Having trouble viewing this email? View it in your browser.

Internal Auditing

Case in Point:
Lessons for the pro-active manager

May 2015
Vol. 7 No. 5
''Leadership is solving problems. The day soldiers stop bringing you their problems is the day you have stopped leading them. They have either lost confidence that you can help or concluded you do not care. Either case is a failure of leadership. ''

-- General Colin Powell

This month we continue our look back at the events that transpired in higher education during 2014 as linked here in Case in Point. This month we focus on the Compliance/Regulatory & Legal Category. As noted in our January issue, this category has been the largest in sheer number of stories linked in our publication for the past few years. The compliance burden within higher education has never been greater and therefore the associated risks are numerous and vigilance critical for all institutions.

The number of ways we can run into trouble from a compliance and legal standpoint are numerous and appears to be growing. The top 5 items in terms of frequency of stories we noted during 2014 for this category were:

  1. Sexual Assault (Title IX)
  2. Discrimination
  3. Campus Crime (non-sexual)
  4. Contract Litigation
  5. Termination Litigation

We've stated in past issues that Title IX is perhaps the top compliance issue facing higher education at the moment. This is an item so critical that it is part of our annual audit schedule for this year and one we are currently assessing. Discrimination, crime, and stories of litigation make routine appearances each month in Case in Point. We urge you to pay special attention to this category and consider whether there are risks that could use additional attention in your sphere of influence to prevent some problem or crisis.

We should also note that under some compliance mandates there is a ''duty to report'' when as an employee you become aware of a violation. This really is no different than the routine message we've conveyed in this publication for years which is ''if you see something that concerns you or you think could be a problem, let someone know.'' The person you report your concerns to could be your supervisor or specific compliance officer for the topic involved. If you are unsure of where to report your concern, always feel free to contact internal auditing and we can help you find the appropriate reporting channel. We live in a time where failing to report issues you become aware of can result in substantial problems for you and the institution.

We again invite you to review the events occurring in higher education and consider how you may help reduce risks and improve the odds of achieving objectives. As always we welcome your comments and feedback.

M. Kevin Robinson, CIA, CFE, CCEP
Executive Director, Internal Auditing

Information Security & Technology Events

May 27, 2015: The average cost of a computer breach at large companies globally was $3.79 million, a survey released Wednesday found. For U.S.-based companies, the average cost was much higher, $6.5 million. Those costs included abnormal turnover of customers, reputation loss, diminished goodwill and paying for credit reports and aid to customers whose information was breached, said Ponemon. (link)

May 19, 2015: Penn State University recently disconnected the computer network for the College of Engineering from the Internet in response to what it described as ''two sophisticated cyberattacks conducted by so-called 'advanced persistent threat' actors.'' (link)

May 6, 2015: Universities and other higher education institutions have long been heralded as strongholds of advanced and independent thought. They are the crucibles in which our most brilliant minds are forged, serving as exchange points to discuss and collaborate on the new theories and inventions that shape our world. However, these great advantages also come with unique security challenges to overcome. (link)

May 1, 2015: The University of California's flagship school was hit with a data breach that might have exposed students' Social Security numbers, the college said Thursday. A U.C. Berkeley computer that stores families' financial information was accessed by unauthorized individuals in December and February, an alert to students stated. The data held in the computer included Social Security and bank account numbers. The breach affected about 260 undergraduates and former students, as well as 290 parents and other individuals, the school said. (link)

Fraud & Ethics Related Events

May 28, 2015: Fifteen Chinese nationals have been charged with developing a fraud scheme in which they paid impostors to take entrance exams, including the SAT, and gained acceptance to elite American colleges and universities, the U.S. Department of Justice said on Thursday. (link)

May 22, 2015: The University of North Carolina said on Friday it has received a notice from the NCAA indicating possible rules vilations connected to the school's academic fraud scandal. The National Collegiate Athletic Association notice comes seven months after an independent investigation by former federal prosecutor Kenneth Wainstein revealed that more than 3,000 students at the university in Chapel Hill received credit for fake classes over an 18-year period. (link)

May 21, 2015: Charges that the former Dean of Student Affairs at Shepherd University misused a West Virginia Purchasing Card have been reinstated by the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals. The Supreme Court ruled May 20 that Jefferson County Circuit Judge David H. Sanders was wrong to dismiss all but one of the 54 fraud counts lodged against Elizabeth Shanton. (link)

May 8, 2015: A leading scientific journal has run a lengthy correction clarifying that a Syracuse University professor and his co-authors were paid by the gas industry on a recent study. Environmental Science & Technology says that SU prof Donald Siegel was paid by Chesapeake Energy for his work, and at least one of his co-authors worked for Chesapeake during the study period. (link)

May 5, 2015: A former University of Colorado professor has been arrested on suspicion of creating a company to sell marked-up lab equipment to the Boulder campus in what prosecutors call a theft ''scheme.'' Donald Cooper, 44, was arrested at his home in Boulder on Tuesday afternoon, according to Boulder County District Attorney's Office officials. It was unclear late Tuesday if Cooper had posted bond, which was set at $5,000. (link)

May 1, 2015: A State College police officer is under investigation for possibly stealing evidence from the department. Police chief Tom King says the department first began to suspect the thefts on April 22, after discovering irregularities in the way certain pieces of evidence were filed and stored. Further investigation led the department to suspect that one of three department personnel with access to the evidence room had been stealing evidence. (link)

May 1, 2015: A former administrative assistant with Emory University pleaded guilty in federal court to stealing more than $300,000 from the school. (link)

Apr. 30, 2015: The College of DuPage Board of Trustees voted Thursday night to put the school's embattled president on administrative leave, barring him from the campus amid multiple investigations. (link)

Compliance/Regulatory & Legal Events

May 23, 2015: A Texas Tech business professor, who clashed with university officials over his anti-tenure views, will be awarded the university's highest honor for a faculty member after a Lubbock judge handed a default judgment in his favor. (link)

May 22, 2015: Evan Rowe, who taught history as an adjunct professor at Broward College since 2004, is suing the board of trustees of Broward College, as well as one of its deans, in federal court, alleging that the school retaliated against him for criticizing the college. (link)

May 21, 2015: The chairman of Temple University's physics department was charged Thursday in an alleged scheme to provide sensitive U.S. defense technology to entities in China, including its government. (link)

May 19, 2015: The University of Kentucky has begun a sweeping overhaul of its body bequeathal program after finding numerous problems with its administration and oversight, including a three- to five-year delay in burying the remains of people who had given their bodies for scientific research. (link)

May 19, 2015: A federal grand jury has indicted six Chinese citizens in what authorities say was a long- running conspiracy to steal valuable technology from two U.S. firms for the benefit of the Chinese government. Two of the defendants had obtained engineering degrees from the University of Southern California and then secured jobs at high-tech firms inside the U.S. (link)

May 19, 2015: Alabama State University plans to appeal a recent circuit court decision awarding its former athletic director $140,000 in a wrongful termination suit, a university statement released late Tuesday said. (link)

May 16, 2015: A priest at Seton Hall University claims he's being removed from his job over a Facebook post he made in support of a campaign promoting same-sex marriage. (link)

May 14, 2015: Miami University has failed to accommodate students with disabilities and provide them the technology they need to learn, the U.S. Department of Justice reported this week. The department joined an existing lawsuit filed against Miami by a blind student who said the school promised to accommodate her but failed to deliver. (link)

May 12, 2015: The University of Colorado ended its months-long bid to fire David Barnett with a $290,000 settlement agreement reached Tuesday that includes the embattled philosophy professor's resignation. CU last summer initiated a rare termination proceeding against Barnett over allegations that he retaliated against a female student who said she was sexually assaulted by a male student. (link)

May 11, 2015: Miami Dade College has reached a $33.5 million settlement with the contractor and subcontractors hired to build a parking garage at the Doral campus that collapsed during construction more than two years ago, killing four people and injuring seven others. (link)

May 9, 2015: The University of Minnesota is apologizing to a Rosemount man who claimed he was coerced into enrolling in a schizophrenia drug trial, a second local case to raise questions about patient safeguards during research. While a yearlong investigation concluded Robert Huber wasn't coerced, it found caregivers prepped him for the study before he consented, according to the Star Tribune. It also found they failed to provide safety information. (link)

May 7, 2015: Dixie State University in Utah and California State Polytechnic University, Pomona have both agreed this week to suspend numerous policies that substantially restrict students' free speech rights on campus. The policy suspensions result from lawsuits filed this year as part of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education's (FIRE's) Stand Up For Speech Litigation Project, an unprecedented and undefeated national effort to eliminate unconstitutional speech codes from the nation's public colleges and universities. (link)

May 4, 2015: Western Michigan University will pay $35,000 to settle a federal lawsuit filed last year by a student group that said the university's policies are unconstitutional and restrict free speech on campus. That's according to the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), a Philadelphia, Pa.-based organization that assisted the Kalamazoo Peace Center in its legal action, which was filed in October in U.S. District Court.(link)

May 1, 2015: Alabama lawmakers are considering a bill that would require businesses and government entities to notify the Alabama Attorney General and impacted individuals about a data security breach. If passed, the bill would make Alabama the 48th state to have a form of data breach notification law. (link)

Campus Life & Safety Events

May 27, 2015: Pennsylvania State University has withdrawn recognition of a fraternity chapter whose members used a secret Facebook page to post images of drugs, underage drinking, hazing and nude, unconscious women. (link)

May 27, 2015: In 2015-16, 21 teams will be ineligible for the postseason due to their low APR, compared with 42 teams last year. All teams other than limited-resource schools must achieve a 930 APR to be eligible to compete after the regular season. (link)

May 27, 2015: Of all the hazards that young people face at college, here is one that probably crossed few parents' minds: the easy access to tanning beds, often found in off-campus housing and sometimes paid for with university-sponsored cash cards. (link)

May 26, 2015: Auburn University sent out an email alert Tuesday afternoon notifying students of the arrest of a lab technician working on campus in connection to selling the date rape drug GHB. (link)

May 22, 2015: Federal authorities charged two former Wesleyan University students Friday with selling the synthetic party drug Molly, which resulted in the hospitalization of at least a dozen students on two occasions during the 2014-15 school year. (link)

May 20, 2015: A U.S. Department of State employee was arrested at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport and is accused of hacking into college-age women's accounts and stealing compromising photographs for blackmail. (link)

May 20, 2015: A study released Wednesday details the prevalence of rape experienced by first-year college women. It also shows the degree to which sexual victimization before college increases the likelihood of being raped in college. The findings can add new layers of understanding to sexual assault policies and prevention work under way on college campuses, public health experts say. They may also bolster a growing chorus of advocates who say students at much younger ages need to start learning about forging healthy relationships and standing up to cultural norms that perpetuate rape. (link)

May 17, 2015: Students at Louisiana State University will soon be able to soak up the sun in a manmade ''lazy river,'' part of an $85 million leisure project under way despite the school's desperate financial situation. (link)

May 14, 2015: Kennesaw State University officials have placed an Exercise Science academic advisor on administrative leave pending an investigation into a dispute recorded on a phone. (link)

May 12, 2015: An Ohio State Professor has been arrested, accused of threatening to kill a university dean. Associate Professor Paul Craig Boardman is charged with Aggravated Menacing. The alleged incident led to police being posted outside a campus building, but no notification for students. Dr. Craig Boardman's OSU staff biography lists him as an Associate Professor at the John Glenn College of Public Affairs, and Associate Director of the Battelle Center for Science and Technology Policy. (link)

May 12, 2015: An art professor's nude exam has one mother very upset that her daughter was asked to perform naked as part of Ricardo Dominguez's class called ''Visual Arts 104A: Performing the Self.'' While many on social media are outraged at the UC San Diego class, it is claimed by some students that the class is ''not some evil, lecherous event.'' (link)

May 11, 2015: The Jefferson Davis statute was defaced at University of Texas because some students felt the ''ties to slavery'' memorial should be removed. In April, a majority of University of Texas (UT) student government representatives voted to remove the Jefferson Davis statue and sent their resolution to college officials. (link)

May 11, 2015: Boston University had a weekend change of heart about a new professor's angry tweets about white people, after FoxNews.com and others reported on the racially-charged comments -- and Terrier alumni threatened to stop writing checks. (link)

May 6, 2015: A feminist group at the University of Mary Washington is accusing school officials of failing to act on threats against its members -- one of whom was killed last month -- on the popular and controversial messaging app Yik Yak, an attorney for the group said. (link)

Apr. 30, 2015: The drum-major instructor for the Ohio State University marching band is to appear in court today on charges of rape and kidnapping, accused of assaulting an OSU student earlier this month. Stewart Kitchen, 28, of 2469 Indiana Ave., was charged yesterday with the two counts, both first-degree felonies. Court records say that Kitchen invited the woman to have drinks on April 15, then raped her after they went back to his University District house. (link)

Apr. 30, 2015: About two-thirds of respondents to a recent URMIA survey judge fraternity risk to be among the institutions' significant or top liability risks facing the institution but view the associated reputational risk to be less significant. (link)

Apr. 29, 2015: The president of Quinnipiac University is apologizing after he was caught on camera, partying with students off campus over the weekend. The video of Quinnipiac University President John L. Lahey grabbing a microphone and speaking to guests at a party on Delsole Road has gone viral. (link)


Other News & Events

May 26, 2015: Fewer than 10 percent of 3,118 high school students invited to sign up for a new online program after their applications were rejected for regular admission to the University of Florida have accepted the offer. (link)

May 19, 2015: The director of Marquette University's Gender and Sexuality Resource Center is no longer employed by the university, the Marquette Wire is reporting. The move comes after the university quickly removed a mural on campus that had generated outcry over the weekend because of its subject: a woman on the FBI's most wanted list who was convicted in a New Jersey state trooper's 1973 murder, escaped prison and fled to Cuba. (link)

May 14, 2015: Research findings released today suggest that teacher preparation programs with higher overall National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) ratings produce graduates who are no more or less effective at raising student test scores. Classroom teachers working in North Carolina who graduated from programs that meet NCTQ's standards were more effective at raising students' test scores in 15 out of 124 comparisons, less effective in 5 comparisons, and no different in 104 comparisons. (link)

May 13, 2015: Most states are spending less per student at public higher education institutions now than they did before the recession, according to a report released Wednesday by the liberal-leaning Center for Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP). Forty-seven states are spending less on each student than they did before 2008. The only states not spending less are Alaska, North Dakota and Wyoming, the 26-page report said. (link)

May 1, 2015: The national credit rating agency Standard & Poor's has placed five Louisiana higher education institutions on a negative credit watch list due to the state's $1.6 billion budget shortfall. (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 at https://www.auburn.edu/administration/oacp.

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

Back to top

Department of Internal Auditing
Auburn University
304 Samford Hall
M. Kevin Robinson, Exec. Director

© Redistribution of this newsletter, with or without modification, is permitted provided Auburn University Internal Auditing is listed as the source.