Case In Point: Lessons for the proactive manager
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Case In Point: Lessons for the proactive manager
Volume 15 Number 01 | January 2023
Quotable .....
“By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest.”

-- Confucius

We begin our 15th year of Case in Point with our annual review and analysis of categories from the previous year. As a part of this analysis, we try to point out trends or emerging hot topics. Such analysis is our best guess from what we see and read across our industry.

Last year we mentioned two particular areas we were keeping an eye on: 1) regulatory changes due to a change in administration and 2) NCAA Athletics. Interestingly, those two remain at the forefront of the compliance industry, and we suggest you continue to pay close attention to them.

We also mentioned that we anticipated Title IX guidance to change. As of today, the new guidance is expected to be released in May. This will certainly have major implications for how institutions approach this important regulatory topic.

Research institutions should pay particular attention to coming changes that will impact the conduct of research administration and security. This has origins in the prior administration’s National Presidential Memorandum 33 (NSP 33). A cultural change will likely be required by investigators and at most institutions regarding how federally funded research is protected.

College athletics continues to be in a state of flux, so we again suggest you pay attention to that area if your institution participates in NCAA athletics. It is within the realm of possibility that in the next few years athletes will become viewed as employees. Regardless, college athletics of old is gone and it’s a new day for athletics compliance.

When we look at each specific category, we see similar numbers to the prior year regarding stories we linked:

  • Information Security & Technology: 11% (13% in 2021)
  • Fraud & Ethics: 14% (18% in 2021)
  • Compliance & Legal: 42% (42% in 2021)
  • Campus Life & Safety: 33% (27% in 2021)

Next month we will dig into the Information Security & Technology category. Until then, we recommend you review the headlines from each category with a view toward proactive risk management at your institution. 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

Jan 27: Ransomware: On January 26, 2023, Stratford University filed notice of a data breach with the Attorney General of Maine after the institution learned that it was the victim of a ransomware account that compromised confidential student and employee information. Based on the company’s official filing, the incident resulted in an unauthorized party gaining access to consumers’ first and last names, phone numbers, addresses, e-mail addresses, dates of birth, student identification numbers, passport numbers, and Social Security numbers. After confirming that consumer data was leaked, Stratford began sending out data breach notification letters to all individuals who were impacted by the recent data security incident. (link)

Jan 26: Data Breach: On January 17, 2023, the University of Colorado Hospital Authority ("UCHealth") filed notice of a data breach with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights after learning about a cybersecurity incident at one of the organization’s vendors, Diligent Corporation. Based on a notice provided on the UCHealth website, the incident resulted in an unauthorized party gaining access to consumers’ names, Social Security numbers, financial account information, dates of birth, and protected health information. After confirming that consumer data was leaked, the University of Colorado Hospital Authority began sending out data breach notification letters to all individuals who were impacted by the recent data security incident. (link)

Jan 24: Data Breach Lawsuit: A Knox College graduate filed a class action lawsuit over a data breach at the college following a ransomware attack. The lawsuit filed Friday, Jan. 20 in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois accuses Knox of failing to follow up-to-date security practices. The complaint states the breach at the private liberal arts college in Galesburg happened on Thanksgiving Day, but potential victims were not notified until early January, which was more than five weeks later. The suit alleges Knox did not notify victims in the "most expedient time possible and without unreasonable delay," as required by Illinois law. (link)

Jan 19: Data Security: The University of Texas at Austin this week became one of the latest to announce it is restricting access to TikTok. Universities in Texas, Oklahoma and Georgia are also among those limiting access and shutting down official university accounts. The colleges often cite recent state and federal level bans when taking action. The bans come after more than 30 states have issued varying TikTok bans, Congress banned TikTok from most government-issued devices, and the U.S. armed forces banned the app on military devices. TikTok is owned by Chinese company ByteDance, and critics are concerned it could share sensitive data with the Chinese government. FBI Director Christopher Wray told Congress in November he is "extremely concerned" China could weaponize data collected through the app. (link)

Jan 11: Cyber Attack: Nearly 16,000 students and 1,200 staff at Okanagan College are still unable to access campus network services after a cyber attack earlier this week. In a written statement Wednesday, college president Neil Fassina said the institution's information technology services team uncovered a cyber security attack on Monday at around 6:15 a.m. while conducting routine surveillance. Fassina said the attack, launched by an "unrecognized external agent," had forced the IT services team to shut down and disable network access across all of Okanagan College's campuses in Kelowna, Vernon, Penticton and Salmon Arm. (link)

Jan 03: Data Breach: "This notice is to inform the public that the University of Miami investigated a security incident that affected a limited number of UHealth -- University of Miami Health System patients. While we have no reason to believe your information has been or will be utilized inappropriately, we want you to understand the steps we have taken to address this issue and additional steps you can take to protect your personal information. An employee experienced identity theft that included an intrusion into their work-associated UM email account. Following a thorough investigation, we discovered that emails containing the name and medical record numbers of some patients were forwarded to a third-party email account. There is no evidence that any financial information or Social Security numbers were compromised." (link)

Jan 01: Data Breach: Xavier University's computer network was hit by a cyberattack last month, potentially compromising students and employees' personal information, according to an email sent Thursday to students and staff. University President Reynold Verret said in the email that a network disruption on Nov. 22 prompted Xavier to hire cybersecurity experts to investigate. The disruption was determined to be an "encryption event," Verret said. "We have since learned that malicious actors claimed to have stolen personal information from students and employees during the event." Verret added that officials are now identifying and notifying those who might have had their data stolen. (link)

Jan 01: Ransomware: The computer systems of Bristol Community College were hacked in a "ransomware" incident, college officials acknowledge. The college, which has a campus in Attleboro, said in a statement posted Friday on its website their computer network was hacked by a "criminal cyberattack" and "this incident involved ransomware encryption." "The college has discovered a network interruption issue impacting onsite internet and network functions including email, Teams, shared document sites and information systems, for students and employees," college officials said. The breach took place around Dec. 23, officials said. (link)

Jan 01: Ransomware: The email went out to students at Knox College, a small liberal arts school in Illinois, on the evening of Dec. 12. A hacker group known as Hive had broken into the college’s computer system and gained access to student data, a common ransomware tactic. But this group had a new wrinkle for Knox students. The incident at Knox College marks the first known case in which hackers used their access to contact students directly in order to intimidate them. It highlights how the ongoing scourge of ransomware -- which cost the U.S. an estimated $886 million last year -- is also one in which hackers are escalating their efforts to get institutions to pay up. (link)

Jan 01: Data Breach: Hope College discovered potential unauthorized access into its network, targeting individuals' personal information, according to college officials Thursday. The information believed to be at risk included individuals’ first and last names, in combination with date of birth, Social Security number, driver’s license number, and Student ID number. No financial information for individuals was at risk, according to Hope College. (link)

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Fraud & Ethics Related Events

Jan 25: Embezzlement: A now former U of I employee was arrested on Tuesday on accusations she made personal purchases on her university-owned credit card last year, according to University Police. On Jan. 11, a U of I employee reported that the woman had made six personal purchases on her university-owned credit card between July and November. When questioned by university staff, the employee repaid two of the charges and had a third reversed, but the remaining unpaid charges total $10,446, police said. (link)

Jan 24: Research Misconduct: A professor at the University of Michigan has been accused of "research misconduct" and the university has reached out to multiple medical journals to retract the implicated studies. University spokesperson Kim Broekhuizen confirmed with News 8 that a gastroenterology researcher with Michigan Medicine, is no longer employed as of Jan. 2. According to nonprofit group "Stop Animal Exploitation Now!" an internal investigation by the university found that the professor worked on four studies that included falsified or fabricated data. Those studies used more than $5 million in federal grants. (link)

Jan 23: Conflict of Interest: University of Minnesota President Joan Gabel will resign from her position on the Board of Directors at Securian Bank. According to a statement Monday from the U of M Board of Regents, Gabel wrote a letter informing them of the decision amid calls for an investigation after the board approved a "conflict management plan" back in December. According to the school's Institutional Conflict Review Panel, the university pays about $4.6 million per year to a Securian affiliate named Minnesota Life for employee life insurance. Furthermore, although Securian transferred the U's retirement plans to Fidelity a few years ago, Securian still holds $1.3 billion in so-called "legacy" accounts with the school. (link)

Jan 19: Theft & Mismanagement: The University of New Orleans used an illegal contract to fulfill a public works project, had about $3,500 in cash stolen from the Athletic Department and failed to follow proper payroll protocol for some employees, according to findings of a state audit released last week. In three letters responding to the audit, University of New Orleans President John Nicklow said that the university agreed with the findings and had taken action to correct the missteps, including terminating the employees blamed for the mismanaged public works project and the theft. (link)

Jan 18: Theft: A former Chatham University employee has been charged for allegedly misusing more then $33,000 in university funds. The man, 55, was charged by the Allegheny County District Attorney’s Office with 11 counts of forgery, theft by unlawful taking, receiving stolen property and access device fraud for issuing fraudulent checks while he was director of student accounts at the university. He issued 11 checks payable to a woman who was not affiliated with Chatham University in any way, according to a report. The total of the checks amounted to $33,211. According to the criminal report, The man identified the woman as his domestic partner. (link)

Jan 09: Wire Fraud: A former Executive Vice President of Southeastern University has pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud. The administrator was involved in a scheme to enrich himself and to defraud the university of funds in 2016. The scheme involved his creation of a New Mexico corporation, which he secretly controlled, and the establishment of a bank account in the name of that corporation. He also created an email address for the company, which he used to further the scheme. During the course of the fraud scheme, the man, in his position at Southeastern University, approved a number of payments from university funds to his New Mexico corporation for its purported work on the project. (link)

Jan 06: Admissions Scandal: The former Senior Associate Athletic Director at the University of Southern California (USC) was sentenced today for using her position to facilitate students’ admission as purported athletic recruits in exchange for money. She was sentenced to six months in prison and two years of supervised release, and ordered to forfeit $160,000. As the Senior Associate Athletic Director and Senior Women’s Administrator, the woman was one of the highest-ranking members of the USC Athletics Department and served as the liaison between athletic coaches and the USC Admissions Department. (link)

Jan 05: Theft: From the time she was eight years old, Talia Peters loved playing basketball. Peters is among 10 people currently or formerly affiliated with Lakehead University's women's basketball program who spoke to CBC News about allegations of athlete maltreatment by Kreiner -- including bullying, kicking basketballs at players and breaking clipboards. Six of those sources also told CBC News the university began an internal investigation into allegations Kreiner stole thousands of dollars from athletes over at least 10 years through the university's work-study program. Five of them said they know senior members in the athletic department were aware of these allegations, but failed to stop the theft and protect athletes. (link)

Jan 02: Conflict of Interest: A regent, a law professor and former Gov. Arne Carlson are demanding state and federal agencies investigate University of Minnesota President Joan Gabel’s role on an financial board. Regent Darrin Rosha, University of Minnesota law professor Richard Painter and Carlson sent a letter to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and the state attorney general alleging Gabel’s position on Securian Financial’s board is a conflict of interest, the Star Tribune reported Friday. The university pays about $4.6 million annually to Securian Financial affiliate Minnesota Life to cover employee life insurance. Rosha, Painter and Carlson say in their letter that Gabel’s position on the board raises questions about who is serving university employees’ interests. (link)

Jan 01: Embezzlement: A group of employees at Seton Hall’s law school embezzled more than $975,000 over the course of several years, university leaders said Wednesday, making it the latest in a line of law schools to face worker theft. Seton Hall did not say who was allegedly involved or how the funds were taken. An email to the university community from its president Joseph Nyre and board of regents chairman Kevin Marino said a "small number of trusted, long-time employees of Seton Hall Law engaged in a series of schemes and improprieties designed to enrich themselves at the expense of the school community." (link)

Jan 01: Gambling: In September 2021, an official in Michigan State University’s athletic department sent an email to his boss with exciting news: An online betting company was willing to pay handsomely for the right to promote gambling at the university. The offer from Caesars Sportsbook turned out to be even bigger than that, according to emails obtained by The New York Times. In the end, the company proposed a deal worth $8.4 million over five years. It was, a member of the negotiating team said in another email, "the largest sportsbook deal in college athletics." Other schools, too, have struck deals to bring betting to campus. (link)

Jan 01: Embezzlement: A former New York University director of finance allegedly siphoned $3.5 million in state funding and blew a chunk of the cash on herself -- including on an $80,000 pool for her Connecticut home, prosecutors said Monday. The woman was charged with diverting funds from New York State Education Department grants into shell companies over a six-year scheme that was discovered in 2018, when she left NYU, according to the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office. Some of the embezzled money went to expenses related to the grants or reimbursements for NYU employees -- but at least $660,000 ended up in the woman’s own pockets, according to the indictment. (link)

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Compliance/Regulatory & Legal Events

Jan 28: Breach of Contract Lawsuit: Three years after entering a 50-year-long deal, the University of Iowa Energy Collaborative, which oversees the utilities across campus, filed a federal lawsuit against the UI for a breach of contract. The lawsuit claims the UI refused to make payments and rescinded approvals for repairs to the utility systems. The lawsuit also alleges the UI failed to file claims for casualty insurance coverage for damages and the rising cost of turbine repairs, according to a complaint in the lawsuit. The UI public-private partnership was established four years after the state Board of Regents approved the contract with the UI Energy Collaborative in exchange for $1.2 billion upfront. (link)

Jan 27: Sexual Assault: A temporary employee at Dartmouth College has been fired and banned from campus after allegedly assaulting people at the school earlier this week, according to college administrators. The college’s Department of Safety and Security received two separate reports of students who had experienced "unwanted sexual touching on campus" on Tuesday, according to a Wednesday email to students from Scott Brown, the dean of the college, and Keiselim Montas, the director of the Department of Safety and Security. (link)

Jan 27: Pregnancy Discrimination: On Thursday, the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) announced the resolution of a pregnancy discrimination investigation into Troy University. According to the U.S. Department of Education, the OCR ran the investigation into whether Troy University appropriately responded to a student’s requests for pregnancy-related adjustments during the 2020-21 school year. The Department of Education says the investigation confirmed the unnamed student notified the university of her pregnancy before the fall 2022 semester and revealed repeated instances where the student experienced negative effects stemming from a lack of pregnancy-related accommodations. (link)

Jan 24: Sex Trafficking: A Manhattan jury on Tuesday found a former Columbia University gynecologist guilty of enticing patients to New York City to sexually abuse them under the guise of giving them medical care. Jurors took less than three hours to deliberate the case after hearing two weeks of evidence. The doctor was convicted in 2016 of committing a perverted sexual act and forcibly touching two women in a widely-criticized plea deal that did not require him to serve prison time. He faces more than a century in prison when sentenced on his federal conviction in April. (link)

Jan 23: Hazing Death Lawsuit: As Stone Foltz laid on his hospital bed, waiting for the copious amounts of alcohol to flush from his body so his family could donate his organs, Shari and Cory Foltz made a promise to their son: they would do everything they could to eradicate hazing. The Foltzes will be able to continue that work all the more now after the announcement Monday that Bowling Green State University has settled a lawsuit with the Foltz family for $2.9 million over the March 2021 death of their son, a 20-year-old sophomore, in a hazing connected with Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity. The settlement is the largest payout by a public university in a hazing case in Ohio history, according to Rex Elliott, the family's attorney. (link)

Jan 18: Research Security: A former University of Kansas professor avoided prison on Wednesday for making a false statement related to work he was doing in China in the latest setback for a Trump-era U.S. Department of Justice crackdown on Chinese influence within American academia. Prosecutors had asked U.S. District Judge Julie Robinson in Kansas City, Kansas, to sentence the professor to 2-1/2 years in prison, even after she had thrown out most of his trial conviction for concealing work he did in China. Robinson instead sentenced the chemical engineering professor to time served, saying there was no evidence he shared proprietary information with anyone in China and that he did research that was "freely shared in the scientific community." (link)

Jan 19: Financial Reporting: At the urging of Gov. Ron DeSantis’ budget office, Florida’s public universities are being required to submit detailed information on services they provide to people seeking gender-affirming treatment. Among those are the University of South Florida through its USF Health branch; the University of Florida, which operates a Center for Transgender Health in Jacksonville; Florida State University through its University Health Services division; and the University of Central Florida, which offers services through its Trans Care Team. (link)

Jan 17: Discrimination Lawsuit: An adjunct professor who showed an image of the Prophet Muhammad at a Hamline University art history class, resulting in national attention, is suing the university. The lawsuit filed on behalf of Dr. Erika López Prater alleges religious discrimination and defamation, claiming that Hamline's actions and statements caused Prater significant emotional distress. Dr. López Prater says her personal and professional reputation -- including future employment aspects -- has been "irreparably harmed." (link)

Jan 13: Sexual Assault: Sault Ste. Marie Police have arrested and charged an Algoma University professor for sexual assault with a weapon. Police say upon investigation they believe the professor, 56, assaulted five of his students with a weapon for sexual purposes. Police say the alleged incidents happened between September 2021 and January 2023. They added that none of the students suffered physical injuries that required medical treatment. The professor has worked at Algoma University since 2008 as a part-time faculty member in the computer science program. In a statement, Algoma University said he has been suspended from all duties and is prohibited from visiting campus or contact with students. (link)

Jan 12: Sexual Assault: A UC Davis professor is on leave as he faces accusations of sexual assault dating back to 2010, the University of California, Davis said in a statement. UC Davis said a report from the UC Santa Barbara Police Department detailed sexual assault allegations against a UC Davis professor in 2018. According to the university, the report indicated that three sexual assaults had allegedly happened within city limits but not the campus, so the university police department notified Davis Police Department about the report. More information would eventually come by way of a civil lawsuit related to the 2018 complaint. The university learned about the lawsuit in January 2021. The lawsuit alleged that the professor sexually assaulted a high school working in his laboratory in 2010. According to the university, the complainant was never a UC Davis student. (link)

Jan 11: Sexual Assault: A 64-year-old man has been arrested and charged with two felony offenses committed while performing acupuncture. On July 14 and 18, the female victim received acupuncture treatment at the Virginia University of Integrative Medicine (VUIM). During the treatment a licensed acupuncturist unlawfully touched her genital area. The victim later reported the incidents. Detectives learned the doctor has been a licensed acupuncturist in Virginia since 2005 and served as Director of Clinical Operations at VUIM since 2015. (link)

Jan 10: Admissions Lawsuit: A white male Texan who was rejected by six Texas medical schools filed a class-action lawsuit Tuesday claiming that they illegally consider race and sex during admissions because they accepted Black, Hispanic and female students whose academic credentials were inferior to those of white or Asian applicants. Plaintiff George Stewart’s lawsuit alleges that the admissions practices at the six medical schools violate the U.S. Constitution, including the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment. According to the lawsuit, Stewart graduated from UT-Austin with a 3.96 grade point average and a biology degree. He scored a 511 out of a possible 528 on the exam required for admission, known as the MCAT, and spent two years applying to medical schools. (link)

Jan 09: Discrimination Lawsuit: Top New Mexico State University administrators fashioned unpopular policies then used the former provost as a scapegoat after she began investigating allegations of racist and sexist pay disparities, according to accusations made in a recently filed lawsuit. Filed last December, the lawsuit alleged former provost Carol Parker was the driving force behind an investigation into faculty allegations of pay discrimination and places the ousted administrator as the victim of reprisal by her male superiors. The narrative claims that the Chancellor directed Parker not to investigate the alleged pay discrimination and then directed Parker to implement unpopular policies that would put her at odds with the faculty. (link)

Jan 05: Assault: Texas has fired their basketball coach the program announced Thursday, nearly a month after he was arrested on a third-degree felony assault charge for allegedly strangling, biting and assaulting his fiancée in their home. The coach was fired for cause, sources tell CBS Sports. As such, he will not be entitled to any salary or buyout money from the seven-year, $35 million contract he signed with the Longhorns ahead of the 2021-22 season. The deal was set to run through 2028. (link)

Jan 05: NCAA Violations: The Michigan football coach and several staff members, some of whom are no longer with the program, face allegations of NCAA rules violations for which severe punishment may apply. The alleged rules violations occurred in 2021 and involve NCAA restrictions regarding in-person recruiting contacts during the COVID-19 pandemic, a source close to the situation told The Detroit News. The source requested anonymity because they were not authorized to speak on the matter. These allegations of impermissible contact with recruits during the COVID dead period are serious in nature and considered Level I and Level II violations. The earliest the NCAA would deliver a Notice of Allegations to Michigan is later this month, according to the source. (link)

Jan 05: Breach of Contract Lawsuit: Hampton University has been hit with three lawsuits alleging breach of contract. According to documents filed in Hampton Circuit Court, two people claim the school is wrongfully terminating their employment contracts. One of the plaintiffs is Kelly Harvey-Viney, the daughter of former Hampton University President William Harvey. The other plaintiff is Jesse Jackson, Jr, the son of civil right activist Jesse Jackson. The complaint says Harvey-Viney was informed that her contract is ending in 2025, for her duties that include legal assistant to the vice president would not be enforced. The suit claims she was given an ultimatum to take a teaching position or leave. (link)

Jan 01: Sexual Misconduct: The Juilliard School has placed a professor on leave and commissioned an independent investigation after a magazine article said he had sexually harassed students while chair of the New York conservatory’s composition department, a role he held from 1994 to 2018.A spokeswoman for the school said that Juilliard had conducted investigations of the professor in the late 1990s and a few years ago but that recent reporting by VAN, a magazine about classical music, brought new allegations to its attention. (link)

Jan 01: Misleading Claims Lawsuit: A legal advocacy group for students is suing the University of Southern California and 2U Inc., alleging that the school and the company that runs its online graduate programs in education defrauded students by using misleading U.S. News & World Report rankings to promote the courses. According to the suit, filed in Los Angeles County Court, USC’s Rossier School of Education used rankings that covered their in-person programs to highlight the strength of the online offerings, even though they had different selection criteria and student populations. The suit also says those rankings, even if they had been relevant to the online programs, were based on inaccurate information the school used to improperly boost the school’s score. (link)

Jan 01: Labor Practices: An effort to legally recognize college football and basketball players at the University of Southern California as employees of their school, their conference and the NCAA took a significant step forward Thursday. The National Labor Relations Board has directed its Los Angeles regional office to pursue charges of unfair labor practices against USC, the Pac-12 and the NCAA. The NLRB will argue that athletes at USC are employees of those three groups and that their rights have been unlawfully restricted. If they are successful, athletes who play men's basketball, women's basketball or football at any private college in the NCAA will be granted the rights of employees, including the freedom to create unions. (link)

Jan 01: Civil Rights Act: The Department of Education is investigating the University of California, Berkeley, Law School over allegations that the school is fostering "profound and deep-seated anti-Semitic discrimination" that has created an unsafe environment for Jewish and pro-Israel students on campus. The Education Department earlier this week disclosed its investigation after attorneys raised concerns over a cadre of student groups at Berkeley that banned Zionist speakers from campus. The attorneys said the ban constitutes a violation of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which prevents recipients of federal funds from discriminating based on race and national origin, according to the original complaint. (link)

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Campus Life & Safety Events

Jan 29: Arson: Police in Hamilton have charged a 20-year-old for allegedly setting fire to a residence room at McMaster University. Hamilton police said a fire alarm was reported at Main Street West on Saturday at around 2 p.m. Both firefighters and police officers responded, and no injuries were reported. However, on Sunday, a 20-year-old man was charged with arson -- disregard for human life in relation to the incident. (link)

Jan 29: Car Accident: The use of a vehicle that wrecked while carrying four members of the University of Georgia football program -- two of whom died in the crash -- was "unauthorized," according to a statement from the University of Georgia Athletic Association. The Ford Expedition was one of several cars that were leased by the Athletic department for use during recruiting activities "only," and personal use was "strictly prohibited," according to the statement. CNN previously reported that shortly before 3 a.m., LeCroy, 24, was driving with Willock, 20, and two other passengers near the UGA campus in Athens when the vehicle went off the road and barreled into two power poles and several trees, the Athens-Clarke County Police Department said in a news release. (link)

Jan 24: Racial Issues: April last year, the Ecological Society of America awarded Priyanga Amarasekare one of the highest honours in the field of ecology: the Robert H. MacArthur Award. A little over two months later, the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), placed Amarasekare on a one-year suspension without pay or benefits, and forbade her from accessing her laboratory, maintaining her insect colonies, managing her grants or contacting students. Now scientists from around the world, who call Amarasekare a "highly distinguished ecologist", "a committed teacher and outstanding mentor" and a "tireless advocate for under-represented groups", are calling for her reinstatement. The precise allegations that led to her suspension are unknown. UCLA has declined to release them, and barred Amarasekare from discussing the matter publicly. But long-standing tensions between Amarasekare and the university are no secret. (link)

Jan 23: Campus Conditions: Hundreds of Bethune-Cookman University students gathered to protest current campus conditions Monday afternoon, just two days after the school’s split with head football coach and NFL Hall of Famer Ed Reed. Last week, Reed went on Instagram Live and criticized Bethune-Cookman’s facilities and cleanliness. In one clip, he rode in a golf cart and claimed to be at the Wildcats’ facility "picking up trash." He later apologized for the profanity-laced videos. "He was wrong for going on Live and saying what he said (in the manner he said it)," freshman James Rocker said. "But at the same time, he was right because the stuff he said was going on needed to be shown -- what’s really going on at the school." (link)

Jan 23: Race Issues: George Washington University says it has opened an investigation into whether a psychology professor displayed antisemitic behavior in her interactions with Jewish and Israeli students, in the latest row over the state of Jewish life at the university in Washington, D.C. The investigation was prompted by a federal complaint filed by the pro-Israel watchdog group StandWithUs, which quoted graduate psychology students alleging that they had been targeted last fall by their professor due to "their Jewish and Israeli identities." The group’s complaint, filed with the U.S. Department of Education’s civil rights office, quotes the professor as having told an Israeli student on the first day, "It’s not your fault you were born in Israel." (link)

Jan 23: Assault: A University at Albany men’s basketball coach pleaded not guilty Monday morning to an assault charge that accuses him of pushing a player, Luke Fizulich, against a locker and slapping him across the face with an open hand before a November 2021 game in Kentucky. In its investigation, UAlbany found that the coach made "inappropriate physical contact" with a student in a pre-game "hype circle" before a game against Eastern Illinois University held Nov. 24, 2021 at Eastern Kentucky. He was assessed a $25,000 fine and given five-game suspension by UAlbany. (link)

Jan 20: Hazing: Two student organizations at the University of Virginia have been found guilty of hazing, which is against university policy and state law. Women's Club Gymnastics and the University Guide Service, which provides guided tours around Grounds, were investigated by UVA and found guilty of hazing new members during the fall semester. According to the report, Club Gymnastics engaged in hazing during the group's initiation event. New members were instructed to perform stunts, with failure resulting in new members having to take a shot of alcohol or water. New members also played drinking games. (link)

Jan 18: Protest: Delaware State University students took to campus Wednesday afternoon as hundreds protested in front of the public safety building, calling for change within the Delaware State University Police Department. Students flooded a campus street, claiming experiences of excessive force from campus police officers, slow response times and lack of response to student calls. The complaints included claims that many sexual assaults have gone unreported for fears they will not be taken seriously. (link)

Jan 17: Racial Issues: Hundreds of Arkansas Tech University students celebrated Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day through a silent march on campus. As part of the event on Monday night, many of those students were protesting an art gallery exhibit that some called racially insensitive. The school's African-American students association president, Jace Bridges told KATV many students were not aware of this piece of artwork until they came back to campus from winter break. On Monday night, more than 300 students walked the campus in solidarity against the artwork. Bridges said he's not sure what the artist nor the university's intention for putting up the artwork was. (link)

Jan 11: Robbery: University RCMP say a man in his 30s has been arrested after a weekend break-in at a University of British Columbia residence during which hundreds of keys and contracts were stolen. According to a UBC Student Housing spokesperson, the break-in happened at the front desk of Thunderbird residence which houses up to 634 students in condo-style apartments. Andrew Parr, associate vice-president of student housing and community services at the University of British Columbia, says among the stolen items were keys to unit doors and contract cards which contain students' personal information. (link)

Jan 07: Racial Issues: The Albion College head men's basketball coach has served a multi-game suspension after players allege he used a racial slur multiple times during a practice last month. Ten players declined to suit up for Saturday's home game against Trine University, in large part because of inaction by the administration. The alleged incident occurred during a practice Dec. 28, when May kicked a player out of practice for jawing with another player. When a third player approached May and asked why only the one player had been kicked out of practice, May said, "He needed to be taught a lesson," according to notes kept by a player. May said the player he kicked out of practice, who is Black, had used a racial slur during a recent practice. According to notes kept by a player, May, who is White, repeated that slur four times during that practice, in the context of quoting the player who was kicked out of practice. The majority of Albion's roster is Black. (link)

Jan 07: Athletics Safety: A suburban Chicago college postponed two men's basketball games after five players went to a hospital following a rigorous workout. Concordia University Chicago in River Forest also has temporarily removed the coach, school spokesman Eric Matanyi said. Athletic director Pete Gnan sent a letter to parents Thursday, explaining what happened after a late December trip to California, where the team played two games. He said the team was put through a "particularly high-intensity, collegiate-level circuit training" on Dec. 31. Five players were admitted to a hospital between Monday and Wednesday, Gnan said. (link)

Jan 05: Threat: A Winter Park man who admitted posting an image of a semi-automatic rifle with threats to kill gay people in a mass shooting at Florida State University was arrested by the FBI. The criminal complaint says that on Dec. 16, the FBI in Orlando got a tip about a threat made several days earlier on Discord, an instant-messaging and social-media platform popular among gamers and also members of the alt-right. The FBI contacted FSU's police department in the wake of the threat, which was made after finals week and when residence halls were closed, according to a university official. FSU PD stepped up campus patrols as a result "out of an abundance of caution," the official said. (link)

Jan 03: Residential Issues: Citing low water pressure due to broken pipes near campus, Jackson State University sent an email Monday morning asking students to wait to move into dorms until later this week or this weekend. Residence halls are scheduled to open tomorrow, Jan. 4, at 4 p.m. The request comes after freezing temperatures strained Jackson’s ailing water system over the holiday, causing water line breaks throughout the city and near JSU’s campus. This is the second consecutive semester that JSU has asked students to delay moving into dorms due to water issues on campus. (link)

Jan 01: Free Speech: Minnesota’s Hamline University has betrayed its commitment to "embrace" free expression, including potentially "unpopular and unsettling" ideas. In clear violation of faculty academic freedom, Hamline nonrenewed an art history instructor for the in-class display of artwork depicting the Islamic prophet Muhammad. In dismissing the instructor, the university reportedly said "respect for the observant Muslim students in that classroom should have superseded academic freedom." Hamline reportedly justified dismissing the instructor based on concerns about "Islamophobia," as many Muslims believe Muhammad should not be depicted in any way. However, blanket bans on displaying pedagogically relevant material are not acceptable at a university that commits to academic freedom. (link)

Jan 01: Greek Life: The University of Utah terminated its recognition of the Kappa Sigma fraternity chapter on Friday, Dec. 23, after reported violations of university policies and rules. This is the second time Kappa Sigma has lost recognition with the university since 2002. Kappa Sigma, which faced sexual assault allegations earlier this year, was reportedly placed on an additional administrative suspension for hazing allegations on Oct. 26, 2022. Both investigations into the allegations reportedly found the fraternity not guilty of sexual assault and hazing. However, the fraternity chapter was placed on probation for having alcohol at the fraternity house. (link)

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