This Is Auburn Office of Audit, Compliance & Privacy
Office of Audit, Compliance & Privacy

Our Mission

The mission of the Office of Audit, Compliance & Privacy is to assist Auburn University, Auburn University at Montgomery, the Alabama Cooperative Extension System, and the Alabama Agricultural Experiment Station (the "University") in fulfilling its vision of being a preeminent comprehensive land-grant university. Our office provides services in three distinct yet related disciplines - audit, compliance, and privacy - in support of Auburn University's three-pronged mission of teaching, research, and service.

The Office of Audit, Compliance & Privacy functions in partnership with University leadership to:

  • improve the internal control system and culture;
  • improve and enhance the management of operational, financial, compliance, strategic and reputational risks;
  • enhance governance processes;
  • ensure strong stewardship and management accountability at all levels of the University.

Case In Point: Lessons for the proactive manager

This month our review of 2020 focuses on our largest category: Compliance/Regulatory & Legal events.

Several years ago, we noticed an uptick in this category and this trend has continued. You may have seen articles on the regulatory burden impacting higher education and what can be done to alleviate this costly burden on institutions. Occasionally, some legislative body will study the topic and make recommendations; however, we've yet to see this translate into an actual reduction of the requirements we face. Honestly, we see nothing on the horizon that would give any hope of a reduction in the near or far future.

When we break down the topics in this category, we see this as our top 5:

  1. Title IX
  2. Violence on Campus
  3. NCAA Compliance
  4. Academic Related Litigation
  5. Foreign Influence

While we see no reduction in the regulatory burden ahead, we can point out three areas where we expect substantial changes. We don't anticipate these changes will do anything but add to the burden institutions face, and they will be important to follow in the months ahead.

First, we believe we will see more changes to Title IX interpretations and expectations. Second, we can confidently state that changes to NCAA compliance will occur when the Supreme Court rules in a case regarding NIL (name, image, and likeness). We discussed these in a prior issue of Case in Point. Lastly, we expect additional regulations and changes regarding foreign influence. We suggest you begin paying particular attention to these three areas, and we will attempt to help navigate any regulatory changes in Case in Point as they evolve.

Compliance issues can be overwhelming, yet they are but one component of the risks we face each day in higher education. With that said, we again invite you to review the issues from the prior month with a view toward proactively managing risks. As always, we welcome your comments and suggestions.

Read this month's issue of Case In Point

Case In Point Archives

Anonymous Reporting Hotline

The University uses the EthicsPoint anonymous Reporting System to enhance communication and empower individuals to promote safety, security, and ethical behavior. Use this anonymous, confidential system to report situations, events or actions by individuals or groups that you believe unethical or otherwise inappropriate. Frivolous or unfounded reports do not help foster a positive workplace. This hotline service does not replace our existing reporting methods for reporting fraud, waste, abuse or other potentially illegal activities. The University continues to encourage stakeholders to report concerns or suspected violations to their supervisor or other campus entities as appropriate.

If you are uncertain if a situation violates University policy, is illegal or constitutes harassment or discrimination, you may use EthicsPoint to obtain clarification. We would much rather have you ask questions than let potential problems go unchecked. However, EthicsPoint should not be used for immediate threats to life or property. If the situation presents an immediate threat to life or property call emergency -- 911

Last Updated: February 02, 2021