on Sunday -- was accused of creating a "culture of sexual harassment" by a small group of former assistants who filed a formal complaint in 2017 at the University of Pennsylvania, according to a report by Inside Higher Ed, an industry publication. (link)
Campus Life & Safety Events
Sep 25: Freedom of Speech: University of Central Florida professor Dr. Kollbe Ahn has hired an attorney after his a suspension over a video he posted last week which university officials say led them to discover multiple other videos now under investigation. Ahn, a chemistry instructor, said he was escorted off campus, his labs were shut down, and his classes were taken away because of the video he said he posted as a joke. The video under investigation, titled "Kollbe's Anger Translator," shows the professor at his desk with another person acting as his "anger translator." (link)
Sep 25: Threatening Speech: A Wagner College psychology professor has been banned indefinitely from the institution for allegedly making threatening remarks to students during a class on Tuesday. Advance sources identified the professor as Richard Brower, 77. Students alleged he said in reference to one of his other classes -- "if I had a gun, I would shoot every one of them in the head," according to one source. According to the message, shared with the Advance by Lee Manchester, a spokesman for Wagner College, the college took immediate action by "suspending the professor, escorting him off campus and banning him indefinitely." (link)
Sep 23: Game Day Assault Allegations: In the wake of allegations that Iowa Hawkeye Band members were verbally, physically and sexually assaulted after the recent Iowa-Iowa State football game in Ames, University of Iowa president Bruce Harreld questioned whether the annual Cy-Hawk game should continue. Several Hawkeye Marching Band members posted their accounts of that night on social media after UI athletic director Gary Barta told the Press-Citizen that athletic departments at both schools "elected to focus on moving forward" because it was difficult to verify the students' reports. (link)
Sep 23: Free Speech Ruling: A federal appeals court says the University of Michigan's Bias Response Team acts with the implicit threat of punishment and intimidation to quell speech on campus. The appeals court vacated a federal district judge's ruling against a nonprofit that's seeking to end UM's use of the Bias Response Team. The U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals panel issued the majority opinion Monday, Sept. 23, sending the case back to U.S. District Court, although it declined to instruct the lower court to issue a preliminary injunction to end the Bias Response Team. (link)
Sep 23: Rape/Assault: A Towson University student was arrested and charged after he allegedly raped another student, according to Baltimore County Police officials. Onyekachukwu Chukwuebuk Igwilo, 20, is charged with first-degree rape, first-degree assault, second-degree assault, attempted first-degree rape and false imprisonment, Baltimore County Police confirmed late Monday afternoon. (link)
Sep 20: Mold: Crosby Hall is the largest residence hall on the University of Mississippi campus, and according to one mother, it's also been the source of her daughter's continuous health problems. Brittany Musser, whose daughter is a student at Ole Miss, said her daughter called her recently, complaining that she and her roommate were having nosebleeds. She had also been diagnosed with an upper respiratory infection that required a steroid shot. After seeing pictures of a black, yellow and green substance spreading across the ceiling in one corner of her daughter's room, Musser said she knew the culprit: mold. (link)
Sep 18: Rape of a Minor: Nine people have been arrested in connection with six alleged rapes of an underage girl reported to have occurred on and near the Jacksonville State University campus, authorities said Wednesday. The six alleged incidents occurred from January through early September, and all involved the same underage female victim, according to Commander Allen George of the 7th Judicial Circuit Major Times Task Force in Calhoun and Cleburne counties. Five of the six alleged incidents occurred on the JSU campus, according to the university's crime log, including Dixon, Meehan and Sparkman halls, and the parking lot of Rowe Hall. (link)
Sep 18: Terroristic Threats: Prosecutors say a University of South Alabama student is accused of making a terroristic threat after he wrote song lyrics by a popular rapper on a large flip chart in the school library -- the second such case within a week on the campus. Jack Aaron Christensen, 21, wrote song lyrics that referred to killing people and burning things, according to a criminal complaint. The lyrics are from the song "Radicals" by rapper Tyler, The Creator. In a separate case, another student was arrested on the same charge within a week of Christensen's arrest, authorities said. That student is accused of posting a picture of a book titled "Death Note" on the social media app Snapchat. (link)
Sep 16: Free Speech: A federal judge has ruled in favor of a Northeast Wisconsin Technical College student in her Freedom of Speech lawsuit involving Valentine's Day cards with religious messages. On Sept. 13, Chief Judge William C. Griesbach of the Eastern District of Wisconsin declared that NWTC violated Polly Olsen's First Amendment rights. Olsen and the Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty filed the lawsuit. On Feb. 14, 2018, Olsen was handing out valentines to students and staff on campus and was stopped by campus security. They told Olsen that she was violating NWTC's Public Assembly Policy. (link)
Sep 13: Assault: Two University of Arizona students were arrested after an assault on a black student that led hundreds of people in Tucson to protest Friday afternoon. The arrests stem from an attack outside a residence hall earlier this week that one student organization called a hate crime. The victim told police the men called him the N-word, and one of the men tackled him, then started punching him "in the head like five times," according to a police report released Friday. A police report from the UAPD names the two men charged as Matthew Frazier and Matthew Rawlings. (link)
Sep 13: Terrorism: A young woman accused of attempting to provide support and resources to terrorist organization al Qaeda has pleaded guilty to concealment of terrorism financing. Alaa Mohd Abusaad, a former University of Alabama student, entered her guilty plea in federal court in Tuscaloosa on Friday, according to a joint announcement by Assistant Attorney General for National Security John C. Demers, Northern District of Alabama U.S. Attorney Jay Town and Birmingham's FBI Special Agent in Charge Johnnie Sharp Jr. (link)
Sep 13: Sexual Assault: A University of Florida student who was arrested after a fellow student accused him of sexually assaulting her in his dorm room was released without bond last week after his attorneys argued the honor student's "academic future will be further jeopardized" if he remained in jail. Ian A. Milaski, a 21-year-old residence hall assistant, was arrested on Aug. 29 and charged with false imprisonment and battery after another student who accused him of sexual battery, according to an arrest warrant. (link)
Sep 12: Location Tracking: Nick Saban, the Alabama football coach, has long been peeved that the student section at Bryant-Denny Stadium empties early. So this season, the university is rewarding students who attend games -- and stay until the fourth quarter -- with an alluring prize: improved access to tickets to the SEC championship game and to the College Football Playoff semifinals and championship game, which Alabama is trying to reach for the fifth consecutive season. But to do this, Alabama is taking an extraordinary, Orwellian step: using location-tracking technology from students' phones to see who skips out and who stays. (link)
Sep 12: Campus Death Lawsuit: The family of a Georgia Tech student who was shot and killed by police in 2017 is planning to file a wrongful death lawsuit. ''Scout' Schultz, 21, was killed Sept. 16, 2017, during what officials described as a mental health crisis. On Thursday, the Schultz family announced in a news conference that they are filing a lawsuit against the University System of Georgia Board of Regents, Georgia Tech and the campus police officer who shot and killed Schultz. (link)
Sep 12: Secret Photography: A 21-year-old man has been charged after allegedly taking photos up four women's skirts at a Santa Clarita college where he worked and was a student, officials announced Thursday. Sebastian Barrales Raymundo, of Santa Clarita, faces four misdemeanor counts of disorderly conduct by secretly photographing the undergarments of another person, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office. (link)
Sep 12: Hazing: An Alabama university has suspended its Sigma Chi chapter over a hazing allegation. Troy University spokesman Clif Lusk tells reporters the chapter was suspended effective Sept. 9. The school and city police are now investigating. The fraternity leaders said Wednesday that the chapter "self-reported" the hazing and immediately suspended the suspects. Lusk said the allegation was made against multiple fraternity members. (link)
Sep 12: Invasion of Privacy: A former janitor at Cornell College has pleaded guilty to taking pictures of women in a locker room.
Court records say 46-year-old Jeffrey Pospisil entered the pleas Wednesday to two counts of invasion of privacy. His sentencing is scheduled for Oct. 18. The investigation began when students at Cornell College in Mount Vernon reported seeing a cellphone held in an open doorway leading to the locker room. A coach found Pospisil in the area. He was an employee with a business that provides custodial service for the college. (link)
Sep 11: Racial Incident: CSU has called out a social media post showing students pictured in blackface over the weekend. Four Colorado State University students are pictured in an Instagram story wearing blackface, with text on the photo reading "Wakanda forevaa," a reference to Marvel's "Black Panther." It's one of several incidents in the past two years that CSU's administration has acknowledged as incidents of racial bias. (link)
Sep 11: Death Threats: A University of San Diego professor has been suspended for allegedly making threats toward two faculty members, school officials said Wednesday. The professor, whose identity had not been released Wednesday, allegedly slipped images of a sniper rifle or rifle scope under the office doors of two faculty members, according to a statement four faculty members provided to the campus newspaper, The USD Vista. University officials said the images found in the offices were of crosshairs. (link)
Sep 11: Alcohol in Class: A University of Alabama teacher is off the job after video surfaced of a student drinking a beer in class. School spokesman Chris Bryant said Wednesday marketing instructor Joel Strayer has been placed on administrative leave while "several concerns" are investigated. A video posted to a social media site a week ago shows a young man punching a hole in the side of a beer can and drinking it while others in the classroom watch and clap. (link)
Sep 10: Chosen Names & Pronouns: When students return to Hanover this month, they will have the option to choose the name, pronouns, and gender identity by which they wish to be known on campus via DartHub, the landing page for Banner, Dartmouth's student information system. Since 2007, trans and nonbinary students have been able to request IDs and directory listings that reflected their preferred name, but now all students will be able to log on to DartHub and make desired changes on their own, says Registrar Meredith Braz, who has spearheaded the Chosen Name and Identity initiative. (link)
Sep 09: Suicide: The executive director of counseling and psychological services at the University of Pennsylvania jumped to his death Monday morning from the 17th floor of a Center City Philadelphia building, officials said. Gregory Eells, 52, came to Penn six months ago to lead the department that counsels students with mental health problems. He had come from Cornell University, where he had worked for more than a decade and was an expert on resilience. (link)
Sep 06: Harassment & Extortion: A former Washington State University student, Kyle Gaumnitz, 24, could face more than two years in jail for threatening to extort multiple women while living in Pullman and the Tri-Cities area. According to court documents, Gaumnitz allegedly used Snapchat, Tinder and text messages with fake identities to obtain naked photographs of the women, then threatened to disseminate the pictures of the women if they did not do what he said. According to the certificate of probable cause, the investigation began in fall 2017 when Washington State University Police received complaints of harassment and extortion from two female WSU students. (link)
Sep 06: Bomb Threat: The Hannah Administration Building on Michigan State's campus was evacuated for several hours Friday due to a bomb threat. Michigan State University Police Department received a call at 10:45 a.m. Friday about the bomb threat, spokesman Doug Monette said. The administration building was evacuated shortly after. MSU sent out an alert at 12:39 p.m. Friday lifting the evacuation. In northern Michigan, a wave of bomb threats prompted lockdowns at schools and hospitals across several counties. (link)
Sep 05: Free Speech: Jamie R. Riley, the University of Alabama's assistant vice president and dean of students, resigned from his position on Thursday after less than seven months on the job, UA officials confirmed. His resignation comes a day after Breitbart News published an article detailing images of past tweets from Riley, in which he criticized the American flag and made a connection between police and racism. (link)
Sep 05: Sexual Assault: A former Michigan State wrestler has been charged with sexual assault, according to court records. Austin Franco, 20, was charged with two counts of fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct. One count alleged he used force or coercion and the other said the reported victim was incapacitated. The reported assault took place at about 6:30 a.m. March 17 in the Wonders Hall dormitory on MSU's campus, according to police records. (link)
Sep 04: Free Speech Lawsuit: When J Michael "Mike" Brown was a student at Jones College, formerly Jones County Junior College, he tried to poll his fellow college students about legalizing marijuana. He wanted to spark a dialogue about civil liberties. Instead, he was deprived of his own, according to federal lawsuit filed Wednesday against the college. The campus police chief took Brown to his office and, according to the lawsuit, told him he should've been "smarter" and followed campus policy. The policy includes administrative approval and a minimum three-day waiting period before "gathering for any purpose" anywhere on campus. (link)
Sep 04: Drones on Campus: Richard Sheridan was glancing around Michigan Stadium and happened to look up during Michigan's season opener last Saturday night, when something strange caught his attention. Sheridan, a season-ticket holder, spotted a drone. It is illegal to fly drones on the University of Michigan campus. There were two individuals arrested for the drone activity, according to Melissa Overton, the University of Michigan deputy chief of police. The ordinance violation was reported Saturday at 10:17 p.m. (link)
Sep 03: Hate Crime: A noose found hanging in a residence hall elevator is the latest incident raising red flags about racism at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. A student has been charged in that case. But as CBS 2's Dana Kozlov reported Tuesday, it follows a federal lawsuit alleging that the university often looks the other way when it comes to racial harassment. (link)
Sep 02: Sexual Assault: The University of Arkansas PD sent a campuswide RazALERT at 6:44 a.m. after receiving a report of sexual assault from a student in Holcombe Hall. The student reported that a white male around 6 feet tall entered her room and committed a sexual assault. UAPD officers are investigating the report by conducting interviews and reviewing security footage in Holcombe Hall and its surroundings, Crain said. (link)
Sep 01: Assault: A Robert Morris University student that is facing felony charges has been banned from all university-owned property. The Robert Morris University Police Department announced on Thursday that 21-year-old Wassim Ouchene has been prohibited from the Robert Morris University campus. The report from Robert Morris University Police officers, obtained by RMU Sentry Media, states that Ouchene allegedly grabbed, choked and sexually assaulted a female student in the Yorktown Hall parking lot. The document then states that Ouchene reportedly tried to force his way into the female's dorm after chasing her through the lobby. (link)
Sep 01: Student Death: A University of Utah student has died after collapsing during Army ROTC physical training. University spokesman Chris Nelson says senior film and media studies major Elva Torres, 23, was hospitalized after collapsing Tuesday morning on campus and was pronounced dead Wednesday. (link)
Sep 19: Middle East Studies Program: The Education Department is threatening to withhold federal grant money from a Middle East studies program, saying it advances an ideological agenda and promotes a positive view of Islam while virtually ignoring Judaism, Christianity and other religions. The agency ordered the Duke-UNC Consortium for Middle East Studies to revise its offerings or risk losing its $235,000 federal grant. The letter, sent in August, was published this week in the Federal Register, and was seen as a move to put other universities on notice. It was not clear whether other programs have been asked to revise their offerings. (link)
Sep 06: Student-Visa/Immigration: The Trump administration's immigration policies are beginning to be felt acutely by universities, as international students struggle to get the visas they need to study in the United States. Representatives from 10 schools recently told The Atlantic that they are facing an increasing workload as they try to help students navigate bureaucracy and advocate on their behalf—a sentiment echoed by various college presidents at a dinner with reporters last night. Several of those presidents said some enrolled international students never made it onto campus for the start of the current semester. (link)
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