Case In Point: Lessons for the proactive manager
Case In Point Newsletter Logo
Case In Point: Lessons for the proactive manager
Volume 15 Number 04 | April 2023
Quotable .....
“ The right thing to do never requires any subterfuge, it is always simple and direct. ”

-- Calvin Coolidge

This month we focus our attention on the Compliance/Regulatory & Legal Events from 2022. As has been the trend for several years, this category had the largest number of stories linked. Higher Education remains, and will continue to remain, one of the most regulated industries around.

Interestingly, the top 5 issues we saw this year were the same as 2021 with only a slight variation in order. Here were the top 5 most common types of stories in this category for 2022:

  1. Title IX
  2. Harassment Related Stories
  3. Violence Related Stories
  4. Discrimination Litigation
  5. NCAA

I should qualify that items 2-5 could all eventually become a Title IX issue. As we categorize stories, we only list them as Title IX if that regulation is specifically mentioned. Basically, all of 1-4 can eventually fall under Title IX. This certainly shows the importance of this regulation for colleges and universities.

The devil is always in the details with federal requirements, which we call sub-regulatory guidance. Simply put, laws are enacted, and the sub-regulatory guidance lets us know how federal agencies will interpret and enforce the laws. The sub-regulatory guidance on Title IX has changed several times in the past few years with changes in presidential administrations and philosophies. It appears that we are again at the precipice of another substantial change in interpretation. It will be important for all colleges and universities to closely monitor these changes and react accordingly.

While compliance risks are here to stay, they are but one category of risk we must consider within higher education. We again invite you to review the events of the prior month with a view toward proactively managing these risks. As always, we welcome your comments and suggestions.

M. Kevin Robinson, CIA, CFE
Associate Vice President
Office of Audit, Compliance & Privacy
Follow us on Twitter

Information Security & Technology Events

Apr 25: Data Breach Lawsuit: Mount Saint Mary College failed to protect personally identifiable information belonging to its current and former students, employees, and applicants for admission or employment, during a December 2022 data breach, a new class action lawsuit alleges. Plaintiff Markayla Fernandes claims Mount Saint Mary College failed to properly protect and safeguard information given to it by approximately 17,000 individuals who attempted to either enroll or be eligible for employment with the school. Fernandes argues the college retained the personally identifiable information for "at least many years and even after the relationship has ended," yet allegedly declined to take measures that would protect it from being compromised in the data breach. (link)

Apr 24: Privacy Lawsuit: The University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics is facing a potential class action lawsuit over the alleged disclosure of confidential patient information to Facebook. Eileen Yeisley, on behalf of herself and others, is suing UIHC in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Iowa for the alleged "intentional, reckless, and/or negligent disclosure" of confidential medical information to the social-media giant Facebook. According to the lawsuit, UIHC installed on its websites a Facebook "pixel" that is essentially a piece of computer code that tracks the online activity of people as they interact with those particular websites. The information that is transmitted to UIHC via the pixel is allegedly shared with Facebook and linked to that individuals’ personal Facebook account. (link)

Apr 21: Website Hack: Websites of multiple U.S. universities are serving Fortnite and 'gift card' spam. Researchers observed Wiki and documentation pages being hosted by universities including Stanford, MIT, Berkeley, UMass Amherst, Northeastern, Caltech, among others, were compromised. BleepingComputer confirmed the malicious campaign was live, and had targeted additional scholastic websites including that of the University of Michigan. This week, Twitter user g0njxa identified over a dozen sub-domains belonging to prominent U.S. universities that are serving Fortnite spam. (link)

Apr 18: Data Breach: On March 24, 2023, the University of the People filed a notice of data breach with the Attorney General of Maine after learning that an unauthorized party was able to access confidential information stored on the school’s SharePoint platform. Based on the company’s official filing, the incident resulted in an unauthorized party gaining access to consumers’ names and Social Security numbers. After confirming that consumer data was leaked, UoPeople began sending out data breach notification letters to all individuals who were impacted by the recent data security incident. (link)

Apr 07: Website Hack: It appears that hackers have compromised the University of Arizona's website -- and posted a bunch of stuff about what seems to be a Southeast Asian online casino. On what used to be the catalog site for the UofA's Academic Program Requirements Reports, there is now a bunch of Indonesian-language text and graphics advertising "the best online slots gambling site in Indonesia" (or at least, that's what Google Translate told us it says, anyway.) While this is neither the first time someone's hacked a university's website nor the first time someone's used a hack to advertise such low-hanging fruit as an internet-based gambling den, it's still an excellent example of how easy it apparently is for anyone with a bit of coding knowledge to compromise official sites like American .edus. (link)

Apr 06: Data Breach: On Thursday, April 6, the University of Hawaiʻi Maui College said that they learned of a data breach in their system. According to UH, the breach occurred in mid-February. The university learned that an unauthorized third-party had gained access to the university’s computer network. UH Information Technology Services said they took immediate action once the breach was discovered and reported to law enforcement. (link)

Apr 06: Data Breach: A cyber attack on Our Lady of the Lake University's computer network compromised personal data on its faculty, students and even individuals who applied to the university but never attended. The private Catholic university on San Antonio's West Side this week confirmed that it recently found evidence that "unauthorized access" to its network occurred about Aug. 30 and that "a limited amount of personal information was removed." It declined to detail the types of information taken. But in interviews, people who learned through other means that their data had been compromised said it included Social Security and driver's license numbers, dates of birth and home addresses. (link)

Apr 05: Data Breach: Prescott College, a US-based private school, warned thousands of victims of a data breach that exposed their personal information. Unknown attackers breached the IT systems of the college in Arizona in October 2022, says the breach notification letter Prescott College sent out to potential victims. The exposed data includes full names of the victims, together with driver’s license numbers and other non-driver ID card numbers. According to the Office of the Maine Attorney General, the breach impacted over 20,000 people. (link)

Apr 01: Cyberattack: A cyberattack on Lewis & Clark College announced earlier this month has been claimed by a ransomware gang implicated in several attacks on K-12 schools and colleges over the last year. The Vice Society cybercrime group took credit for the attack on Friday, posting samples of passports as well as documents that included Social Security numbers, insurance files, W-9 forms, contracts and more. Starting on March 3, the school sent out several urgent messages on social media and on its website notifying students and employees that several of its systems were down. (link)

Section Divider Image

Fraud & Ethics Related Events

Apr 24: Fake University: With a website riddled with unresponsive phone numbers and emails, stock photos of students and faculty, images of buildings from other universities, and an administrative office addressed to UMass Boston, it seems hard to believe that Massachusetts Central University is a real school. That’s because it isn’t. Posing as a real university, MCU sells diplomas to customers looking to obtain an American degree, according to education officials. And while the state was made aware of the website in 2021, its resurfacing has led to revamped efforts to take it down. (link)

Apr 14: Plagiarism: In March, University of Rochester (U of R) physicist Ranga Dias made a blockbuster announcement: His team had detected superconductivity at room temperature, in a material that did not need to be squeezed to incredibly high pressures. Many physicists regarded the claim warily because 6 months earlier, Nature had retracted a separate room-temperature superconductivity claim from Dias’s group, amid allegations of data manipulation. Now come accusations that Dias plagiarized much of his Ph.D. thesis, completed in 2013 at Washington State University (WSU). Undark, The New York Times, and Physics Magazine previously reported that his thesis contains many passages identical to those from a 2007 thesis written by James Hamlin at Washington University in St. Louis. (link)

Apr 07: Academic Fraud: A top Florida State University professor whose research focused on race in the criminal justice system abruptly left his post in the wake of years-long allegations of academic fraud. A Fellow of the American Society of Criminology, the professor has had six research studies retracted, blemishing FSU’s top-ranked criminology department. He was first accused of falsifying data in 2019 by Professor Justin Pickett of the University of Albany, who co-authored a 2011 study with him. The study tested if the public’s prejudicial views impacted their desire for harsher sentences for black and hispanic Americans. The published findings were that as black and hispanic populations grew, so did the public’s want for more discriminatory sentences. Except -- Pickett discovered -- this was not the case. (link)

Apr 05: Academic Misconduct: The Texas Supreme Court has ruled that universities in the state can revoke a former student’s degrees for academic misconduct, reversing previous rulings from lower courts. In separate but consolidated cases, the University of Texas and Texas State University argued for the right to revoke awarded doctorate degrees from students who engaged in academic misconduct to, in part, "protect their reputations and the value of degrees conferred upon their students." Attorneys for the students argued that state law did not give universities the authority to revoke student degrees, but the court, in a divided decision Friday, disagreed. (link)

Apr 03: Privacy: The University of Illinois Ethics and Compliance Office is investigating a claim made against one of its prominent legal scholars -- that she mishandled a call under the promise of privacy. The director of the UI System's Institute of Government and Public Affairs who holds a tenured appointment in the College of Law on the Urbana campus, is currently on paid administrative leave. The allegations came forward from a now widely viewed TikTok post on the account of @bonniedoes, an artist and disability-rights advocate with more than 200,000 followers. The woman said she agreed to talk, with the understanding that the director and three other members of the research team would be the only ones listening in. But while she was sharing the intimate details of what happened to her, she said later on her TikTok post, another voice chimed in with a question. The voice, she said, came from the director's hairdresser, who was listening to the conversation while the professor had the call on speakerphone. (link)

Section Divider Image

Compliance/Regulatory & Legal Events

Apr 26: DEI Legislation: Gov. Doug Burgum has signed a bill addressing the instruction of "specified concepts" at universities in North Dakota. Senate Bill 2247 was signed into law on Monday, April 24, and will take effect on Aug. 1. The bill, introduced by Sen. Bob Paulson, R-Minot, prohibits "mandatory non-credit training" of specified concepts on university campuses. The bill defines specified concepts as those that assert the U.S. is inherently racist or sexist, the rule of law does not exist, that all Americans are not created equal and endowed with inalienable rights and that meritocracies are oppressive by nature, among others. Senate Bill 2247 also prohibits universities from discriminating against individuals for refusing to endorse specified concepts. (link)

Apr 26: Covid Lawsuit Settlement:: The University of New Haven reached a $2.29 million settlement in a COVID-19 semester tuition and fee refund class-action lawsuit, pending court approval. Students who were enrolled at UNH in the spring 2020 semester each will get an equal part of $1 million, less taxes and court-approved attorney fees, in form of a check, according to the proposed settlement filed in Connecticut District Court. The class-action lawsuit was filed in fall 2020 by Krystian Wnorowski, a former finance student at UNH who graduated in 2021. The case alleged the university of a breach of contract after it transitioned to remote learning and closed the campus due to the pandemic, because he was "deprived of the benefit of the bargain for which he had paid." The lawsuit also alleged unjust enrichment claims. (link)

Apr 26: Age Discrimination: Three trauma surgeons are suing Hackensack University Medical Center for age discrimination after being fired despite helping the hospital earn a distinguished designation, they allege in a lawsuit. Surgeons Saraswati Dayal, Sanjeev Kaul and Javier Perez were terminated and replaced with younger and less experienced doctors, according to the suit filed earlier this month. (link)

Apr 25: Title IX: A previous Marquette Wire investigative report published March 7 found that multiple Title IX cases dealing with sexual harassment had been filed against a Marquette priest, professor and founder of the Les Aspin Center program. The Marquette Title IX office confirmed that two cases are still ongoing today. But while these allegations have been denied by the professor, the cases have sparked change and surprise for many Marquette students, staff and faculty, especially those in the Les Aspin program this spring. (link)

Apr 25: Sex Abuse: A University of the Pacific professor is on leave after he was arrested at his West Sacramento home in connection to a child sex abuse case. On Monday, the university announced that the professor had been placed on administrative leave. The professor was named in an article published earlier on Monday in the Daily Beast, detailing his alleged attempt to arrange sex with a seven-year-old girl who was actually an undercover FBI agent. According to a 27-page criminal complaint, the man was chatting with the undercover agent on the secure messaging app Telegram. Selfies he sent that allegedly clearly showed his face allowed agents to positively identify the professor, the FBI says. His page has been taken down from the University of the Pacific's website, but a cached version of the page shows that he was an associate professor and the Program Lead for the Organizational Innovation and Change Program. (link)

Apr 24: Misconduct: The Michigan State University Dean of Students voluntarily resigned in February. He received three months of "transitional pay" and told staff that he chose to leave because he was a finalist in a closed-search at another institution. But the dean's exit was spurred by his "inappropriate behavior" while at the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators’ regional conference in Chicago, Illinois in November of 2022, according to records obtained by The State News, which were initially withheld by MSU. The dean is the second high-profile MSU administrator to be allowed to enter into a voluntary resignation agreement following issues with MSU’s policy on Relationship Violence and Sexual Misconduct this academic year. (link)

Apr 24: Harassment: When a genome researcher left Florida State University (FSU) in 2021 for the San Diego Biomedical Research Institute (SDBRI), he took two large National Institutes of Health (NIH) grants with him. The biomedical agency approved the transfer and went on to award the professor a DNA replication expert who publishes in Science, Nature, and Cell, a new, $2.5 million grant last year. None of this would be out of the ordinary--except that, in 2020, prior to any of these moves, FSU had completed a far-reaching investigation prompted when the researcher emailed a description of his erotic dream to a graduate student. The probe revealed a yearslong history and concluded that the researcher’s "gendered, sexualized and invasive behaviors were severe and pervasive." The sequence of events that allowed the researcher to continue a well-funded career unfolded at the same time as NIH very publicly said it was cracking down on sexual harassers who tried to move their bad behavior from one institution to another. (link)

Apr 23: Faculty Behavior: A former Florida Institute of Technology department head faces charges of lewd and lascivious behavior and aggressive stalking of a minor after he was caught photographing girls at the Viera Walmart earlier this month, a probable cause affidavit said. The man was placed on administrative leave and resigned after his arrest, Florida Tech spokesperson Wes Sumner said in an email. University officials barred the man from campus and instructed him to have no contact with students, Sumner said. He was a faculty member and head of the Department of Biomedical and Chemical Engineering and Sciences. (link)

Apr 22: Sexual Assault: An assistant professor at Brown University has been arrested on second-degree sexual assault charges, GoLocal has learned. According to court documents, an Assistant Professor (Research) in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at Warren Alpert Medical School, Brown University and in the Le­gorreta Cancer Center (LCC) at Brown Univer­sity was arraigned on Friday in Providence District Court. Multiple sources tell GoLocal that a student was involved. Brown University spokesperson Brian Clark confirmed Friday afternoon that the professor is currently on leave. Multiple sources tell GoLocal that a student was involved. (link)

Apr 20: DEI Legislation: After hours of contentious debate, the Texas Senate approved a bill Wednesday that would largely restrict how the state’s public universities can promote equitable access to higher education and cultivate diversity among students, faculty and staff. Senate Bill 17 was approved along party lines in a 19 to 12 vote. It would require universities to close their diversity, equity and inclusion offices, which have become a mainstay on campuses across the country as schools try to boost faculty diversity and help students from all backgrounds succeed. The bill would also ban mandatory diversity training and restrict hiring departments from asking for diversity statements, essays in which job applicants talk about their commitment to building diverse campuses. (link)

Apr 20: Hazing & Sexual Assault Lawsuit: Two players are suing New Mexico State University for hazing and sexual assault while they were on the basketball team. The hazing led to NMSU canceling their season and firing their coach. It was also just one of the high-profile incidents involving Aggie players. The lawsuit states three NMSU players harassed William "Duece" Benjamin and Shak Odunewu. The lawsuit names former New Mexico men’s basketball coach an, associate head coach, as well as three players. The lawsuit states they were the three players accused of hazing and sexual assault that the suit says began in July of 2022. (link)

Apr 19: Breach of Contract: Fifteen women who reported they were sexually assaulted while students at Baylor University are seeking to amend their pending federal lawsuits against the university to include state law fraud, breach of contract, negligence and gross negligence allegations. The plaintiffs, known as Jane Doe 1-15, filed a 60-page, fourth amended petition with the motion and are asking U.S. District Judge Robert Pitman to allow the changes in the wake of the judge’s ruling after a recent law change that precludes plaintiffs from recovering damages for emotional distress under Title IX laws. (link)

Apr 19: Covid Lawsuit Settlement: Students who attended the University of Colorado’s Boulder, Colorado Springs, Denver or Anschutz campuses during the spring 2020 semester are eligible to receive a refund of some of their student fees as part of a $5 million class-action lawsuit settlement announced Wednesday. The settlement stems from a 2020 class-action lawsuit filed by attorney Igor Raykin over the fees students were charged to access on-campus services such as recreation centers that were shut down due to COVID-19. The amount of money eligible students receive will depend on how many opt out of the settlement fund, Raykin said. (link)

Apr 19: Termination Appeals: A state appeals officer has reinstated two Emporia State University professors who were fired last year as part of a realignment process, citing the university’s refusal to explain why their jobs were eliminated. The decision to reinstate history professor Amanda Miracle and associate math and economics professor Rob Catlett provides hope for other professors who appealed their dismissal and are still waiting to learn their fate. In her appeal, Miracle said the university’s refusal to provide a specific reason for her firing meant "the ability to offer a meaningful defense is at best a farce. At worst, it is impossible." Jennifer Barton, the presiding officer and administrative law judge who handled appeals for Miracle and Catlett, wrote in her rulings that the open-ended language makes it impossible to determine which factors were the actual reason for the professors’ dismissal. (link)

Apr 18: Title IX Compliance: A new report criticizes how Hesston College responds to reports of sexual assaults and misconduct. Last fall, students staged a walkout, claiming victims were dropping out of school while their accused attackers were not punished. In response, Hesston College hired an independent research organization, Cozen O’Connor, to review the school’s policies and practices related to "sexual and gender-based harassment and violence" under Title IX and the Clery Act. In response, Hesston College hired an independent research organization, Cozen O’Connor, to review the school’s policies and practices related to "sexual and gender-based harassment and violence" under Title IX and the Clery Act. (link)

Apr 18: NCAA Compliance: The former Boise State assistant men's tennis coach and former head men's tennis coach committed NCAA violations when the former assistant coach engaged in a series of impermissible recruiting activities, according to an agreement released by the Division I Committee on Infractions. Due to the recruiting violations, the head men's tennis coach violated head coach responsibility legislation by failing to demonstrate that he monitored his assistant coach. The school, former assistant men's tennis coach and enforcement staff agreed that violations occurred when the former assistant coach communicated with and recruited student-athletes who were not in the NCAA Transfer Portal. (link)

Apr 18: Sexual Harassment: Following an open letter to Crandall University earlier this month calling on the school to look into alleged sexual harassment on campus, the board has announced steps to address the claims. According to the open letter, which is addressed to the Crandall University Board of Governors, the allegations came to light at the end of March when an Instagram account started sharing anonymous posts. "These accounts outline, in significant detail, inappropriate, sexually-driven conduct displayed on multiple occasions by at least one faculty member of Crandall University," the letter stated. It goes on to say, "From current students, we understand that related complaints were made to Crandall administrators this past fall, however to the best of our knowledge the administration took no concrete action and students were told their complaints had no merit." (link)

Apr 14: Disorderly Conduct: An art professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison was cited with disorderly conduct for exposing her breasts to a student on campus in late March, according to the UW-Madison Police Department. UWPD spokesman Marc Lovicott said an investigation showed that a professor of art metal had a disagreement with a student about their attire. He said the professor told police officers she was upset about the student’s outfit because it was inappropriate "due to the tools and chemicals in the space and wanted to prove a point." (link)

Apr 14: Lewd Acts: A former University of Oklahoma professor was sentenced to 10 years in prison after he sent explicit pictures to a minor. Court documents showed that in August 2022, the professor sent explicit pictures to a 14-year-old girl and tried to meet up with her. He was charged with two felony counts, including performing lewd acts in the presence of a minor. (link)

Apr 14: Arrest: A Maryland educator who serves as principal of the Phoenix Academy in Annapolis and a part-time lecturer at Morgan State University was arrested Wednesday after a college student accused him of pulling a gun and robbing her during a date, the Baltimore City Police Department said. It was their first date together, the student told authorities. In addition to his administrative role in Annapolis, the man became a part-time education lecturer at Morgan State University, Maryland’s largest historically Black university, in January, according to spokesperson Larry Jones. Jones told The Capital Morgan State is "aware of the situation" and conducting its own investigation into the matter. (link)

Apr 13: Federal Reporting: For nearly three decades, the navy-and-gold Training Ship Golden Bear has plied oceans around the globe for California State University’s Maritime Academy, providing a unique classroom for students training to be leaders in the seafaring industry. In recent years, Cal Maritime students and employees reported accusations of rape, sexual assault and sexual harassment aboard the 500-foot ship to officials at the Vallejo campus. The school did not report those allegations to federal maritime authorities and has not followed consistent procedures for handling wrongdoing on the vessel, a Times investigation has found. (link)

Apr 10: Breach of Contract: The family of Arizona’s only Hispanic governor is suing the University of Arizona over an alleged breach of contract for trying to sell his home in Nogales. The family of Raúl Hector Castro donated the home to the university several years ago for a specific use, the Arizona Daily Star reported. A complaint filed in Santa Cruz County Superior Court challenges the university’s decision to sell the house rather than use it as a headquarters for border studies initiatives as planned. The lawsuit states that the home holds more than monetary value for the Castro family. (link)

Apr 09: Title IX: For many college sports teams, it’s a short walk to the locker room after the final whistle. For Northwestern softball players, it’s more of a trek. The baseball team’s locker room is steps behind the dugout at its stadium. Meanwhile, the softball team, which made it to the Women’s College World Series last spring, walks to the football stadium, Ryan Field, and climbs stairs to the third floor of the tower to meet after its games. Equal treatment for men’s and women’s sports teams is part of complying with Title IX, the 50-year-old federal law banning sex-based discrimination in government-funded education programs. (link)

Apr 07: Property Ruling: Binghamton University has paid a former dean $1.5 million after a judge ruled that the school had refused to return his equipment and other materials to him. Seshubabu Desu is the former Dean of the Watson School of Engineering and Director of BU’s Center for Autonomous Solar Power or CASP. Desu sued the university in 2020, accusing them of stealing equipment, supplies and research notes that he had brought with him to the school. (link)

Apr 06: Title IX: On a cold January day in Ann Arbor, Michigan, Mary Moffett sat in an oversized chair in her living room, flipped to a blank page in her notepad and wrote a letter. Once finished, she typed it up and printed two copies: one addressed to University of Michigan athletic director Warde Manuel, the other to Michigan football coach Jim Harbaugh. "I am writing to you as a mother who is grieving the loss of her 22 year-old-daughter," the Jan. 21, 2021, letter read. "I am writing and tell you this, as a Michigan football player is partially responsible for her death." Fifteen days earlier, Moffett’s daughter, Quinn Moffett, had been found dead in the bathroom of her boyfriend’s house. All signs pointed to an accidental drug overdose. (link)

Apr 06: Title IX: Schools and colleges largely could not ban nonbinary and transgender students from sports teams, the Biden administration said Thursday in a long-promised proposed rule to protect these students from discrimination. The proposal comes at a time when a number of states are banning transgender students from participating on sports teams that align with their gender identity. "Under the proposed regulation, schools would not be permitted to adopt or apply a one-size-fits-all policy that categorically bans transgender students from participating on teams consistent with their gender identity," the Education Department said. (link)

Apr 06: Child Pornography: An employee at Duke University has been charged with multiple counts of sexual exploitation of a minor, according to media reports. The man, 29, of Durham was arrested by Cary police on Tuesday, court records show. Court documents show he has been charged with 15 counts of sexual exploitation of a minor. Other reports allege he duplicated child pornography of children between the ages of 6 and 13 years old. (link)

Apr 04: Firing Lawsuit: The N.C. Court of Appeals has affirmed the University of North Carolina System’s decision to fire a Winston-Salem State justice studies professor in 2019. But the split 2-1 ruling raised questions about the professor’s First Amendment rights. The university fired professor Alvin Mitchell after "three alleged acts of misconduct" between fall 2015 and fall 2017, according to the Appeals Court majority opinion authored by Judge Toby Hampson. (link)

Apr 03: Discrimination Investigation: The University of Vermont failed to properly investigate alleged antisemitic incidents on campus and took steps that may have discouraged students and employees from coming forward in the future, the U.S. Department of Education said Monday in announcing the resolution of an investigation into the matter. The agency’s Office for Civil Rights received a complaint in October 2021 alleging lack of action by the university’s equal opportunity office regarding several complaints of antisemitic harassment. (link)

Apr 03: Breach of Contract Lawsuit: A lawsuit against the University of Delaware over its campus shutdown and halting of in-person classes because of coronavirus can proceed as a class action on behalf of thousands of students who were enrolled and paid tuition in spring 2020, a federal judge has ruled. Friday’s decision came just days before a scheduled hearing this week on the university’s request for the judge to rule in its favor without a trial. That hearing has been postponed indefinitely. In his ruling, Judge Stephanos Bibas rejected the University of Delaware’s argument that the plaintiffs, who accuse the school of breach of contract and unjust enrichment, lacked standing to sue. (link)

Section Divider Image

Campus Life & Safety Events

Apr 26: Assault: A 19-year-old is facing charges, accused of attacking a student in a University of Memphis dorm room. The man is charged with aggravated assault, aggravated burglary, vandalism of property, carrying a weapon on school property, and false reporting. According to the court affidavit, the victim told police about 11:55 a.m. on Tuesday, April 25, 2023, he came back to his dorm room and was ambushed by the man. The victim told investigators the man tried to stab him, and they struggled, with the man eventually cutting the victim’s face. The report said others heard the disturbance, and the victim was able to get help. According to the affidavit, the man admitted to lying to a U of M employee to gain access to the victim’s room in the Living Learning Complex (LLC). (link)

Apr 26: Threat: A Frostburg State University student was arrested Tuesday after allegedly making a hoax bomb threat Monday that caused part of the campus to be evacuated. The student was charged with making a threat of mass violence, according to the Allegany County Combined Criminal Investigation Unit. Authorities said the threat, which was posted to social media, was directed at the Lane University Center and caused that building, the Lewis J. Ort Library and the Gira Center to be evacuated. No explosives were found during a search of the building by bomb detecting K-9 units from Maryland State Police and the Maryland State Fire Marshal's Office. (link)

Apr 25: First Amendment: Alliance Defending Freedom sent a letter Tuesday to the police department captain at the University of Texas at Arlington to inform him that the $28,600 the university charged Turning Point USA for security fees at two small campus events violated the student group’s First Amendment rights. ADF attorneys represent the TPUSA chapter after UTA officials unconstitutionally charged the conservative student group the high security fees following their events and without TPUSA’s prior consent on the cost. (link)

Apr 24: Threats: A former Wilkes University student who was wanted on charges of making terroristic threats is now in custody. U.S. Marshals arrested a man around 4 a.m. in the Poconos, according to Luzerne County District Attorney Sam Sanguedolce. The student, 22, was accused of threatening another student on the Wilkes University campus on March 30, allegedly telling a female student he would harm one of her male friends. He was also arrested after breaking into a home in Hanover Township two days later. (link)

Apr 24: Shooting: One person was killed and a gunman was arrested after a shooting at a community college just outside of Oklahoma City on Monday, officials said. Rose State College, which is about 8 miles east of downtown Oklahoma City, issued its first active shooter warning at about 12:36 p.m. CT. Students first reported gunfire from the Humanities Building a little after 12:16 p.m., according to a school spokesperson. A little over an hour after the initial warning, the school announced that all buildings on campus were clear and the lockdown had ended. (link)

Apr 19: Campus Altercation: An altercation between a former University of St. Thomas student and the school's police ended with shots fired when the former student disarmed an officer Wednesday evening. According to a statement from the University of St. Thomas' police department, the altercation happened outside the Doherty Library. During the fight, a firearm was discharged into the ground while the suspect was being apprehended, authorities said. No one was injured in the incident. Police said the former student was arrested for aggravated assault and taking a weapon from a peace officer. (link)

Apr 17: Threat: A student from Hamilton College has been arrested for making a threat of mass harm on Sunday, April 16. An investigation conducted by investigators from the State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation identified the suspect and arrested a 20-year-old from Louisville, Kentucky. Hamilton College was put into shelter-in-place on Sunday Night, April 16, after reports of an ‘armed assailant’ in Kirner-Johnson. According to the college, a social media post threatened to "shoot up" Kirner-Johnson (KJ). Multiple Law Enforcement agencies were actively searching KJ and surrounding buildings throughout the night and found no indication of an actual shooter. (link)

Apr 14: Illegal Recording: A 22-year-old former student was arrested for allegedly recording two of his fellow dormmates taking a shower in one of California State University Long Beach's newest dorms. Court documents show that the former student was s charged with three misdemeanors: two for allegedly illegally videotaping male students and one where he's accused of destroying evidence by deleting the videos from the dorm. Investigators said the two known incidents on campus happened on Feb. 21, 2023 and May 3, 2022. The suspect handed over his devices and admitted to recording people in similar settings not just in different areas of the University campus, but elsewhere -- for years. (link)

Apr 14: Hazing: Two Greek organizations at a California state university are under investigation due to hazing allegations after a third was suspended following a hazing probe, school officials said. The Phi Delta Theta fraternity and the Lambda Sigma Gamma sorority at Chico State are both under investigation for alleged hazing violations, a school spokesperson confirmed to ABC News on Friday. The alleged hazing involved alcohol and "directing new members to participate in involuntary physical activity and exercise," Staples said. (link)

Apr 13: Threats: At least eight colleges and universities in Texas were evacuated or put into shelter-in-place status Thursday morning after hoax calls about active shooters. It is unclear if the hoax calls are connected. In Corpus Christi, Del Mar College Heritage Campus issued a shelter-in-place warning for students and staff at 10:28 a.m. due to a call about an active shooter. Police cleared the campus and issued an "all-clear" at 10:47 a.m. Corpus Christi Police Department Lt. Michael Pena said that whether it's a hoax or not -- CCPD will treat all threats the same. Del Mar officials said they are aware of the other hoax calls around Texas but are not in contact with those other schools. (link)

Apr 13: Free Speech: Students at the State University of New York at Albany don’t view their recent protest of Ian Haworth, a conservative writer and podcaster who has made provocative statements about transgender people, as a disruption of his speaking engagement on campus. Rather, they consider it a demonstration of positivity, joy and support of LGBTQ+ students, meant to counteract the hate they said Haworth brought to campus. Video of the event, uploaded by Haworth himself, shows protesters chanting and shouting insults at both him and Turning Point USA, the conservative student organization that hosted the event. "Ian sucks," the protesters shouted, along with "F*** you, TPUSA," and "Trans rights are human rights." (link)

Apr 12: Assault by Professor: The UNK Police Department received a call from a female student on April 3 reporting an assault on campus. According to the report in the UNK Daily Crime & Fire Log, the student said she was intentionally struck in the head by a professor on March 31. She said this contact caused damage to a preexisting head trauma. Another student, who wishes to remain anonymous for concern of being judged by their peers, was in the same class in the Bruner Hall during the time of the incident. The professor struck three students, and the female student reported the incident to UNKPD. An anonymous student said they talked to a UNKPD officer but didn’t make a report. (link)

Apr 12: Controlled Substances: A federal grand jury has returned an indictment charging a pharmacy student and a licensed pharmacist with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute controlled substances, obtaining controlled substances by fraud, and distribution of a controlled substance. According to the indictment, the pharmacist would see a medical provider to obtain prescriptions for Adderall and Vyvanse and would sell all or a portion of the drugs to the student, knowing that the student was going to sell the drugs to other individuals. The indictment further alleges that the student would obtain prescription drugs from others and sell those drugs to students at the university where he attended pharmacy school in Monroe. (link)

Apr 12: Serial Sexual Assault: California authorities have arrested a sexual assault suspect linked to multiple attacks on and around the University of California Berkley campus. The Palo Alto Police on Tuesday announced the arrest of a man, 34, of Palm Beach, Florida, with help from the University of California Police Department (UCPD) on the Berkeley campus in connection with a Palo Alto sexual assault. The arrest came two days after 911 dispatchers in Palo Alto, which is southwest of Berkley, received a call "from a passerby reporting that he had discovered a woman in the California Avenue pedestrian underpass who said she had just been sexually assaulted there." (link)

Apr 12: Assault: Four men were arrested after allegedly assaulting an individual on the campus of Coastal Carolina University on April 6, according to arrest warrants obtained by News13. Police met with the victim at Conway Medical Center, who told them he was jumped by three or four individuals, according to a police report obtained by News13. The victim said he was leaving HTC Center in his vehicle when he noticed a group of people in the road. The report said the victim then blew his horn to get their attention so the group would move. He then started to drive past them and as he was driving off, one of the men allegedly threw something at his vehicle. (link)

Apr 12: Threat: A student at Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU) was arrested for making a threat over social media. An email sent from UPD Chief Jim Slapp said Huffman was an off-campus student. He was "trespassed from campus, including all classes". He was charged with intimidation -- written/electronic threat mass shooting/ terrorism act. (link)

Apr 11: Racial Issues: The University of Minnesota should hire more Native American faculty, offer students additional financial support and give back land to atone for its historic mistreatment of the state’s tribes, a report conducted through a collaboration with the school concluded Tuesday. The report said that the university’s founding board of regents "committed genocide and ethnic cleansing of Indigenous peoples for financial gain, using the institution as a shell corporation through which to launder lands and resources." (link)

Apr 11: Threat: A student at a private southeastern Minnesota college faces multiple counts after authorities found several items in his dorm room that school officials believed posed a threat -- including knives, a tactical vest and empty ammunition and magazine boxes, according to charges filed Monday. The St. Olaf College student, 20, was charged with conspiracy to commit second-degree assault and conspiracy to commit threats of violence, among other counts. (link)

Apr 07: Burglary & Assault: A break-in was reported at the Kappa Delta House on Chancellor street early this morning. The suspect has been arrested and charged with two counts of sexual battery and one count of burglary. He is currently being held without bond. Charlottesville Police Department responded to a call at 4:12 a.m. for breaking and entering. According to the police report, the teenager held a flashlight to several residents’ eyes and assaulted residents after entering the house. CPD intercepted him near the Graduate Hotel as he was walking back to his vehicle. (link)

Apr 07: Academic Freedom: San Francisco State University is investigating history professor Maziar Behrooz for showing a drawing of the Prophet Muhammad while teaching a lesson on the history of the Islamic world last fall. A student reportedly "strongly objected" and filed a complaint with the university. This investigation comes just months after Minnesota’s Hamline University faced a firestorm for not renewing the contract of instructor Erika Lòpez-Prater because she displayed medieval artwork depicting the Prophet Muhammad in her art history course. (link)

Apr 04: Vandalism: More than a dozen people have been "arrested and charged with various crimes" after The University of Connecticut (UConn) won the NCAA men’s basketball national championship on Monday. "Sixteen people were transported to area hospitals for evaluation of injuries, none of which were considered to be significant." Damage estimates are still being determined as operations staff work to clean up the damage after Monday’s win, Reitz said. Despite the damage to the campus, including broken light poles and "fires set in trash dumpsters," Reitz said, "the vast majority of those celebrating the Husky victory last night did so safely and responsibly." (link)

Apr 04: Threat: AUniversity of Arizona professor received a death threat, members of the Faculty Senate were told Monday. "In the past week one of our outspoken senators received a death threat via text messages," Lucy Ziurys, a professor and faculty senator, announced at the Faculty Senate meeting. "I met with the faculty member in question and their family," he said. "We are mobilizing, taking these threats very, very seriously." This revelation comes one week after a consulting firm released a report that said the UA’s campus safety protocols were hampered by systemic failures, including a breakdown in communication between administrative departments tasked with addressing safety concerns. (link)

Apr 03: Threat: A man was arrested and charged after being found on a Triad college campus with numerous weapons and hundreds of rounds of ammunition. The court documents say that on Sunday, the man was found at the intersection of Sullivan Street and North Benbow Road, on NC A&T campus, with a revolver, loaded handgun, a rifle, two shotguns and several hundred rounds of ammunition. He was also found to have a "makeshift firework explosive," brass knuckles, a machete, a sword, a "blowdart weapon," a crossbow, a hatchet, a stun gun, a dozen knives, "claws," and a baton. (link)

Section Divider Image

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.

Back to top

© Redistribution of this newsletter, with or without modification, is permitted provided Auburn University Office of Audit, Compliance & Privacy is listed as the source.