This Is Auburn Office of Audit, Compliance & Privacy
Office of Audit, Compliance & Privacy

Our Mission

The mission of the Office of Audit, Compliance & Privacy is to assist Auburn University, Auburn University at Montgomery, the Alabama Cooperative Extension System, and the Alabama Agricultural Experiment Station (the "University") in fulfilling its vision of being a preeminent comprehensive land-grant university. Our office provides services in three distinct yet related disciplines - audit, compliance, and privacy - in support of Auburn University's three-pronged mission of teaching, research, and service.

The Office of Audit, Compliance & Privacy functions in partnership with University leadership to:

  • improve the internal control system and culture;
  • improve and enhance the management of operational, financial, compliance, strategic and reputational risks;
  • enhance governance processes;
  • ensure strong stewardship and management accountability at all levels of the University.

Case In Point: Lessons for the proactive manager

This month we focus our attention on the Compliance/Regulatory & Legal Events from 2021. As usual, this is the largest category of stories linked. Higher Education remains, and will certainly continue to remain, one of the most regulated industries around. The occasional talk of reducing the regulatory burden never pans out, and it seems that new regulations and expectations from regulators continue to expand.

Here were the top 5 most common types of stories in this category:

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

The types of stories include a litany of various events such as: ADA, COVID-19/Vaccination Related, Employment Litigation, NCAA Athletes Rights, Transgender Athletes Rights, Free Speech, Academic Related Litigation, Tuition Reimbursement Litigation, Defamation, Admissions Scandal, Equal Pay Litigation, Foreign Influence, Privacy Issues, Contract Litigation, Child Pornography, Police Misconduct, Wrongful Death, Due Process Claims, False Claims Act, FOIA, Whistleblower Litigation, Export Control, Retaliation, Investment Litigation, and Wire Fraud, just to name a few.

While there is little we can do to reduce regulatory requirements, we can do a few things to protect our respective institutions and create a culture of compliance. Here are 3 things you should be doing to create a more compliant campus:

  1. Educate employees on the requirements that relate to their position.
  2. Promote a way employees can report problems they observe.
  3. Be consistent in handling compliance failures. Allowing some issues to slide because of the person involved can derail a compliance culture.

As always we invite you to review the issues happening across higher education with a view toward proactively managing risk, and we welcome your comments.

Read this month's issue of Case In Point

Case In Point Archives

Anonymous Reporting Hotline

The University uses the EthicsPoint anonymous Reporting System to enhance communication and empower individuals to promote safety, security, and ethical behavior. Use this anonymous, confidential system to report situations, events or actions by individuals or groups that you believe unethical or otherwise inappropriate. Frivolous or unfounded reports do not help foster a positive workplace. This hotline service does not replace our existing reporting methods for reporting fraud, waste, abuse or other potentially illegal activities. The University continues to encourage stakeholders to report concerns or suspected violations to their supervisor or other campus entities as appropriate.

If you are uncertain if a situation violates University policy, is illegal or constitutes harassment or discrimination, you may use EthicsPoint to obtain clarification. We would much rather have you ask questions than let potential problems go unchecked. However, EthicsPoint should not be used for immediate threats to life or property. If the situation presents an immediate threat to life or property call emergency -- 911

Last Updated: December 17, 2021