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Office of Audit, Compliance & Privacy

Case in Point:
Lessons for the proactive manager

July 2020
Vol. 12 No. 07
“There are more things ... likely to frighten us than there are to crush us; we suffer more often in imagination than in reality.“

-- Seneca

This month we conclude our review of 2019 with an evaluation of what may be the most diverse of all our categories: Campus Life. You know it is an unusual category when it includes stories that begin with the line ''...University is asking students not to run around campus in their underwear.'' I file that one under ''things I never thought I'd write as a college administrator.''

Categorizing the variety of stories we link in Campus Life is almost impossible, so we will list the predominant themes and then give some guesses for the future.

Campus Life 2019 Prevalent Themes

  1. Crime on Campus - with the most prevalent stories involving sexual assault related crimes
  2. Free Speech
  3. Hazing
  4. Life & Safety Related
  5. Race Related Issues - including statues and the names of buildings

If I had to guess, all these issues will continue for the foreseeable future. I also predict an increase in the Race Related Issues as the subject of statues on campus began to grow during the latter part of 2019 and certainly has been at the forefront of 2020. Speaking of 2020, COVID related concerns will stay at the forefront, and I expect an increasing amount of litigation related to the pandemic to develop over the coming years. That's not a particularly wild prediction, but one that has to be mentioned. I do expect some creative lawyers to figure out unusual ways to litigate.

We again invite you to review the events of the prior month with a focus toward 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

Jul 24: Data Breach: On July 20, University of Utah Health in Salt Lake City reported a data breach to HHS. The third reported email hack of the system this year affected the information of 10,000 patients. The health system did not respond to a request for comment. The health system reported a phishing attack from April 6 to May 22 in which a hacker accessed an employee email account and patient names, birthdates, medical record numbers and limited clinical information were exposed. That incident affected 2,700 people. (link)

Jul 23: Ransomware Attack: At least 10 universities in the UK, US and Canada have had data stolen about students and/or alumni after hackers attacked a cloud computing provider. The hack targeted Blackbaud, one of the world's largest providers of education administration, fundraising, and financial management software. The US-based company's systems were hacked in May. In some cases, the stolen data included phone numbers, donation history and events attended. Credit card and other payment details do not appear to have been exposed. (link)

Jul 06: Cyber Attack: Federal officials are assessing the damage from a cyberattack targeting the Royal Military College of Canada, the institution that trains military leaders and conducts sensitive research into warfare. Officials are not revealing the extent and nature of the breach at the Kingston-based college, which is run by the Department of National Defence (DND) and trains officers for all branches of the military. (link)

Jul 04: 3rd Party Data Breach: University of Michigan students got a scare Friday night: warnings circulating on social media about an apparent data breach leaking their U-M email addresses and passwords. On Saturday, the University of Michigan released a statement saying the information was from older "third-party data breaches, such as Chegg, Zynga, LinkedIn" where users used their student emails to sign up to register. The release emphasized there was no data leak from the university's end, and stressed students should not use the same passwords outside of U-M services. (link)

Fraud & Ethics Related Events

Jul 29: Embezzlement: Two New York women are accused of using a fake email address to trick Bucks County Community College into sending more than $400,000 to the business account of an elder fraud victim, Newtown Township police announced this week. Charges have been filed against Precious A. Etsekhume and Kathryne Ivana Simon, both 27, in connection with the alleged scheme that was reported to authorities in January. The defendants allegedly used an email address with a domain name that BCCC staff believed to be legitimately associated with a construction company the college had conducted business with in the past. (link)

Jul 29: Wire & Passport Fraud: A suspended University of Arkansas professor has been indicted on multiple wire and passport fraud counts. The 44-count indictment returned Tuesday in Fayetteville, Arkansas, accuses Simon Saw-Teong Ang of failing to disclose close ties to the Chinese government and Chinese companies when he obtained federal grants. At the time of his arrest, federal authorities said Ang failed to disclose his ties on an application for a NASA grant. Such materially false representations to NASA and to the university led to numerous wire messages that facilitated a scheme to defraud, according to a federal complaint. (link)

Jul 28: Conflict of Interest/Tax Fraud: The former Chair of Harvard University's Chemistry and Chemical Biology Department was charged today in a superseding indictment with tax offenses for failing to report income he received from Wuhan University of Technology (WUT) in Wuhan, China. Dr. Charles Lieber, 61, was indicted by a federal grand jury in Boston on two counts of making and subscribing a false income tax return and two counts of failing to file reports of foreign bank and financial accounts (FBAR) with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). (link)

Jul 27: Admissions Scandal: A former University of California, Los Angeles men's soccer coach pleaded guilty Monday to accepting $200,000 in bribes to help two students get into the school as recruits. Jorge Salcedo, 47, admitted to participating in the college admissions bribery scheme involving TV celebrities, other wealthy parents and elite universities across the country. Salcedo was paid $100,000 to help California couple Bruce and Davina Isackson get their daughter into UCLA as a bogus soccer recruit, prosecutors said. (link)

Jul 24: Embezzlement: A former top director of Howard University's bursar's office pleaded guilty Friday to stealing nearly $140,000 from the university. Doemini Mosley, 35, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud in U.S. District Court. Mosley worked at Howard from 2011 through 2017, initially in the university's financial aid office and then as associate director of the university's bursar's office. An ongoing investigation by the FBI's Washington office determined that she conspired with another Howard financial aid office employee to steal from the university, the government said. (link)

Jul 24: Wire & Tax Fraud: A former West Virginia University associate professor admitted to wire fraud and filing a false tax return, a federal prosecutor's office said. Qingyun Sun, 58, of Morgantown, pleaded guilty to defrauding the university and to the tax charge. The charges stemmed from his official travel to China, U.S. Attorney Bill Powell's office said in a news release Thursday. Sun was an associate professor and associate director of the United States-China Energy Center at the university, the release said. He also acted as the governor's assistant for China affairs and was a consultant. (link)

Jul 23: Visa Fraud: The Justice Department says the Chinese consulate in San Francisco is harboring a Chinese researcher with ties to UC Davis who lied about her military background. Officials made the assertion Thursday as they announced charges against that scientist and three others accused of concealing their government ties. Juan Tang, Chen Song, Xin Wang, and Kaikai Zhao are accused of lying on applications to work in the United States about their status as members of the People's Liberation Army, which is part of the Chinese military. All are charged with visa fraud. (link)

Jul 20: Embezzlement: A former comptroller for a Louisiana community college has pleaded guilty in a $250,000 fraud scheme that went on for years, federal prosecutors say. Carol Bates, who also had been charged on 12 counts of wire fraud, entered the plea Monday to a single count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud between 2013 and 2016 at Bossier Parish Community College, U.S. Attorney David Joseph said in a news release. He said Bates admitted at the plea hearing that she faked entries for 45 refunds totaling about $250,600 to nine people who agreed to return half to two-thirds of the money to Bates or her sister, Audrey Williams. (link)

Jul 20: Visa Fraud: A visiting Stanford University researcher has been charged with visa fraud and allegedly concealing her membership in the Chinese military, according to federal prosecutors. Chinese national Song Chen, 38, entered the U.S. in December 2018 on a J-1 nonimmigrant visa, stating on her application that she had served in the Chinese military from 2000-2011 and that her current employer was a Beijing hospital, according to the criminal complaint cited by the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of California. (link)

Jul 07: Foreign Funding Fraud: The National Science Foundation is one of several US funding agencies that has punished researchers for not disclosing foreign financial ties. The US National Science Foundation (NSF) has for the first time released figures on the actions it has taken against researchers found to have violated rules on the disclosure of foreign ties. Since 2018, the agency has reassigned, suspended or terminated grants, forced institutions to return funds or barred researchers from applying for future funding in 16-20 cases in which rules weren't followed, according to Rebecca Keiser, the agency's first chief of research security strategy and policy. (link)

Jul 09: Grant Fraud: A researcher who worked at U.S. universities was charged with illegally using grant funding to develop scientific expertise for the Chinese government, the Justice Department said Thursday. The charges against Song Guo Zheng, 57, were announced as top U.S. officials, including FBI Director Christopher Wray and Secretary of State Michael Pompeo, escalate efforts to counter Chinese theft of U.S. trade secrets and research. Zheng didn't disclose he was using about $4 million in grants from the National Institutes of Health to develop China's expertise in the areas of rheumatology and immunology, the Justice Department said in a statement. (link)

Jul 01: Research Misconduct/Plagiarism: Michigan State University Museum Director Mark Auslander resigned from his position Tuesday after the Research Integrity Office found him guilty of research misconduct and plagiarism in December 2019 and an ensuing lawsuit against the university in March. He had previously received a one-month paid suspension in February for committing research misconduct and plagiarism while working on the repatriation of a Bolivian mummy. The reasoning behind his suspension was not specified, but it was assumed to be in relation to alleged plagiarism. (link)

Jul 01: Embezzlement: The Florida State University Police Department has issued warrants for former faculty member Mark A. Rodin following a university-initiated investigation that led to charges of defrauding the university of approximately $1.2 million. FSU says Rodin, who taught digital media production courses in the College of Communication and Information and long-time director of Seminole Productions, has been charged with one felony count of organized scheme to defraud and 24 counts of grand theft. (link)

Compliance/Regulatory & Legal Events

Jul 30: Title IX Lawsuit: Sex discrimination is a possible explanation for the University's approach to a sexual misconduct case from late 2014, according to an opinion from the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals posted Wednesday. David Schwake, the plaintiff in the case and ASU alumnus with a master's degree in microbiology, was accused by a classmate for inappropriately touching her without her consent. Three weeks after Schwake received notice of the initial complaint, the University ruled that Schwake was "responsible for disciplinary charges," court documents said. (link)

Jul 26: Sexual Violence Law: New Hampshire has enacted one of the most comprehensive laws in the country to combat campus sexual violence just weeks before controversial federal requirements are set to take effect on how schools investigate and respond to cases of gender-based harassment and assault. The legislation is the first in the Granite State's history specifically aimed at curbing rape and sexual assault by requiring institutions to work more closely with local crisis centers and law enforcement, providing anti-retaliation protections for reporting parties, mandating transparent data collection and awareness programming. (link)

Jul 27: Student Safety Lawsuit: The Supreme Judicial Court ruled today that what one Northeastern student claimed was a sexual assault while she was drunk was not Northeastern's fault. But in its ruling today, the state's highest court said Northeastern went too far in its legal argument that the death of in loco parentis - the theory that colleges have broad say over the lives of their students - means schools can never be held responsible when one student sexually attacks another while drunk. (link)

Jul 24: NCAA Violations: Oregon State committed nine NCAA Level III violations during the 2019-20 school year, including at least one in football, baseball and women's basketball. Level III infractions are considered minor, are usually self-reported and carry a minimal penalty. OSU sports committing the secondary violations during past school year were football, baseball, women's basketball, men's soccer, wrestling, gymnastics, volleyball and women's rowing. (link)

Jul 23: Sexual Battery: A man who provided massages for female athletes at the University of Kansas is facing six new misdemeanor charges of sexual battery. Shawn O'Brien, 49, of Lawrence, was charged in February with indecent liberties with a child. When the charges were reported, the University of Kansas canceled its contracts with O'Brien and began an investigation. Six female KU student-athletes told investigators they had experienced "unwarranted touching" during massages by O'Brien. (link)

Jul 22: Public Records Lawsuit: The union representing professors at Rutgers University in New Jersey has filed a lawsuit against the school seeking an explanation of the transfer of $100 million to the athletics program. The American Association of University Professors-American Federation of Teachers claims that the school has failed to honor public records requests to disclose details about the funds. The labor group says that since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, the university has laid off 20% of its adjunct faculty, asked other unions to accept furloughs and declared a fiscal emergency while money is used to subsidize the athletic department. (link)

Jul 20: Child Pornography: A former Marist College employee faces felony charges related to possession of child pornography, according to state police. Richard G. Kelly, 49, of Hyde Park, was charged with second-degree possessing an obscene sexual performance by a child and second-degree unlawful surveillance, both felonies. He was arrested Friday. In a statement, Marist College said it was informed that Kelly, a former part-time employee in its athletics department, was arrested and charged. (link)

Jul 21: Contract Dispute Lawsuit: While Greg Frey prepares for his first season as Duke's offensive line coach, a contract dispute with his former employer -- and alma mater -- has landed in court. According to documents filed in a Florida federal court, Frey is suing Florida State for money he says he's owed following his February 2019 firing. He seeks nearly $700,000. Frey said he left Michigan, where he was run game coordinator and offensive line coach, to return to his alma mater with the promise his two-year contract would not include a buyout provision. (link)

Jul 20: Title IX Lawsuit: A former Nebraska volleyball player is among nine women who filed a lawsuit Monday against the University of Nebraska, alleging that the school mishandled complaints of sexual assault and harassment, including reports involving accusations against at least five athletes. The lawsuit filed Monday in the U.S. District Court for the District of Nebraska alleges violations under the Title IX gender equity law, as well as racial discrimination, negligence and lack of due process. (link)

Jul 19: Civil Rights Act/Libel Lawsuit: Eric Clopper, a former systems administrator at Harvard, filed a lawsuit against the University, The Harvard Crimson, and 10 unnamed "donors and alumni" in federal court Monday over the school's response to a 2018 performance that he held at Sanders Theatre and the newspaper's coverage of the event. Clopper, who formerly worked at the language resource center in Lamont Library, accused Harvard and The Crimson of defamation and libel, violating the Massachusetts Civil Rights Act, and other actions that justify damages. (link)

Jul 15: Wrongful Death Lawsuit: he father of a former Arizona State University linebacker has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the university and NCAA, alleging that his son's suicide happened during a mental breakdown caused by the four concussions he suffered a few years earlier while playing college football. Jason Franklin's father, Gregg Franklin, alleged that flawed concussion management protocols contributed to his son's developing the degenerative brain disease chronic traumatic encephalopathy, which was discovered after his 2018 death, according to the lawsuit filed Monday in federal court. (link)

Jul 14: Suppression of Evidence Lawsuit: An attorney and senior investigator for the Office of Conduct, Accountability, and Professionalism anonymously filed a lawsuit against the University Wednesday alleging that USC systematically alters and destroys files and evidence that would be used in investigations against the University and its top officials. Court documents stated that the attorney's supervisor, former Executive Director of the Office of Equity and Diversity, Title IX and Office of Conduct Gretchen Gaspari, had engaged in retaliation after the plaintiff submitted a sexual harassment complaint against Center for Work and Family Life executive director John Gaspari, whom Gretchen was dating at the time of the accusations and has since married. (link)

Jul 14: Immigration: President Donald Trump's administration agreed Tuesday to rescind its controversial rule barring international students from living in the USA while taking fall classes online, a sharp reversal after the White House faced a slew of lawsuits challenging the policy. A Massachusetts judge announced the decision during a federal court hearing in a case filed last week by Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Judge Allison Burroughs said the universities' request for the court to block the rule was moot because the government agreed to rescind the policy. (link)

Jul 14: NCAA Violations: The Georgia football and men's basketball coaching staffs were limited in their recruiting contacts for at least one week due to NCAA secondary violations reported by the school in the latest quarterly report. An unidentified football coach made more than one phone call to a recruit in a week outside a contact period and was hit with an 11-day ban from texting recruits and making or receiving calls for the violation listed on Feb. 20. (link)

Jul 14: Sexual Misconduct: Dr. Jeffrey Nelson, a former University Health Services, or UHS, physician, pled guilty to criminal sexual misconduct charges involving a minor. According to an email from UHS Assistant Vice Chancellor Guy Nicolette, the misconduct occurred off campus and is unrelated to UHS services, and Nelson was placed on administrative leave when UHS became aware of the charges. Nicolette added that the minor was not a member of the UC Berkeley community. (link)

Jul 14: Sexual Assault: A woman who played tennis for Michigan in the 1970s is the first female athlete to publicly say she was sexually abused by former Wolverines team doctor Robert Anderson. Cathy Kalahar says she was sexually assaulted by a team doctor during a physical exam in 1973. When she told a psychological counselor at the University Health Service months later about her experience in the exam room, Kalahar says the counselor immediately dismissed her complaints as untrue and a "sexual fantasy." (link)

Jul 09: Pandemic Lawsuit Protection: North Carolina governor Roy Cooper recently signed into law a bill that will protect colleges from lawsuits related to campus closures as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, including a swath of lawsuits demanding tuition reimbursements after colleges shifted to online instruction in the spring. A new Moody's report examines the law and its effect on North Carolina colleges. The report called the law "credit-positive legislation" and discussed the importance of tuition revenue to most colleges' operating budgets. Colleges in Louisiana, Maine, New Jersey and Connecticut are calling for similar protections, the report notes. (link)

Jul 07: Research Security: Visa screening procedures and grant disclosure requirements would be tightened under new research security legislation introduced last month by Sens. Rob Portman (R-OH) and Tom Carper (D-DE). Titled the Safeguarding American Innovation Act, the bill is presented as a systematic approach to guarding against rival governments exploiting the U.S. research system. The November subcommittee report asserts that the FBI and federal science agencies have together failed to recognize how talent recruitment programs supported by the Chinese government could incentivize participants to "misappropriate" U.S.-funded research. (link)

Jul 07: Immigration: International students who are pursuing degrees in the United States will have to leave the country or risk deportation if their universities switch to online-only courses, Immigration and Customs Enforcement announced Monday. The move may affect thousands of foreign students who come to the United States to attend universities or participate in training programs, as well as non-academic or vocational studies. Monday's announcement, like the changes that preceded it, could similarly result in many foreign students who often pay high tuition to have to return to their home country. (link)

Jul 06: Negligence Lawsuit: A University of Delaware student who says an officer humiliated her while arresting her in class is suing the university and Newark Police Department. The lawsuit states that the student was purposefully plucked from her class, berated, humiliated and slammed against a wall to cause embarrassment -- all over a potential underage drinking charge that was later dropped. The lawsuit claims the university failed the plaintiff by negligently advising her on student conduct, giving her false legal advice and not preventing the arrest. (link)

Campus Life & Safety Events

Jul 26: Riot Damages: The Richmond riot that started Saturday night and continued into early Sunday morning caused in excess of $100,000 in damages at Virginia Commonwealth University, according to the university's president. That "loosely organized group" blocked traffic, shattered windows, tagged buildings and sidewalks with graffiti and set fires as they marched through downtown, the VCU campus and the Fan, a Richmond Police spokesperson said in a news release Sunday afternoon. (link)

Jul 22: Sexual Assault: State College police said 36-year-old Jeffrey Fields of Port Matilda raped four women between 2010 and 2017. Court paperwork shows, in one instance, a victim was walking home along South Burrowes Street and Fields offered her a ride. She refused and fields dragged her into overgrown bushes and raped her. Officers say all of the rapes happened outside within a couple of blocks from one another near fraternity row. All of the victims were between 19 and 20. (link)

Jul 20: Coronavirus: Elon University students are worried about required COVID-19 testing heading into the fall semester. Price and only having one option of where to get tested are their biggest concerns. Courtney Guthrie, Elon University rising senior, said the Elon vice president of strategic initiatives sent out a letter to the student body Friday, letting them know about a $129 coronavirus test needed before students came back to campus, a test only LabCorp could do, and students assumed they would have to pay for out of pocket. (link)

Jul 17: Coronavirus: In April, just a few weeks after the spring semester pivoted unceremoniously to digital, Catherine Klapperich, a biomedical engineering professor at Boston University, was thinking about the fall. The Boston area had been inundated with Covid-19 cases, and at the time, tests remained scant. But the university had come to her with an unfathomable question: In four months' time, how would they test students and staff when they returned to campus? The university didn't have its own testing lab. So Klapperich, who studies medical diagnostics, was tasked with designing one. (link)

Jul 17: Vandalism: A woman arrested for tampering at the University of Missouri's Thomas Jefferson statue allegedly threw red paint on the effigy of the Founding Father, according to a call to police. MU police arrested Rachel A. Foster, 22, on Sunday and released her on a summons on one count of misdemeanor tampering. An incident report given to ABC 17 News after an open records request shows police were sent to a call of a person in black throwing what appeared to be red paint on the statue, which sits on the Francis Quadrangle. (link)

Jul 09: Racial Issues: In a report released to KBTX on Thursday, police at Texas A∓M University said a student who reported finding racist notes on his car's windshield last month may have placed the papers there himself. However, the 21-year-old at the center of the case strongly denies those claims. Isaih Martin, a senior at A∓M, called police on the afternoon of Wednesday, June 24, to report finding three handwritten notes on his car that said "All lives matter" and "You don't belong here." The third note contained the N-word. (link)

Jul 08: Sexual Assault: A 19-year-old BSC student is accused of sexually assaulting a woman while she was in and out of consciousness in a campus dorm. Bismarck State College police say Aidyn Fernandez performed a sex act on a woman while she was in and out of consciousness in December of 2019. According to Police, Fernandez tried to have sex with the victim but she said no and pushed him away. Police were able to observe Fernandez touching the victim through surveillance cameras in the hallways. (link)

Jul 07: Coronavirus: Georgia's 26 public universities and colleges will mandate campus-wide mask wearing after the state university system reversed itself on Monday. The University System of Georgia had previously told schools they should "strongly encourage" students and others to wear masks, but said that the system's 26 universities couldn't mandate face coverings for their 330,000 students despite concerns about COVID-19 transmission. Masks became a central point of contention in part because all the universities, at the behest of regents, are planning face-to-face instruction for all students beginning in August. (link)

Jul 06: Arson: A man has been arrested after a fire broke out at New Mexico State University's O'Donnell Hall early Monday morning. NMSU police arrested Andrew Caldera, who had come in contact with campus police earlier on Sunday night, and charged him with arson with more than $20,000 of damage and possession of drug paraphernalia. Earlier, Caldera had been observed stumbling shirtless on campus near where the fire later broke out. (link)

Jul 05: Coronavirus: The University of Washington announced on Sunday that at least 112 fraternity house residents north of its Seattle campus have tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the total number of students infected on Greek Row so far to 121. The nine additional students who tested positive were close contacts of the residents, but do not live in the fraternity houses, according to a statement from The University of Washington. (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.

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