Case In Point: Lessons for the proactive manager
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Case In Point: Lessons for the proactive manager
Volume 14 Number 12 | December 2022
Quotable .....
“If you're proactive, you focus on preparing. If you're reactive, you end up focusing on repairing.”

-- John C. Maxwell

We write to you for the final time in 2022 and hope you have enjoyed and benefited from this publication during the year. This edition marks the completion of our 14th year of publication for Case in Point (CIP). CIP has become something we could never have envisioned and continues to grow with a 12% increase in subscribers over last year. In fact, what began as an AU publication now reaches substantially more people at other institutions. We appreciate you taking the time to read our newsletter each month, and we will continue to strive to promote proactive risk management in higher education.

Since we add new readers routinely, we occasionally like to take time to remind everyone of the purpose of CIP and how we suggest you “use” this publication at your institution. We also want you to know that you are welcome to share with others or redistribute as long as AU remains credited as the source.

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, 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.

For the final time in 2022, we invite you to review the events of the prior month with a view toward proactive risk management. We hope you have a great holiday season and look forward to connecting again in January.

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

Dec 12: Grading Glitch Update: All assignment grades that were changed during a glitch in an online course portal used by the University of Maine at Augusta were authorized, an internal review of the incident found. University officials previously reported that a "limited number" of grades were altered in late November, when students were mistakenly granted administrative access to their course materials on Brightspace Learning Managment System. An investigation into the incident by David Demers, the UMaine System’s chief information officer, has now confirmed these changes did not stem from students acting unethically during the nearly two days the system was affected. (link)

Dec 07: Data Breach: On November 30, 2022, Suffolk University reported a data breach with the attorney general offices of several states after learning that an unauthorized party was able to access and remove certain files containing sensitive student information from the school’s computer network. According to Suffolk University, the breach resulted in the following student information being compromised: full names, Social Security numbers, driver’s license numbers, state identification numbers, financial account information and protected health information. (link)

Dec 05: Email Breach: A former cop accused of hacking social media accounts to access women’s nude photos allegedly found his victims through email accounts at a local school, authorities say. The man "illegally accessed" more than 2,800 email accounts at Rowan College at Burlington County, according to the Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office. Initially charged in October with targeting one woman, he is now accused of hacking social media and email accounts of 18 additional victims. "The investigation determined the commonality among all victims was that each one had a student email account (at RCBC)," the prosecutor’s office said. (link)

Dec 05: Ransomware: November saw an influx of ransomware attacks reported against the education sector, with some tied to the Hive ransomware group after threat actors claimed responsibility through the groups' public data leak site. At least five of the 24 confirmed or disclosed ransomware attacks last month were against K-12 schools and universities, though that figure is likely much larger. While TechTarget Editorial tracks publicly reported ransomware events and official disclosures that include terms such as "encrypted data," there were signs that ransomware was involved in several additional instances referred to only as a cyber attack or security incident. (link)

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Fraud & Ethics Related Events

Dec 08: Financial Aid Fraud: A Shreveport, Louisiana mother and son are among those indicted on federal charges in the Eastern District of Texas, announced U.S. Attorney Brit Featherston today. According to the indictment, between August 2019 and February 2020, the woman was the director of financial aid at Texas College in Tyler. She allegedly used her access to students’ financial aid accounts to trigger financial aid payments to her son and others that they were not entitled or eligible to receive. (link)

Dec 06: Academic Fraud: In June 2021, paleontologist Melanie During submitted a manuscript to Nature that she suspected might create a minor scientific sensation. But During, a Ph.D. candidate at Uppsala University (UU), received a shock of her own in December 2021, while her paper was still under review. Her former collaborator Robert DePalma, whom she had listed as second author on the study, published a paper of his own in Scientific Reports reaching essentially the same conclusion, based on an entirely separate data set. During, whose paper was accepted by Nature shortly afterward and published in February, suspects that DePalma, eager to claim credit for the finding, wanted to scoop her—and made up the data to stake his claim. (link)

Dec 01: Ethics: A lawyer for Texas Southern University Police Chief Mary Young said her client's job is now in jeopardy after she told officers to stop being "errand boys" for the university’s president. The attorney said police officers were acting as chauffeurs and personal attendants for the TSU president and when they were told to stop, the university moved to fire the chief. On Thursday, a Harris County Judge granted Chief Young a temporary restraining order, allowing her to keep her job, at least temporarily. (link)

Dec 01: Embezzlement: A Former Georgia Vocational Rehabilitation Agency counselor has been sentenced to five years in prison for forging educational records and creating fake students with non-existent disabilities and illnesses in an elaborate, multi-year scheme to steal more than $1.3 million. From approximately May 2016 to November 2020, the woman and her husband(who has been separately charged) conspired to steal money from the GVRA by claiming educational expenses for approximately 13 fake students. They used the names of actual friends and relatives as the names of the fake disabled students seeking tuition assistance from the GVRA. (link)

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Compliance/Regulatory & Legal Events

Dec 12: Assault: The University of Texas men's basketball head coach was arrested and charged with assault on a family member early Monday. He was released after posting a $10,000 bond. The second-year Longhorns coach has been suspended by UT without pay "until further notice," according to a statement. Austin police spokesman Brandon Jones said the coach is accused of choking a person at a home in the Tarrytown neighborhood in West Austin. (link)

Dec 12: Staff/Student Relationship: A Tennessee State University staffer was arrested earlier this month after she allegedly rammed her vehicle into a Tigers player's car in a fit of jealous rage. According to court records a TSU junior running back called police at 2:30 AM on Dec. 3 in Davidson County, TN after he said he saw his "ex-'fling'", the Tigers' director of football operations and on-campus recruiting, in her car outside of his apartment as he was arriving home with his girlfriend. The Tigers tailback alleged she then rammed her vehicle into his car while he and his girlfriend were still in it. (link)

Dec 08: Child Abuse: A trial date is set for a former Oklahoma college police chief arrested for child abuse in Wabaunsee County. The man is charged with two counts of child abuse against an 11-year-old, and one count of interference with law enforcement. He was bound over this week, and is scheduled for arraignment January 17. The man was police chief for Northwestern Oklahoma State University at the time of his arrest. He’s no longer employed there. (link)

Dec 08: Child Pornography: A former officer at Missouri University of Science and Technology pleaded guilty to possessing child pornography. The Phelps County Sheriff's Department got a tip that child pornography was being uploaded to a Gmail account. Investigators traced the IP address to the university, and then to the suspect who was the school's chief diversity officer. On February 9, 2021, law enforcement officials conducted a search of the suspect's home and office. They found evidence of pornographic images in two email accounts and found that pornographic images had been deleted from his home and work computers. (link)

Dec 08: Title IX Lawsuit: Kendall Ware, the former University of Vermont swimmer who claimed a men's basketball player raped her in 2019, is part of a joint civil lawsuit accusing the school of mishandling their sexual assault investigations, court records show. The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Burlington on Tuesday, also names Ware's alleged aggressor. Two other plaintiffs join Ware in suing the school, claiming they were sexually assaulted in separate incidents during their time as students at UVM. According to the complaint, the lawsuit accuses UVM of sex discrimination, violations of Title IX and denial of equal protection, among other claims. (link)

Dec 06: Cooperation with Law Enforcement: New Mexico State basketball players and coaches skipped town in a university-owned bus while investigators were trying to interview them and find the gun that was used by one of their players in a self-defense defense shooting on the UNM campus hours before tipoff, according to a report obtained by Target 7. As a result, a detective sped down Interstate 25 with lights and siren on and pulled over the bus as it was headed back to Las Cruces with evidence on board. Eventually, state police found the gun with an assistant basketball coach at an Albuquerque hotel, a tablet on the bus and the cell phone belonging to NMSU forward Mike Peake that ended up in the hands of a university administrator in Las Cruces. (link)

Dec 02: Violating Medical Cadavers: Two students from the University of Pittsburgh are accused of violating medical cadavers during an anatomy lab last month. University of Pittsburgh Police say that the students are each charged with one count of abuse of corpse after they improperly treated medical cadavers in a class at Victoria Hall. According to police, on November 4, one student was seen by multiple individuals allegedly using his fingers to violate a female cadaver and the other student was reported by students for allegedly making inappropriate comments while sticking his fingers inside a male cadaver's chest. (link)

Dec 01: Retaliation Lawsuit: Two Cuyahoga Community College professors on Monday filed a lawsuit accusing the school and its top administrators of retaliating against them for making critical comments about the school to the press. Diane Gaston and Linda Lanier told a WOIO Channel 19 reporter in a May 2021 segment that the school’s decision to offer fewer in-person courses at its downtown campus than at suburban campuses disproportionately harmed Black and minority students. The lawsuit says the school, Johnson and six other administrators violated the professors’ First Amendment rights in disciplining them for speaking to the media, illegally retaliated against them and discriminated against them over their race and gender, the lawsuit said. (link)

Dec 01: Blackmail: A former teaching assistant at Saint Louis University (SLU) pleaded guilty on Thursday to a federal charge and admitted to blackmailing a student. The man was a teaching assistant in one of the victim’s classes in the fall of 2020, according to his plea agreement. They dated briefly in December 2020. The 34-year-old admitted to setting up Instagram accounts and using them to threaten the victim, according to a press release. In these messages, he demanded $30,000 and sex from the victim, according to the release. He threatened to send nude pictures and videos to her friends, classmates and relatives if she did not adhere to his demands. (link)

Dec 01: Discrimination Lawsuit: Yale University is accused in a federal lawsuit filed Wednesday of discriminating against students with mental health disabilities, including pressuring some to withdraw from the prestigious institution and then placing "unreasonable burdens" on those who seek to be reinstated. The lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Connecticut on behalf of current and former students seeks no monetary damages. Rather, it demands changes to Yale's withdrawal policies, including the required forfeiture of health insurance and tuition payments, among other rules. (link)

Dec 01: Discrimination Lawsuit Settlement: Ellen Vitetta, Distinguished Teaching Professor and Scheryle Simmons Patigian Distinguished Chair in Cancer Immunobiology at the University of Texas’s Southwestern Medical Center, worked for decades to make her institution more welcoming to women. Yet Vitetta says that none of this progress mattered when a group of younger, male administrators decided it was time for her to retire, starting in 2012, when she was approaching 70. That’s when she says she was forced to close a key part of her research center and surrender lab space to a new, younger male hire. (link)

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Campus Life & Safety Events

Dec 15: Arrest on Campus: A 20-year-old Winston-Salem State University student was arrested following a disagreement with a professor, WXII12 reports. Video of the student’s arrest has started to circulate online after it was first posted on TikTok by a fellow student. In the clip, the Black student can be seen telling officers to stop hurting her during the forceful arrest, which she said was the result of an argument with her white teacher. Per the university, a staff member who was not involved in the situation called police after unsuccessful attempts to de-escalate the situation. The student is facing a misdemeanor of disorderly conduct and is scheduled to appear in court in January. According to one leader at the school, the disagreement between the faculty and the 20-year-old stemmed from an assignment. (link)

Dec 14: Threat: Tufts University police urged students to evacuate three campus buildings following a bomb scare on their Medford campus. The area was later cleared after no threats were identified. Authorities sent an alert shortly after 3:30 p.m. instructing anyone in Ballou Hall, Miller Hall, and Mayer Campus Center to evacuate immediately. At 5 p.m. police sent out another alert confirming that the areas were safe. A threat emailed to Tufts’ diversity department and blamed the university for "anti-white racism." The email claims that a "multiracial group" placed bombs in Miller Hall, Ballou Hall, Mayer Campus Center, and the university’s Rainbow Steps. (link)

Dec 09: Rape: A University of South Dakota men's basketball player is in jail and charged with rape. The 20- year- old was arrested by Vermillion Police on a charge of second-degree rape. The player, a sophomore forward from Romania in his first season with the Coyotes, is accused of attacking a woman early this morning in a USD residence hall. (link)

Dec 08: Threats: A prominent Chico State University biology professor allegedly spoke of killing two female colleagues who cooperated in a 2020 investigation that found he had a prohibited sexual affair with a graduate student, state court and newly released university records show. A former FBI agent hired by the university to evaluate the professor and the alleged threat concluded that the university might have been justified to fire him, his report shows. But the professor did not act on the alleged threat and Chico State retained him, sanctioning him lightly for the alleged affair. (link)

Dec 07: Athletics Environment: A debate now rages in college sports and athletics at every level: What constitutes bullying, and what is merely good, hard-nosed coaching that aims to get the most out of young adult athletes? "There absolutely is a fine line between those two things, and it actually allows for somebody to behave in a more bullying manner under the guise of ‘I’m pushing you to be the best that you can be.’ And then the victim is kind of forced to accept that," said Deidre Abrons, a licensed marriage and family psychotherapist in Oakland, California, with extensive trauma and PTSD experience. Sports programs across the county are weighing whether such tough coaching styles have a place in a world where student-athletes demand more sensitive treatment and more individualized training. (link)

Dec 07: Racial Issues: Brown University now explicitly prohibits discrimination on the basis of caste, joining a number of US colleges and universities in shoring up protections against an ill-understood, insidious form of oppression. The university’s governing body voted this fall to add caste as a protected characteristic to its nondiscrimination policy, alongside categories such as race, religion, sex and gender identity. It’s the first Ivy League institution to add such protections for the wider campus community, including students, faculty and staff, according to the advocacy organization Equality Labs. (link)

Dec 06: Vandalism: This fall semester, nearly 450 University of Vermont students have been billed for the destruction of property in residence halls "unlike anything we’ve seen before," vice provost for student affairs Erica Caloiero said during an October 26 video message to UVM families. Since the beginning of the school year, the university estimated that students have caused nearly $18,000 worth of damage to school property, some of which was documented in the video. In one residence hall, students apparently removed an elevator door; in other instances, they tore out an electrical panel, broke an ID card reader that allows students to enter campus buildings and busted the tiles of some hallway ceilings, exposing the wiring underneath. (link)

Dec 06: Trespassing: Brown University's Department of Public Safety said a person accused of trespassing in a residence hall was arrested over the weekend. Students told NBC 10 News that the intruder was found inside a female dorm room at Wayland House on Brown Street. Brown's DPS said an investigation revealed the suspect is not known to students, did not have permission to be in the residence hall, and was "occupying space in the building unlawfully." (link)

Dec 06: Free Speech: Two Tennessee Technological University professors who were disciplined after posting flyers on campus calling another professor racist for advising a Turning Point USA student chapter had their free speech retaliation and due process case dismissed. (link)

Dec 05: Greek Life: Tulane University placed Phi Gamma Delta on interim suspension last week after a document circulated that shows the fraternity used an anti-gay slur in a spreadsheet to reference several students undergoing fraternity recruitment. The spreadsheet includes over 60 student names and uses a color code to denote status and favorability. Several names are highlighted in red, which corresponds to the slur written at the top of the spreadsheet. (link)

Dec 05: Murder: A 38-year-old man accused of intentionally running down and possibly stabbing a Mt. San Antonio College employee at the Walnut campus was charged Monday with murder. The murder charge against the man includes an allegation that he used deadly weapons in the attack -- a knife and a vehicle. The suspect, a former employee of the college, is accused of running down 63-year-old Rafael Barragan Jr. at about 7:30 a.m. Thursday in the 1100 block of North Grand Avenue, according to the sheriff's department. (link)

Dec 05: Strike/Labor Practices: Unionized part-time faculty at COC began the strike at 6 a.m. Monday as a part of a protest over contract negotiations, according to union AFT Local 6262. The union is alleging unfair labor practices and accusing the college of cutting part-time faculty pay, refusing to give them a fair pay increase and forcing them to work for free. College of the Canyons employs approximately 554 adjunct faculty members according to a fall 2021 report from the American Federation of Teachers (AFT). (link)

Dec 01: Office Burglary: In early September, the office of Cornell University Architecture, Art, and Planning (Cornell AAP) professor Samia Henni was broken into, vandalized, and looted. This week, architects and academics have rallied in support of a more appropriate official response to this act. According to a now-circulating open letter dated November 29, following this event, in which "sensitive materials were stolen from Dr. Henni’s office," the Cornell University Police Department and Cornell University did not inform the community about the attack and has elected to not make public the findings from its investigation. (link)

Dec 01: Racial Issues: A tenured psychology professor at Reed College will resign from his post eight months after a video captured him going on a racist rant against local restaurant employees. The professor was on sabbatical in March when a video of him interacting with workers at what looks like a fast food drive-through window prompted campus protests. In the video, he says something about "hiring illegal immigrants" and questioning whether an unidentified employee was born in the United States. (link)

Dec 01: Campus Threat: The NYPD says a student at the City College of New York in Harlem is in custody after being accused of making a shooting threat at the school. City College says the student has been charged, suspended and banned from campus. Police add that he has been charged with terroristic threats, specifically to one student in a racially motivated threat on Friday. (link)

Dec 01: Unlawful Photography: Two cameras were found on Wednesday, Nov. 30, taped under restroom sinks on different floors of the University of Utah Eccles Student Life Center. University Police have identified a suspect and arrested them. A patron found a camera taped under a sink in the third-floor all-gender bathroom earlier today and brought it to the front desk, according to a statement released by Eccles Student Life Center Director John MacDonald. Staff members proceeded to call the University Police, who searched restrooms throughout the building and discovered a second camera in an all-gender bathroom on the basement level. (link)

Dec 01: Vandalism: Accused of vandalizing a religious structure belonging to a Jewish campus organization, three Miami University students submitted guilty pleas last week. The students turned themselves in to Oxford police after Hillel at Miami's sukkah was upended on Oct. 15. A sukkah is a temporary structure commemorating the Jewish celebration Sukkot. Oxford police said in a social media post they determined there was no religious bias involved because the men were not aware of its significance to Judaism. (link)

Dec 01: Racial Issues: Two Jewish professors at the City University of New York who have sounded the alarm about anti-Semitism on campus say their employer has launched a retaliatory investigation against them. Kingsborough Community College last week informed professors Jeffrey Lax and Michael Goldstein that they are under investigation after an anti-Israel professor made unspecified accusations they believe involve them. The pair say that the professor made the complaint because they objected to her appointment to a hiring committee for the school's diversity office. Lax and Goldstein worry the investigation could threaten their employment. (link)

Dec 01: Campus Safety: More than a year before he was charged with shooting and killing three fellow University of Virginia students, a man appeared in a music video holding a gun and rapping about murder and his own mental troubles. While the university started investigating the shooter in September, after another student had reported that he had mentioned having a gun, officials did not interview him because he had refused to cooperate, they said. Nor did anyone from the university search his room, which would have revealed a cache of weapons and ammunition. (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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