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

Office of Audit, Compliance & Privacy

Case in Point:
Lessons for the proactive manager

August 2019
Vol. 11 No. 08
Fraud rarely occurs when strong controls and oversight are in place.

Last month we discussed the topic of occupational fraud in higher education, and I stated in the column, ''Fraud rarely occurs when strong controls and oversight are in place.'' I certainly can attest to this being true in the cases we have investigated over the years. In addition, the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners publishes a report on the topic every two years listing the top reasons that occupational fraud was able to occur:

  1. Lack of internal control
  2. Lack of management review
  3. Override of existing controls
  4. Poor tone at the top
  5. Lack of competent oversight

All five are control related issues. Therefore, I thought this month would be a good time to expand on what we mean by controls and offer some advice in this area. Controls are simply the things we do to ensure we are successful in achieving our objectives. Certainly, we have an objective to prevent fraud in our organization (though it may not be written down). The actions we take to achieve that objective are all internal controls. You implement controls in your personal life every day. For example, most people lock their doors when they leave their house. This is a control activity used to achieve your objective of preventing your property from being stolen.

When speaking on the topic of internal controls, I used to include my top ten suggestions for improving internal controls, but lately I've narrowed the list to five:

  1. Never let one person have complete control of a process. You effectively have no control if you do.
  2. Follow your intuition. Ask a question if something seems ''off.''
  3. Don't sign something you don't understand. Proper management oversight means asking questions.
  4. Make sure reconciliations are being done and reviewed by someone other than the reconciler.
  5. Consider the example you are sending to other people. ''Social proof'' impacts internal controls in a powerful way - people follow your example for good or ill.

Controls can be used to manage almost all the risks we see each month in our links. We invite you to review the events happening throughout higher education with a view toward strong controls, oversight, and proactive risk management. As always, we welcome your comments and suggestions.

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

Information Security & Technology Events

Aug 27: Cyberattack: Regis University in Denver has shut down its computer, phone and email systems because of a cyberattack that it says probably came from outside the United States. The Denver Post reports the private Catholic school disconnected its networks Thursday and set up another website to keep students and faculty informed. University officials declined to say whether it was a ransomware attack. They said they're still investigating. (link)

Aug 19: HIPAA Data Breach: Arizona State University has notified 4,000 students that their email addresses "were accidentally revealed" in a large data breach. ASU told the students on Aug. 16 it happened in late July when a university office sent bulk emails about renewing health insurance coverage without masking the identities of the recipients. This unintended action is considered a data breach under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). (link)

Aug 16: Health Information Breach: Michigan Medicine is notifying approximately 5,500 patients about a phishing email campaign that may have exposed some of their health information. During the campaign, emails containing a malicious link were sent to over 3,200 Michigan Medicine employees. If the link was clicked, employees were directed to a webpage that looked like a legitimate site requesting the username and password for their email account. In July 2019, three employees clicked into this email, resulting in the perpetrator gaining access to the employees' email accounts. The accounts were then used to continue to send additional phishing emails. Michigan Medicine discovered the compromised accounts on July 9 and July 12. (link)

Aug 10: Website Hack: Multiple websites affiliated with the University of Florida student government association were hacked early Saturday. Information on the sites was replaced with obscenities and a political message. The twitter user claiming responsibility, @VandaTheGod, has hacked many other local government and university websites in multiple countries. The sites were restored around 4p.m. Saturday. (link)

Aug 01: Pearson, the world's largest education publisher, has notified its customers of a data breach that has affected approximately 13,000 school and university accounts, exposing the personal information of an unknown number of students. The breach, which exposed names, birthdays and email addresses of students, primarily in the U.S., was brought to the attention of Pearson administrators by the Federal Bureau of Investigation back in March 2019, the Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday. (link)

Fraud & Ethics Related Events

Aug 28: Fraud: The former controller at the College of New Rochelle will spend time behind bars and repay millions after admitting to doctoring the school's books by nearly $34 million dollars, forcing the 115-year-old institution to close its doors. Keith Borge, 62, of Valley Cottage, has been sentenced to three years in prison, $25,000 in fines and will pay restitution that reaches as much as $13.2 million after pleading guilty securities fraud and failure to pay $20.4 million in payroll taxes. (link)

Aug 29: Fraud: A college student was arrested on August 28 after allegedly committing fraud and attempted fraud while working at an on-campus restaurant in April 2019, according to a probable cause affidavit. Police learned that Katherine Jin, 20, was a student at the University of Notre Dame as well as an employee at an on-campus Au Bon Pain restaurant from January 20, 2018 to May 24, 2019, court documents said. (link)

Aug 23: Academic Misconduct: A former Mississippi State student and part-time athletics department tutor committed academic misconduct in an online general chemistry course to aid 10 football student-athletes and a men's basketball student-athlete, according to a negotiated resolution agreement approved by a Division I Committee on Infractions panel. The university and the NCAA enforcement staff agreed that the former tutor completed multiple assignments, exams and, in some instances, nearly the entire course for student-athletes. The university determined the activity violated its academic misconduct policy. (link)

Aug 23: Research Misconduct: The University of Kentucky says two of its professors and a research scientist are responsible for 'significant research misconduct' after it conducted an internal investigation. The university announced Friday that it will seek the termination of professors Xianglin Shi and Zhuo Zhang in the Department of Toxicology and Cancer Biology in the College of Medicine as a result of the investigation. UK has already fired research scientist Donghern Kim, who worked in Zhang's lab. (link)

Aug 22: Embezzlement: Former University of New Mexico athletic director Paul Krebs, who left in 2017 amid questions over spending, has been indicted in connection with a lavish 2015 golf trip to Scotland that was partly paid for with state funds, according to court documents filed Wednesday. The indictment filed in state district court charges Krebs, 63, with embezzlement over $20,000 for using $24,500 in school money to pay for three people not affiliated with the university to go on the trip. He also is charged with lesser embezzlement counts, larceny, and tampering. (link)

Aug 21: Wire & Program Fraud: A University of Kansas associate professor on Wednesday was indicted on federal charges alleging he concealed he worked for a Chinese university while doing U.S. government-funded research. Feng "Franklin" Tao, 47, of Lawrence, who taught chemical engineering and chemistry at KU's Center for Environmentally Beneficial Catalysis, is charged with one count of wire fraud and three counts of program fraud. The Kansas Board of Regents requires faculty and staff of its universities to file a conflict of interest report when they are hired and every year afterward for as long as they are employed. (link)

Aug 21: Research Grant Fraud: A former Georgia Tech professor has pleaded guilty to federal charges accusing him of defrauding the National Science Foundation out of nearly $40,000. Maysam Ghovanloo,46, had been employed by Georgia Tech for 12 years, according to his profile on LinkedIn.com. In 2012, he founded Bionic Sciences, an organization that bills itself as a medical device developer and designer. Prosecutors said Ghovanloo submitted forms with fake and fraudulent information in order to obtain the federal research grant. (link)

Aug 16: Workplace Injury Fraud: A former employee of City College of San Francisco is facing several felony charges for allegedly misrepresenting injuries she suffered while on the job, the District Attorney's Office announced Friday. Marta Betancur, 64, of Antioch has been charged with attempted perjury and filing a false or fraudulent claim, among other charges. Betancur was arraigned Wednesday on the charges and entered a plea of not guilty, prosecutors said. (link)

Aug 14: Theft: A University of Minnesota employee who pleaded guilty to stealing university computers and selling them was sentenced Wednesday. Court records show Michael James McDaniel, 35, of Lilydale, was convicted of two counts of theft by swindle after pleading guilty to the counts in June. According to a criminal complaint, a U of M human resources employee noticed a discrepancy in newly-purchased computers involving McDaniel in October 2018. The complaint states it appeared he was buying computers for his department through the university bookstores but not registering them through IT. (link)

Aug 14: Embezzlement: A former St. Louis Community College employee admitted in federal court to embezzling millions of dollars from the college over the last 20 years, US Attorney Jeffrey Jensen said Wednesday. According to prosecutors, Donald Robison stole millions in state job training funds between August 1998 and November 2018 and moved the money between bank and investment accounts. (link)

Aug 08: Conflict of Interests: William Roper, the interim president of the University of North Carolina system and former longtime CEO of the UNC Health Care System, failed to disclose his seats on the boards of major corporations between 2011 and 2019, at the same time as those corporations did business with the state, records show. Records show the corporate boards seats have been lucrative. The omissions on Roper's forms came as the companies on whose boards he sat conducted business with the state and engaged in research with and received patient referrals from the UNC Health Care System. (link)

Compliance/Regulatory & Legal Events

Aug 27: Sexual Assault/Public Records: A lawyer for the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill told the state Supreme Court Tuesday that campus officials should have the authority to decide whether to release details about how it disciplined students implicated in sexual assault cases. In its appeal before the justices, the university is seeking to overturn a unanimous decision by the N.C. Court of Appeals, which ruled in April 2018 that UNC must turn over records containing the names, violations and sanctions imposed on anyone at the university found responsible for rape or sexual assault. (link)

Aug 29: Sexual Misconduct & Retaliation Lawsuit: A federal judge Wednesday declined to dismiss a lawsuit against the University of Rochester alleging sexual misconduct and retaliation related to brain and cognitive sciences professor Florian Jaeger. A slate of Jaeger's current and former colleagues and students, led by Jessica Cantlon and Celeste Kidd, sued UR in 2017 alleging a coverup and retaliation over Jaeger's improper behavior. A university-commissioned report largely exonerated the school, but the case in federal court remains very much active. (link)

Aug 27: OWI Arrest/Resignation: A Division 1 men's college basketball head coach has reportedly stepped down from his position following his reported arrest on Monday. Jason Gardner, a 38-year-old head coach at IUPUI, has reportedly resigned from his head coaching position. The former Arizona Wildcats star point guard was arrested on OWI charges on Monday morning. (link)

Aug 27: Sexual Harassment: By the time officials at the University of Illinois' flagship campus in Urbana-Champaign found that an assistant professor in the College of Veterinary Medicine had engaged in sexual harassment, three women had come forward to raise concerns about his behavior. All three said he had showed up at their homes uninvited. (link)

Aug 27: Sexual Harassment: Following allegations of sex-based discrimination and sexual harassment that the Deseret News reported earlier this year, a professor at Utah State University Eastern in Price has been placed on administrative leave, university spokesperson Tim Vitale confirmed on Tuesday. Tyson Chappell is a professor of biology who taught anatomy and physiology classes at the university. This is the latest in a series of actions Utah State University has taken since last year that involve faculty members accused of misconduct. Colleges across the country have grappled with how to keep students safe while being fair to teachers who face allegations of sex-based discrimination. (link)

Aug 26: Whistleblower Lawsuit: A former team doctor for Penn State is suing the university and football Coach James Franklin, claiming Franklin pressured him about clearing injured players to return to the gridiron. Dr. Scott A. Lynch claims in a lawsuit filed in Dauphin County Court that Franklin repeatedly tried to influence his decisions regarding whether hurt players were fit to play. He is seeking more than $50,000 in damages from the university in his suit. He claims Penn State officials violated his rights as a whistleblower. (link)

Aug 26: Discrimination & Retaliation: University of Arizona President Robert Robbins gave a $850,00-a-year job to a longtime friend last year despite warnings from a UA cabinet member that the candidate wasn't suited for the position, a legal document filed with Robbins' employer claims. The notice of legal claim, a precursor to a lawsuit, says Robbins hired Dr. Michael Dake to oversee the UA's medical schools although search committee co-chair told Robbins the hire would be a grave mistake that "could very likely cost you your presidency." The claim, dated May 9, was filed earlier this year with the Arizona Board of Regents on behalf of former UA health-care executive Anthony DeFranceso. (link)

Aug 25: Bias & Right to Privacy Lawsuit: An international student is suing Penn State for allegedly depriving him of a fair student conduct hearing, according to a lawsuit filed on Monday. The student, identified as John Doe in the complaint, stated he had a contentious relationship with Penn State Law Professor Jud Mathews, and that the university unfairly sided with Mathews during a student conduct hearing held to evaluate the incidents that occurred between Doe and Mathews. Additionally, Doe claims his right to privacy was violated as the university allegedly accessed information from a confidential phone conversation he had with Penn State Counseling and Psychological Services. (link)

Aug 25: Title IX Lawsuit: An unnamed former assistant professor of economics accused Baylor University of gender-based discrimination in a Title IX lawsuit filed Aug. 9. In the lawsuit, John Doe alleges Baylor found him guilty of sexual misconduct on the basis of his male gender. The lawsuit claims Baylor compensated for recent sexual assault scandals by enacting a "university-wide culture of anti-male bias and intimidation inconsistent with its stated Christian principles." Doe alleges he was terminated from his position as a result of this culture following accusations of sexual misconduct. (link)

Aug 24: Overturned Title IX Suspension: A Boston College student had his suspension for an alleged sexual misconduct incident temporarily overturned by a federal judge on Tuesday. The student, identified only as "John Doe" in court documents, filed a civil suit against the University on July 29 in which he alleged that he was deprived of a fair process during BC's disciplinary proceedings involving him this spring.This appears to be the first time a court has overturned a suspension issued by the University. The court order says that Doe should be allowed, "without limitation" to register for classes this fall. Doe will also be allowed to participate fully in all University activities. (link)

Aug 24: Breach of Contract: An OU professor is suing the Board of Regents for breach of contract. According to case information on the Oklahoma State Courts Network, Honors College adjunct David A Long is suing the board for civil relief of over $10,000. The case was filed Aug. 23. This case is one of multiple being brought against the university, as three cases were filed in the spring for discrimination. (link)

Aug 23: Admissions Scandal Subpoena: In a new twist to the college admissions scandal, a father accused of resorting to fraud and bribery to get his daughter into USC has subpoenaed the university for records detailing its admissions process and to what degree, if any, it is influenced by donations. The subpoena is an early indication that parents charged in the college admissions scam intend to take aim at a sensitive -- and to this point secretive -- calculation: how presumably meritocratic decisions on whom to admit or reject can be weighted by an applicant's wealth. (link)

Aug 22: Admissions Scam Resignation: The Wake Forest women's volleyball coach named in a scheme to help get wealthy children into elite schools has resigned. The school on Thursday announced the resignation of William Ferguson. He says in a statement that "it's essential that I step aside" to allow the program to move forward while he focuses on the case and his family. Federal prosecutors allege a college counseling business directed money to the program and a camp controlled by Ferguson in exchange for help getting a student admitted. (link)

Aug 22: Enrollment Discrimination: New College of Florida discriminated against applicants who disclosed mental health disorders, a history of abuse or a disability in their application essays, according to a report issued Thursday by the State University System's Office of Inspector General. Investigators looked into the college's recently implemented practice of "flagging" applications in which prospective students describe such issues in their essays. (link)

Aug 20: Sexual Assault: A Yale Medical School professor sexually assaulted five students at a research facility he operated on the island of St. Kitts, beginning in 1994, and Yale University's policies and procedures failed to stop the abuse, according to an investigation commissioned by the university. Dr. D. Eugene Redmond Jr., who retired in 2018 when he learned that he was being investigated, had been a member of Yale's faculty since 1974. He claimed that he had shut down an internship program on the Caribbean island after three students complained of sexual misconduct and harassment in 1994, but again recruited students between 2001 and 2017, according to the report of the investigation, which was released Tuesday. (link)

Aug 20: Discrimination Lawsuit: A lawsuit has been filed against the University of Houston that accuses the school of discrimination and failure to properly post its head football coaching position. In a suit filed Aug. 15 in Harris County District Court, Dr. Kevin Simms claims African-American candidates, including himself, were not afforded the opportunity to apply for the job because it was never posted, as required by state law. (link)

Aug 20: Sexual Misconduct Report: Details of allegations against a disgraced former University of Tennessee professor have been revealed in a report from the Office of Equity and Diversity. University of Tennessee investigators said they learned that Henri Grissino-Mayer, a former professor in the geography department created a "toxic" culture in his lab according to students and witnesses. Students testified that there was "sexual tension" in his classroom as he chose favorites to single out. Others said their work often suffered due to precedent being given to Grissino-Mayer's favorite student. (link)

Aug 19: Bullying, Discrimination Allegations: An investigative report from the University of Louisville found credible allegations of bullying, discrimination and mistreatment against fired men's tennis coach Rex Ecarma, according to records obtained by the Courier Journal. The three-month investigation, conducted by the school's University Integrity and Compliance Office and employee relations department, led U of L to fire Ecarma on Friday following his 29-year coaching career with the Cardinals. Among the findings were that Ecarma pressured athletes to play through injuries, forced them to play outdoors in near-freezing temperatures and made discriminatory jokes about players' ethnicities and women. (link)

Aug 19: ADA Lawsuit Settlement: The University of Colorado Boulder has settled a lawsuit with a former graduate student who alleged the university discriminated against her because she suffered medical issues while working in the Armory building on campus. The suit, brought by Murray Meetze in federal court, was settled for $5,000 last week. Meetze had originally sued for lost wages. (link)

Aug 15: Graduate Workers Rights Lawsuit: Lawyers representing the University of Missouri are asking a Missouri appeals court to rehear a case over the employment status of graduate workers or for the state Supreme Court to take up the case. The university filed a motion asking for the rehearing or transfer Wednesday after the Western District Court of Appeals ruled last month that graduate workers are employees under legal definitions and entitled to collective bargaining rights. (link)

Aug 15: Wrongful Death Lawsuit Update: Court papers allege Wake Forest University administrators ignored warnings from a school police officer who oversaw special events, and the university recklessly decided to reduce police presence at large campus events, leading to the fatal shooting of a Winston-Salem State University student on the campus last year. University officials should have known that their decision could have resulted in an unsafe environment for students at campus events, such as the one at The Barn that WSSU football player Najee Ali Baker attended on Jan. 20, 2018, an attorney for Baker's mother argues. (link)

Aug 15: Attempted Assault Charge: A Michigan State football athletic trainer is accused of attempted sexual assault, domestic violence and lying to a police officer, court records show. David Jager, 39, was charged with using violence against women in two Ingham County district courts. MSU spokeswoman Emily Guerrant said Thursday evening that Jager is still employed by the university but has been on paid administrative leave since March 2018. She could not comment on the reason. Jager is accused of assaulting his girlfriend at Spartan Stadium in August 2015 and lying about it, according to East Lansing 54B District Court records. (link)

Aug 14: Human Research Compliance: An anonymous whistleblower is claiming that UC San Diego, one of the top research universities in the world, is putting at risk thousands of people each year because it's not following basic rules meant to protect human research subjects and values grant funding over safety. The letter criticizes UCSD's Human Research Protections Program, which ensures university researchers follow ethical and legal guidelines when conducting studies with human participants. (link)

Aug 14: Negligence: A Linn County jury Wednesday found the state of Iowa caused the death of Iowa State University student Dane Schussler, who went to the university's counseling center for mental health issues and died by suicide Nov. 9, 2015. The jury also found Schussler shared in the fault with the state, assessing each with 50 percent of the responsibility. Schussler, after five counseling sessions at the counseling center, killed himself on Nov. 9, 2015. His body was found on railroad tracks in Ames. (link)

Aug 12: Discrimination & Breach of Contract Lawsuit: A former lecturer at the Baylor University School of Music claims in a lawsuit that school officials discriminated against him and breached a contract while snubbing him for tenure and firing him. Lawrence Streetman, who now lives in Richmond, Kentucky, is seeking $700,000 in damages, including lost tuition for his children, in his lawsuit against Baylor, filed last week in Waco's 74th State District Court. Streetman's lawsuit alleges Baylor violated the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Texas Whistleblower Act, breached its contract with him and made "misrepresentations" to him. (link)

Aug 12: Nassar Scandal Investigation Resolution: The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Office for Civil Rights announced Monday it had reached a voluntary agreement with Michigan State University, resolving an investigation it started in the wake of the Larry Nassar scandal. The DHHS Office for Civil Rights, MSU and the MSU Health Team entered into a three-year agreement that requires the university to submit revised policies and procedures to ensure patients and staff are not discriminated against on the basis of sex, identify a "health care civil rights specialist" for each clinic, employ a dedicated health care investigator in the Office of Institutional Equity and institute a Title IX training program for all MSU Health Team staff. (link)

Aug 11: Legal Defense Costs: Former Michigan State University president Lou Anna Simon's multiple appearances in court have cost the school more than $672,000 as of June 19, according to invoices provided through a public records request. Simon is charged with lying about when she learned of a 2014 sexual assault complaint against convicted sex offender Larry Nassar. Because of the university's indemnification policy, it is providing attorneys for Simon as well as three employees and a trustee who are serving as witnesses in the Michigan Attorney General's case. (link)

Aug 09: Universities' Handling of Sexual Assault: A ruling this week by the federal 1st Circuit Court of Appeals could be the key to landing the issue of how universities handle sexual assaults before the U.S. Supreme Court. At the very least, the ruling pumps the brakes on the fast-moving train of judicial decisions favoring those accused of sexual assaults and claiming their due process rights have been violated by not being allowed to personally cross-examine their accusers. "In theory, this opens the way for a ... petition to the Supreme Court," said K.C. Johnson, a professor at Brooklyn College. (link)

Aug 08: Sexual Abuse Allegations: Year after year, for more than 20 years, young men who entered the USC student health center were sent to Dr. Dennis Kelly. Once the exam room door closed behind them, say 48 former patients who are gay or bisexual, Kelly subjected them to sexual abuse. The men -- all USC students at the time -- were as young as 18, often struggling to accept their sexuality or uncomfortable discussing their sex lives. (link)

Aug 07: Athletics Compliance: In the aftermath of the September 2017 arrest of former Auburn assistant coach Chuck Person, Auburn imposed a long list of previously unreported self-imposed sanctions. Those sanctions included restrictions that limited unofficial visits, official visits, contacts, evaluations and phone calls. In fact, Auburn did not conduct recruiting of any kind from September 2017-April 2018, Auburn Athletics told AL.com. There were no official visits, no unofficial visits, and no contacts or phone calls made to any recruits during that time. (link)

Aug 07: Misconduct & Neglect of Duty Sentencing: A Michigan judge sentenced former Michigan State University Dean William Strampel to one year in county jail, as the sprawling impact of the Larry Nassar sex-abuse scandal continues to rock the university and its former employees. Dr. Strampel, former dean of Michigan State's College of Osteopathic Medicine, was accused in March 2018 of soliciting sexual acts from students, and of not supervising Mr. Nassar while the sports-medicine doctor was under investigation for sexual misconduct. . (link)

Aug 06: Denial of Due Process & Title IX Lawsuit: Less than two weeks after rape charges were dismissed against Ernest Suttles, lawyers representing the former Memphis football player have filed a lawsuit against the university alleging breach of contract, denial of due process and violations of Title IX. The lawsuit, filed Monday in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Tennessee, claims Suttles lost his "scholarship, reputation, job prospects and a potential career in the NFL" because of the allegation and subsequent discipline from the university. (link)

Aug 06: Title IX Lawsuit Settlement: Dartmouth College and nine women who claimed they were raped, sexually assaulted or harassed by their professors said on Tuesday that they had reached a $14.4 million settlement, in a case that forced soul-searching in academia about the system of mentoring and promoting graduate students in the sciences. The women accused three Dartmouth professors in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, whose research included studies of sexual desire and attractiveness, of coercing them into an alcohol- and sex-saturated party culture in the human behavior lab that they led. (link)

Aug 03: Title IX Class Action Lawsuit: He was a University of California graduate student who said he dated another student twice -- and was shocked when she accused him of stalking and sexual harassment in a Title IX complaint in 2017. The UC system substantiated her allegations, he said, and suspended him for two years in June 2017, reducing the sanction to three months on appeal. But the accused student is fighting back -- not only for himself but for potentially hundreds of others, predominantly men, in similar straits. (link)

Aug 02: Whistleblower Lawsuit: A judge has dismissed two claims of retaliation against Concordia College -- New York but allowed one whistleblower claim to continue. Erika L. Rexhouse has pleaded a "good faith, reasonable belief," Westchester Supreme Court Justice Terry Jane Ruderman ruled on July 25, that alleged violations of patient confidentiality could have endangered patients. Rexhouse, the former director of the Bronxville college's wellness center, sued Concordia; its president John A. Nunes and his wife Monique; and other officials for $1 million in March. She claimed she was fired in retaliation for reporting violations of patient privacy rights by Monique Nunes. (link)

Aug 01: Gender-Based Pay Discrimination: This past Monday, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), on behalf of political science professor Louise Davidson-Schmich, filed a complaint against the University of Miami for gender-based pay discrimination among the College of Arts and Sciences faculty. "[The] University of Miami discriminated against Louise Davidson-Schmich by paying her less than a male counterpart for performing equal and/or similar work," the lawsuit reads. (link)

Aug 01: Presidential Search Lawsuit: There's a new wrinkle in the search for the next president of Miami Dade College. Last week, the Board of Trustees called off a vote after things got heated. Now a lawsuit has been filed. Mark Richard, a retired Miami Dade College professor, is representing a group of MDC professors including three from a now-disbanded presidential search committee. They announced Wednesday morning they had filed a lawsuit against the District Board of Trustees for Miami Dade College. (link)

Campus Life & Safety Events

Aug 29: Shooting Threat: A North Carolina college student has been arrested and charged after authorities found two guns in his dorm room and he reportedly confessed to plans to carry out a shooting. Paul Arnold Steber, a 19-year-old freshman at High Point University, faces two felony counts of weapons on campus or educational property and one count of making a threat of mass violence, High Point Police said. Steber, of Boston, is one of dozens of suspects arrested over mass attack threats since mass shootings this month in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio. (link)

Aug 28: Burglary: A Toledo woman was found guilty Wednesday of three counts of burglary after stealing money and other items at the University of Toledo. Shirley Harthorne, 35, entered a plea of no contest to the three felony counts of burglary. Court records show Harthorne trespassed into a secured portion of UT's Collier Building on the medical campus in February, 2018, and stole $260 from a victim's purse. In October, 2018, Harthorne trespassed into several rooms at UT's Mulford Library. Documents say she stole master keys, money, personal checks, and other personal belongings. (link)

Aug 28: Hazing/Fraternity Suspension: Miami University has suspended a fraternity involved in violent hazing for 15 years, the harshest such penalty ever imposed by the university. Members of Delta Tau Delta hit students with a spiked paddle, kicked them, spit on them and forced them to smoke marijuana and drink substantial amounts of alcohol, according to a report released earlier this year. (link)

Aug 28: Shooting Threat: A High Point University student found with two guns and ammunition in his dorm room on campus had a plan to "shoot up the school," court documents show. Documents state that Paul Arnold Steber, 19, from Boston, Massachusetts, during an interview with police, admitted to plotting the shooting, He had a "plan and timeline to kill people" and was deemed a "threat to society," the documents show. (link)

Aug 27: Social Media Threat: Police arrested a student at Lake Superior State University over the weekend. He's now charged with a felony related to a threat posted on social media. Lucas Gerhard is charged with false report or threat of terrorism. The university tells us there was a threat posted on social media, and a resident assistant reported it to campus public safety. (link)

Aug 26: Assault: The University of Florida's band director says he was attacked Saturday night after the school's football game against the University of Miami in Orlando. The band was marching in uniform from the stadium to its buses following the game when a female Miami fan tried to cross the line of band students, University of Florida spokesman Steve Orlando told CNN, based on the director's account. That's when the band director, Jay Watkins, said he put his arm out to stop her and when he did, another person grabbed him from behind in a choke hold and threw him to the pavement, Orlando said. (link)

Aug 23: Free Speech: A Kirkwood Community College professor who attracted national attention for claiming affiliation with the anti-fascist movement "antifa" has resigned, Kirkwood President Lori Sundberg announced Friday. Jeff Klinzman, an adjunct professor in the English Department, has circulated controversial political opinions on social media and to news outlets, recently telling KCRG-TV, "I affirm that I am ‘antifa.'" His ouster comes at a time of heightened political tensions nationally and stokes the often-debated protections of free-speech ideals on college campuses, an issue Sundberg acknowledged. (link)

Aug 23: Campus Murder Update: A California State University Fullerton employee was arrested in the death of a co-worker who was found fatally stabbed in his car in a campus parking lot, police said Thursday. Steven Shek Keung Chan, 57 of Hacienda Heights, was found with multiple stab wounds early Monday, police said. He was pronounced dead at the scene. Chan had retired in 2017 as a budget director from Cal State Fullerton but recently returned to work as a consultant in the international student affairs office, the university said. Fullerton police detectives arrested Chuyen Vo, 51, on Wednesday night at his Huntington Beach residence, Police Chief Robert Dunn told reporters. (link)

Aug 22: Shooting Threat: An Oregon man pleaded guilty Thursday to threatening a school shooting after he was denied admission to a college in California, the U.S. Attorney's Office in Oregon says. Vasiliy V. Barbiyeru Jr., 24, of Newberg, sent a threatening email to several people and groups at Deep Springs College in Big Pine, California on Oct. 7, 2017, according to court documents. Barbiyeru had previously sent threatening emails to the college's president and other people associated with school, according to the attorney's office. (link)

Aug 22: Employee Murder Charges: A fugitive wanted for the robbery and murder of Shamar "Fifty" Lewis, who was shot on Ben Allen Road in Nashville in February 2018, was captured around noon on campus, according to Knoxville News Sentinel. 25-year-old Jyshon Forbes was working as a UT custodian when he was apprehended by U.S. Marshals, accompanied by Smoky Mountain Fugitive Task Force officers and UTPD officers. Forbes was indicted for murder charges earlier this month. He was hired by the university on May 14th and passed a background check, despite the fact that he has previously been arrested for driving on a revoked or suspended license, bringing contraband into a jail and public intoxication, according to WBIR 10. (link)

Aug 22: Robbery: A Georgia Institute of Technology student was robbed Thursday morning after two men on electric scooters made him withdraw cash from a Midtown ATM. The victim told police the men, who appeared to be between 15 and 20 years old, said they had a gun but never produced one. The institute reported the robbery in a campuswide safety alert. (link)

Aug 22: Shooting: Hours before the start of a new school year, four students were injured in a shooting at a block party Tuesday night outside the Atlanta University Center library. Two Spelman College students and two Clark Atlanta University students, all of whom are women, were taken to a hospital with injuries ranging from graze wounds to gunshot wounds, according to Atlanta police. They were hit around 10:30 p.m., when someone opened fire into a crowd of about 200 people in front of the Robert W. Woodruff Library on James P. Brawley Drive. (link)

Aug 19: Mold: As parents send their students off to college, one health risk many overlook is mold. A CBS 11 I-Team investigation found 47 cases of mold discovered at Texas colleges since 2018 that required reporting to state. In each of these cases the mold had spread at least 25 square feet, requiring professional remediation and reporting to the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation. (link)

Aug 20: Murder: A 57-year-old Cal State Fullerton employee was killed Monday morning in a targeted attack that left the campus community frightened and in mourning on the first day of the university's academic year. The assailant, who has not been named by authorities, was still at large early Tuesday. Police found Steven Shek Keung Chan of Hacienda Heights inside a silver Infiniti, bleeding from his head, with multiple stab wounds to his body. Police found an "incendiary device" near the vehicle that showed the suspect targeted the victim. (link)

Aug 13: Assault: Police at the University of Texas are investigating after an employee was reportedly attacked by someone wearing a hood over his face in the early morning hours of Aug. 13. At 2:15 a.m., the UT Police Department said a facilities employee was walking to his car in the parking lot at the Facilities Complex Building located at 1301 East Dean Keeton Street. That's when UTPD said a man who had his face covered punched the employee in the head, face and back before running to a waiting vehicle. (link)

Aug 06: Terroristic Threats: A man charged with weapons offenses here was arrested after making violent threats toward Temple University and its police department, according to a press release from Bucks County (Pa.) District Attorney Matthew D. Weintraub. Patrick J. Buhler, 29, made the threats "during purchases of ammunition and other items at the Walmart store in Tullytown," Weintraub said. (link)

Aug 02: Wrongful Death Lawsuit: The parents of two students who killed themselves at a Truman State University fraternity house are suing the school, the fraternity and a frat brother they accuse of encouraging those deaths and three others. The wrongful death lawsuit says the frat brother gave his friends "advice on how to commit suicide." The suit, filed Wednesday in the Circuit Court of Adair County, Missouri, says Alexander David Mullins of Kansas City and Joshua Michael Thomas of St. Louis both took their own lives at the Alpha Kappa Lambda house. (link)

Aug 01: Alcohol on Campus: Following an end-of-the-year party where police at the University of North Florida discovered alcohol in a classroom, Dr. Brian Thornton has been suspended without pay for the 2019 fall semester. Body camera video that was first obtained by the UNF Spinnaker shows the communications professor being questioned by university police. An officer is heard saying alcohol, including a 12-pack of beer, was found in the classroom during the professor's "Aloha Party." (link)

Aug 01: Assault & Robbery: Police are searching for a man accused of robbing and assaulting a woman at gunpoint near the center of the University of Pittsburgh campus in the city's Oakland neighborhood early Tuesday, officials said. A woman told police that a man approached her, told her he had a gun and pressed what she believed was a gun to her side, university police said in a statement. The man then threw her to the ground multiple times, the victim told police. (link)

Aug 01: Free Speech Lawsuit Settlement: The University of Florida is paying $66,000 and making policy changes to settle a federal lawsuit brought by a young conservative student group, which claimed the school violated its members' free-speech rights. The Young Americans For Freedom (YAF) chapter agreed to settle its lawsuit against the university Wednesday in exchange for eliminating the policies that prohibited the group from receiving speaker fees to bring in conservative speakers. (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.

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

Back to top

© Redistribution of this newsletter, with or without modification, is permitted provided Auburn University Office of Audit, Compliance & Privacy is listed as the source.