Case In Point: Lessons for the proactive manager
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Case In Point: Lessons for the proactive manager
Volume 12 Number 12 | December 2020
Quotable .....
“There is no medicine like hope, no incentive so great, and no tonic so powerful as expectation of something better tomorrow.”

-- Orison Swett Marden

This edition of Case in Point marks the completion of twelve years of publication. I have often made the comment in the December issue about how fast the year has gone. The end of the year seemed to creep up quickly, but it also feels as though this year has gone on forever. We have all dealt with risks we didn't envision a year ago, but 2021 holds promise that perhaps normalcy will come. We can hope, and we can continue to do our best to achieve our mission at our respective institutions under these unusual circumstances.

We have had continued growth this year (7.5% in fact) with new readers across the United States and from international institutions as well. We hope that we are helping improve higher education in some small way with our efforts. In the December issue, it has become my tradition to remind our readers of why we do this each month. It is always a good way to conclude the year.

CIP's Primary Goal

Our goal has always been very simple: we believe it's cheaper to proactively manage risk than to react and remediate crises from risk management failures. We provide an overview that allows you to scan the news events occurring throughout our industry each month and ask yourself, ''How can I prevent this from happening here?'' If you realize you have a similar high risk exposure at your institution from this review, you can do something to proactively reduce the risk. What that ''something'' is will depend on the risk, your role, and many other factors; however, doing nothing is a dangerous thing in the world in which we now operate. Our larger goal is to help develop risk-intelligent institutions. We should note that we are not anti-risk. Risk is always going to be with us in life, but we can consider risk and be wise in the actions we take. This is important because any money we spend on remediation, settlements, and investigations is money we aren't spending on education, research, and outreach.

As a reminder, you can also see select articles throughout the month if you follow us on twitter: @AUOACP. We now invite you to review the events of the past month with a view toward proactively managing risk at your institution. We hope you all have a Happy New Year and we will see you in 2021.

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

Information Security & Technology Events

Dec 10: Data Breach: Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center on Thursday announced that it has sent letters to patients who have have been impacted by a third-party vendor's data breach the university learned about this fall. TTUHSC was notified Oct. 15 of a ransomware attack on Blackbaud Inc's system that occurred some time in May 2020, according to a news release from TTUHSC. Blackbaud reported that it investigated the matter and determined there had been unauthorized access to its systems, which contained TTUHSC patient information. (link)

Dec 09: Data Breach: A security breach at the University of Memphis has caused private information of certain faculty and staff members to be compromised. In an email obtained by MBJ -- dated Dec. 4 and sent to faculty and staff members -- U of M CIO Robert Jackson said an individual had hacked into a university email account. While the institution doesn't believe any information was stolen or misused, personal details were accessible in an unencrypted format. (link)

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Fraud & Ethics Related Events

Dec 18: Academic Cheating: Universities have recently been rocked by cheating scandals as remote learning during the coronavirus pandemic allows students more tools and access to circumvent the rules, according to reports. In Texas A∓M, students were found to answer questions faster than they could even read them on a finance exam. Faculty reported concerns of a "very large scale" to the Aggie Honor System Office. The problem of cheating has grown more severe in the year of remote learning and online assignments: the University of North Texas saw a 20% increase in cheating, and Texas State University saw an increase of one-third. (link)

Dec 14: Espionage: A Chinese Communist Party data leak of information about almost 2 million CCP members exposed nearly 80,000 who have infiltrated some of the world's largest Western companies and universities. Data also showed that CCP members used a recruitment agency to infiltrate the British, Australian, and U.S. consulates in Shanghai. Some CCP operatives were also employed at U.S. universities, which comes after the U.S. government uncovered a Chinese intelligence operation to steal U.S. scientific research over the summer (link)

Dec 10: Occupational Fraud: A former Penn State employee has been accused of stealing more than $265,000 from the university over a 12-year period while a networks and systems manager. Daniel P. Sickels' responsibilities included purchasing equipment necessary for the upkeep of computer servers. To do so he used eBay to acquire equipment and supplies from vendors, the indictment states. Sickels is accused of representing falsely the merchandise he bought was needed to upgrade, replace or maintain the officer servers. Instead of utilizing it, he sold it for his personal benefit to people outside the commonwealth using emails, the charges state. (link)

Dec 08: Plagiarism: Dec. 7 email sent out by William Gaudelli, dean of the College of Education, made the college's students and faculty aware that Lehigh's College of Education plagiarized sections of a course description at another university in recent attempts to assert the college's commitment to anti-racism. The plagarized communication, which did not attribute to the course or university of which the language was taken, was sent out to the college's students and faculty on Nov. 23 and was entitled, "Lehigh University College of Education Renews Commitment to Anti-racist Education." (link)

Dec 04: Falsifying Reports: U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos announced today a settlement agreement with Temple University for what the Department alleges are false representations to U.S. News & World Report to bolster the school's ranking in the annual U.S. News college rankings. The Department's investigation probed the alleged submission of false information by Temple's Fox School of Business and Management ("Fox School") to U.S. News & World Report between 2014 and 2018. Under the terms of the settlement agreement, Temple will pay a $700,000 fine but does not admit any liability or wrongdoing. (link)

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Compliance/Regulatory & Legal Events

Dec 18: NCAA Athlete Pay: The Supreme Court will hear a landmark antitrust case against the NCAA that could upend the business model for college sports by allowing colleges to compensate student athletes. The high court said Wednesday that it will hear appeals filed by the NCAA and one of its member conferences over a May decision that found the group's limits on player compensation violate antitrust law. In its petition to the justices, the NCAA accused the lower courts of "judicial micromangement" and said their rulings would fundamentally transform college sports by blurring "the traditional line between college and professional athletes." (link)

Dec 14: Kidnapping Charges: A former Huntington University cross country coach has been arrested on four felony charges including child seduction and kidnapping. Nicholas Johnson, 33, is charged with two counts of child seduction, as well as charges of kidnapping and identity deception. It's not clear what the charges against Johnson stem from. Since the announcement of the charges, Johnson has been fired from Huntington University. (link)

Dec 10: Sexual Harassment: Dana Biggs, the former director of the University of Kentucky's marching band, resigned amid a sexual harassment investigation earlier this fall, documents obtained from the university show. Biggs engaged in a "personal relationship with" and sent unwanted text messages of a sexual nature to someone who was dependent on Biggs for a grade and a scholarship, a letter sent to Biggs in early October by UK's Office of Institutional Equity and Equal Opportunity -- the office responsible for investigating Title IX complaints. (link)

Dec 10: DUI: Becker College Police Chief David Bousquet has been arrested for accusations that he crashed into another vehicle while drunk and attempted to flee the scene. Bousquet was arrested Tuesday after police say he hit a car in an intersection and drove away before being found walking away from his damaged vehicle, the Telegram & Gazette reported. Becker College officials declined to comment Wednesday afternoon and said that the college does not comment on personnel matters. (link)

Dec 09: NCAA Compliance: LSU announced Wednesday that it is self-imposing a bowl ban this season in conjunction with an NCAA investigation into alleged rules violations at the school. The move comes as a violations case involving LSU's football and basketball programs matriculates through the NCAA's new Independent Accountability Resolution Process. LSU had already voluntarily reduced its scholarship count by eight over the next two years and docked itself some recruiting time, according to Sports Illustrated. Among the alleged violations pertaining to LSU football is that a booster funneled money he embezzled from a Louisiana hospital foundation to the family of a player. (link)

Dec 08: Records Lawsuit: The mother of two women who were killed in a Texas A&M University-Commerce dorm room in February is suing the university because the school won't provide details about the investigation of the fatal shootings, the family's attorney announced Tuesday. The mother, Vanessa Calderon, has made several unsuccessful attempts to get information about the investigation that was conducted after the death of her daughters, according to the complaint. (link)

Dec 07: Title IX: A federal court judge has rejected a request from six female student athletes seeking an immediate restraining order that would halt the University of Iowa's efforts to dismantle its women's swimming and diving program. "However, the court appreciates the time-sensitive nature of plaintiffs' dilemma as a general matter, and finds expedited briefing to be appropriate," Rose added, setting a hearing for Dec. 18. The UI female athletes officially sought their restraining order against UI actions set into motion in August when Athletic Director Gary Barta announced plans to cut men's and women's swimming and diving, men's gymnastics, and men's tennis after this academic year in response to massive financial losses from COVID-19. (link)

Dec 07: NCAA Compliance: The University of Louisville cannot play the victim in a "pay-for-play" scheme for recruits that ensnared it and athletics partner Adidas in 2017, according to NCAA enforcement staff. The NCAA said as much in a response to UofL's argument against a notice of allegations that was released Monday. It also disagrees with the notion that Adidas was not acting in UofL's interests when executives in the company were connected to the recruiting fraud probe. (link)

Dec 04: Sexual Misconduct: The University of Washington has fired a professor and former director of its young scholars program, after finding last year that he exploited his position to have "inappropriate sexual contact" with a 17-year-old student in the program. The university's investigative office found John D. Sahr began communicating with the student when he was associate dean for undergraduate academic affairs, and that he initiated sexual contact while serving as interim director of the Robinson Center for Young Scholars between 2008 and 2010. Investigators also found that Sahr had a relationship with a graduate student that violated policy against conflicts of interest. (link)

Dec 02: Property Damage Lawsuit: Samford University is suing a former student after hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage was done during a fraternity prank gone awry. According to the federal lawsuit filed this week in the Northern District of Alabama, John Brody Cantrell was a member of the Sigma Chi and lived at the fraternity house on Neal Road. On April 1, 2019, Cantrell and his friend Christopher Wilson went into the attic to jointly play a prank on fellow fraternity members. (link)

Dec 03: DUI: Georgia State University Police Chief Joe Spillane resigned last week after his second DUI arrest during his tenure. Police in Peachtree City said Spillane was so intoxicated, he was three times over the legal limit. When the jail refused to take him because he was so inebriated, police were forced to release him to a family member who was responsible for making sure he turned himself in after he sobered up. He did just that two days later. (link)

Dec 03: Domestic Violence Termination: Central Connecticut State University has been ordered to reinstate its former director of student conduct more than a year after prosecutors dropped a slate of criminal charges against him related to an April 2018 domestic incident in Hartford. Christopher Dukes was fired from the job without just cause and the university could not convince an arbitrator that Dukes' conduct the night of the domestic incident still merited his removal after the charges were dismissed in November 2019, according to an arbitration award filed this week. (link)

Dec 02: Child Pornography: A 49-year-old man who used to work at Santa Clara University was arrested Monday on suspicion of possession of child pornography after university officials found a makeshift room on campus with a mattress and sex toys inside, police said. University administrators learned in October that a makeshift room had been constructed in a basement maintenance shop on campus that Jason Cameron Brown had constructed, according to Santa Clara police. (link)

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Campus Life & Safety Events

Dec 17: Drugs: Twenty-one people -- including current and former students from University of North Carolina, Duke University, and Appalachian State University -- have been arrested for dealing drugs at and on college campuses. United States Attorney Matthew Martin, a UNC alumnus, said the arrested drug dealers were not small-time drug users, but instead "hardened drug dealers." "This is a large drug network and supply chain fueling a drug culture at fraternities and within these universities and around these universities and towns," Martin said. Court filings specifically point to UNC chapters of Phi Gamma Delta, Kappa Sigma, and Beta Theta Pi from 2017-2020 being sites of illegal drug activity. (link)

Dec 10: Student/Instructor Altercation: Fresno Police say a Fresno City College student is in custody after he went to an instructor's house with a gun and got into a "physical disturbance" with her Thursday morning. The incident happened in Central Fresno. Witnesses tell Action News the student, who has been identified as Rudolfo Brambila, was holding the woman at gunpoint after a tense showdown in the backyard of the instructor's home. Detectives say Brambila's exact motive is still unknown, but police know he was mad about a complaint the teacher filed related to his behavior which the female instructor felt was inappropriate. (link)

Dec 04: Drugs: A drug ring largely operated by current and former University of Texas students used apps and social media to sell counterfeit Adderall and Xanax often laced with fentanyl, the Department of Justice announced Friday. Justice officials said 13 people, including eight current and former students, have been charged with trafficking LSD, fentanyl and methamphetamine pills. The ring was led by Varun Prasad, 23, of Austin, investigators said. Prasad accepted payments for the drugs via apps including Venmo and Paypal, plus in cash. Former University of Texas at San Antonio professor Rose Rodriguez-Rabin is accused of providing Prasad with methamphetamine-laced counterfeit drugs "on numerous occasions," Sofer said. (link)

Dec 05: Sexual Assault: A former Syracuse University student is facing rape and other charges in connection with sexual assaults on two students at the university. Members of the U.S. Marshalls Service arrested Jacob Cohen, 19, in his home state of Ohio on Friday on charges of first-degree rape, second-degree burglary, first-degree attempted sexual abuse, and forcible touching, City police said the Syracuse University Department of Public Safety responded at 10 p.m. Aug. 29 to a report of an assault at an on-campus residence hall. (link)

Dec 03: Extortion: A University of Iowa student faces an extortion charge. According to a University of Iowa Department of Public Safety criminal complaint, on April 26, 20-year-old Vy N. Dinh, of Iowa City, told the victim she would go to the police and say she had been sexually assaulted by him unless he paid her $1,000. The alleged threat took place at the Catlett Residence Hall. Dinh was arrested and faces one count of extortion, a Class D felony punishable by up to five years in prison. (link)

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If you have any suggestions, questions or feedback, please e-mail Kevin Robinson at or Robert Gottesman at 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.

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