Case In Point: Lessons for the proactive manager
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Case In Point: Lessons for the proactive manager
Volume 13 Number 10 | October 2021
Quotable .....
“A free mind makes its own choices, an enslaved mind follows the crowd.”

-- Floyd Mayweather

One thing the pandemic has taught most of us is the need to be flexible and adjust quickly. This month I planned to discuss risk-intelligent culture; however, I got an email that changed my plans. We will come back to risk culture later this year.

October is Cyber Security Awareness Month. As such, Jim O'Conner, our Chief Information Officer (CIO), e-mailed the AU Cabinet some practical advice that he and Bill Miaoulis, our Chief Information Security Officer, developed. I thought it would be great advice for our readers this month.

Cyber-related risks are highly important to all of us in higher education (and virtually any industry). It takes not only professionals such as Jim and Bill and their expertise, but also all users making wise choices to ensure our institutions are protected. So without further ado, Jim and Bill's Excellent Cyber Security Protection Tips:

  1. Be extra careful with unsolicited offers in email or links included in your favorite websites. Check the URL carefully. For example: U-Tube and YouTube are completely different websites. Hackers may use something like That one character between the ''u'' and the ''T'' can cause you a world of problems.
  2. Watch those three characters after the last ''dot'' in the weblink (typically those characters are COM, NET, GOV, or something like that). and may take you to two very different sites.
  3. If you're using a personally owned computer to shop or do business, IT professionals recommend using all the same kinds of security tools Auburn provides. You need a VPN, Firewall/Anti-virus, and Two-Factor Authentication. Cybersecurity, Office of the CIO, and your department IT folks can make recommendations for cyber tools. (Don't forget to protect your cell phone).
  4. Cybersecurity and Audit, Compliance, and Privacy recommend you turn on Two-Factor Authentication everywhere it's offered – your bank, insurance company, sites like Amazon and PayPal, et al; anywhere you store a bank account number or credit card.
  5. If you haven't locked your credit file, you might consider doing so. There is a small annual cost for each credit service subscription you purchase. Once subscribed you can lock and unlock your credit file from your phone in just a minute or two. Need more information to help secure your credit? Visit Cybersecurity Credit Management Recommendations.

Cyber security is just one of many risks we encounter daily within higher education. We again invite you to review the events of the prior month with a view toward proactively managing these risks. As always, we welcome your comments and suggestions.

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

Oct 25: Data Breach: The University of Colorado Boulder is sending emails to roughly 30,000 former and current students that have been impacted by a data breach, according to a release from the university. Most of the people impacted are no longer CU students or employees, according to the release. The university said the third-party software, provided by Atlassian, had a vulnerability that impacted a program used by the Office of Information Security. The office did an analysis that showed some data was accessed by a hacker. The personal information included names, student ID numbers, addresses, dates of birth, phone numbers and genders. (link)

Oct 21: Data Breach: A Chico State employee has been charged with criminal hacking after officials say he leaked vaccine exemption requests and personal information from some students. The employee is accused of publishing a list of Chico State students who applied for a religious exemption from the university's COVID-19 vaccine requirement. Authorities say that the employee worked for Chico State's IT department and hacked into multiple computers to access the information. (link)

Oct 18: Ransomware Prevention: Is your institution at risk of a ransomware attack? That might depend on your network security, the openness of your platforms, and the proactive steps being taken to ensure data are continually protected. Colleges and universities have been relatively soft targets for online thieves looking to steal the latest research or personal information on students. Howard University, the University of California at San Francisco and University of Utah are among at least two dozen institutions where major breaches have occurred since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. (link)

Oct 03: Ransomware: Washington Adventist University (WAU) said it experienced a ransomware attack Saturday and that its Wi-Fi and internet access from the campus would not be available until further notice. The private university in Takoma Park, Maryland, said data may have been exposed but did not provide more details. The school is working with the Montgomery County Cyber Taskforce and the FBI to resolve the attack. (link)

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Fraud & Ethics Related Events

Oct 27: Burglary: Thousands of COVID-19 test kits have been recovered from Northwestern University students who allegedly stole them from an Evanston campus dormitory. About 4,500 Northwestern-owned COVID-19 test kits were stolen from a secure storage room in a common area of the Foster-Walker Complex at 1927 Orrington Ave., Northwestern University police said in a statement. The burglary was reported 5 p.m. Monday. Most of the test kits were recovered from at least two Northwestern students, police said Tuesday. (link)

Oct 26: Chinese Ties: A civilian professor at the Air Force's Air War College with a secret level security clearance pleaded guilty this week to lying to federal agents about his contacts with a government official in China. The professor, who is no longer employed at the war college on Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery, Alabama, also hid his attempted recruitment by the Shanghai government official during interviews with the FBI and Office of Personnel Management, according to a plea agreement in the case reached Monday. (link)

Oct 27: Occupational Fraud: A 58-year-old man who used to work as a bursar at City College of New York has been accused of stealing more than 900 checks from students, according to prosecutors. Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance announced Tuesday that the former bursar was charged with grand larceny, scheme to defraud and offering a false instrument for filing after he allegedly pocketed nearly $500,000 in scholarships and other financial awards for approximately 700 students from 2012 to 2019. Prosecutors said he deposited the stolen checks into his personal bank accounts through an ATM and used that money for flights to San Francisco, Jacksonville, Florida, and Italy. (link)

Oct 22: Use of Position for Financial Gain: A Former Oregon State University and LSU president, who resigned just nine months into his OSU tenure over revelations that LSU's athletics department systematically covered up sexual misconduct allegations under his watch, also appears to have violated Oregon law. He used OSU lawyers to respond to investigators in Louisiana, according to an Oregon Government Ethics Commission report. Oregon state law prohibits public officials from using their position for financial gain. By receiving legal advice from a university attorney, he saved himself the cost of hiring a lawyer to respond to Louisiana investigators, thus violating the law, commission staff wrote. (link)

Oct 26: Admissions Scandal/Bribery: A Former Georgetown University head tennis coach pleaded guilty to charges "in connection with soliciting and accepting bribes to facilitate the admission of prospective Georgetown applicants and failing to report all of the income from the bribes on his federal income taxes," according to a news release from the US Attorney's Office for Massachusetts. Prosecutors accused the former coach of soliciting and accepting bribe payments from college admissions consultant Rick Singer and families of prospective applicants to Georgetown to "to facilitate their admission to Georgetown as student athletes" and subsequently failing to report income from bribe payments on his tax returns, the release states. (link)

Oct 20: Misuse of Property: A top Augusta University researcher has resigned after allegations of misusing university property for his own gain, which he denies, according to documents obtained by The Augusta Chronicle. In the settlement agreement dated Aug. 24, the university said it had "become aware of information that may support allegations of violations of multiple policies and guidelines of AU by the Employee, to include but not limited to the policies governing use of AU and state property for personal gain, misuse and false statements with regard to outside professional activity and work commitment obligations, dishonesty, undisclosed conflicts of interest" and other allegations "all of which are denied by the employee." (link)

Oct 21: Occupational Fraud: A former employee at Manatee Technical College faces two felony charges after she allegedly funneled students' money into her personal bank account, authorities said. The employee reportedly used her job as a financial aid specialist to steal between $106,000 and $302,000 from low-income students who needed the money to attend MTC, located at 6305 E. State Road 70 in Bradenton. The alleged scheme carried on for more than four years before a wary student reported her last April. (link)

Oct 18: Fraud: A community college dean and a furniture company's bookkeeper have been arrested for defrauding the state to access job training funds, according to the latest report from State Auditor Shad White. The arrests are part of broader alleged misuse of $2.3 million in job training money over five years at Itawamba Community College. The case is the latest example of the state's history of inadequate oversight over several millions of dollars in taxpayer funded workforce development programs. (link)

Oct 17: Acquittal: The University of Tennessee at Knoxville has offered to reinstate a professor who was acquitted of federal charges that had accused him of hiding his relationship with a Chinese university while receiving NASA research grants, a letter obtained by the Knoxville News Sentinel says. The newspaper reports that in the Oct. 14 letter, Provost and Senior Vice Chancellor John Zomchick offered a tenured engineering professor job to to the professor, along with some back pay, and payment for an immigration attorney. The professor also was offered $200,000 over three years to reestablish his research program, and an explanation of the university's support for his work visa as a naturalized Canadian citizen, according to the report. (link)

Oct 13: Bribery: A Los Angeles City Councilman was indicted Wednesday on federal charges that he took bribes from a USC dean in exchange for directing millions of dollars in public funding to the university when he was on the L.A. County Board of Supervisors. The councilman is accused of conspiring with a former dean of USC's School of Social Work, to steer county money to the university in return for admitting his son into the graduate school with a full-tuition scholarship and a paid professorship. The alleged kickback scheme is the latest in a string of scandals that has marred USC's reputation in recent years. (link)

Oct 13: Grant Fraud Settlement: The University of Washington has agreed to pay more than $800,000 to settle Justice Department allegations that a professor submitted false documentation relating to a highly competitive grant. The documents misrepresented the involvement of two researchers who in reality were not involved in the work, the university said in an emailed statement. That could have made the grant application more attractive. The university was awarded about $1.4 million for the work, which concerned how biology interacts with man-made solids at the molecular level, according to NSF records. (link)

Oct 08: Racketeering: A former member of the University System of Georgia Board of Regents pleaded guilty to racketeering Thursday and was sentenced to eight years in prison. The former regent, who resigned from the board in 2019, admitted he took part in a scheme in which he sold fake accounts receivable invoices. In a common business practice known as "factoring," businesses may sell their accounts receivable to a third party at a discount. The goal of the scheme was to obtain approximately $1.7 million by selling fake accounts receivable invoices valued at about $2.2 million. (link)

Oct 05: Plagiarism: Faculty members at West Liberty University recently accused the president of the university of plagiarizing multiple sources in several public speeches and presentations. The president, who started at the West Virginia public university in January, first drew ire from faculty members and students for plagiarism in his fall convocation speech on Sept. 15. "During the convocation, several faculty members were looking at each other and talking about how some things just didn't quite sound right," said a West Liberty faculty member who asked to remain anonymous for fear of retribution. "People started actually googling during the convocation speech -- faculty and students, from what I saw -- and, long story short, people started just reading along." (link)

Oct 05: Financial Ethics: In the last two years of his presidency, a former Kentucky State University head spent more than $73,000 on his university-issued credit card, a majority of which went toward flights and hotels. Destinations included the Bahamas, Las Vegas, California and Cancun among others. The spending took place as the school's finances were hurtling toward what newly appointed Chief Financial Officer Greg Rush called a "$15 million problem." According to Rush's recent presentation to state legislators, the school anticipates a $15.7 million shortfall for this fiscal year. (link)

Oct 01: Occupational Fraud: Three former Tuskegee University employees have been arrested after an investigation into an apparent fraud scheme, according to the university. In a letter, President Charlotte Morris said the university learned in January 2020 of "financial irregularities involving grant payments in certain university fund accounts." The university conducted an investigation and worked with law enforcement, she said, and confirmed "several former employees had conducted a multiyear scheme to defraud Tuskegee of approximately $500,000 by diverting grants and university-owned funds." (link)

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Compliance/Regulatory & Legal Events

Oct 25: Antitrust Lawsuit Settlement: Certain faculty members at Duke University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have started receiving checks as part of $19 million Duke agreed to pay to settle a class-action lawsuit alleging that the two schools conspired not to steal faculty from each other. A federal judge approved the settlement agreement in late August, ending a long-running dispute that also included a $54 million settlement Duke paid two years ago to medical faculty at the two schools. (link)

Oct 24: Title IX: When Elizabeth Axley first told Liberty University officials she had been raped, she was confident they'd do the right thing. After all, the evangelical Christian school invoked scripture to encourage students to report abuse. "Speak up for those who can't speak for themselves, for the rights of all who need an advocate. -- Proverbs 31:8." It was quoted in large type across an information sheet from the school's office tasked with handling discrimination and abuse. (link)

Oct 21: Title IX Lawsuit: After 12 women filed a lawsuit alleging that Liberty University mishandled their rape and sexual assault investigations, more plaintiffs and witnesses have come forward, according to a new court filing. A status report filed Thursday in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York said, "Since the Complaint was filed, additional plaintiffs and witnesses have come forward. It is likely that, if the case does not resolve amicably, a First Amended Complaint will be filed on behalf of Jane Does 1-through-22, including certain current students at Liberty University." (link)

Oct 20: Termination Lawsuit: Former Washington State coach Nick Rolovich will be suing the university for illegal termination, in part because of "discriminatory and vindictive behavior" by athletic director Pat Chun, an attorney representing Rolovich said Wednesday. Washington State fired Rolovich and four other assistant coaches Monday night after they refused to comply with a mandate that required all state employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19. Brian Fahling, an attorney in Kenmore, Washington, who is representing Rolovich, confirmed in a statement to ESPN that Rolovich's request for a religious exemption based on his "devout" Catholic faith was denied by the university. (link)

Oct 19: Affirmative Action: A federal judge on Monday ruled the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill did not discriminate against white and Asian American applicants in a closely watched case challenging the consideration of race in undergraduate student admissions. The ruling by U.S. District Judge Loretta Biggs in Winston-Salem came in a lawsuit by Students for Fair Admissions, a group founded by conservative anti-affirmative action activist Edward Blum that is pursuing a similar case against Harvard University. In the UNC case, SFFA accused the school of violating the U.S. Constitution and the Civil Rights Act by making race the predominant factor in its admissions process to favor Black and Hispanic applicants to the detriment of white and Asian American candidates. (link)

Oct 14: Sexual Misconduct: A head athletic trainer at Southeastern University is out of a job and no longer has a license to practice in Florida following a sexual misconduct allegation involving a volleyball player. A 23-year-old graduate student, who played with the women's volleyball team and served as an assistant coach, accused the trainer of inappropriately exposing her private area during a one-on-one session to treat a leg injury in November 2020, according to an investigative report filed with the Fla. Department of Health and a police report obtained by 8 On Your Side. (link)

Oct 12: Discrimination Lawsuit: Former Boston College women's soccer coach Alison Foley is suing the University for gender discrimination and improper wiretapping after allegedly being forced to resign in 2018 following her record-setting 22 seasons. In the lawsuit, which was filed in November 2020, Foley alleges that she was dismissed from BC "for advocating on behalf of herself and her female student athletes to be treated fairly and equitably." In the suit, Foley alleges that BC held her to a different standard than it held male coaches, specifically concerning her contract status and the way that athletics department members dealt with complaints about her leadership style from student-athletes. (link)

Oct 09: Free Tampon Law: California public schools and colleges must stock their restrooms with free menstrual products under a bill signed Friday by Gov. Gavin Newsom. The move comes as women's rights advocates push nationwide for affordable access to pads, tampons and other items. California's latest effort builds on a 2017 law requiring low-income schools in disadvantaged areas to provide students with free menstrual products. (link)

Oct 08: Title IX Lawsuit: A Michigan State football player filed a Title IX lawsuit Friday alleging he has been unfairly suspended from the team and in limbo since February while university investigators have yet to make a decision as to the sexual misconduct allegations against him. The lawsuit states that a woman reported that the plaintiff, a sophomore scholarship football player, and another MSU football player sexually assaulted her in the other player's room on Jan. 31. The plaintiff said the encounter was consensual, according to the complaint. (link)

Oct 07: Title IX Lawsuit: A former University of Wisconsin-Whitewater student who said she was sexually harassed by the former chancellor's husband has filed a lawsuit against the university system alleging UW-Whitewater violated her right to due process and protection from discrimination. Stephanie Goettl Vander Pas is a former UW-Whitewater student and former Whitewater alderwoman. In 2018, she came forward with allegations of sexual assault and harassment against the husband of the then-Chancellor. The lawsuit alleges UW-Whitewater officials were aware of the sexually abusive behavior against several women but failed to take timely action to stop it. (link)

Oct 06: Title IX Lawsuit: Louisiana State University officials did little to address allegations of sexual harassment and assault against a French graduate student, enabling his interactions with undergraduate women and high school girls, even after learning he had been arrested on a rape charge in central Louisiana, six women said in a federal lawsuit. The suit, filed Monday in Baton Rouge, says two of the plaintiffs, both undergraduate students, were eventually raped by the student, who is believed to have taken refuge in France. (link)

Oct 06: Discrimination Lawsuit: An Iranian-born research scientist alleges that a former University of Alabama at Birmingham co-worker harassed her for nine years because of her ethnicity and even threatened her with a pistol but that the school failed to stop the abuse even after she repeatedly complained. The woman, Fariba Moeinpour, said in a federal discrimination lawsuit filed in the Northern District of Alabama that a data analyst at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, or UAB, taunted her for having a "weird ass" name, called her a "b----" and told her repeatedly to "go back to Iran." (link)

Oct 06: Title IX Athletics Settlement: As part of the University of Iowa's deal to settle a lawsuit accusing it of federal gender equity violations, the institution has agreed to pay "reasonable attorneys' fees and costs" of nearly $400,000 and maintain a women's swimming and diving team for at least seven more years. And it will hire an outside monitor to report publicly on how the Athletics Department is living up to the Title IX gender equity requirements. (link)

Oct 06: Sexual Abuse: An Ozark woman who works as a community college professor has been arrested on 40 sex crime charges, including two counts of traveling to meet a child for an unlawful sex act. According to jail records, the woman, 38, was arrested and charged with 30 counts of sexual abuse, eight counts of sodomy, and two counts of traveling to meet a child for an unlawful sex act. She is currently being held in the Dale County Jail without bond. (link)

Oct 06: Sexual Assault: A Michigan State University engineering professor has been placed on administrative leave after being charged with sexual assault, according to a university spokesperson. The professor is charged with two counts of second-degree criminal sexual conduct and one count of third-degree criminal sexual conduct in Clinton County. Court records show the alleged sexual assault took place in July in Bath Township. (link)

Oct 05: Sexual Abuse Lawsuit: A new lawsuit alleges faculty at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts perpetrated sexual abuse on minor students over the course of two decades, in the 1970s and 1980s. Former students who brought the lawsuit allege that during that time a culture of sexual abuse was "widely known" and ignored or condoned by school administrators, their lawsuit states. The lawsuit filed Wednesday alleges administrators were negligent and that they and the instructor inflicted emotional distress. It also alleges battery by the instructor. The plaintiffs allege UNCSA failed to provide a school free from "continual sexual intimidation, abuse, exploitation and harassment." (link)

Oct 01: Discrimination Settlement: Syracuse University agreed Friday to pay $3.7 million to settle a class-action lawsuit filed by five female faculty members who claimed the school's pay and promotion policies discriminated against women. SU did not admit any wrongdoing or liability in a proposed settlement of the case filed in state Supreme Court in Brooklyn. The university said Friday it had raised the pay before the lawsuit of more than 150 women faculty members by nearly $2 million since it conducted a 2017 evaluation of full-time faculty salaries. (link)

Oct 01: NCAA Violations: The NCAA ruled Thursday that members of Mercer's women's cross country coaching staff committed recruitment violations and that Mercer failed to monitor its cross country program. The infractions occurred in fall 2018, during which an international athlete competing in women's cross country and track and field arrived in Macon, Georgia months prior to her planned spring 2019 enrollment. The former head coach and assistant coach provided the prospective athlete cost-free travel and housing, institutional gear, tickets to home football games and lodging to attend cross country meets, totaling over $1,300 in value. (link)

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Campus Life & Safety Events

Oct 27: Peeping Allegation: An Appalachian State University employee was taken into custody on Friday, Oct. 22, after an investigation into a mobile phone being reported in a bathroom vent at Eggers Residence Hall. Upon seizing the mobile phone, the App State Police Department obtained an arrest warrant for an App State Facilities Operations employee for alleged secret peeping, which is a criminal offense under North Carolina General Statutes. (link)

Oct 25: Mental Health: Pediatricians are sounding the alarm on children's mental health declaring it a national emergency. Mental health is also plaguing college students including death by suicide. Students on San Diego State's campus say despite being able to return to campus there's still added anxiety. Colleges around the country are also struggling to address mental health that includes student suicides. The CDC reports nationwide suicide is the second leading cause of death among the college-age population. (link)

Oct 25: Body Shaming: Six women athletes who left the University of Oregon track and field program in recent seasons say they felt devalued as individuals and at risk for eating disorders because of the program's data-driven approach to their weight and body fat percentages. Five of the women departed with remaining eligibility. One said she began binge-eating while at Oregon. Another says she struggles with body dysmorphia and has nightmares about competing at Hayward Field, Oregon's iconic track stadium, while UO coaches stare at her and say: "You're never going to be good enough." (link)

Oct 25: Housing Conditions: Mold. Rats. Cockroaches. Mushrooms growing under the sink. For undergraduate students attending Howard University, a historically Black college in Washington, these and other conditions have prompted students to protest, staging a sit-in and sleeping at the university's main student center for the past two weeks. Since 12 October they have protested what they describe as deplorable housing conditions, including mold on expired air filters, rat and cockroach infestations, and mushrooms blooming on dorm room ceilings and under sinks, despite on-campus housing costing upwards of $12,000 a year. (link)

Oct 20: Student Death/Fraternity Suspension: The University of Kentucky has "suspended all activities" for the FarmHouse Fraternity while the death of freshman member Thomas "Lofton" Hazelwood is being investigated. Hazelwood, an 18-year-old agricultural economics student from Henderson, was found unresponsive when UK Police responded about 6:22 p.m. Monday to the fraternity house at 456 Rose Lane on the Lexington campus. Hazelwood was taken to UK HealthCare's Albert B. Chandler Hospital, where he was pronounced dead a few minutes after 7 p.m. from "presumed alcohol toxicity," the Fayette County Coroner's Office said. (link)

Oct 19: Flight School Death: The University of North Dakota's aerospace school has canceled all flight activities after a student pilot from Chicago died in an airplane crash. The University of North Dakota plane went down about 8:30 p.m. Monday in a field near the Traill County community of Buxton, in northeastern North Dakota, according to the Highway Patrol. The Grand Forks-based school identified the victim as 19-year-old John Hauser, a student majoring in commercial aviation from Chicago. UND's aviation school is one of the largest such programs in the country, with more than 1,800 students and 500 faculty members. (link)

Oct 18: Stadium Behavior: Tennessee will be fined $250,000 and is required to investigate to identify those who threw debris on the field at Neyland Stadium during Ole Miss' 31-26 win over the Volunteers on Saturday night. The SEC made the announcement Monday. The financial fine will be deducted from the university's share of SEC revenue distribution. All individuals identified as having been involved in disrupting the game will be banned for attending Tennessee athletics events for the academic and athletic year. (link)

Oct 18: Vaccine Mandate: Nick Rolovich came to Washington State as a fun-loving coach, known nationally for his off-the-wall antics and an ability to win. After less than two years and only 11 games, Rolovich has been fired, and will be known nationally as one of the highest-profile terminations for refusing to get a COVID-19 vaccine. Washington State athletic director Pat Chun said WSU had "initiated the separation process with Rolovich and four of his assistant coaches for not complying with the state mandate that all state employees be fully vaccinated by Monday. (link)

Oct 17: Shooting: One person was killed and seven others were wounded Sunday morning in a shooting at Grambling State University, the second fatal shooting on the university's campus within the last week, officials said. According to university officials, the shooting occurred at 1:15 a.m. in the quad area of the campus. The person who died Sunday wasn't enrolled at the school, according to The Associated Press. (link)

Oct 12: Speech: A University of Montana Computer Science faculty member who had posted disparaging remarks about women, LGBTQ+ people and Muslims on his blog is on leave pending an investigation, UM said Tuesday. Monday, the Montana Kaimin reported that the professor had posted derogatory comments on his blog, "Upward Thought," and also that the tenured faculty member had started deleting posts after the newspaper began asking questions. (link)

Oct 06: Sexual Abuse: A commission at Gonzaga University, a Jesuit institution in Washington State, recently released a 46-page report on how the institution should move forward in response to the Roman Catholic clergy sexual abuse crisis. The report outlines a series of recommendations the university -- which has been squarely implicated in the crisis -- should take in response, including developing new academic initiatives, establishing a memorial, reviewing policies related to sexual assault on campus and increasing outreach to and support for tribal communities and Native students in recognition of the fact that "in Gonzaga's regional context, the history of Catholic sexual abuse has disproportionately harmed Native communities." (link)

Oct 09: Burglary: West Virginia University issued a campus warning after a burglary on Oct. 8. After an investigation, University Police arrested a WVU Facilities employee. What is known so far is that at approximately 9:30 p.m. a call from the Boreman South residence hall on the Downtown Campus was received. The following investigation determined that an individual "entered multiple unoccupied rooms without permission and stole various articles of clothing." (link)

Oct 11: Mental Health: UNC-Chapel Hill officials canceled classes Tuesday after police investigated multiple reports of suicide since the start of classes this fall. Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz announced the cancellations in a statement Sunday night, saying that on World Mental Health Day, the school was taking a moment to reflect on the seriousness of mental health issues. (link)

Oct 09: Cancel Culture: A professor of music at the University of Michigan is no longer teaching his undergraduate composition class following controversy over his decision to show a movie featuring a white actor in blackface. The composition course was to focus on the works of William Shakespeare and on September 10 the professor showed a film version of the classic play Othello. The eponymous main character is described as a "Moor" and has frequently been depicted as a Black man. (link)

Oct 01: Sexual Assault/Harassment: Ashley woke up naked in a shower of the communal bathroom in her dorm at the University of San Francisco. She had no idea how she got there. It was March 2018, her freshman year. Disoriented and groggy, she made her way back to her room to lie down and piece together the night before. There was the nightclub where she met two men, one a current and one a former USF men's soccer player. She had been drinking but remembers going back with them to "the soccer house," where a group of players lived and regularly threw parties. From there things become hazy. Her last memory before she blacked out is of sitting on a couch with the two men who brought her there. "I just had snippets of that night, and I was doing stuff with both of them," Ashley tells Sports Illustrated, her voice cracking as she starts to cry. "I woke up and was like, what the heck was that about? And then, um, I knew something happened." (link)

Oct 01: Harassment: A former student-athlete has recently come forward with allegations of homophobia and harassment against the director of the University of North Texas track and field program. The subsequent investigation from the Equal Opportunity Office in 2020 found that the incident was "unsubstantiated" as harassment, although the report did not dispute that the incident occurred. Tatum Catalani-Henderson, a university alumna, was a sprinter on the team during the 2019-2020 year, having previously played on the university women's basketball team the year before. According to Catalani-Henderson, in the fall of 2019, on one of the first days of practice, Catalani-Henderson was eating lunch with a teammate, the director and an assistant coach in Champs Dining Hall. (link)

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Oct 21: Student Loan Debt: Black borrowers say policymakers have ignored the racial and economic evidence of inequality in student loan debt with the majority insisting that canceling all student debt is the best solution to the crisis, according to a new report released Wednesday by The Education Trust. The report, which focuses on the perspectives and life experiences of nearly 1,300 Black borrowers, likened the disparities to "Jim Crow." Many respondents believed student loans were not set up to give Black Americans financial freedom and they disrupt their quality of life and mental health, according to the findings. (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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