Case In Point: Lessons for the proactive manager
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Case In Point: Lessons for the proactive manager
Volume 13 Number 05 | May 2021
Quotable .....
“Communicate unto the other person that which you would want him to communicate unto you if your positions were reversed. ”

-- Aaron Goldman

This month we conclude our review of the story categories from 2020 with a focus on Campus Life/Safety. Historically, this is our most diverse category as the number of unique circumstances that can occur on a college campus are seemingly infinite. That said, we did have some recurrent subjects. Our top 5 most frequent topics during 2020 were:

  1. Crime related events
  2. Race related issues
  3. COVID-19 (note this could have been number one but we chose to limit the number of stories we linked due to coverage being so extensive.)
  4. Free Speech issues
  5. Hazing

When you step back and think about this category, the biggest takeaway in the topics above--and other stories we linked--is the importance of vigilance by everyone on campus to provide a safe environment for students to learn and employees to work.

I have often said that the greatest risk universities face today are the problems that stakeholders are aware of but fail to let the appropriate people know about AND the problems that were reported but no action was taken to address them. Educating faculty and staff on the important role they play in ensuring a safe environment is vitally important in today's world. It is a message that must be communicated regularly across campus along with the appropriate place to report any concerns.

While campus safety is vitally important, it is but one of a plethora of risks we face in higher education. We again invite you to review the events that have occurred over the prior month with a view toward proactive risk management. Everyone working together and communicating can help your institution avoid becoming the headline.

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

May 21: Ransomware: Northern California’s Sierra College is working on restoring some online services during finals week after a ransomware attack, according to the community college’s website. The school, located in Rocklin, about 20 miles outside Sacramento, first reported outages on Wednesday, the Sacramento Bee reported. The school’s website says that some services are in the process of being restored, but includes few other details of the incident, including the type of ransomware used. (link)

May 11: Data Breach: A company that provides caps and gowns for graduation ceremonies said Tuesday it is apologizing after an apparent data theft exposed the payment information of some graduating university seniors. The revelation came after several students across the country started noticing strange bank activity and lamented that they had not been warned their accounts might be at risk. The company is Indianapolis-based Herff Jones, which on its website says it provides "class rings and jewelry, caps and gowns, yearbooks, diplomas, frames and announcements..." (link)

May 09: Cheating Allegations/Remote Testing: Sirey Zhang, a first-year student at Dartmouth’s Geisel School of Medicine, was on spring break in March when he received an email from administrators accusing him of cheating. Dartmouth had reviewed Mr. Zhang’s online activity on Canvas, its learning management system, during three remote exams, the email said. The data indicated that he had looked up course material related to one question during each test, honor code violations that could lead to expulsion, the email said. (link)

May 09: Cyberattack: Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is three days into dealing with a malware attack that has shut down much of its computer network, impacting the university’s students as they go into finals for the spring semester. The attack prompted RPI on Sunday to announce all final examinations, term papers and project reports due on Monday and Tuesday were canceled. In a post on Instagram, the university said grading policies would be modified to reflect the cancelations. Modifications were also being made for any tests that were interrupted by Friday’s attack. (link)

May 07: Data Breach: UF Health Shands is acknowledging a data breach by a former employee who they say "accessed medical records outside the scope of their duties," according to a press release. The information accessed by the former employee includes names, mailing addresses, phone numbers, medical record numbers and dates of birth, as well as clinical information from E.R. visits. The release notes that the 1,562 patients affected by this have already been notified, and that the breach did not involve social security numbers, insurance details or other financial information. The date range for when the records were accessed extend from March 20, 2019 to April 6, 2021. (link)

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Fraud & Ethics Related Events

May 22: Theft: Police have arrested a 31-year-old man suspected of stealing a yellow box truck that had $77,000 worth of medications inside. Around 9 a.m. Saturday morning, police say the man stole an unmarked yellow box truck, which contained 11 totes of medications, from the parking lot of the Huntsman Mental Health Institute., formerly known as "UNI" (University Neuropsychiatric Institute). (link)

May 18: Extortion: A former assistant men’s basketball coach threatened to expose violations of N.C.A.A. rules at Louisville, where he spent several years as an assistant coach, unless the university paid him more than a year’s worth of salary, federal prosecutors said Tuesday. Michael A. Bennett, the acting U.S. attorney for the Western District of Kentucky, said in court papers that the coach had met with Louisville officials on March 17 and "threatened to report to the media allegations that the University of Louisville men’s basketball program had violated National College Athletic Association rules in its production of recruiting videos for prospective student-athletes and in its use of graduate assistants in practices." (link)

May 18: Occupational Fraud: The former Unity College employee convicted of stealing more than $500,000 from her employer -- money she used to gamble at casinos, go on a Carnival cruise, pay utilities and much more -- was sentenced Tuesday to two years imprisonment in a federal penitentiary. The woman told U.S. District Court Judge John Woodcock she was remorseful for her actions during her sentencing hearing, which took place over Zoom. But remorse wasn’t enough, the judge said. (link)

May 14: Research Fraud Sentence: An Ohio man and rheumatology professor and researcher with strong ties to China was sentenced to 37 months in prison for making false statements to federal authorities as part of an immunology research fraud scheme. As part of his sentence, the researcher was also ordered to pay more than $3.4 million in restitution to the National Institute of Health (NIH) and approximately $413,000 to The Ohio State University. The man pleaded guilty last November and admitted he lied on applications in order to use approximately $4.1 million in grants from NIH to develop China’s expertise in the areas of rheumatology and immunology. (link)

May 10: Plagiarism: University of South Carolina President Bob Caslen admitted plagiarizing a portion of the speech he delivered during an on-campus graduation ceremony on May 7, issuing an apology three days later and taking full responsibility for not citing its original speaker. Caslen delivered the copycat remarks to graduates of USC’s Arnold School of Public Health, School of Music and the Darla Moore School of Business. He repeated the unattributed remarks during at least one other ceremony, held the morning of May 8. Caslen’s address was already achieving viral status before the plagiarism came to light due to the president also having bungled the school’s name during the ceremony, mistakenly congratulating the graduates as the "newest alumni of The University of California." (link)

May 07: Occupational Fraud: A former Tennessee College of Applied Technology employee has been charged with stealing more than $60,000 from the school. The employee was indicted Monday on a theft charge in Carter County, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation said. She surrendered to authorities Wednesday. Carrier was the coordinator of financial services for the technology college in Elizabethton, the TBI said. Agents found financial discrepancies involving refunds to student accounts between February 2018 and April 2019, the state police agency said. (link)

May 05: Racketeering/Forgery: A Former Board of Regents member was indicted Tuesday on several charges involving allegations he ran a Ponzi scheme that bilked investors out of several million dollars, Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr’s office announced Tuesday. the man was charged with five counts of forgery, one count of racketeering, one count of computer forgery and one count of criminal attempt. (link)

May 01: Occupational Fraud: A 57-year-old Lethbridge woman faces fraud, theft and possession of stolen property charges following a police investigation into missing funds at the University of Lethbridge. According to Lethbridge Police Service officials, the investigation began in 2018 after university staff detected potential fraud and notified police. Members of the LPS economic crimes unit determined the employee had falsified records to conceal the disappearance of more than $500,000. The funds were allegedly stolen over the period of a year. (link)

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Compliance/Regulatory & Legal Events

May 26: Sexual Misconduct Allegations: In 2015, a Louisiana State University freshman transferred schools weeks after he was accused of sexual assault. LSU did not disclose the allegation to his new school, even after learning of his arrest for allegedly assaulting a second woman months later. The same year, the University of Louisiana at Lafayette placed a student arrested for sexual assault on probation, letting him stay on campus so long as he stayed out of trouble. Over his next three years there, three women reported him to the Lafayette Police Department for sex crimes, but the police never informed the school, despite an agreement that required it. (link)

May 26: Title IX Lawsuit: Eight more women are suing Eastern Michigan University officials amid a slew of reports of sexual assaults at the school. A new Title IX lawsuit filed Wednesday in the U.S. District Court in the Eastern District of Michigan claims EMU covered up and was deliberately indifferent to sexual assaults, leaving the women vulnerable to sex assaults they endured at fraternity houses. The lawsuit also names six alleged assailants, including a man newly identified through the lawsuit as facing criminal charges, and says over 30 women have come forward about sex assaults at the university. (link)

May 25: Sexual Assault Handling: Tarnished by the sexual assault convictions of two football players, Baylor University in a May 2016 report acknowledged its fundamental failures in handling such allegations, soon ousting top leaders and implementing sweeping policy and culture changes. In that same month a female sergeant was hired at the Baylor University Police Department, though no one mentioned the scandal in interviews, training or her first days on the job, she said in a video deposition at a jury trial of Baylor University and former football players in the 234th Civil Court of Harris County. (link)

May 24: Sexual Assault: An obstetrician-gynecologist formerly employed by UCLA was taken into custody Monday in a Los Angeles courtroom on a 21-count indictment accusing him of sexually assaulting patients. The indictment was handed down by a grand jury last Thursday and announced on the day a preliminary hearing for the doctor was scheduled to begin. He had been facing a total of 20 felony counts in a criminal complaint charging him with sexually assaulting seven patients between 2011 and 2018. (link)

May 21: Due Process Breach Lawsuit: A recently fired Cincinnati men’s basketball coach sued the school on Friday, as well as athletic director John Cunningham and school president Neville Pinto. On behalf of the coach attorney Tom Mars and co-counsel filed a 66-page complaint in a Cincinnati federal district court. The complaint seeks monetary compensation for the firing, which the school designated "for cause"--a classification that denied the coach a $5.25 million buyout. The coach charges that Cincinnati violated his due process and illegally concocted grounds for dismissal by exaggerating innocuous infractions during a hasty investigation. (link)

May 20: Sexual Misconduct Lawsuit: A student sued the University of Michigan on Thursday to try to force changes in how the school protects the campus from sexual misconduct, the latest strike after a year of scandals involving a doctor and the chief academic officer. The class-action lawsuit seeks a series of reforms, including the appointment of an independent monitor to enforce the steps. "There is a difference between having policies and having policies that are empty and not being enforced," Josephine Graham, 21, told The Associated Press. (link)

May 18: Gender Discrimination Lawsuit: Notre Dame is the subject of a federal lawsuit filed by a former swimming coach. The former associate coach is suing for gender and pregnancy discrimination along with retaliation. She will look to collect damages and equitable relief. The coach said that in May 2019, she informed her supervisor of her pregnancy, then returned to her post that fall visibly pregnant. She alleges that she then was subject to one injustice, discrimination and humiliation after another, both before and after she went on maternity leave. Eventually, she was informed over a Zoom call with her supervisor and the assistant athletic director that her contract was being terminated. The suit says that she was let go over the previous years and not her coaching or relationships with student-athletes. (link)

May 17: Sex With Minors: The director of marketing and community relations at the College of San Mateo was arrested on suspicion of having sex with minors, according to the San Jose Police Department. The employee is accused of engaging in inappropriate sexual acts with two underage females who were 14 and 15 years old at the time, police said. According to a news release on Monday, the Stockton resident met one of the victims on social media last November and then engaged in sexual activity with the victim and another juvenile in San Jose. (link)

May 13: Discrimination Lawsuit: A black Penn State political science professor filed a lawsuit against the university in U.S. Middle District Court on Wednesday for discrimination and a hostile work environment based on race following colleague complaints after the professor published an op-ed in The Daily Collegian in January 2019. He is seeking damages and legal equitable relief in connection with the university's "improper conduct" by declaring acts he experienced in violation of Section 1981 of the Civil Rights Act, which claims intentional racial discrimination. (link)

May 12: Sexual Misconduct Settlement: The University of Maine System has dismissed a student who was accused of sexual misconduct, but agreed to pay $45,000 to settle a federal lawsuit he filed in 2019. Several women accused the male student of sexual misconduct, and he was suspended while the university investigated an allegation against him. He filed his complaint in the U.S. District Court in Bangor, saying he was also the victim of sexual assault and that the school discriminated against him because of his gender. He sued under the name "John Doe," and court documents never identified him or the women who accused him. (link)

May 12: Eliminated Sports Lawsuit: Stanford’s decision to eliminate 11 varsity sports, nearly one-third of its intercollegiate sports program, was challenged in federal court Wednesday by athletes on eight of the teams, who say the university hid its intentions, misled them into enrolling and violated their rights. A separate suit by female athletes on five of the teams accuses Stanford of sex discrimination. "The financial model supporting 36 varsity sports is not sustainable," Stanford said, noting that the average major-college program sponsors 18 sports and that only one school has more than 36. The university said it would continue the athletic scholarships of students whose teams were eliminated. (link)

May 11: Sexual Misconduct Report: Employees in the athletic department and health service department at the University of Michigan missed warning signs and failed to stop the serial sexual misconduct of former school doctor Robert Anderson, according to a report from the WilmerHale law firm released Tuesday afternoon. They found that Anderson engaged in sexual misconduct on "countless occasions" and that authority figures heard specific accusations as well as rumors about Anderson's misconduct but failed to stop him from abusing others. (link)

May 10: False Claims Act Settlement: The University of Miami will pay $22 million to settle claims involving medically unnecessary laboratory tests and fraudulent billing practices. The school violated the False Claims Act by ordering the unnecessary lab tests and submitting false claims through its laboratory and off campus hospital-based facilities, according to the Department of Justice. Some of the unnecessary tests were for patients who received kidney transplants. "Medical providers who submit fraudulent claims to our taxpayer-funded health care programs not only violate the public’s trust, they compromise the very integrity of these programs," said Acting U.S. Attorney Juan Antonio Gonzalez for the Southern District of Florida. (link)

May 03: Sexual Battery: A theatre and arts professor at Northern Oklahoma College has been arrested and charged with kidnapping, rape, sexual battery, and more after two former students accused him of sexually abusing them and other students for years. According to a probable cause affidavit, Tonkawa police were contacted by the president of the college, Dr. Cheryl Evans, to report the offenses to the students. Two students said that the Theatre and Arts professor had created a game in which he sexually assaulted them and instructed them to recruit other students to be assaulted. (link)

May 01: Sexual Harassment Settlement: Oregon Health and Science University has agreed to pay $585,000 to settle a federal lawsuit brought by a social worker who accused a former anesthesiology resident of sexually assaulting her and the school of failing to take action. The university also issued an apology to the woman in a statement released Tuesday and said she will be invited to participate in former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder’s independent investigation of OHSU’s handling of sexual misconduct and discrimination complaints. She alleged that the doctor harassed her from January through March last year, sending her a pornographic photo of himself and sexually charged text messages and then creeping up behind her in her office and forcibly pressing against her so she could feel his erection. (link)

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Campus Life & Safety Events

May 13: Athlete Safety: Ohio State has permanently banned an independent massage therapist -- and the State of Ohio Medical Board has permanently revoked her license -- after an investigation revealed that she engaged in "inappropriate and exploitative behavior" targeting members of the football team. The unnamed therapist will no longer be allowed on campus or at locations where students reside. The school also served her with a cease and desist order regarding any additional contact with students, coaches or staff. The report released by Ohio State states that the 41-year-old therapist, who lives roughly two hours from campus, used social media to offer massages to Buckeyes football players by saying that she owned a legitimate massage therapy business. The investigation found that she had intended to engage in sexual encounters with football players. (link)

May 06: Arson: Officials from the University of Maine in Orono say a fire that damaged the Raymond H. Fogler Library on Wednesday night was a case of arson. A small fire between the first and second floors was reported just after 9 p.m. Wednesday and damaged about 50 books. The building was evacuated and no one was injured. On Thursday, university officials said the fire is being investigated as arson by the Office of the State Fire Marshal. A reward of $2,500 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of anyone responsible is being offered by the UMaine Police Department and Division of Student Life. (link)

May 04: Racial Issues: Dozens of students at the University of Texas at Austin who give campus tours to prospective Longhorns are refusing to work this week over a dispute about a plaque with "The Eyes of Texas" lyrics hanging in the Admissions Welcome Center. The dustup over the plaque is the latest example of UT-Austin officials standing by "The Eyes" over pleas that the university distance itself from the alma mater song because it originated at a minstrel show where students likely wore Blackface. It’s also the latest in a series of clashes over the song in a nearly yearlong controversy that has frequently pit administrators and alumni against students and divided members of the Longhorn community. (link)

May 03: Speech/Racial Issues: The controversy over the use of a racial slur that has embroiled a public law school in New Jersey began with a student quoting from case law during a professor’s virtual office hours. The first-year student at Rutgers Law School in Newark, who is white, repeated a line from a 1993 legal opinion, including the epithet, when discussing a case. What followed has jolted the state institution, unleashing a polarizing debate over the constitutional right to free speech on campus and the power of a hateful word at a moment of intense national introspection over race, equity and systemic bias. (link)

May 01: Free Speech: Linfield University on Tuesday fired an English professor and public advocate for students and faculty who had complained about alleged sexual abuse by board trustees. The professor also earlier this month accused university President Miles K. Davis of making anti-Semitic comments to fend off criticism of how the school handled those sexual abuse complaints. The professor first shared the allegations on a Twitter thread this month. (link)

May 01: Burglary: A former University of Texas student is being accused of committing indecent acts in residence hall rooms he burglarized. The University of Texas Police Department filed charges against the student for burglary of a habitation and indecent assault after receiving an anonymous email reporting "possible burglaries with sexual deviant behavior at Jester Residence Hall." UTPD alleges the student entered three unoccupied dorm rooms and committed sexual acts with the victims’ property, then posted photos online. He also reportedly stole property. (link)

May 01: Hate Crime: A 21-year-old UConn student was arrested Thursday and charged with a hate crime one month after a swastika was found spray-painted on the side of a chemistry building on campus during Passover and directly across the street from UConn Hillel. The student was charged with third-degree intimidation based on bias and third-degree criminal mischief, UConn police announced Thursday afternoon. An arrest warrant affidavit details how investigators traced the student back to the crime using campus security camera footage, wireless internet records and his use of his student access card to enter buildings the night of the incident. (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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