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Office of Audit, Compliance & Privacy

Case in Point:
Lessons for the proactive manager

February 2018
Vol. 10 No. 02
“That's been one of my mantras - focus and simplicity. Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it's worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains.”

-- Steve Jobs

This month we begin our review and analysis of each specific category of Case in Point: Lessons for the proactive manager from 2017. We should point out that this review is not an in-depth study of these topics, but rather a simple analysis of the stories linked over the past year. We certainly believe Case in Point provides us with a good system for monitoring the events that are occurring throughout higher education, so this exercise has some value.

Our focus this month is on the category of Information Security and Technology. Categorizing the stories published on this topic can be difficult and open to debate; however, generally speaking, our takeaway is this: the same things that have been happening the past few years continue to happen. Hackers are continuing to try to access our systems, employees are continuing to have devices stolen, scammers are continuing to be very creative with their phishing schemes and so on it goes.

Our topical breakdown of stories in Information Security and Technology shows the following:

  • Hack or Breach - 43%
  • Accidental Disclosure and/or Theft of a Device - 19%
  • Phishing Schemes - 12%
  • Malware and/or Ransomware - 9%
  • Inappropriate Use of Technology - 6%
  • Keystroke Loggers - 4%
  • Other - 7%

We asked William ''Bill'' Miaoulis, Auburn University's Chief Information Security Officer (CISO), what three suggestions he would give our readers off the top of his head to protect themselves and our institution. Here is his response:

  1. Protect your password, do not give it away and be never trust emails that request or ask you to login to confirm your username and passwords.
  2. Store your data in secure, University-approved storage locations (Network Drives)
  3. Do not leave your terminal active when you leave

We thank Bill for his great suggestions. You will note that these are very basic (non-technical) suggestions. It's easy to fall into the trap of assuming the solutions to most of these IT issues are complex and up to someone else. But in fact, it's often the small, simple things that cause us the biggest headaches. (For additional security tips visit the Cybersecurity Center website.)

We again invite you to review the events of higher education over the prior month with a view to proactive management of risks within your sphere of influence. As always, we welcome your comments, suggestions, and feedback.

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

Information Security & Technology Events

Feb 27, 2018: Remember when universities used Social Security numbers as student IDs? Well, if you contact alumni, make sure you are no longer using their SSN as their IDs. The University of Wisconsin-Superior Alumni Association is notifying an unspecified number of their alumni after they discovered that using old student IDs was a current risk. On February l, 2018, UW-Superior Alumni Association sent its alumni a Mississippi River Cruise brochure sponsored by the UW-Superior Alumni Association. In the process of preparing the mailing data, an ID number was sent to UW-Superior Alumni Association's travel vendor and appeared above each individual's name and address on the brochure. On February 5, 2018, UW-Superior Alumni Association was made aware that the ID number for its alumni who graduated during a certain time period may have been the same as the student ID number (social security number) used while in attendance at UW-Superior. (link)

Feb 22, 2018: A data breach at the University of Alaska has affected dozens of current and former employees and students according to university officials, who say action is being taken on the matter. A total of 50 people's accounts have been affected by the breach. "The hackers had access to personal information through social media and other sources, which allowed them to answer security questions in the UA self-service password reset tool," UA officials wrote. "Since these users had chosen to not provide any custom security questions, the hackers were able to use the tool to change passwords." (link)

Feb 21, 2018: University end users are pretty good at identifying a scam. The State of the Phish 2018 report found that users in education were less likely to click on a phishing attempt than those in technology, entertainment, hospitality, government, consumer goods, retail and telecommunications. Several industries, including transportation, energy and finance, fared better than education, proving that higher education institutions still have work to do. (link)

Feb 21, 2018: he University of Virginia Health System is notifying patients of a cyberattack that gave a hacker access to over 1,800 medical records. The FBI discovered that a physician's devices with the UVA Health System were infected with malware, which allowed the hacker to see what the employee was viewing. "It was malicious software -- malware - that this operator created and was actually able to infiltrate the devices of those individuals who were victims of his crime," said Regina Verde with the UVA Health System. (link)

Feb 12, 2018: A University of Georgia student is facing 80 felony counts for allegedly hacking into a professor's computer to change his grades. Michael Lamon Williams, 21, was booked into the Clarke County Jail Wednesday on nine counts of computer trespass and 71 counts of computer forgery. Williams, a student of UGA's Terry College of Business, was working for Enterprise Information Technology Services when he "abused his privileges as an employee and changed grades to benefit himself," said Greg Trevor, UGA's executive director for media communications. (link)

Feb 11, 2018: According to Mississippi State University officials, one former student is the target of a search warrant in an investigation into university record tampering. MSU Chief Communications Officer Sid Salter told Logan Kirkland of the Starkville Daily News that the student graduated in December. The identity of the suspect and the nature of the records were not immediately disclosed, but Salter said the tampering "has an institutional impact" that could affect both students and faculty.No charges have been filed yet, but could come in days or weeks, Salter told the Daily News. There is still a "significant amount" of evidence to be sorted out by law enforcement. (link)

Feb 06, 2018: The private information of 12 University of Northern Colorado employees was compromised last week after an "unknown person or group" accessed their profiles on Ursa, UNC's online portal, according to a release from the university.Whoever is responsible for the breach logged in to the employees' Ursa accounts, then used the employees' social security numbers to reset their passwords and access their accounts, UNC spokesman Nate Haas said. From there, the perpetrator downloaded the employees' electronic W2 forms. UNC officials believe the employees' social security numbers were acquired outside the university. (link)

Feb 05, 2018: A Columbia University grad student was arrested for leaving key logger malware on USB sticks left throughout the campus. Bill Liang Lin Wu, 23 was arrested Thursday after he was caught on camera leaving the credential stealing devices on a host of university computers shared by 14 professors. Wu graduated last spring but despite having a diploma, authorities say he returned to his alma mater on Jan. 19, when he allegedly started using the key loggers. (link)

Feb 02, 2018: Information security tops the list of critical IT issues for the third consecutive year, according to a report from EDUCAUSE, the higher education technology association. According to IT specialists, the finding points to a major blind spot in higher education. "While colleges and universities continue to invest in information security, we security practitioners have failed to clearly define a strategy for cybersecurity, and thus our leadership feels unmoored in response to the public drama of large-scale data breaches," said Michael Corn, chief information security officer at the University of California, San Diego. (link)

Fraud & Ethics Related Events

Feb 21, 2018: A Chinese national who is described as an expert in robotics has been charged with defrauding Michigan State University with false expense claims. Ning Xi (shee) also is accused of defrauding the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, a professional organization. The FBI says it has counted more than $420,000 in fraudulent reimbursements over a five-year period. Records show the money was used to pay off substantial credit card debt. Xi is the former director of Michigan State's Robotics and Automation Laboratory. (link)

Feb 13, 2018: The former University of Notre Dame employee accused of taking close to $200,000 from the law school's Clinical Law Center entered into a plea agreement last week. Jennifer Ihns, 44, pleaded guilty to one count of corrupt business influence, one count of forgery and nine counts of theft. Ihns must pay $199,000 in restitution to Notre Dame and will be sentenced April 13. Her sentence was not set in the plea agreement. The audit showed between Jan. 2009 and June 2016, Ihns, who was the clinic administrator, cashed 129 checks from the clinic's operating accounting totaling more than $82,000. She also cashed 126 checks from the trust account for more than $96,000. (link)

Feb 10, 2018: Federal prosecutors have dropped all criminal charges against the former director of an amateur basketball program who was among 10 people charged last year in a major corruption case involving college basketball, according to a court filing. In September, federal prosecutors in Manhattan accused Jonathan Brad Augustine of participating in a scheme to facilitate and make bribes to high-school basketball players so they would go to universities sponsored by Adidas AG. (link)

Feb 08, 2018: The UW System Regents took UW-Madison administrators to task Thursday for a lack of controls that allowed a former Division of University Housing employee to allegedly defraud the university of an estimated $115,000 in property and cash. The alleged fraud came to light when the former employee was seen carrying TVs out of a university building. An internal investigation found ongoing fraud over two-and-a-half years through the use of two purchasing cards with limits of $200,000 each. (link)

Feb 02, 2018: An ethics inquiry into the hiring of Southern Illinois University Carbondale Chancellor Carlo Montemagno's daughter and son-in-law has been passed from the university's internal ethics office to the state inspector general, according to the SIU president. On Thursday, SIU President Randy Dunn opened up two inquiries into hires related to the chancellor. One investigation involves the hiring of Melissa and Jeffrey Germain, Montemagno's daughter and son-in-law, as part of negotiations of the chancellor's employment. The other involves Montemagno's reported recommendation of former colleagues to multiple campus positions. (link)

Feb 01, 2018: In late 2014, the University of Northern Colorado contracted with a company to develop a pair of web and smartphone apps for online teaching. UNC paid a hefty upfront fee to the software developer and made scheduled monthly payments as work progressed. There was one problem -- the software developer, Bossage Inc., didn't legally exist, and it did only a fraction of the work UNC paid it for. Ten months into the project, when UNC officials finally realized the university was being defrauded, the university was more than $85,000 in the hole. (link)

Compliance/Regulatory & Legal Events

Feb 26, 2018: University of Texas President Gregory L. Fenves and his wife flew multiple times at university expense on premium class rather than economy in violation of university policy, according to an audit report by the UT System. Asked whether he planned to pay back the difference between economy class and the premium fares, the UT president replied: "I've not been asked to pay it back." However, UT spokesman Gary Susswein said Fenves would reimburse the university $27,000, the difference between economy and business class. (link)

Feb 26, 2018: U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos today announced a new Title IX directed investigation into Michigan State University's (MSU) handling of reports of sexual violence against former employee, Dr. Larry Nassar. "This new Title IX investigation will look at systemic issues in the University's handling of sex-based incidents involving Dr. Larry Nassar," said Secretary DeVos. "Our Office for Civil Rights team will be in East Lansing shortly where they will join the Federal Student Aid team already on site. FSA is currently performing a Clery Act compliance examination regarding MSU's reporting of crimes committed on campus. (link)

Feb 25, 2018: The University of San Diego men's basketball head coach Lamont Smith has been placed on leave following an arrest Sunday on suspicion of domestic violence. Police responded to a hotel in San Francisco after a report of a domestic disturbance around 12:20 am on Sunday and "made contact with an adult female who appeared to have injuries and stated the she was assaulted," according to a statement from the San Francisco police. "Considering the serious nature of the charges, (Monday) morning we placed Coach Smith on administrative leave until further notice," the University of San Diego said in a statement. "The university has initiated an investigation." (link)

Feb 22, 2018: Lawyers for Baylor University said a suggestion that school officials destroyed records was "incendiary" and false, and that documents used to make the claim were unrelated to a wide-ranging sexual assault scandal that has dogged the private Waco university for years. The response was made in documents filed in federal court Wednesday evening, the latest exchange in one of several ongoing lawsuits against the school. Claims that Baylor officials destroyed evidence, made last week in a different court filing, are "serious accusations that lack any reasonable basis in fact," Baylor's filing says. (link)

Feb 21, 2018: Financial records, documents and wiretaps tied to prominent former NBA agent Andy Miller and featuring his former associate, Christian Dawkins, have provided a detailed window for authorities into how the college basketball underworld operated, sources with knowledge of the ongoing federal investigation have told Yahoo Sports in recent days. Sources familiar with the probe told Yahoo Sports that there's a surprising level of specificity in the documents, bank records and wiretaps involving Miller's business. (link)

Feb 21, 2018: A neurologist who had pleaded guilty to groping women at a Philadelphia clinic was arrested on Tuesday on charges he repeatedly raped a patient in New York City. Dr. Ricardo Cruciani, who worked in Mercer County until late 2015, was taken into custody and will be arraigned in New York on multiple counts of rape and other sex crimes, police said. Cruciani pleaded guilty to assaulting seven patients in 2016 while he was chairman of Drexel University's neurology department. (link)

Feb 16, 2018: A professor at a Pennsylvania university is facing felony charges for possessing child pornography. The Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General says 57-year-old Scott Lowe, a professor at Bloomsburg University, was arrested Thursday on four counts of sexual abuse of children for the possession of child pornography. Attorney General Josh Shapiro says Lowe had pornographic photos on the computer in his university office. The photos were discovered after a routine audit of all Bloomsburg University computers. (link)

Feb 14, 2018: Arkansas State University may file a lawsuit against the University of Miami over a football game that was cancelled during the 2017 season. A letter released to Region 8 News from A-State indicates Miami must pay the Red Wolves $650,000 by Thursday, Feb. 15. The amount was based on a contract signed between the universities in 2013. (link)

Feb 13, 2018: A former Coastal Carolina University football player is suing the university because of the way they handled a rape allegation made against him in 2016 by a CCU cheerleader. John Doe states after a second, unnecessary, student conduct board hearing regarding allegations, his education and varsity football career were "stopped dead in its tracks" and he lost a full tuition athletic football scholarship for the 2017 through 2020 Coastal football seasons and academic years. He was also permanently expelled from Coastal, according to the lawsuit. (link)

Feb 13, 2018: Michigan State University can't be held responsible for emotional distress suffered by a student sexually assaulted on campus or from the victim seeing the attacker again on university grounds, lawyers from MSU argue in recent court filings. The lawyers also argue that the university taking a long time to discipline the attacker and not following its own rules for handling sexual assault accusations is not proof that the university was "deliberately indifferent" to Title IX requirements, which mandate that universities investigate all sexual violence and harassment allegations. (link)

Feb 13, 2018: A U.S. magistrate judge has recommended that a student accused of sexual assault at James Madison University be awarded nearly $850,000 after he successfully sued the institution.The student, called John Doe in court filings, sued the university in 2015 after he was found responsible for sexual assault. A university panel initially considered him not responsible, but his accuser, called Jane Doe in court documents, appealed that decision -- John Doe was then suspended until the spring 2020 semester and barred from campus. (link)

Feb 12, 2018: A former University of Michigan doctor has been jailed on child pornography charges after getting targeted in a broader probe: The federal government says he was having sex with a "vulnerable" female patient in his clinic, gave her pain pills that she didn't need and talked to her about his other teenage patients' "hot" bodies. According to a criminal complaint unsealed today in U.S. District Court, Mark Hoeltzel, a former pediatric rheumatology specialist at the University of Michigan, had a 2-year-long sexual relationship with a female patient who was referred to him when she was 17 for treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. She also had a mental health diagnoses, court records show. (link)

Feb 12, 2018: The Education Department confirmed Monday it is no longer investigating civil rights complaints from transgender students barred from school bathrooms that match their gender identity, a development those students say leaves them vulnerable to bullying and violence. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos said states and individual school districts should be able to determine how to accommodate transgender students. They argued that Title IX did not obligate schools to allow transgender students to use the bathroom of their choice. (link)

Feb 10, 2018: A federal appeals court ruled Friday in favor of a male student who blames gender discrimination for an Ohio university's finding that he violated its sexual-assault policy. A three-judge 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel upheld a lower court's dismissal of several claims against Miami University and school officials, but found that the student presented enough factual allegations to support a "reasonable inference" of discrimination. Miami and other U.S. universities have been accused in other cases in recent years of violating male students' rights as the schools step up efforts against campus sexual assaults amid pressure by federal education authorities. (link)

Feb 07, 2018: Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) on Wednesday offered the state's historically black colleges and universities up to $100 million to resolve a 12-year-old lawsuit over inequality in public higher education. But the proposal may not be enough to satisfy the coalition of alumni from Maryland's historically black institutions who filed the lawsuit in 2006 to dismantle what they say are vestiges of racial segregation. The group has accused Maryland of insufficiently funding historically black colleges and allowing other state schools to duplicate their programs, placing pressure on enrollment. (link)

Feb 06, 2018: The University of Washington College Republicans group is suing the university after being asked to pay $17,000 in security fees for a conservative rally planned for this weekend. The "Freedom X" law firm, representing the College Republicans pro-bono, filed a complaint Tuesday evening calling the university's policy unconstitutional and a tax on free speech. The College Republicans' invited guest this Saturday is Oregon activist Joey Gibson of the Patriot Prayer group. (link)

Feb 05, 2018: Graduate dental school students and a top University of Connecticut orthodontics professor took a selfie with two severed heads used for medical research at a training workshop at Yale University last year -- an episode Yale officials called "disturbing" and "inexcusable". The selfie was taken in June at the Yale School of Medicine during the 2017 DePuy Synthes Future Leaders Workshop, which focused on dental-related facial deformities. (link)

Feb 02, 2018: A former William & Mary professor who was charged with several counts of harassment by computer has filed a lawsuit alleging the college "silenced" him when he attempted to speak out about student mental health. David Dessler, 62, a former tenured government professor at William & Mary, alleges the college silenced him from discussing student mental health issues starting in fall 2015, after a string of four student suicides during the previous school year, according to court documents. (link)

Feb 01, 2018: University of Montana women's soccer coach Mark Plakorus, whose resignation was announced Tuesday, was asked to leave after a UM investigation found he used a university-issued cell phone to text escort services during recruiting trips to Las Vegas. UM Athletic Director Kent Haslam said Thursday that he and Senior Associate Athletic Director Jean Gee looked through Plakorus' phone records after players' complaints that their coach was texting them excessively and at inappropriate times, among other things. (link)

Feb 01, 2018: A month after a federal judge ruled that James Madison University violated the due process rights of a student suspended for sexual misconduct, attorneys are filing motions to prepare for a February hearing. In December, U.S. District Court Judge Elizabeth Dillon ruled that John Doe, the accused, didn't have a fair chance to respond to evidence, was hampered by rules prohibiting contact with witnesses and was not allowed to appear at the appeal board hearing. (link)

Campus Life & Safety Events

Feb 27, 2018: A former Oregon State University student was arrested Tuesday after authorities say he threatened a shooting at the Corvallis campus on social media. Christopher A. Strahan, 22, was found outside a home in Corvallis by Oregon State Police around 2:30 p.m. and arrested after investigators linked him to a Twitter account with a series of tweets threatening violence, state police said. He is accused of first-degree disorderly conduct. The Oregon State threats join about half a dozen other threats of violence at Oregon schools since the Feb. 14 shooting at a Parkland, Florida high school that killed 17 people. (link)

Feb 26, 2018: A Union County College student was arrested Monday for bringing fake guns onto the college's Cranford campus, authorities said. Eric Jacobs, 20, of Millburn, was charged with fourth degree possession of an imitation firearm for an unlawful purpose and creating a hazardous condition, a disorderly persons offense. A college employee called campus public safety at about 10 a.m. to report that a person on campus appeared to be carrying a weapon. (link)

Feb 26, 2018: A Washington man was arrested on charges of incident exposure and child endangerment for an incident that took place Sunday at the University of Iowa Campus Recreation and Wellness Center. According to police complaints, Brian Timothy Shepherd, 36, was arrested Sunday for allegedly masturbating while looking at juveniles inside a locker room at the UI rec center. UI spokesperson Hayley Bruce said Monday that Shepherd was not a student or UI employee and that he had a community membership at the rec center. (link)

Feb 24, 2018: A UT student who collapsed at the 38th Annual Ace Miller Memorial Boxing Tournament Friday evening, has died, according to WBIR. Joseph "Tanner" Wray, junior studying aerospace engineering from Lawrenceberg, TN, was boxing for Chi Phi fraternity in the junior light heavyweight class when he collapsed in his corner after the second round. The event is a three-day amateur boxing tournament held each February for UT fraternities. The event consists of 11 weight classes and around 55 boxers. Proceeds from the tournament go to Knoxville's chapter of Golden Gloves, which provides boxing equipment for those who cannot afford it. (link)

Feb 23, 2018: Two people were arrested in connection with a shooting early Friday (Feb. 23) on the Southeastern Louisiana University campus that left two student-athletes injured, a university spokeswoman said. "Fortunately, they are not life-threatening gunshots,'' university spokeswoman Tonya Lowentritt said earlier Friday morning. "The Southeastern Family can rest assured that this was strictly an isolated incident," said University Police Department Director Harold Todd. "In fact, the incident appears to have stemmed from a dispute between individuals and was not in any way directed at the university." (link)

Feb 22, 2018: Nancy Kolsti, a spokeswoman in the University of North Texas news department, tendered her resignation this week, according to UNT spokeswoman Julie Payne. Kolsti came under fire over the weekend after she sent an email from her personal account to Student Government Association senator Misaki Collins. Collins created a petition asking UNT officials to consider naming a new residence hall on campus after a person of color and/or a woman. Kolsti called the petition a form of "reverse racism" in her email to Collins. (link)

Feb 21, 2018: A Penn State rugby player reportedly admitted that he bought alcohol for three high school students who were in town for the university's winter rugby clinic last weekend. Ryan S. Cornell, a junior lock on the rugby team, was charged with four counts of furnishing alcohol to minors and four liquor code violations. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for March 21. A Penn State athletic department spokesperson has not yet confirmed whether Cornell remains with the team. He is currently listed on the team roster. (link)

Feb 20, 2018: One Georgia State University student is in custody and another is in the hospital after a stabbing early Tuesday inside one of the school's dorms. University and Atlanta police responded to a call of a fight between the students in Piedmont North, GSU police chief Joe Spillane said. (link)

Feb 20, 2018: Free expression on campus isn't childproofed -- except at Polk State College, where part-time faculty member Serhat Tanyolacar's artwork was rejected from a faculty art exhibition for being "too controversial." Tanyolacar submitted a piece titled "Death of Innocence," which depicts several poets and writers juxtaposed with a number of pictures of President Donald Trump and other political figures engaging in sexual activity. In response to his submission, Polk State Program Coordinator Nancy Lozell informed Tanyolacar on Feb. 6 that his artwork would not be displayed. (link)

Feb 19, 2018: The president of Adams State University has been placed on leave amid accusations that she bullied faculty and staff, failed to stem declining student enrollment and mocked blue-collar workers with an offensive Halloween costume that sparked an uproar when photos began circulating on campus. (link)

Feb 17, 2018: A 20-year-old man was arrested Tuesday after he brought a handgun to the University of Denver's Centennial Halls, according to the Denver Police Department. Stefan El Baze is being held on charges related to the unlawful carrying of a weapon on university grounds and the possession of a controlled substance. He does not have a prior arrest, according to records from the Colorado Bureau of Investigation. (link)

Feb 15, 2018: A Stanford law professor leading the effort to recall a judge in a controversial sexual assault case said Wednesday that someone sent her an envelope containing "white powder" and a threatening note. The incident prompted Stanford Law School to shut down two rooms and send out a campus alert at 1:19 p.m. Investigators later determined the substance was an "inert powder that poses no health concern," university officials said. (link)

Feb 15, 2018: A Carnegie Mellon University student is facing charges after sending an anonymous message about using a sniper rifle from a rooftop. According to police, the threat was received around 9:30 a.m. on Feb. 7. A professor at the university received the threatening message through an anonymous student feedback form. The form was created to allow students to anonymously message the professor about the class. (link)

Feb 14, 2018: Amid heightened concern about Russian election meddling, the FBI on Tuesday warned U.S. universities about Chinese intelligence operatives active on their campuses, adding that many academics display "a level of naiveté" about the level of infiltration. FBI Director Christopher Wray told the Senate intelligence committee that China has aggressively placed operatives at universities, "whether its professors, scientists, students," and the bureau must monitor them from its 56 field offices across the nation. The FBI is also "watching warily" activities at dozens of Confucius Institutes, Chinese government-sponsored academies that are often embedded within universities and public schools to offer U.S. students Mandarin language classes. (link)

Feb 14, 2018: A University of Delaware student was robbed at gunpoint on campus early Wednesday morning. University police say the 21-year-old male student was robbed around 2:40 a.m. in a parking lot near the Thomas McKean Residence Hall on the Laird Campus. Police say the victim was walking toward the residence hall when two suspects approached him. One of the suspects pointed a semiautomatic handgun at the victim, while the other tackled him to the ground. Police say the suspects took the victim's wallet and cell phone. (link)

Feb 13, 2018: A Princeton University professor canceled a course he teaches on cultural freedoms and hate speech after his use of a racial slur during a class discussion led some students to walk out. Colleagues say Professor Emeritus Lawrence Rosen has often used the slur during lectures on free speech. They say this is the first time he's received such a negative response from students. A small group of students walked out of Rosen's anthropology class on Feb. 6 after he used the slur three times, according to DailyPrincetonian.com, the university's student newspaper which first reported Rosen's comments. (link)

Feb 11, 2018: The University of Virginia Police Department is using the social media monitoring program Social Sentinel in an effort to more effectively respond to threats made online. The program will cost UVa $18,500 a year, according to documents provided by the university. Legal experts say they're concerned about privacy and creating a surveillance state, but police say the program is just one more tool in the race to stay on top of online threats and messages. (link)

Feb 10, 2018: Five people were arrested at a College Republicans rally on the University of Washington campus Saturday that attracted a large crowd of protesters. The UW student Republicans invited conservative group Patriot Prayer to speak at their "Freedom Rally" in Red Square. They billed the rally as a free speech event, stating on their Facebook page that they'd teamed up with Patriot Prayer "to encourage conservatives to stand up for freedom in a far-left University." (link)

Feb 09, 2018: A pro-family student organization at Georgetown University has received its donations back after an investigation of faculty and others who the group accused of misappropriating funds contributed to it. The group, Love Saxa, said that Georgetown officials had taken private donations intended for it and deposited them into other student organizations' accounts. The organizations who received those funds hold views contrary to the Love Saxa mission. The money was reportedly deposited into LGBT-affiliated student groups' accounts. (link)

Feb 09, 2018: Southern New Hampshire University has fired an online adjunct professor and apologized to an Idaho student after the professor gave the student a failing grade and insisted that Australia is not a country. Lauren Keane, assistant vice president of communications for the Manchester-based university, acknowledged that a story about what happened to SNHU online student Ashley Arnold of Idaho, reported by BuzzFeed News on Thursday, is true. (link)

Feb 08, 2018: Northeastern University is distancing itself from comments made by a prominent economics professor who recently said he wouldn't mind seeing President Trump dead. "Sometimes I want to just see him impeached other times, quite honestly -- I hope there are no FBI agents here -- I wouldn't mind seeing him dead," said Barry Bluestone, a professor of political economy, during a Jan. 31 lecture focused on the rule of law and inequality in the United States. The lecture was open and free to the public. (link)

Feb 07, 2018: A white Southern Connecticut State University adjunct faculty member has been suspended after he allegedly used a racial slur in class on Tuesday. Adjunct public health instructor Eric Triffin said Wednesday he has been suspended with pay by the university while the school investigates an incident involving the use of a racial slur. Triffin said in a phone interview with the Register that he used a variation of the n-word when singing along to a rap song played by a student in the class on Tuesday. The song was played as part of an ongoing custom: Triffin often starts his classes with an activity such as dancing or listening to music. (link)

Feb 07, 2018: The Zeta Beta Tau fraternity chapter at Cornell University has been disciplined after holding a sex contest called a "pig roast," referencing the weight of the women the brothers slept with. Following an investigation last year by university officials that concluded in January 2018, the chapter was put on probation for two years. Cornell began investigating the fraternity after the Office of Sorority and Fraternity Life received multiple reports of misconduct at Zeta Beta Tau in 2017, a university report said. (link)

Feb 05, 2018: Coastal Carolina University police arrested a man who is accused of sexually assaulting a woman. On Sunday at 1:03 p.m. officers reported to a woman in a residence hall, located at 100 Township Circle, who said she had been sexually assaulted, according to a Coastal Carolina University police report. The assault allegedly happened at 2:00 a.m. Sunday morning. The victim told police she knew her attacker. (link)

Feb 01, 2018: Virginia Tech police this week arrested a 19-year-old man on a weapons charge, a university spokesman confirmed Tuesday. Yunsong Zhao was arrested Monday and charged with one count of possession or transportation of certain firearms by certain persons, according to Mark Owczarski, a Virginia Tech spokesman. Zhao was a Virginia Tech student at the time of his arrest, but is no longer affiliated with the school. (link)

Other News & Events

Feb 05, 2018: American schools that coordinate with the Chinese Ministry of Education should end their agreements because they are trying to teach a warped version of history that benefits the government, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., warned Monday. Rubio asked several schools in his state to shutter the Confucius Institute, a cultural program he identified as one of China's "foreign influence operations" against the United States. The program operates at an array of universities and secondary schools, despite warnings from academic associations and the U.S. intelligence community. (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.

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M. Kevin Robinson, Assoc. VP

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