“Success is a few simple disciplines, practiced every day; while failure is simply a few errors in judgment, repeated every day.”
-- Jim Rohn
October 31st is Halloween, and also the final day of National Cyber Security Awareness Month. Over the last few years we have devoted at least one issue of Case in Point to this topic, so we will continue that tradition this month. Our past advice has included these best practices:
- keep your devices updated,
- use unique passwords for each work-related account and personal account,
- use multi-factor authentication wherever possible, and
- backup your devices to a secure location.
These remain excellent cybersecurity habits, but to keep things interesting, I've asked Robert Gottesman, AU's Director of Institutional Compliance and Privacy, to share what's been on his mind recently regarding these issues.
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It is important to think about why cybersecurity is important from a risk standpoint. Poorly managing our assigned devices can lead to at least two different types of negative outcomes:
- Disruption to our personal productivity or even network resources for a whole department or institution
- Exposing sensitive or confidential data to unauthorized 3rd parties
We can reasonably reduce the risk of causing a compromise by faithfully adhering to the aforementioned cybersecurity habits and hoping that device patches are available and installed in time. But we can reduce the risk even further by practicing good data management.
Data Minimization & Retention is a one of the eight generally accepted Fair Information Practices Principles (established way back in 1973). Data Minimization speaks to limiting the collection and retention of data to that which is relevant and necessary to accomplish a specified purpose. As technology has evolved, storage space has grown exponentially. As a result, so has our unnecessary retention of confidential and sensitive data.
When I began my career in 1989, my desktop computer had approximately 40 megabytes of hard drive storage. At the time, that was a lot! If I needed to work on a large dataset, I connected to a centralized mainframe computer (which contained approximately 22 gigabytes of storage), and my work and associated data remained in this one centralized location unless I printed out reports. Today, a standard consumer laptop computer (with a 500 gigabyte hard drive) stores 22 times more data than the 1989 mainframe and 12,500 times more data that that 1989 desktop computer. Many of us routinely carry around USB thumb-drives with 32 gigabytes or more of storage capacity.
This increase in affordable storage capacity has led to tremendous advances in how we do business both as individuals and as an institution. It has also, however, led to complacency when thinking about data retention. Since we have so much storage easily and cheaply available, we rarely think about whether we really need the data we've collected.
Take a look at the documents stored on your computer. How many years has it been since you accessed some of these documents? What about the emails stored in your email account (don't forget about the Sent folder)? If you've worked in higher education as long as I have, you know that social security numbers (SSNs) used to be on nearly every personnel document and student-related record. While we have made a concerted effort to move away from SSNs as a widely-used identifier, what documents and/or emails are still on your storage devices that contain SSNs? It is not uncommon for faculty members to keep a spreadsheet of all the grades they have ever awarded. These older spreadsheets may contain SSNs. Older college transcripts, received from student or employee applicants, often contain SSNs and may have been shared as part of the application or employment review. Supervisors may have copies of every personnel evaluation they have conducted, and those that are older may contain SSNs. If your computer is improperly accessed by a third party, are you prepared to report this possible exposure of SSNs to the proper authorities? While it may be nice to have historical information easily accessible ''just in case,'' it also increases the risk of exposure.
I recommend that you make an effort to delete those unnecessary old files, especially those containing personally identifiable information. If you can't delete the file, at least remove PII from the file or encrypt it. Privacy and cyber issues are not going away, so I hope this discussion gives you something to think about.
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We thank Robert for his excellent observations. We invite you to review the issues from our industry over the prior month with a view toward proactive risk management. As always, we welcome your suggestions and comments.
M. Kevin Robinson, CIA, CFE
Associate Vice President
Office of Audit, Compliance & Privacy
Information Security & Technology Events
Oct 25: UCF warned today that a "sextortion" email scam is targeting university accounts, claiming to have video of users watching "adult sites" and demanding $900 if they don't want that shared with all their contacts. The University of Central Florida's Information Security office tweeted about the scam today, though it had warned about it back in August, too. The scam involves someone nicknamed "darknet" who claims to have hacked into the users computer, copying all their contacts and using a web-cam to record what videos they watched. (link)
Oct 17: Two lawsuits have been filed in federal court against Yale University claiming damages from a 2008 data breach at the university. Yale discovered the breach on June 16 this year during a security review of its servers, it said in a letter to those affected. Intruders gained electronic access to a Yale database between April 2008 and January 2009 and extracted names, Social Security numbers, dates of birth, email addresses and, in some cases, physical addresses, the university said in its letter. A class-action lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court on behalf of Andrew Mason of Virginia this week claims the university was negligent in its handling of student data. The suit also claims that Yale was reckless and acted with "willful misconduct" as it "turned a blind eye to" possibilities of a prior data breach and that the university used unfair trade practices. (link)
Oct 17: A mishap during routine server cleanup at the University of Rochester Medical Center several months ago has made it impossible for staff in the affected departments to open 2.6 million files. The files were on a server used by finance, research and operations to archive documents that had not been used for at least six months. No patient files were affected, URMC officials said. "Our electronic medical record system was not affected in any way, and no personal health information was lost," said B. Chip Partner, assistant vice president for communications for the medical center. During regular maintenance on the archival server, an IT worker cleared pointers, which serve as the map to get to and open a document. "He thought that these pointers were no longer needed and that he was clearing up the server," Bales said. "That was the mistake. He didn't realize those pointers were indeed still needed." (link)
Oct 05: Malicious attackers have recently tried to gain access to students' financial aid refunds at multiple colleges in a scheme that involves sending fraudulent emails to students, according to a warning issued by the Education Department. The target is federal student aid refunds, money distributed to students after tuition and other education costs are paid. The attacks begin with a phishing email sent through a college's password-protected website for students, department officials wrote. It is an email intended to fraudulently extract personal information. (link)
Oct 02: A Ball State University residence hall director is facing multiple charges of possessing child pornography. Baden Robinson, 24, was arrested by Ball State University Police Department officers on Monday after an IT employee noticed unusual activity on the network account coming from his dorm and notified the police. "We employ several layers of information security designed to protect university systems and data against outside attack," the university said in a statement released Tuesday. "In this case, one of our defensive systems identified numerous attempted connections to a remote site, flagged as hosting potentially illegal content." (link)
Oct 01: Shiru Cafe looks like a regular coffee shop. Inside, machines whir, baristas dispense caffeine and customers hammer away on laptops. But all of the customers are students, and there's a reason for that. At Shiru Cafe, no college ID means no caffeine. Sarah Ferris, assistant manager at the Shiru Cafe branch in Providence, will turn away customers if they're not college students or faculty members. The cafe allows professors to pay, but students have something else the shop wants: their personal information. To get the free coffee, university students must give away their names, phone numbers, email addresses and majors, or in Brown's lingo, concentrations. Students also provide dates of birth and professional interests, entering all of the information in an online form. (link)
Fraud & Ethics Related Events
Oct 27: A University of Georgia professor is retiring under a cloud of suspicion that he personally profited from the sale of caviar harvested from UGA-raised sturgeon. UGA sells the caviar from Siberian sturgeon it raises at its 65-acre Cohutta Fisheries Center in northwest Georgia. The professor in charge of the program, Douglas Peterson, was allegedly profiting from the caviar sales by adding a "consulting fee" to each sale, according to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. In addition, the fisheries research professor and his wife, Joy, who is also a professor at UGA, allegedly used a UGA boat for their personal use at their Florida vacation home, according to the GBI. (link)
Oct 24: All three defendants in the first college basketball corruption trial were found guilty of conspiracy to commit wire fraud on Wednesday. A jury found James Gatto guilty on all three of his counts and Christian Dawkins and Merl Code were found guilty on both of theirs. The U.S. Attorney's Office in the Southern District of New York successfully argued the trio of men defrauded the University of Louisville and the University of Kansas in the process of helping funnel money -- and recruits -- to those schools, with the intention of later signing prospects to endorsement deals. All three were found guilty on wire fraud and specific conspiracy to commit wire fraud against the University of Louisville. Gatto's third guilty count was a conspiracy to commit wire fraud against the University of Kansas. (link)
Oct 23: The Facilities Director at Kennesaw State University is accused of taking technology equipment owned by the university and reselling it online. Derrick Smith, is accused of intercepting a shipment meant for the university's networking department and posting them for sale on an eBay store operated by his Fiancée, Lateala Crowell. According to a Cobb County warrant, he is also accused of taking 11 Microsoft Surface Pro 4 computers that were mistakenly shipped to KSU. The total loss of the equipment was $78,000. (link)
Oct 16: The employee of a company contracted to work at Rice University has been charged after being accused of stealing a PlayStation and failing to register as a sex offender, according to court records. Reginald Dwayne Davis, 29, has been charged with failure to comply with sexual registration require. On Sept. 30, a Rice University police officer responded to a report of a PlayStation being stolen from the Tudor Fieldhouse men's basketball locker room on campus, according to court documents. (link)
Oct 09: The email started with an innocent "Hiya," but the words that followed set off a chain of events that would tarnish a university's reputation and send investigators on a months-long chase across the ocean and back. It's been just over a year since MacEwan University was blindsided by an $11.8-million fraud. While the ruse itself was simple, the case that followed was anything but. Police had to navigate a complex money-laundering scheme that funnelled some of the stolen public funds through various accounts in two continents before reinvesting it in a real-estate deal in Richmond, B.C. (link)
Oct 03: A former University of Georgia employee was recently accused in Clarke County Superior Court of stealing more than $8,000 from the university's business office. Jasmine Leroyna Burch, 34, was arrested in January following an investigation by the UGA Police Department, according to a UGA police report. According to the accusation, Burch regularly stole funds between January and December 2017 in amounts ranging from $100 to $550. The total amount of stolen funds was $8,128, according to the accusation. (link)
Oct 01: The University of Ottawa says it will no longer recognize its student federation as the official voice for students following allegations its members misappropriated funds. The university made the decision after "additional allegations of improper governance, mismanagement, internal conflict and workplace misconduct" involving the Student Federation of the University of Ottawa (SFUO) came to light, said David Graham, vice-president academic and provost, in a statement. Last month, the university's French-language student paper, La Rotonde, reported that Ottawa police were investigating members of the SFUO for misappropriating student funds for personal use. (link)
Compliance/Regulatory & Legal Events
Oct 27: A University of Illinois at Chicago massage therapist has been charged with sexually abusing two students while working on the school's campus. Curt Schultz, 52, is charged with criminal sexual abuse and aggravated battery after he allegedly touched the genitals of two students when they came to him for massages on separate occasions, according to the Cook County state's attorney's office. (link)
Oct 24: A University of Michigan assistant gymnastics coach has resigned after being arrested for an indecent or obscene act in public. Scott Vetere, 39, was arrested on Oct. 8 in the parking lot of an Ann Arbor apartment complex after police officers witnessed him and a female gymnast, 18, performing a sex act in a car, according to a police report. The female gymnast also was arrested. Court records show she is also charged with committing an indecent or obscene act in public. (link)
Oct 24: A University of Michigan student is suing the school and renowned opera singer David Daniels, also a U-M professor, alleging Daniels sexually assaulted him. The lawsuit also alleges the university knew for years of Daniels' sexually harassing behavior and did nothing. The suit, filed by Andrew Lipian in federal court Wednesday, details a history of Daniels making sexually suggestive comments and then, one night in March 2017, drugging and sexually assaulting Lipian. (link)
Oct 22: Dr. Michael Simons, a cardiologist at the Yale School of Medicine whose endowed chair at the school was removed last month and who was accused of sexual misconduct against a junior researcher in 2014, has sued the university and President Peter Salovey to regain his appointment. Simons, who was suspended as chief of cardiology for five years because of an amorous letter he wrote to a female junior colleague, now an associate professor at Weill Cornell Medicine in New York City, and was accused of harassing her as well, blamed the loss of his appointment on "public pressure from self-styled activists" who issued an ultimatum to Simons on Sept. 20 when he was in London, where he has a residence, the lawsuit states. (link)
Oct 19: The list of suspects in a Fort Valley State University sex and prostitution ring reads like characters in a cheap novel. A mortician who works part time as a county commissioner. An assistant principal. A city manager. A former legal counsel for a university. Those are four of the six men that Macon Judicial Circuit District Attorney David Cooke says were clients of a prostitution ring that was run on campus between 2017 and earlier this year. Alecia Jeanetta Johnson, a 48-year-old former executive assistant to FVSU's president, is accused of being its ringleader who set up sex for the men. (link)
Oct 19: The University of California has agreed to pay $150,000 to settle a sexual harassment lawsuit from a former colleague against UCSF's famed anti-tobacco crusader and researcher Stanton Glantz, who also faces a second, similar lawsuit from a former employee. The lawsuit filed in December by Eunice Neeley, a former post-doctoral researcher for Glantz, claimed that during 2016 and 2017, he "repeatedly stared at her body and chest, leered at her (and) forced her to hug him on several occasions," and referred to orgy scenes from movies and to Playboy magazine during professional conversations. (link)
Oct 19: The University of Southern California has agreed to pay $215 million to settle a federal lawsuit brought against it by women who have accused a former campus gynecologist, George Tyndall, of sexual abuse and misconduct. The money will be available to thousands of women who were treated by Tyndall during his nearly 30-year tenure at the private Los Angeles university, including both those who do and don't claim he abused them. The settlement, reached in a class action in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles and subject to court approval, will offer larger payouts to women who allege they suffered the worst abuse. (link)
Oct 18: An additional 95 women sued USC this week, saying longtime campus gynecologist Dr. George Tyndall had sexually assaulted them and that the university had failed to protect them despite complaints. The claims of 93 of the women were filed in Los Angeles Superior Court on Thursday, bringing the number of patients suing USC to more than 400. Represented in two lawsuits, they allege that USC deliberately concealed abuse by Tyndall for decades. (link)
Oct 17: Former diver Mairin Jameson sued the University of Idaho in federal court this week, seeking monetary damages for the university's mistakes in handling her sexual assault complaint in 2013. Jameson's account of harassment by a football player, culminating in him reaching under her skirt at a bar in April 2013, led this year to an independent investigation and the dismissal of Athletic Director Rob Spear. The Statesman first reported on Jameson's experience in March, a little more than a month after she detailed it on a friend's Tumblr blog. The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for Idaho late Tuesday afternoon. It claims university staff members were ill-prepared to handle Jameson's accusation against football player Jahrie Level, and that two prior complaints regarding Level weren't given proper attention. (link)
Oct 16: A department chair at the University of Arizona's Phoenix medical school who was charged with child pornography possession in Texas is no longer employed by UA, the university confirmed Tuesday. Keping Xie was hired in July by UA to lead a new department focused on interdisciplinary oncology. Xie was charged with child pornography possession in August in Harris County, Texas. Firing a tenured professor such as Xie typically requires a lengthy disciplinary process. It wasn't clear whether Xie faced any such process at UA. (link)
Oct 16: Loubna Skalli Hanna had been recommended for tenure at American University after intensive evaluations and years of being a scholar on the Middle East at the school. When tenure was abruptly denied, she felt more than blindsided, she said. "Utter shock and devastation... There was nothing, absolutely nothing, that prepared me for the outcome." A D.C. Superior Court jury on Monday granted $1.3 million in damages after unanimously agreeing that the university had discriminated against Hanna because of her age. Hanna's complaint, filed in September 2015, claimed that her tenure application was denied at the provost level -- the last step of a long process -- despite prior recommendations. (link)
Oct 10: Embattled University of Wisconsin receiver Quintez Cephus is suing the school because he says a disciplinary probe it is conducting while he's trying to defend himself in a criminal sexual assault case violates his rights. Cephus was suspended from the Badgers in August after he was charged with sexually assaulting two drunken women in his apartment. Cephus says the sex was consensual. Cephus filed a federal lawsuit Tuesday alleging that a university disciplinary investigation against him launched in May is unfair because he can't participate in it without potentially harming his criminal defense, the Wisconsin State Journal reported . (link)
Oct 10: A Yale student has asked a Superior Court judge to lift a suspension imposed by the university on Sunday after the Yale Daily News reported sexual assault allegations against him. Saifullah Khan filed papers Wednesday asking the New Haven Superior Court to permit him to return to classes and to order the university to provide him with an escort or bodyguard to protect him from other students and faculty members. In his lawsuit, Kahn charges that the political climate at Yale is behind his treatment. (link)
Oct 08: Student Senate SAC Commissioner Anna Ayers was charged with three counts of making false alarms after she claimed she was sent homophobic death threats to her Student Senate office and residence, the Ohio University Police Department tweeted Monday evening. "Subsequent investigation by OUPD found that Ayers had placed the messages herself, prior to reporting them," the tweet said. "Making false alarms is a first degree misdemeanor, carrying a maximum penalty of 6 months in jail and a $1000 fine," OUPD added. (link)
Oct 05: An Auburn University economics professor sued the school this week over alleged "unlawful retaliatory practices" after he blew the whistle on an academic major reportedly kept open to benefit Auburn athletes. Michael Stern, a professor and former chair in Auburn's economics department, filed the civil suit against Auburn in federal court Tuesday on the grounds of First Amendment retaliation. Stern alleges years of internal administrative battles over the school's connection to Koch Foundation, a conservative foundation, but devotes the majority of the suit to a scandal involving Auburn's public administration major and star athletes in the program. (link)
Oct 03: Rutgers University will immediately start investigating all sexual harassment complaints, including those more than two years old, the university's president announced Wednesday hours after the publication of an NJ Advance Media report about the controversial issue. The announcement reverses a policy that had provoked complaints from students who filed sexual harassment and misconduct complaints in the wake of the #MeToo era that Rutgers officials said were too old to investigate. (link)
Oct 02: It didn't take long for college basketball's dirty laundry -- or at least accusations of it --to begin getting aired out at the sport's federal corruption trial here in Lower Manhattan. During opening statements Tuesday morning, a defense attorney for Adidas executive Jim Gatto acknowledged that her client had committed numerous NCAA violations, specifically in agreeing to send $100,000 to the family of top recruit Brian Bowen in exchange for him attending the University of Louisville. However, Gatto only did it, she argued, because he was asked by Louisville assistant coaches to "level the playing field" in a recruiting battle for the Saginaw, Michigan forward with the Nike-supported University of Oregon. "Oregon, a Nike school, offered [Bowen] an astronomical amount of money if he'd go to Oregon," attorney Casey Donnelly said. (link)
Oct 02: After a complaint from a group that tracks what it sees as violations of the separation of church and state, prompted Dixie State Inn, a hotel associated with the state-owned southern Utah university, to remove all copies of the Bible and the Book of Mormon from guest rooms. The Freedom From Religion Foundation alerted Dixie State's president about the problem in June, who then turned it over to the St. George school's lawyers to consider. The group reminded Dixie that the establishment clause of U.S. Constitution's First Amendment forbids public schools from promoting, endorsing or advancing any religion. (link)
Oct 01: The University of Montana is facing a $966,614 penalty for reporting "inaccurate and misleading" crime statistics -- on everything from liquor violations to rape -- from 2012 to 2015, according to a letter from the U.S. Department of Education. UM's fine appears to be one of the highest on record for campus security issues, after the nearly $2.4 million fine levied against Pennsylvania State University, according to a federal database with statistics from 2010 to 2017 and an earlier announcement from the Department of Education. UM will appeal the dollar amount even though it concurs with the findings, said communications director Paula Short. She noted that the fine is based on data that UM itself reclassified after a request from the department. (link)
Oct 01: The NCAA has completed its investigation into Baylor University and has submitted a formal notice of allegations against the Big 12 school, according to officials who spoke on condition of anonymity. Former football coach Art Briles is among those alleged to have committed NCAA infractions. Sources confirmed the allegations against Briles fall under "Head Coach Responsibility: Failure to promote an atmosphere of compliance." Also among the NCAA allegations is a "lack of institutional control." The investigation comes at a time when the school continues to deal with the fallout over a sexual assault scandal that continues to shadow the university. (link)
Oct 01: Apple has won an appeal of a patent infringement case originally brought by the University of Wisconsin-Madison, according to a report from the Reuters news service. The report says a federal appellate court in Washington, D.C., has thrown out at least a portion of the $506 million in damages originally awarded to UW in the case. It wasn't immediately clear Friday how much was thrown out. In July 2017, a federal judge in Madison ruled that Apple Inc. must pay $506 million for infringing on a patent owned by the UW's research foundation -- double the amount a jury awarded in 2015 to include ongoing royalties for Apple products sold with the patented technology. (link)
Oct 01: As students resume their studies at Queen's University for the fall semester, the school in Kingston is caught up in a legal battle initiated by a recent graduate over its responsibility in sexual assault cases. The plaintiff, whose identity is protected by a publication ban, is seeking $950,000 in damages from the university and two other defendants over a "'series of physical and sexual abuse" that she alleges she was subjected to over the span of four months in 2014. In a statement of claim filed last April in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, the plaintiff alleges that the university failed to have adequate policies or procedures for victims of sexual violence on campus, and failed to provide sufficient aid when the assaults were reported. (link)
Campus Life & Safety Events
Oct 30: A West Chester University student has been arrested and charged for allegedly secretly recording more than a dozen women in public restrooms on campus and in several locations in Pennsylvania, Maryland and Delaware. Investigators say 24-year-old Joshua Yannuzzi would hide his iPhone inside a bathroom and record women for his own sexual gratification. Yannuzzi, who is a musical theater student at the university, allegedly targeted young women he knew, through performances or other activities. (link)
Oct 26: A TCU student was found dead on a campus sidewalk in an apparent suicide Thursday evening, five weeks after news surfaced of his arrest for hazing. An arrest warrant was filed on Sept. 11 for Andrew Walker, who allegedly made freshman pledges drink as much as 15 drinks of vodka and eat expired guacamole on Sept. 3. The Star-Telegram reported Walker's arrest on hazing charges on Sept. 19. Walker, 19, was found dead around 6 p.m. Thursday on a walkway outside the Grand Marc apartment complex on TCU's campus. Police say he had jumped from the fourth floor of the apartment complex parking garage. (link)
Oct 26: The University of Virginia has issued "trespass warnings" that ban white nationalist Richard Spencer and nine other people from the campus for four years because of their involvement in the violent "Unite the Right" demonstrations in August 2017, the school said Friday. Spencer, a graduate of the university, organized the August 11, 2017, torchlight march across the campus and gave a speech in front of the Thomas Jefferson statue in which he took credit for "defeating" counterprotesters, the university said. He also issued written and video statements in which he said his group surrounded anti-racist protesters and "wouldn't let them out," the school added. (link)
Oct 26: A rivalry between two groups selling marijuana at East Stroudsburg University is responsible for two shots fired incidents, a brawl, a stabbing and finally a drug raid, all on the school campus, authorities say. The crimes stem from a rivalry between the "Philly Boys" and the "Neighborhood Boys," two groups operating in and around the university campus, according to a news release from the Monroe County District Attorney's office. (link)
Oct 24: Hand, foot and mouth disease, notorious for closing down kindergartens and making small children cranky, is hitting college campuses. College students across the East are hunkered down in dorm rooms, waiting for the unsightly blisters that characterize the infection to clear from the faces and hands, university spokespeople said. Health officials say the unusual outbreaks are marked by a particularly nasty set of symptoms that include the usual blisters in the mouth and on the hands and feet, but also on the genitals. (link)
Oct 23: The man suspected of shooting and killing University of Utah college athlete Lauren McCluskey previously dated the 21-year-old, according to police and a statement released Tuesday by the McCluskey family. Police said officers found the suspect, identified as 37-year-old Melvin Rowland, dead early Tuesday of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound at a Salt Lake City church. University officials identified the student who was killed as Lauren McCluskey of Pullman, Washington. (link)
Oct 20: Two Texas A&M University police officers were injured Thursday as they attempted to detain a theft suspect in College Station. Officers were called to a cell phone repair store on Texas Avenue after employees learned a phone they received from a customer was stolen from the A&M campus. When officers arrived at the store to speak with the customer, he took off running. As a result of the physical altercation, the officers reported having abrasions, bleeding, bruising, and significant pain to their elbows, hands, and knees, said police. (link)
Oct 18: Clark College in Vancouver will close Monday in response to a planned campus demonstration by right-wing group Patriot Prayer, the school's president announced Thursday. Citing past violence associated with the group and concerns from the school community, President Bob Knight in a letter encouraged students, staff and faculty to avoid the campus for the day if possible. The school values free speech and open debate, but also wants a safe environment for students and employees, Knight said. (link)
Oct 17: A retired University of Southern Maine professor has been barred from teaching in the UMaine system after she offered students a "pop-up" course for credit to take a bus to Washington, D.C., with demonstrators urging Sen. Susan Collins to oppose confirming Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. "We are embarrassed by and apologize for the rogue behavior of a former colleague," USM President Glenn Cummings said in a statement Wednesday. "In response to her inappropriate actions, Dr. Susan Feiner has been notified that she is now barred from teaching at the University of Southern Maine, a prohibition that will be upheld by the other campuses of the University of Maine System as well." (link)
Oct 14: A UCF cheerleader was arrested on Friday by the UCF Police Department and booked into the Orange County Jail, according to the Orange County Clerk of Courts. Dawan Syed Carter Jr., 22, was arrested on charges of two counts of felony sexual battery that were not likely to cause injury, one count of felony aggravated battery and one count of misdemeanor battery, according to the clerk of courts. Based on testimonies from victims and witnesses in all three cases, UCFPD found probable cause for Carter's arrest on all four charges. (link)
Oct 12: Utah State University police have arrested a 20-year-old man who allegedly tried to rob a convenience store inside the Taggart Student Center Thursday night. Brendan Olsen was booked early Friday morning into the Cache County Jail. He is being held on suspicion of robbery, a first-degree felony. Police were able to obtain security camera footage from inside the student center. (link)
Oct 10: The University of Michigan has disciplined a professor who ignited controversy last month when he rescinded an offer of a recommendation letter for a student to study in Israel. John Cheney-Lippold, an associate professor of American Culture at UM, is no longer eligible for a merit pay increase for the 2018-19 academic year. The university has also frozen his sabbatical eligibility for two years, until the fall of 2020. Cheney had scheduled a sabbatical for the winter 2019 and will now have to wait until fall of 2020 to take it. (link)
Oct 10: Dockless electric scooters are filling a transportation gap for students, who have quickly taken to using the app-based, pay-as-you-ride scooters to get around many campuses. A happy medium between bicycle and car, the new technology has brought convenience to students as well as confusion for college officials, who are figuring out how best to accommodate the scooters while addressing potential safety and accessibility issues. "The interesting thing about electric scooters is that they're similar to other types of transportation in many ways," said Melanie Bennett, risk management counsel at United Educators, "but unlike bicycles and skateboards, because the scooters are propelled, they can reach speeds up to 20 miles an hour. However, unlike other forms of motorized transportation, they don't surpass those speeds." (link)
Oct 09: Flyers calling Jews "anti-American" surfaced in at least three UC Davis lecture halls Monday, as seen in multiple social media complaints and confirmed by university administration. The flyers blame Jewish people for all "anti-white, anti-American, anti-freedom" occurrences. They show several notable political figures, including Sen. Dianne Feinstein, with Stars of David on their foreheads at the top of the flyer; at the bottom, recently confirmed Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh is depicted normally. (link)
Oct 09: As the political climate in America has become more heated in recent years, so has the debate over what constitutes free speech. One consequence: More violent protests on college campuses across the country. Speaking engagements with high-profile figures who make headlines from inflammatory comments have been expensive, as campuses shell out to create a safe environment for free speech. "There is a cost, it's unavoidable," said Jeff Allison, the director of government and external relations at the International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators. (link)
Oct 08: A Michigan State University medical resident is being investigated in a reported sexual assault at the campus Clinical Center. The Ingham County Prosecuting Attorney's Office said it is aware of the MSU police investigation and that search warrants have been obtained, but there has not yet been a request for charges. "The MSU police department is currently investigating three related criminal sex assault complaints. The investigation is ongoing, and there is no threat to the community," MSU police Capt. Doug Monette said. (link)
Oct 04: Mandy Parente, interpersonal violence prevention coordinator at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, said students have been receiving mandatory online and in person Title IX training covering consent and bystander training since 2014. Most public university students around the state undergo some form of consent and or sexual assault awareness training. These programs vary nationally from in-person sessions with trained staff to online courses on consent and healthy relationships. (link)
Oct 04: Marygrace Smith, a junior graphic design and advertising major at Seton Hall University in South Orange NJ, alleges that officers from the South Orange Police Department (SOPD) and a member of the university's Public Safety Department refused to administer her epinephrine auto-injector as she was suffering anaphylaxis. Smith and her friend, Maddie Guerrero, were taking a ride sharing service back to campus when Smith began to experience symptoms of what she knew to be an anaphylactic reaction. Smith's symptoms became progressively worse and she asked the officers and security manager to administer her epinephrine. She alleges that both officers refused, voicing concerns that she would press charges against them if the injection were improperly administered. (link)
Oct 04: The University of Tennessee, Knoxville will close Laurel Residence Hall for the rest of the academic year because of elevated mold levels, forcing the relocation of nearly 600 students. It's the second residence hall with mold, after South Carrick tested positive in September. And now the university intends to conduct mold testing in every one of its 14 residence halls, which house a total of approximately 7,300 students. (link)
Oct 02: Penn State is stopping the use of helicopters to make announcements outside the football stadium after a state police chopper flew so low over an unruly tailgating crowd that it sent tents and other items flying. A Penn State Police spokeswoman said Tuesday it won't use a helicopter to make crowd announcements until the issue can be fully examined. The Federal Aviation Administration says it's also looking into a complaint about the incident that occurred before last weekend's game against Ohio State. (link)
Oct 02: OU College of Law Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Associate Director of the Law Center, Brian McCall, voluntarily resigned today after controversy over his views on women written in his 2014 book. OU's Equal Opportunity Office conducted an independent review of McCall and found no evidence of workplace harassment or discrimination, but McCall decided to resign because of the backlash from his statements in his book, To Build the City of God: Living as Catholics in a Secular Age. "Women must veil their form to obscure its contours out of charity towards men," McCall wrote in the chapter Modest Contact With the World: Women In Pants and Similar Frauds. "To know that women in pants have this effect on men and to wear them is thus a sin against charity as well as modesty." (link)
Oct 01: "Blood cur(d)ling screams" is how an Oxford police officer described what he heard just before seeing a Miami University student with only one shoe on run toward him early Saturday morning. The student told Officer Ledermeier that a man had thrown her to the ground and had punched her so many times in her right ear that she was having trouble hearing out of it. She later identified Brandon Levi Gilbert, who police stopped nearby on East Central Avenue, as her alleged attacker. Gilbert works for Miami University in a "buildings and grounds" role, and has been suspended without pay until his case moves through the legal system, a university spokeswoman told our news partner WCPO-TV in Cincinnati late Monday afternoon. (link)
Oct 01: A high-profile open-carry walk at Kent State University on Saturday was far from what "gun girl" and alumna Kaitlin Bennett wanted it to be. Counter-protestors significantly outnumbered her group of gun-rights activists as hundreds of police called in from across the state separated the two groups. The two sides screamed insults at each other as police stood as a wall between them, gradually prompting the gun-rights activists to return to a parking lot across the street. There were four arrests and no serious injuries, university officials said in a Saturday night press conference. (link)
Oct 09: As a student at the University of Florida, Lara Alqasem served a recent stint as president of the tiny local chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine. But that seems to have been enough for the Israeli government to bar Ms. Alqasem from entering the country under a 2017 law intended to combat the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement, a loose network whose goals include pressuring Israel into ending the occupation of the West Bank. Ms. Alqasem arrived at Ben Gurion Airport last week with plans to enroll at an Israeli university, and has been held there since while she appeals a deportation order. (link)
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