Case In Point: Lessons for the proactive manager
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Case In Point: Lessons for the proactive manager
Volume 15 Number 11 | November 2023
Quotable .....
“ In the algorithmic dance of progress, let ethics lead the choreography, for in the rhythm of artificial intelligence, the heartbeat of humanity must set the tempo. ”

-- Generated by ChatGPT

Artificial intelligence presents higher education with a unique challenge. Chat GPT was released one year ago on November 30, 2022. On the anniversary of generative AI, we asked Claude.AI to write the intro to this month's Case in Point. Here is what it gave us.

Here is a draft introduction for Auburn University's Case in Point newsletter about AI developments over the past year and their impact on higher education:

Artificial intelligence (AI) has continued its rapid advancement over the past year, bringing new capabilities and challenges to institutions of higher education. From AI tutors to automated administrative systems, colleges and universities are implementing AI in innovative ways while also grappling with issues of bias, transparency, and ethical use.

One major AI milestone in 2022 was the introduction of chatbots like ChatGPT that can hold natural conversations and generate human-like text on a wide range of topics. While these conversational agents show promise for enhancing student learning and engagement, concerns remain about the accuracy of information and proper attribution of sources. Institutions will need to establish guidelines on the appropriate use of chatbots in teaching and learning.

Administrative AI saw increased adoption as colleges used intelligent systems for tasks like admissions processing, financial aid recommendations, and course scheduling. Automating routine operations can free up resources for schools, but it also raises questions about transparency in decision-making and potential discrimination. Monitoring outcomes and auditing algorithms is key to ensuring fairness.

As AI continues advancing at a swift pace, higher education leaders face important choices. How can we best harness AI's potential while safeguarding ethics, privacy, and human agency? How do we prepare students not just to use AI, but become critical thinkers about its societal impacts? By promoting diverse and interdisciplinary perspectives, universities can help shape AI for the common good.

The coming year will see new AI capabilities emerge across academia. This newsletter will continue exploring key developments and their implications, helping colleges navigate our increasingly AI-enabled world. The future promises both profound challenges and opportunities - by working together, we can ensure AI serves higher education's mission to expand knowledge and empower humanity.

As we do each month, we invite you to review the events happening across higher education with a view toward proactively managing risk. We welcome any comments and suggestions.

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

Nov 27: Data Breach: On November 20, 2023, Texas Wesleyan University filed a notice of data breach with the Attorney General of Montana after discovering that a recent data security incident resulted in unauthorized access to the school's computer network. In this notice, TXWES explains that the incident resulted in an unauthorized party being able to access consumers’ sensitive information, which includes their names, Social Security numbers, passport information, financial account information, and limited medical information. Upon completing its investigation, TXWES began sending out data breach notification letters to all individuals whose information was affected by the recent data security incident. (link)

Nov 14: Cyberattack: North Carolina Central University announced Tuesday that online classes have been suspended for the last two days after the university experienced a cyberintrusion of systems on campus. On Sunday, officials with NCCU said that Information Technology Services (ITS) was alerted of a possible cyberintrusion incident on the campus technology systems and began an investigation. Certain systems, including the campus Wi-Fi network, MyEOL began experiencing disruptions to normal operations. Other systems continue to be operational. (link)

Nov 07: Risk Management: Picture this: You have a broad mix of faculty, staff, students, service providers, collaborators and visitors interacting with the school networks and data. You have a kaleidoscope of departments, institutes and centers that have developed their own unique IT infrastructure. If you're at a research university, there are troves of potentially valuable data relating to defense and national security. And to top it off, your institution’s bedrock philosophy embraces openness and academic freedom.In other words, universities are magnets for hackers. (link)

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Fraud & Ethics Related Events

Nov 24: Data Fraud: A star neuroscientist at USC is facing allegations of misconduct after whistleblowers submitted a report to the National Institutes of Health that accused the professor of manipulating data in dozens of research papers and sounded alarms about an experimental stroke medication his company is developing. The accusations against the professor and chair of the department of physiology and neuroscience at the Keck School of Medicine of USC were made by a small group of independent researchers and reported in the journal Science. The report identifies allegedly doctored images and data in 35 research papers in which the professor is the sole common author. (link)

Nov 08: Occupational Fraud: A former Indiana University Foundation employee was sentenced to a year and a day in federal prison for embezzling more than $300,000 in donations, U.S. Attorney Zachary A. Myers announced Wednesday. The woman, 64, of Spencer, pleaded guilty to wire fraud and admitted stealing money that should have been deposited in the foundation's bank account, Myers said in a news release. The woman worked for the foundation as a depositor and payroll deduction associate since 1988. Foundation officials confronted her in 2019 after an audit discovered the missing cash. She admitted stealing the money, Myers said. (link)

Nov 03: Ethnic Fraud; An Oregon State University faculty member is being accused of falsely claiming Native American ancestry. A watchdog group has asked the university to fire the professor if they don't make a public apology. The Tribal Alliance Against Frauds issued a statement on Wednesday, Nov. 1 strongly denying associate professor's claims of Cherokee, Lenape, Osage and Lumbee heritage. The group, which has drawn national headlines for questioning the claims of indigenous ancestry made by high-profile figures, posted genealogy reports on the professor's family and letters from tribal nations denying the professor's membership. (link)

Nov 01: Occupational Fraud: Three former Georgia Tech researchers have been sentenced for their roles in a scheme to defraud the university and the Central Intelligence Agency, federal prosecutors announced Wednesday. The former chief scientist for the Georgia Tech Research Institute and two other researchers had access to a university credit card that was supposed to be for official business, the U.S. Department of Justice said in a statement. Instead they used it to finance about $200,000 in personal expenses from 2007 through 2013. According to prosecutors, the men purchased items including two four-wheelers, two 52-inch flat-screen televisions, Apple computers, iPads, Kindle e-readers, digital and video cameras, a 3D printer, Bose headphones and sports watches with heart rate monitors. (link)

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Compliance/Regulatory & Legal Events

Nov 29: Title IX: A Fresno City College communication instructor and president of the school’s academic senate was found to have committed an ''act of sexual violence'' against a professor and former colleague at nearby Fresno State University, where he taught for years until he resigned under pressure last year, documents show. The allegations against the instructor stayed hidden from public view, EdSource found, before surfacing in 2020, when Fresno State opened an investigation based on the federal anti-discrimination law known as Title IX, records show. That investigation determined that he committed the sexual violence in 2015, when he was a graduate student and part-time instructor at Fresno State. The case wasn't fully resolved until February, when the alleged victim reached a $53,300 settlement with the university after claiming it hadn’t done enough to protect her, university records show. (link)

Nov 16: Employee Conduct: A Southern California college professor was charged Thursday with involuntary manslaughter and battery in the death of a Jewish protester during demonstrations over the Israel-Hamas war. Ventura County District Attorney Erik Nasarenko said in a statement that both charges have special allegations that the man, 50, personally inflicted ''great bodily injury'' on Paul Kessler, 69, during a confrontation at an event that started as a pro-Palestinian demonstration in Thousand Oaks, a suburb northwest of Los Angeles. Involuntary manslaughter is the unintentional killing of another person. (link)

Nov 16: Title VI Investigations: The U.S. Department of Education said on Thursday it has begun investigations of six colleges and one school district over accusations of antisemitic or anti-Muslim discrimination during an ongoing war between Israel and Palestinians in Gaza. In one such instance federal prosecutors last month charged a Cornell University student with allegedly making online threats against Jewish students at the Ivy League school. The colleges under investigation were listed as Cornell, Columbia University and the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art in New York state, Lafayette College and the University of Pennsylvania in Pennsylvania and Wellesley College in Massachusetts. (link)

Nov 14: First Amendment Ruling: A U.S. magistrate judge on Tuesday recommended that Bakersfield College be prohibited from investigating, disciplining or firing a professor who sued the school over its diversity and inclusion policies. U.S. Magistrate Judge Christopher D. Baker also recommended that the Eastern District of California deny a motion to dismiss professor Daymon Johnson's lawsuit. The Tuesday decision stems from a lawsuit filed in June by Johnson, who teaches history at the college where he’s worked since 1993. He's also involved in campus self-governance. (link)

Nov 06: NIL Litigation: Lawsuits accusing the National Collegiate Athletic Association of depriving U.S. college athletes of billions of dollars in compensation for the commercial use of their ''name, image and likeness'' can move ahead as a class action, a California federal judge has ruled. U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken on Friday certified three classes of current former student-athletes in the NCAA cases, including a monetary damages class exposing the governing body for U.S. collegiate sports to more than $1.3 billion in claims. The plaintiffs said the classes comprise more than 184,000 members who played men's football and basketball, women's basketball and other sports for schools in the NCAA's Division I, the top tier for U.S. college athletics. (link)

Nov 01: Race Discrimination: Late last academic year, concerns were reported about a faculty hiring process in the University of Washington's Department of Psychology. A review was requested by Dianne Harris, Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences, after she learned of these potential issues. The review was conducted by the UW's Civil Rights Investigation Office, which included examining e-mails and other University records. The review was completed in September and indicates that race was inappropriately considered and used in a way that is inconsistent with University policy in the hiring process for an assistant professor position in the department. Race was inappropriately considered in the hiring process even after some faculty received guidance from College of Arts & Sciences and University leadership that such considerations are inappropriate. (link)

Nov 01: Title IX Violation: Arcadia University violated federal Title IX rules when it failed to investigate alleged sexual harassment by a professor "despite the university repeatedly receiving reports over several years from students and faculty that the professor harassed students," the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) said. The education department’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) said in a news release that several students and faculty at Arcadia, a small liberal arts college in Montgomery County, reported a male professor sexually harassed female students between 2018 and 2021, behavior that was reported to the university's former human resources chief and a dean. The agency said it has reached an agreement with the university to resolve its investigation into the allegations, and outlined several steps the school has to take going forward. (link)

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Campus Life & Safety Events

Nov 29: Assault: One person has been arrested after allegedly stabbing his ex-girlfriend's current boyfriend. It happened around 9:30 p.m. on Nov. 28 in a dorm room at Texas Wesleyan University in Fort Worth. The victim told police he was with his girlfriend in her dorm when her ex-boyfriend arrived and exchanged words with him. The ex-boyfriend then grabbed scissors and stabbed the victim multiple times. Friends of the victim overheard the two fighting and attempted to intervene, which led to the ex-boyfriend being injured in the process, police say. The victim was treated on-scene for non-life-threatening injuries. The ex-boyfriend was arrested and taken to a local hospital for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries. (link)

Nov 21: Campus Threat: CUNY City College of New York shut down its campus on Tuesday due to a threat, according to the institution. CCNY closed at 1 p.m. ''out of an abundance of caution'' after receiving an unspecified threat. The college urged students and faculty to promptly leave the campus in an alert posted to its website and social platforms. The campus was expected to reopen on Wednesday, however, there are no classes in session. (link)

Nov 17: Tenured University of Southern California economics professor John Strauss last week said he is barred from campus for the rest of the semester and is teaching remotely after a video of his contentious interaction with pro-Palestinian protestors on campus went viral. In a letter to Strauss obtained by USC's student newspaper, The Daily Trojan, Provost Andrew Guzman wrote that the measures were ''designed to minimize disruption to the educational environment and to ensure a safe environment for both you and students.'' (link)

Nov 16: Campus Speech: Hunter College this week abruptly pulled a screening of a documentary film critical of Israel, creating a backlash from faculty members and students who have charged the New York school's administration with undermining academic freedom. The documentary, ''Iraelism,''investigates what it calls the uncritical love of the Jewish state inculcated in American Jews, through the stories of two young Jews who travel to Israel and the West Bank. There they encounter a different reality from the one they said they learned at their religious day schools and summer camps. (link)

Nov 15: Homicide: Prairie View A&M University officials confirmed that 31-year-old Hempstead native Kendrick Wilder was the victim killed in a shooting on the Waller County campus early Monday morning. Around 9 a.m., Wilder was shot multiple times while working at one of the university farms by a former university employee, Prairie View A&M University Police Department said. The shooting at the Governor Bill and Vera Daniels Farm and Ranch led to a shelter-in-place on the campus. The former employee reportedly was detained shortly after by PV officers. Waller County records show the suspect has been charged with murder. Prairie View resident Jeanette Williams said the two men had previously worked together and had ''onflicts''in the last few months. (link)

Nov 14: Free Speech: A federal judge has awarded more than $372,000 in legal fees to attorneys who represented professors in a high-profile lawsuit against the University of Florida over being able to serve as expert witnesses in court cases. Chief U.S. District Judge Mark Walker last week issued a 35-page ruling that rejected arguments by the university that it should not have to cover the fees. Walker awarded $372,219 in fees to attorneys from two firms, while also tacking on $1,575 in costs. Walker based the decision, at least in part, on a preliminary injunction that he issued in January 2022, finding that the university violated the professors' First Amendment rights. (link)

Nov 14: Stabbing: A Louisiana Tech University student is in custody after he allegedly stabbed four people in a ''andom act of violence''on campus, according to the university. The four victims -- one graduate student and three non-students -- had just left the campus recreation center when they were attacked around 9 a.m. Monday, Louisiana Tech University said. The suspect allegedly fled the scene and was apprehended minutes later by campus police, according to the university. One victim was hospitalized in critical condition, according to the university. Two others were hospitalized in serious but stable condition and the fourth victim refused treatment. (link)

Nov 10: Sex Crimes & Hazing: Three former New Mexico State University basketball players were charged with multiple sex crimes. Charges of criminal sexual contact, criminal sexual penetration, false imprisonment, and conspiracy were filed by the State of New Mexico. The charges come after a criminal investigation into hazing allegations within the New Mexico State University Basketball program. According to court documents, the alleged incidents of hazing took place in November 2022. New Mexico Attorney General Raul Torrez provided some insight into the state investigation into NMSU. "These are serious charges. I think, to a certain extent describing it only as hazing really does a disservice to the victims," Torrez said. ''his is it includes allegations of not only physical violence, but but sexual violence. And if convicted, these defendants face a lengthy term of incarceration in state prison.''(link)

Nov 09: Arson: A Quinnipiac University student was suspended from campus after allegedly being involved in an on-campus arson. An 18-year-old freshman faces one felony reckless burning charge and two related misdemeanor charges, university officials said on Thursday. ''The safety of our students is always our top priority,'' said John Morgan, associate vice president for public relations. The charges are in connection to an apparent arson that occurred on October 31st, 2023, in a Mount Carmel Campus residence hall. It is not clear what he allegedly set on fire, and any related damage is also unknown. (link)

Nov 09: Campus Protest: Brown University Public Safety arrested a group of students after a day of protesting against United States and Israel’s policies. The arrests took place at about 5:30 PM. The protest began about 12 noon on the main green at Brown with a group of Brown students rallying. The total number of students protesting was about 150. After the arrests Brown issued a statement: ''The safety of our students is always our top priority. After offering students every opportunity for a different outcome, Brown issued multiple trespass warnings and ultimately moved forward in arresting approximately 20 who refused to leave a campus building where their presence after operating hours posed security concerns.'' (link)

Nov 06: Racial Issues: A University of Massachusetts Amherst student was arrested for allegedly punching a Jewish student and spitting on Israel’s flag during a vigil hosted on campus Friday, officials say. The incident occurred at a "Bring Them Home: Solidarity Walk and Installation" organized by UMass Hillel, a Jewish organization on campus. The arrest is just the latest in a spate of incidents on college campuses during the Israel-Hamas war. The Anti-Defamation League said there’s been a 388% increase in reported antisemitic incidents since last year, and the Council on American-Islamic Relations said it recorded nearly 800 complaints and bias incidents since Oct. 7, compared to 63 for the month of August. (link)

Nov 01: Campus Protest Update: Student misconduct charges have been dropped against 59 UC San Diego student workers who faced potential expulsion over to their alleged involvement in a protest, it was announced Tuesday. UCSD graduate students took part in a May demonstration held at an alumni awards celebration attended by UCSD Chancellor Pradeep Khosla, in which the students protested the alleged failure of the university to abide by a contract reached with the union representing UC student employees, leaving workers underpaid. Along with Tuesday's announcement that student misconduct charges will no longer be pursued, UAW 2865 said the university will also not pursue any further legal action against three student workers arrested earlier this year for allegedly vandalizing campus property. (link)

Nov 01: Race Issues: The Biden administration is unveiling new actions Monday to combat antisemitism on college campuses after an ''alarming'' uptick in incidents since the Israel-Hamas war started in early October. The departments of Justice and Homeland Security are partnering with campus law enforcement to track hate-related threats and provide federal resources to schools, according to the plan, which was shared exclusively with NBC News. Some of what they will be assessing includes specific and credible threats that are flagged online. Dozens of cybersecurity and protective security experts at DHS have been detailed to engage with schools as they navigate incredibly tense environments, a White House official said. (link)

Nov 01: Threat: Police and the FBI are investigating a death threat slipped under the office door of a Palestinian employee at American University. Wassim Aburakia-Einhorn has spent much of his adult life at American University -- first as a student, then as an IT specialist. He found the threat earlier this week in his office in Kerwin Hall, home to the School of Public Affairs. ''What was terrifying was what was written in it, and as soon as I read it, this whole eerie feeling took over,'' Aburakia-Einhorn said. ''My heart sank.'' It read, ''Go back where you came from. You might get lucky with a missile, and meet your Allah sooner! Death to all Palestinians!'' (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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