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Office of Audit, Compliance & Privacy

Case in Point:
Lessons for the proactive manager

August 2018
Vol. 10 No. 08
“We believe that transparency creates trust.”

-- Julie Sweet, CEO of Accenture, North America

Last month we discussed what I believed to be the most substantial risk facing institutions today: the risk that someone (faculty, staff, or administrator) is aware of a major issue and fails to communicate their concern to the appropriate level or personnel. The next day a story broke about questions surrounding such an issue at the Ohio State University. That case clearly illustrated the type of circumstance that can cause substantial reputational harm to an institution. Open, clear, and transparent communication up and down the chain of reporting has never been more important than in today's environment.

These circumstances led me to think about what other issues may be emerging in higher education. We routinely evaluate Case in Point stories for trends, but in addition to this, over the past month I have spoken with a few thought leaders who deal with audit, compliance, and risk related issues and asked what they saw as emerging topics. Every person I talked to brought up conflicts of interest.

Conflicts of interest are situations where there are competing interests. It's important to understand that conflicts of interest will occur in our industry, and it doesn't mean anyone has done anything wrong. It does, however, call for caution to protect both the individual and the institution. This caution usually results in the development of a conflict of interest management plan that protects everyone involved and ensures independent decisions are made for the institution. How you manage the conflict of interest will vary depending on the circumstances involved, but the need for open, clear, and transparent communication have never been greater.

So what are some of the common conflicts of interest we see in higher education? We will address that question in next month's Case in Point. Until then, we invite you to review the news articles in higher education over the past month with a view toward proactively managing risks in your sphere of influence. As always, we welcome your comments and suggestions.

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

Information Security & Technology Events

Aug 23, 2018: The former student who hacked into the University of Iowa computer network to change grades was sentenced to four months in prison Thursday, according an Iowa Department of Justice release. The sentencing came after Trevor J. Graves, 23, pleaded guilty in April to unauthorized access and damage to the UI college computer network he carried out from May 2015 to November 15, 2016. During that time he admitted to knowingly and intentionally committing fraud as he obtained professors' usernames and passwords. Graves used the data to access the Iowa Courses Online computer network, where he deleted and changed his grades and those of five other students. (link)

Aug 16, 2018: A breach of email accounts at Augusta University Health may have exposed sensitive health and personal information of about 417,000 people, including patients around Georgia, the university reported Thursday. Faculty members and "a small number" of students at Augusta University were also among those who may be affected, according to the university. Exposed information may have included patient names, addresses, diagnoses, medications, lab results, dates of birth, treatment information, medical record numbers, medical information, surgical information, dates of service and insurance information. (link)

Aug 15, 2018: Saint Louis University has announced that it will be placing Amazon Echo Dot devices, powered by Alexa for Business, in every student residence hall room or student apartment on campus. While other colleges, like Arizona State University, have put Echo Dots in student housing before, SLU says this is the first time a college will equip every student living space with an Amazon Alexa-enabled device. In regards to privacy concerns, SLU says that because it is using the Amazon Alexa for Business platform, every Echo Dot is managed by a central system that is not tied to any individual accounts. No personal information will be collected so all use is anonymous. (link)

Fraud & Ethics Related Events

Aug 22, 2018: A longtime Texas Christian University employee has pleaded guilty to stealing $1,600 from an education program that helps high school students from low-income families. Federal court documents filed Tuesday show Margaret Faust admitted to stealing the money from the Upward Bound program and pleaded guilty to theft from a federal student assistance program. The records say Faust, who was the assistant director of Upward Bound for some 18 years, oversaw money to program participants and would receive cash each month from the university's financial services department. (link)

Aug 22, 2018: Eight members of the Rutgers University football team are facing charges related to a credit card fraud scheme. Prosecutors in Middlesex County, New Jersey say the players stole credit card information and then transferred money to their university cash cards for personal use. Some of the defendants are also charged with promoting organized crime, money laundering, and fraudulent use of credit cards. (link)

Aug 21, 2018: A former George Mason University professor who faced allegations of sexual harassment was charged this week with embezzling university funds, the latest chapter in his fall at the public institution in Northern Virginia. Peter Pober turned himself in Tuesday morning and was released on $2,500 unsecured bond, Carl Rowan Jr., chief of the George Mason University police department, said in an email. Pober faces four felony counts of embezzlement, Rowan wrote. Many details of the embezzlement allegations against Pober remain unclear, including the amount of money believed to be involved. (link)

Aug 20, 2018: A 58-year-old Allegheny County man who was found with multiple items from the Saint Vincent College campus in Unity inside his pickup truck Sunday has been charged with theft. Campus security discovered Matthew C. Morgan of Buena Vista in Elizabeth Township in the vicinity of the college football practice field with multiple Gatorade coolers and bottles, plastic rakes, planters, a fire extinguisher and a student parking sign in his truck, according to a complaint filed by state police in Greensburg. Police valued the items at $2,270. (link)

Aug 14, 2018: A 25-year-old man is accused of stealing items from the campus of Minnesota State University Moorhead when he was reportedly a student there. Jeremy Lafromboise is charged with receiving stolen property and second-degree burglary of a government or school building, both felonies. According to Clay County District Court documents, police received multiple reports from faculty that offices and other moderately restricted areas had been accessed and property was missing or moved. Missing items included cameras, microphones and miscellaneous key cards used to access areas on campus. (link)

Aug 14, 2018: Less than a week after a former Clemson University athletics department employee was arrested on a misdemeanor theft charge, he now faces a felony charge in connection with missing university property, court records show. John Samuel Blackman, of Central, was arrested Tuesday by Clemson University police on a charge of grand larceny more than $2,000 but less than $10,000, according to Pickens County online court records. On July 12, university employee Richard Bagby, who is Clemson's Assistant AD for video and technology, noticed that video recording equipment worth approximately $3,855 was missing from a storage room at the Jervey Athletic Center, according to records obtained from the Clemson University Police Department. (link)

Aug 07, 2018: A former Lowell police sergeant who led the Lowell Police Academy and is now director of the Northern Essex Community College police academy, has paid a $5,000 fine for recommending the college purchase training gear from his private Lowell-based employer, All Sports Heroes in Lowell. Thomas Fleming, who resigned from the Lowell Police Department in 2014 amid a test-taking scandal, last week agreed to pay the $5,000 civil penalty for violating two sections of the conflict-of-interest law, the State Ethics Commission announced Monday. (link)

Aug 07, 2018: A Rowan University student who broke into a school office four times so he could steal passwords and change his grades has been spared a prison term. Kaustubh Shroff instead was sentenced to two years of probation. Authorities have said the biological sciences major broke into the Rowan University registrar's office and installed software on computers there in order to steal staff login credentials. He later returned to retrieve the data, then used it to access his professors' files and change his grades in some classes. (link)

Aug 07, 2018: A Los Angeles man pleaded guilty last week to charges that he created a fake company and posed as a construction company employee in a scheme to steal nearly $2 million from Appalachian State University. Ho Shin Lee, who was 31 when he was arrested, pleaded guilty to one count of money laundering on Thursday in U.S. District Court in the Western District of North Carolina. Appalachian State University had hired Charlotte construction company Rodgers Builders for its new health sciences building. The construction company filed a form on Oct. 14, 2016, with the school to set up wire transfers and direct deposits. On Dec. 2, 2016, an employee at the university received an email from someone claiming to be Doug McDowell, the controller for Rodgers Builders. The email was fake, federal prosecutors said. The email contained a direct deposit form with instructions to change the banking information Rodgers Builders had previously submitted. (link)

Aug 01, 2018: When state Assemblyman Sebastian Ridley-Thomas resigned suddenly in December, it marked an abrupt halt to a promising political career. The son of powerful Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas had enjoyed the backing of his father's donors and the Democratic Party establishment. Within months, the younger Ridley-Thomas reemerged at the University of Southern California. The university, which sits in his father's district, hired him as a professor of social work and public policy. USC also gave Ridley-Thomas, who lacked a graduate degree, a scholarship to pursue a master's program in social work, according to sources familiar with the matter. (link)

Compliance/Regulatory & Legal Events

Aug 30, 2018: Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is preparing to release new rules strengthening protections for students accused of sexual assault on campus and lightening the burden placed on schools, according to a person familiar with the contents. The rules will narrow the definition of sexual assault that schools are required to adjudicate and will restrict eligible cases to those that occur on campus. They also will raise the burden of proof used by schools when adjudicating the cases, with schools permitted to choose between two legal standards in determining an accused student's guilt. The Education Department plans to formally propose the rules in September. (link)

Aug 27, 2018: A former Butler University athlete claims the school and a campus fraternity failed to protect her from a dangerous student who had a history of sexual assault. In a lawsuit filed Monday in U.S. District Court in Indianapolis, the woman says the man, also then an athlete at the school, held her down and raped her in December 2016 when she was 18 years old. She says the man lured her to a room in the Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity house. The suit claims the same man raped another student athlete on multiple occasions during the prior school year. The lawsuit claims the woman reported the incident but Butler failed to take appropriate action. (link)

Aug 25, 2018: A world renowned and respected Oberlin Conservatory professor has resigned from his post after allegations of inappropriate sexual conduct with students emerged and the college started a Title IX investigation. Oberlin College spokesman Scott Wargo confirmed Friday that on Aug. 10 the college's Title IX coordinator took a report alleging that James David Christie, professor of organ, had violated Oberlin's sexual misconduct policy by engaging in inappropriate behavior with students. The college informed Christie of the allegations Aug. 11 and immediately placed him on administrative leave pending an investigation, Wargo said in an email. (link)

Aug 23, 2018: Former Maryland athletic director Kevin Anderson used funds from the athletic department to intevene in two student-athletes' sexual misconduct case, the university confirmed. Anderson used $15,000 of the department's funds to provide two football players with legal representation after being accused of sexual misconduct, according to The Diamondback, Maryland's student newspaper. While NCAA bylaws allow schools to pay for legal cousel in a proceeding that may affect a student-athlete's ability to play sports, Anderson's actions "showed a serious lack of judgement in a sexual misconduct case, given the university's commitment to a fair and impartial handling of all such matters," according to the school's statement Thursday. (link)

Aug 23, 2018: A judge in Ingham County, Michigan, issued warrants Thursday morning for the arrest of Kathie Klages, the former Michigan State gymnastics coach and longtime friend of convicted sexual predator Larry Nassar. The Michigan Department of Attorney General has charged Klages with two counts of lying to a peace officer. One charge is a felony and the other a misdemeanor. Under Michigan law, it is considered a felony to lie to investigators about major crimes such as first-degree criminal sexual conduct. The misdemeanor charge is for lying about a less serious crime, according to a spokesperson for the attorney general's office. (link)

Aug 23, 2018: Ohio State University says it is suspending Head Football Coach Urban Meyer along with Athletics Director Gene Smith in response to how the two handled allegations of domestic abuse made against an assistant coach. Meyer fired Zach Smith, an assistant coach, on July 23 after learning of reports that Smith's ex-wife Courtney Smith had been given a domestic violence civil protection order against him a few days before. The head football coach, who led Ohio State to a national title in the 2014 season, will lose six weeks of pay and be suspended for three games in September. (link)

Aug 22, 2018: Baylor University infiltrated sexual assault survivor groups to shape PR strategy and talking points on how to handle the groups and student demonstrations, according to two sources familiar with the matter. A Title IX lawsuit, filed by 10 unnamed former students, has alleged Baylor downplayed sexual assaults at the university. Some of the Jane Does say they were assaulted as far back as 2004, according to court documents. One source familiar with the matter identified the "mole" as Matt Burchett, director of student activities at Baylor, whose job is to coordinate student pursuits such as picnics, parties, and demonstrations. The source said Burchett, acting as a liaison with university officials, played damage control on their behalf. (link)

Aug 21, 2018: Santino Marchiol had no difficulty deciding in June that he needed to leave Texas A&M. The hard choice was how to get his football career moving as quickly as possible at the highest level possible. A four-star linebacker who enrolled at College Station in January 2017, he was hopeful even after his redshirt season ended with Kevin Sumlin's firing and Jimbo Fisher's arrival. Backed by a 10-year, $75 million contract, Fisher had vowed to make a culture change that would lift the Aggies into college football's elite. Over the next several months, however, Marchiol said he witnessed behavior that made him uncomfortable, including, he asserts, an assistant coach giving him cash to host top recruits on"unofficial" visits. (link)

Aug 21, 2018: A student who reached a human rights settlement with a Toronto university after an alleged sexual assault by a fellow student says the school breached the terms of their deal. Mandi Gray says the settlement saw York University agree to engage the Barbra Schlifer Commemorative Clinic to provide sexual assault counselling services for four years. But Gray contends the school terminated the partnership after less than a year, calling the move a violation of the previously undisclosed settlement. (link)

Aug 21, 2018: The University of Texas agreed to pay $600,000 to settle the race and gender discrimination lawsuit brought by former women's track coach Bev Kearney, according to documents released Monday. Kearney and the school agreed to settle her nearly five-year-old lawsuit in June. Terms were released following public-records requests from The Associated Press and other media outlets. Kearney was forced out of her job in 2013 after the school learned she had a relationship with an athlete a decade earlier. Kearney, who is black, had claimed she was treated differently than former Texas assistant football coach Major Applewhite, who was allowed to keep his job and was later promoted after the school learned he had a relationship with a student trainer during a bowl trip. (link)

Aug 20, 2018: UC Berkeley has suspended a renowned architecture professor for three years without pay for sexually harassing a graduate student and abusing his power for personal gain, The Chronicle has learned. Professor Nezar AlSayyad "engaged in a pattern of sexual harassment that created a hostile environment," Vice Provost Benjamin Hermalin wrote last week to Eva Hagberg Fisher, a UC Berkeley graduate student and doctoral candidate. The discipline comes nearly two years after a campus investigation found that AlSayyad had spent months ingratiating himself with Hagberg Fisher before placing his hand on her upper thigh, proposing they become "close friends" and suggesting they go to Las Vegas. (link)

Aug 20, 2018: Mercy College is suing a former dean and Long Island University for $700,000 for allegedly poaching prospective business school students. The Dobbs Ferry college claims that Edward Weis forwarded confidential student information to himself in the weeks before he resigned his position to work for LIU. Then, nine students who had already registered at Mercy switched to LIU. Each student, according to the complaint filed in Westchester Supreme Court, is worth $32,252 a year in tuition, registration fees, board and meal plan, not including scholarships. (link)

Aug 18, 2018: A George Mason University professor facing termination proceedings retired this spring amid accusations that he had sexually harassed a student, a claim that prompted others to come forward and say they had been harassed, interviews and documents show. Peter Pober, a communications professor, had presided over the nationally acclaimed speech team at the public university in Northern Virginia. Official documents and interviews with former team members open a window onto Pober's fall from prominence at the school. (link)

Aug 17, 2018: Washington state Rep. Matt Manweller, R-Ellensburg, is seeking damages against Central Washington University and the investigator who reviewed allegations against him of inappropriate behavior. Earlier this week, the university fired Manweller, a professor there, after it wrapped up its latest investigation into the allegations, the details of which haven't been released. Manweller is seeking damages for the loss of current and future income, attorney's fees, and, among other things, for emotional distress, according to the claim filed this week in Kittitas County Superior Court. (link)

Aug 16, 2018: A former New York University graduate student has sued a prominent professor, alleging she turned his dream of working with a world-class scholar "into more than three years of continuous and unabated sexual harassment, sexual assault and stalking." The lawsuit was filed by Nimrod Reitman in state Supreme Court in Manhattan on Wednesday against the university and professor Avital Ronell. It said NYU failed to take action after Reitman told a vice provost about the misconduct while he was still a student. Last summer, two years after Reitman graduated, he made a formal complaint, and the university opened an investigation. (link)

Aug 16, 2018: Mairin Jameson started this nearly seven months ago with a blog post inspired by the #metoo movement. The former diver was alone in publicly questioning how longtime University of Idaho Athletic Director Rob Spear dealt with female student-athletes. On Thursday, the State Board of Education fired Spear -- taking into account Jameson's story of a mishandled sexual-assault case and those of other women who stepped up after her. Eight former U of I female athletes expressed concerns with Spear's leadership to the Idaho Statesman this year, including one Vandals hall of famer, two potential hall of famers and a longtime administrator. At least four of them contacted the State Board, too. (link)

Aug 16, 2018: The parents of a Louisiana State University freshman who died of alcohol intoxication last year after an alleged fraternity hazing filed a federal lawsuit Thursday against the university board, the fraternity and several of the fraternity's members. Stephen and Rae Ann Gruver's lawsuit on behalf of their son, Maxwell Gruver, of Roswell, Georgia, was filed in U.S. District Court in Baton Rouge. Defendants include Phi Delta Theta fraternity and four students already facing criminal charges in the 18-year-old Gruver's death last September. The lawsuit, which seeks $25 million, alleges that LSU responds with "deliberate indifference" to allegations of hazing at fraternities. It also says Phi Delta has "a long history of dangerous misconduct at universities across the country." (link)

Aug 16, 2018: The investigation into former Ohio State University Dr. Richard Strauss is now under federal scrutiny. The United States Department of Education launched an investigation Thursday into how OSU is responding to complaints against the former team and health center doctor. The Office for Civil Rights wants to ensure officials are "responding promptly and equitably" to reports by former students. They are investigating whether the university knew, or should have known, about sexual misconduct by Strauss, but failed to act. That would be a Title IX violation. (link)

Aug 14, 2018: Texas A&M is moving forward with plans to sue an Alabama assistant football coach. The first item on the agenda for the executive session of the Aug. 16 Texas A&&M board of regents meeting gives authorization to "proceed with litigation against Jeff Banks for breach of employment contract." Banks was the Aggies tight ends and special teams coordinator before leaving for Alabama in January. He was the interim head coach for A&M in the Belk Bowl after Kevin Sumlin was fired. Banks' contract at Texas A&M required him to pay the full buyout if he left for another SEC school, The Eagle reported. He was set to be paid $375,000 a year in a contract running through March 2019. (link)

Aug 13, 2018: The case seems like a familiar story turned on its head: Avital Ronell, a world-renowned female professor of German and Comparative Literature at New York University, was found responsible for sexually harassing a male former graduate student, Nimrod Reitman. An 11-month Title IX investigation found Professor Ronell, described by a colleague as "one of the very few philosopher-stars of this world," responsible for sexual harassment, both physical and verbal, to the extent that her behavior was "sufficiently pervasive to alter the terms and conditions of Mr. Reitman's learning environment." The university has suspended Professor Ronell for the coming academic year. (link)

Aug 13, 2018: A federal appeals court has cleared the path for a professor's lawsuit against the University of New England, alleging officials there took away some of her teaching duties and other responsibilities after she accused her department chairman of sexual harassment. Lara Carlson sued her employer in 2016 for violating her civil rights under state and federal law. UNE denied the charges, and a judge in U.S. District Court in Portland ruled in favor of the private college last year. But on Friday, the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston overturned that order and sent the case back to the lower court, where it could now go to trial. Carlson is seeking unspecified damages from UNE. (link)

Aug 10, 2018: Police have arrested a college basketball coach following a deadly punch on the streets of Queens. 35-year-old Jamill Jones, an assistant coach at Wake Forest University in North Carolina, turned himself into police Thursday afternoon. He was arraigned on third-degree assault charges. Police said he knocked out 35-year-old Sandor Szabo of Boca Raton, Florida early Sunday morning on 29th Street in Long Island City. Detectives say Szabo had just left a family wedding and was searching for his Uber driver outside a hotel, intoxicated and banging on cars before pounding on the window of Jones' SUV. (link)

Aug 09, 2018: Former students in what was known on social media as @LovicLab at the University of Calgary say they witnessed the repeated "mismanagement" of the anesthetic given to rats during surgery. Sources, who spoke on the condition of confidentiality, say that on many occasions the rats would wake up in the middle of a surgical procedure in excruciating pain, "crying, screaming and fighting." One of the students says the negligent behaviour was reported to professors and the university's animal care committee starting in mid-2017, but the alleged inhumane treatment continued for several more months. (link)

Aug 08, 2018: A man who worked at Kutztown University is suing the school. Scott Moyer worked for Aramark, a corporation contracted to provide dining services at Kutztown University. According to the lawsuit, Moyer met with two Aramark supervisors, Kyle Zimmerman and Christopher Wallace, on Sept. 26, 2017 after Kutztown's Director of Housing and Dining Services Kent Dahlquist complained to Aramark about "Moyer's consensual homosexual/gay relationship." Moyer believes that Aramark terminated his employment because he is gay. (link)

Aug 07, 2018: A federal judge has denied a nonprofit organization's effort to immediately end the University of Michigan's use of a Bias Response Team it claimed hindered free speech on campus. U.S. District Court Judge Linda V. Parker issued her denial of Speech First's request for a preliminary injunction against the BRT and any actions UM takes to punish students for violations of the prohibitions on "harassment," "bullying," and "bias-related misconduct" set forth in the University's Statement of Student Rights and Responsibilities. (link)

Aug 06, 2018: A difficult start to the football season just got tougher for North Carolina, and that's not even the Tar Heels' biggest problem. Monday's announcement that 13 players will be suspended for selling their team-issued Air Jordans -- nine of them for four games, including quarterback Chazz Surratt and three defensive ends -- will leave ShoeNC short-handed during the brutal opening stretch of a pivotal season, even if it certainly could have been worse if more starters were involved. More concerning is the continuing disregard for obvious NCAA rules, as silly as they may be, just when North Carolina's football program was finally getting out from under years of NCAA punishment and investigation. (link)

Aug 06, 2018: A former University of Rochester football player who was abducted and tortured in 2015 has filed a lawsuit accusing the school of negligence. Nicholas "Niko" Kollias and his teammate Ani Okeke Ewo were duped into going to a city home by two young women who claimed they wanted to party with them. There, they were tied up and beaten -- Kollias was also shot -- while being held captive for 40 hours before being rescued by a police SWAT team. Police later learned that the incident stemmed from a case of mistaken identity. The abductors had been targeting another student who they believed had stolen drugs and money from them. That student -- and the university's failure to adequately deal with him -- are at the heart of the lawsuit's claims. In a complaint filed in federal court, Kollias said the university "owed a duty of reasonable care to students," and that the school "breached its duty of care and acted negligently, carelessly, and/or recklessly." (link)

Aug 01, 2018: A federal judge ruled Friday the University must allow a student accused of sexual assault to question his accuser in a special live hearing. The lawsuit alleges the University denied a student accused of sexual assault due process in the investigation of the sexual misconduct. Furthermore, the case claims the student was discriminated against as a male accused of sexual assault and alleges the University withheld the student's transcripts as a result. U.S. District Judge Arthur Tarnow said the accused student is likely to be successful in his claim that the University denied him due process. (link)

Aug 01, 2018: Ohio State announced Wednesday evening that Urban Meyer, the head coach of its storied football team, had been put on paid administrative leave while the university investigated allegations that Meyer knew a longtime former assistant coach had been accused of domestic abuse in 2015. Meyer, one of the most successful coaches of the past two decades, said last week that he had not heard of the domestic abuse accusations until recent days, but a report on Wednesday suggested that Meyer had known about the accusations for far longer. (link)

Aug 01, 2018: New York University on Tuesday won the dismissal of a class-action lawsuit brought on behalf of thousands of employees who accused the school of mismanaging their retirement plans. U.S. District Judge Katherine Forrest said the plaintiffs failed to prove that NYU's retirement plan committee acted imprudently or caused losses by saddling them with poorly performing investment options and excessive recordkeeping fees. The plaintiffs included six professors and an instructor who said NYU's imprudence caused more than $358 million of losses at two 403(b) plans, named for a section of the U.S. tax code. (link)

Campus Life & Safety Events

Aug 28, 2018: An inspection done as construction was underway on a $34 million project to build apartment-style dorms at UNC Asheville this summer found evidence of "gross negligence" in installing fire safety measures, state records show. Those findings contributed to a stop work order in mid-June as worries persisted over whether the dorms would meet fire safety standards, according to documents obtained by the Citizen Times through a public records request. UNCA administrators have been continuing to work with designers and contractors on plans for any changes to five dorms, deemed a safety risk by state and local fire officials but considered safe by the State Construction Office. (link)

Aug 28, 2018: Syracuse University students' rooms at two dorms were burglarized Monday night after fire alarms were intentionally pulled as a distraction, according to SU's Department of Public Safety. When students evacuated Lawrinson and Watson halls, someone stole valuables from their rooms, DPS said in a news release Tuesday. Students were missing cash, speakers, headphones, wallets, shoes, jewelry and other items when they returned to their dorms, DPS said. DPS and the Syracuse Police Department are investigating the burglaries. More officers and fire safety staff will be dispatched to future alarm pulls, DPS said. (link)

Aug 25, 2018: A 20-year-old junior engineering student is in police custody and has been charged with robbery, vandalism, aggravated menacing, aggravated assault and resisting arrest after allegedly assaulting a professor at University of Dayton's campus Friday, according to a press release. Around noon, UD police responded to a call about a man who allegedly tried to forcibly take money from a worker putting up a tent near Kennedy Union on 300 College Park prior to allegedly assaulting a professor, chief of police and executive director of public safety Rodney Chatman wrote in a letter to the UD campus community today. (link)

Aug 23, 2018: The Penn State University Police Department announced Thursday that it has made an arrest after an investigation into a threat via Twitter vowing to carry out a mass shooting during a football game at Beaver Stadium. Charles Thomas Hitechew, 22, of Gibsonia, Pennsylvania, was charged with two counts of terroristic threats and was arraigned Thursday before being released on unsecured bail of $15,000. A preliminary hearing is set for Wednesday. The investigation was carried out by university police and the FBI. (link)

Aug 22, 2018: A history professor was found guilty of discrimination and harassment after writing on Facebook that he hated white people, leading an advocacy group to complain that Rutgers University had violated his right to free speech. In May, James Livingston, a tenured professor who is white and lives in the Harlem neighborhood of New York City, wrote on social media about his frustration over the gentrification of the neighborhood. "OK, officially, I now hate white people," he posted. "I am a white people, for God's sake, but can we keep them--us--us out of my neighborhood?" (link)

Aug 22, 2018: A graduate assistant at the University of Utah has been reassigned from teaching a class this semester after handing out a syllabus that said bringing a concealed carry gun to class "is absurd, antisocial, and frightening behavior" and that any of her students who have one - even if permitted - would be forced to stand in a "3x3 taped square" in the back of the classroom. "This zone also does not include a desk, because desks are reserved for students who respect the personal and psychological safety of their classmates and instructor," reads a copy of the course outline. Chris Nelson, the U.'s spokesman, said the one-paragraph "weapons policy" was removed from the online curriculum Tuesday, one day after fall classes started, and students were "alerted to the error." (link)

Aug 21, 2018: North Arkansas College tested its central campus for mold, after mold was discovered in the library of its south campus. The president of the college received the reports just days before class was back in session. Dr. Randy Esters, president of NAC, said, "Discovered that the levels of mold spores were not acceptable. Then we asked that the people on the offices of the fifth, fourth, and part of the third floor vacate their offices." The center campus building is about 40 years old. The report shows four different types of mold found behind wallpaper, on the drywall, and above windows. (link)

Aug 21, 2018: Demonstrators gathered at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill campus Monday night achieved a decades-long goal for those opposed to public displays of Confederate statues: They toppled "Silent Sam," a monument dedicated to fallen Civil War-era soldiers. A crowd of about 250 students, faculty and local residents carrying banners that condemned white supremacy stormed the bronze sculpture and, using ropes, brought it crashing down from its century-old pedestal. It was the culmination of a protest that began earlier in the evening, on the eve of the first day of classes. (link)

Aug 21, 2018: Cleveland State University will not allow Bird electric scooters on its property, according to an email sent out to faculty, staff and students. CSU's main campus is located in downtown Cleveland, where the scooters were dropped on August 10. The same day the city of Cleveland issued a statement demanding Bird Ride remove the scooters from the city, though in the weeks following the scooters remained. Chief financial officer Stephanie McHenry wrote in the email that the university's number one concern is safety and that numerous cities around the country, including Cleveland, have banned the scooters. (link)

Aug 20, 2018: Authorities have released a photo of a man they say opened fire on Georgia State University police before attempting to carjack a student's vehicle. The shootout and the attempted carjacking prompted a lockdown of the downtown Atlanta campus hours before the start of the fall semester. According to university police Chief Joseph P. Spillane, four officers responded to suspected drug activity in a stairwell in the parking deck of the University Commons housing complex about 10:45 p.m. Sunday. (link)

Aug 15, 2018: The University of North Florida will close a campus branch of a Chinese-run cultural institute, the latest U.S. college to do so amid criticism from U.S. legislators that China uses the institute to influence American higher education. The Jacksonville-based university said on Tuesday it had determined after "careful consideration" that the Confucius Institute, which opened a branch there in 2014 to promote language and culture, did not meet the university's mission. (link)

Aug 14, 2018: The University of Maryland has parted ways with assistant athletics director for sports performance Rick Court. The school announced the news Tuesday afternoon in a press conference from university president Wallace Loh and athletic director Damon Evans. The decision comes on the heels of the death of offensive lineman Jordan McNair and subsequent reporting on the culture of head coach D.J. Durkin's football program. "The university accepts legal and moral responsibility for the mistakes our training staff made on that fateful day of May 29," Loh said. (link)

Aug 11, 2018: Just three weeks before its season opener, the University of Maryland placed its football coach, DJ Durkin, on administrative leave Saturday in the wake of news reports that Terps players faced abuse and disparagement from staff members in the school's athletics department. Athletic Director Damon Evans sent a letter to university staff, boosters and supporters Saturday saying he's "concerned by the allegations of unacceptable behaviors by members of our football staff detailed in recent media reports." (link)

Aug 10, 2018: An Alpharetta man has been arrested in connection with threats made to a University of North Georgia professor. Jose Gomez, 23, was arrested Aug. 4 by the Alpharetta Police Department following the UNG and GBI investigation and charged with terroristic threats and acts. According to the release, the communications included a threat of gun violence to the professor, other staff and students if the professor did not resign. UNG spokeswoman Sylvia Carson confirmed Williams was the recipient of the threat and that Gomez was enrolled at UNG. (link)

Aug 08, 2018: A Colorado university is offering to re-print up to 9,200 diplomas after the outgoing editor of the school newspaper noticed an error. Alec Williams was checking to make sure his name was spelled correctly when he saw a mistake on his Colorado Mesa University diploma, printed in hard-to-read Old English font. Williams' diploma and others issued since 2012 were conferred by the chair of CMU's "Coard of Trustees." CMU President Tim Foster says the university is sending corrected diplomas to 2018 grads and will offer them to the others. At a cost of $5 each, the university could spend nearly $46,000. (link)

Aug 04, 2018: The Smith College employee who called police on a student of color on her lunch break in a common area has been placed on paid leave pending an outside investigation into the incident. Smith undergraduate Oumou Kanoute, who works as a teaching assistant and residential adviser during the summer, was on her lunch break in a Smith common area on Tuesday afternoon when the campus police officer arrived and asked what she was doing. (link)

Aug 01, 2018: Although marijuana is still prohibited by federal law, nine states allow its recreational use and 30 permit medical use. Marijuana also remains the most popular drug among college students, according to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. Nearly every higher ed campus bans the drug to protect federal Title IV funding, yet institutions still have to deal with the consequences and realities of diminishing state regulation. (link)

Aug 01, 2018: A debate over whether men are better at science than women escalated into a heated argument that led to the arrest of a Santa Rosa Junior College chemistry teacher accused of threatening a female colleague and a female student, a witness said. The instructor, John Peter Melbardis, 44, was taken to jail July 24 after he threatened to hit one of the women and backed the other into a wall, preventing her from leaving, police said. The Rohnert Park man resigned his position later that day, according to an SRJC spokeswoman. (link)

Other News & Events

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