Case In Point: Lessons for the proactive manager
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Case In Point: Lessons for the proactive manager
Volume 14 Number 05 | May 2022
Quotable .....
“Collegiality among colleagues is the ideal, but it is not a legal requirement.”

-- Anonymous

This month we wrap up our evaluation of last year's Case in Point news stories with a focus on Campus Life/Safety. Historically, this has been the most diverse of any of our categories as the events that can occur are limited only by the imagination of those who live on, study at, or visit our campuses.

This year the five most frequent topics were:

  1. Race Related Issues
  2. Free Speech Issues
  3. Hazing
  4. Crime Events on Campus
  5. Sexual Allegation/Crimes

However, while those five items were the most common, they were joined by a plethora of other stories with topics such as: mental health, study abroad issues, environmental concerns, policing on campus, drug related issues, social media abuse, campus climate, bomb threats, vaccination laws, and living conditions, just to name a few.

I've routinely said in presentations that the greatest risks we face are those issues or events that can impact the real (and perceived) safety of campus by students and parents. It is vital in today's world that we take actions to keep our communities safe and create a culture where people will speak up if they see things of concern.

In a somewhat related topic, we've noticed both here at our campus and in conversations with our counterparts coast to coast that anonymous reports have increased post pandemic. Many of these, I'd venture to say the majority even, are interpersonal issues between faculty, staff, and students. The ability to get along with colleagues appears to be slipping, and that is not a good thing in my view.

Collegiality is defined as ''cooperation between colleagues who share responsibility.'' We need collegiality to remain the rule as we share a responsibility in our industry to maintain a culture of excellence in education, research, and outreach (however that looks in your sphere of influence). So maybe today be a little more patient and a little kinder, and your world and mine might see fewer of these interpersonal reports that have risen lately.

There are many risk-related topics that deserve our attention in higher education. We again invite you to review the events noted over the past month with a view toward proactively managing risk. 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

May 24: Data Breach: St. Louis-based Washington University School of Medicine notified patients that a data breach had potentially exposed some of their personal health information. According to Washington University School of Medicine's website, the health system learned that an unauthorized person gained access to certain employee email accounts between March 4 and March 28. An investigation conducted March 24 was unable to determine whether the individual viewed any of the emails or attachments in the accounts. (link)

May 02: Ransomware Law: On April 5, 2022, North Carolina became the first state in the U.S. to prohibit state agencies and local government entities from paying a ransom following a ransomware attack. North Carolina's new law, which was passed as part of the state's 2021-2022 budget appropriations, prohibits government entities from paying a ransom to an attacker who has encrypted their IT systems and subsequently offers to decrypt that data in exchange for payment. The law prohibits government entities from even communicating with the attacker, instead directing them to report the ransomware attack to the North Carolina Department of Information Technology in accordance with G.S. 143B-1379. (link)

May 02: Ransomware: Kellogg Community College announced on May 1 that the technology issues that started days before were caused by a ransomware attack. Due to the ongoing attack, all KCC campuses are closed until further notice. Kellogg Community College IRT experts are working to resolve this situation as quickly as possible and hope to welcome students and faculty back later in the week. (link)

May 01: Ransomware: A new report from internet security provider Sophos shows that institutions of higher education not only were hit by cyber attacks often in 2021, but they also paid out hefty sums in ransom and still didn't get back all the data they lost when it was stolen. In its State of Ransomware 2022 study done of more than 5,500 organizations and sectors worldwide, colleges and universities that decided to pay hackers after breaches occurred only recovered about 60% of their precious information. Less than 5% got it all back. Across higher education, two-thirds that took part in the survey (100 to 5,000 employees) were hit by at least one ransomware attack in the previous year, up nearly 30% from 2020. The majority of hits were done using data encryption rather than simply holding the data hostage. (link)

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Fraud & Ethics Related Events

May 19: Embezzlement: Salinas police said that after a lengthy investigation, they arrested a former administrative assistant working for Hartnell College on eleven embezzlement and identity theft charges on Tuesday. The woman is accused of using thousands of dollars from the Hartnell College Foundation by linking their credit card to her own personal Amazon account. Police said she was found to have also been falsifying time card entries in the payroll system, using part-time employee profiles. (link)

May 13: Tax Evasion: Here is a lesson in do as I say, not as I do. A long-time accounting professor at Drexel University's business school has been charged with tax evasion and filing false returns for allegedly using creative bookkeeping measures to hide income he transferred overseas. The professor is accused of inflating costs to a pharmacy business he ran with his wife in order to underreport their actual profits by millions of dollars, prosecutors said. (link)

May 05: Rankings Fraud: A former administrator and a retired statistics professor at Temple University were sentenced to probation this week for assisting the former dean of its business school in a scheme to inflate its position in national rankings publications. But standing before a federal judge in Philadelphia a onetime finance manager at the Fox School of Business and a former tenured professor struck vastly different tones when it came to accepting responsibility for a scandal that has since cost the university millions in legal settlements. (link)

May 05: Embezzlement: A former college dean has been sentenced to a year in federal prison for embezzling more than $650,000 from a national student organization working to improve minority representation in the pharmacy industry. While serving as the volunteer Executive Director of the student association, the woman withdrew cash and issued checks from the group's bank accounts for her personal benefit. She used debit cards linked to the organization's accounts to make various personal purchases, including for trips to the Caribbean. (link)

May 03: Embezzlement: In November 2019, the East Central University bursar walked into the administration building with a computer bag containing more than $150,000 in checks and cash that he admitted to taking illegally from his employer through the manipulation of student accounts and stolen football game receipts. But by the time embezzlement and computer fraud charges were filed in March 2020, he had disappeared. More than two years later, police have not located him, and questions still linger about the situation's fiscal impact on the Ada-based regional university. (link)

May 01: Rankings Data Misreporting: Two deans at the University of Southern California's education school directed officials to omit key data submitted for U.S. News & World Report's annual list of best graduate schools, moves that contributed to the school's rise in the rankings, according to an investigation released Friday. In March, USC announced that it pulled the Rossier School of Education out of U.S. News & World Report's next annual rankings list after it discovered "a history of inaccuracies" in data reported by the school going back at least five years. The university commissioned an independent investigation to identify how the flawed data occurred. (link)

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Compliance/Regulatory & Legal Events

May 26: Sexual Harassment Lawsuit: A heralded animal behavior professor frequently traveled across the world with Canisius College students, filming wildlife and making videos aimed at conserving the natural environment. But his actions on one of those trips and on campus -- including accusations that he repeatedly sexually harassed female students -- are now the focus of a federal lawsuit against the college. Five former Canisius students have sued the college's trustees, accusing the college of retaliating against them after they complained in 2019 about the longtime professor and chairman of the animal behavior, ecology and conservation program. (link)

May 24: Sexual Assault: Police arrested an instructor at Goodwin University on Monday, charging him with fourth degree sexual assault and breech of peace. East Hartford Police said they received a complaint from an adult student of Goodwin University alleging an adjunct instructor at the University sexually assaulted the complainant Monday afternoon while on campus. (link)

May 23: Inappropriate Relationship: Princeton fired a classics professor, "effective immediately," on Monday after the university's administration found that he had not been fully honest and cooperative with an investigation into his sexual relationship with an undergraduate student about 15 years ago. The dismissal of the professor was a rare case of a tenured professor being dismissed, and came after a fierce debate on campus and in wider political spheres over whether he was targeted for his politics. In 2020, he wrote an article in Quillette, an online journal, that criticized anti-racist proposals by Princeton faculty, students and staff. (link)

May 17: Human Trafficking Lawsuit: A human-trafficking lawsuit brought by 14 international students from Chile against Western Iowa Tech Community College has survived a round of legal challenges and is proceeding in federal court. The school and other defendants are accused of working in concert to entice impoverished students to leave their home in Chile and come to Iowa, where they were placed in "debt bondage" working at a food-processing plant and dog-food factory. (link)

May 14: Academic Freedom Lawsuit: A San Jose State anthropology professor has lost her legal attempt to regain access to the university's collection of Native American remains after she was caught up in a cultural firestorm over her tweeted photo smiling with an indigenous skull. In a showdown over academic freedom, tenured professor Elizabeth Weiss argued in a lawsuit filed in February that the university retaliated against her and violated her First Amendment rights when it closed off the collection for research. (link)

May 12: Sexual Misconduct: An osteopathic physician with the University of Florida College of Medicine's anesthesiology department has been placed on paid leave after UF Police filed a criminal complaint after an administrative assistant accused him of sexual misconduct in March. The doctor is on paid leave pending the completion of an internal investigation, according to Cynthia Roldán, a university spokeswoman. No formal complaints or disciplinary actions have been filed with the Florida Department of Health, according to its website. (link)

May 12: Title IX Claims Dismissed: A federal judge in Nebraska dismissed the claims of four female students who had sued the University of Nebraska alleging that the school failed to adequately respond to their reports of being sexually assaulted and harassed by male athletes. In his ruling issued Wednesday, Chief U.S. District Judge Robert F. Rossiter, Jr. wrote that the school's actions, even with reported delays and missteps, did not reach the threshold of being "deliberately indifferent," and did not put the students at risk of further harm or violate their civil rights. (link)

May 11: Online Classes Settlement: The nearly 6,000 Lindenwood University students who had spring 2020 classes move online during the COVID-19 pandemic soon will be getting some money back. U.S. District Judge Ronnie L. White approved a $1.65 million settlement Wednesday between the St. Charles university and a class action group of students led by Dylan Martin, of Eldon, Missouri. Each student will receive roughly $185, and the students' attorneys will receive roughly $550,000. The suit against Lindenwood was one of several filed across the country by students who claimed they overpaid when classes went online. (link)

May 10: Discrimination Lawsuit: A former professor at the University of South Florida (USF) Health's College of Nursing is suing USF's Board of Trustees after he said he was forced to resign in the face of discrimination. Andrew Bugajski is suing the school for more than $100,000 in damages, according to documents filed in Hillsborough County Court. The Ph.D. nurse said he lost wages, and suffered damage to his professional and personal reputations, along with experiencing mental anguish because of the treatment he received during nearly three years with the university. (link)

May 11: Title IX Settlement: After a year in national headlines for allegations of covering up rape, punishing victims, and using the "Liberty Way" to silence accusers, a settlement has been reached in a lawsuit against Liberty University. All but two of the 20 women -- known as the Jane Does -- settled their lawsuit against Liberty. The lawsuit was brought in July with detailed accusations of victim-blaming and failures to properly investigate claims, as alleged offenders were allowed to remain on campus. (link)

May 05: Sexual Assault: A Brazos Valley doctor who worked for Texas A&M University is charged with sexually assaulting two female patients last year, according to probable cause statements obtained by KBTX following his arrest this week in Brazos County. According to the university, the doctor specializes in primary care sports medicine and was on the medical staff of Texas A&M Athletics, and served as an assistant professor of Family & Community Medicine at Texas A&M College of Medicine. (link)

May 04: Withheld Transcripts Law: New York state has banned a tradition known as "transcript ransoming" -- effectively banning colleges from withholding transcripts as a student debt collection tool. Gov. Kathy Hochul signed legislation Wednesday ending a practice that blocks students from accessing transcripts, even when needed to finish their degrees or land jobs that could help pay back those debts. An estimated 6.6 million students nationwide couldn't get their transcripts from colleges and universities due to unpaid bills as low as $25 or less, according to the national education newsroom The Hechinger Report. (link)

May 02: NCAA Violations: A Nebraska football coach received a one-year show-cause order and a five-day suspension to be served during the "championship segment" of the 2022 season as part of penalties for violating NCAA rules regarding countable coaches. The NCAA's committee on infractions released its findings after Nebraska agreed to the Level II violations and penalties as part of a negotiated resolution. The NCAA limits teams to 10 assistant coaches, and while many analysts are employed, they are not permitted to provide on-field or in-game instruction. (link)

May 01: Sexual Harassment: Brandon University has apologized after an external investigation detailed incidents of harassment and sexual violence within its women's soccer program, pledging a full review of its athletics department. The investigation and apology come following a Winnipeg Free Press report that the Bobcats women's soccer head coach remained on the job for months despite a school investigation that found he acted inappropriately with student athletes. (link)

May 01: Clery Act/Title IX: When Mara Louk told an administrator at Visible Music College, where she was a senior, that a male classmate had choked and raped her last November, she expected that school officials would help her file a police report and arrange a safety plan. Instead, she said in a federal complaint filed with the U.S. Department of Education on Wednesday, administrators at Visible, a Christian college in Memphis, Tennessee, accused her of breaking school rules against premarital sex with a different student, an ex-boyfriend. She denied having sex with him but said the school threatened to expel her unless she signed a confession and finished the school year remotely. (link)

May 01: Sexual Misconduct Settlement: The University of Southern California settled lawsuits with 80 former students, many of them gay men, who accused a campus doctor of sexual misconduct over the course of two decades, officials said Friday. The resolution marks a key point in holding USC "accountable for its failure to protect" students from the doctor, according to attorney Mikayla Kellogg, whose firm represented 57 of the 80 male plaintiffs. The doctor was accused of asking inappropriate questions of students and subjected many to needlessly invasive procedures, such as rectal examinations. (link)

May 01: Sexual Harassment: Austin Peay State University's vice president of student affairs has stepped down after a sexual harassment complaint was filed against him in March. The victim said the VP touched them after they "blatantly asking him to stop," according to APSU documents provided to The Leaf-Chronicle. The victim's name was redacted from the documents, including the official complaint, which said the VP's defense was that he was "just a touchy, geeky person" and that "it is what it is." (link)

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Campus Life & Safety Events

May 13: Hazing: Two Norwich University students have pleaded not guilty to charges related to a hazing investigation involving the women's rugby team at the private military college. Northfield Officer Karie Tucker said in an affidavit that she went to the school on March 20 for a report of someone being held at knifepoint. Tucker said she spoke to the woman two days later and that person reported that she had been "branded" using pliers and a lighter by other members of the rugby team. The victim said she was too intoxicated to say no and would not have agreed to be branded had she been sober, the newspaper had reported. (link)

May 13: Robbery: Three people were charged after an armed robbery in April inside a Coastal Carolina University dorm room, according to police. Police were called April 10 to Ingle Hall for reports of the armed robbery, according to a police report. Police checked surveillance footage and saw two men knock on the door of Ingle Hall. The two were let in the building by a University Housing staff member, according to the report. One of the suspects entered a dorm room and pointed a handgun at the resident. (link)

May 12: Campus Police: Two Riverside Community College police officers were injured Wednesday, May 11, as they arrested a man suspected of driving under the influence on the Riverside City College campus. They tried to arrest the man in Parking Lot K after an employee reported a crash there, said Chris Clarke, a Riverside Community College District spokesman. One officer suffered a leg injury and the other had bruises and knee pain, Clarke said. They were taken to Riverside Community Hospital, where they were treated and released. (link)

May 09: Campus Threats: Everett Community College and Skagit Valley College in Mount Vernon were locked down for threats Monday morning. A 7:33 a.m. tweet from Everett Community College said the main campus was in lockdown and that students should lock doors, seek shelter and avoid being seen or heard. Everett police said in a tweet the campus was locked down after a threat was emailed to the college. A second tweet from the police department said the campus was locked down out of an abundance of caution, and officers at the scene confirmed that there was no active threat. (link)

May 06: Drugs: The Ohio State University and Columbus Public Health are warning students of fake Adderall pills that are causing an increase in overdoses and hospitalizations. The university's Office of Student Life issued an urgent drug and alcohol safety message Thursday, warning students of the pills which appear to contain fentanyl. The warning came the day after three students reportedly overdosed near campus. According to our news partners at 10TV in Columbus, one of the students died Thursday. The university has not said what caused the overdoses. (link)

May 05: Greek Life: After almost three months, an Upstate college has concluded its investigation into what the school's president called "the racist, misogynistic, and hateful behaviors exhibited by individuals" before a sporting event at the college. The findings have led to the expulsion of several students, and permanently removing a fraternity from campus. The incident happened on Feb. 11 at Presbyterian College, in Clinton, as the women's lacrosse team was set to take on the visiting team from Howard University. School officials said a group of students yelled "hateful, inappropriate and racist" comments outside the stadium toward the Howard players. (link)

May 03: Free Speech: Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp signed a measure proponents say secures freedom of speech on Georgia's university and technical college system campuses. House Bill 1, the Forming Open and Robust University Minds Act, ostensibly aims to protect free speech rights anywhere on a college campus, not just in designated "Free Speech Zones." Critics, however, said the measure was unnecessarily vague and could protect extremists who descend onto a college campus. (link)

May 03: Sexual Abuse: A former sergeant with the University of Chicago Police Department faces sexual abuse and official misconduct charges after a fellow officer accused him of showing her a picture of his penis and groping her last year. The incident took place at a university parking garage. Shortly after 11 p.m. on Jan. 14, 2021, the man drove a marked squad car into the parking garage and saw the female officer, who had completed her shift and was off-duty, Assistant State's Attorney Heather Weber said in court Tuesday. (link)

May 03: Sexual Assault: 21-year-old man is facing charges of sexually assaulting and choking a fellow student at Norwich University in 2019, according to Northfield police. The accused man was 18 at the time of the alleged offenses, according to Helfant. Northfield police received a report on April 5 that a man had sexually assaulted a woman in dorms while they were students at the military academy, police said in a press release this week. The woman told police that over a two-month period, from September to November 2019, the man sexually assaulted her and also choked her three or four times, police said in the release. (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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