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In the approximately one year period since the incident involving child molestation by a former coach at Penn State University (PSU) came to light, the lessons for those of us in higher education have been many. In this month’s newsletter we link a story detailing the indictment of PSU’s former President which serves as a stark reminder of the responsibilities that come with leadership. Someone recently made the comment that because of this and other visible scandals in recent years that ”higher education has lost the benefit of the doubt.” While that statement can certainly be debated, there is little doubt that the pressures for institutional transparency, ethics, and accountability have never been greater in our industry.

One way that you can strengthen your leadership culture is to ensure that you routinely communicate the need for everyone to report potential regulatory, policy, or ethical concerns to their supervisor or through the anonymous reporting system that allows for confidential reporting. The benefits of proactively addressing a situation far outweigh the costs of ignoring them or remaining silent. As you survey this month’s events in our industry, we again suggest that you proactively think of high risks in your area of responsibility that may need proactive management.

Nov.

Nov. 21, 2012: The personal information of nearly 1,000 Scripps College students was stolen from a staff member’s vehicle in Anaheim this past weekend, students learned Wednesday through an email from the Dean of Students office.

Nov. 5, 2012: Colleges share many things on Twitter, but one topic can be risky to broach: the reading habits of library patrons. Harvard librarians learned that lesson when they set up Twitter feeds broadcasting titles of books being checked out from campus libraries. It seemed harmless enough a typical tweet read, “Reconstructing American Law by Bruce A. Ackerman,” with a link to the book’s library catalog entry but the social media experiment turned out to be more provocative than library staffers imagined. (The personal information of up to 2,000 people was exposed to the public for five days on a computer in Cornell’s athletics department, a University administrator confirmed Thursday.

Donald Sevey, director of information systems, said that the University discovered that a file server containing ”confidential data” about thousands of people was accessible by the public for a period of time. 30, 2012: A former Oklahoma State University employee who used her school issued credit card to buy $80,000 worth of sex toys, electronics and other personal items will serve two years in state prison, court records show.

Nov. 29, 2012: Santa Rosa police arrested a Santa Rosa Junior College Police Department officer Wednesday on suspicion of grand theft and embezzlement, a police sergeant said.

Nov. 26, 2012: Just days after celebrating one of the biggest homecomings in the university’s 145 year history, Alabama State University has placed its new president on administrative leave with pay and temporarily replaced him with Rep. John Knight.

Nov. 27, 2012: Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas has agreed to pay the federal government more than $900,000 to settle allegations that it submitted false Medicare claims for radiation oncology services, the Justice Department said Tuesday.

Nov. 27, 2012: Tulsa athletic director Ross Parmley was placed on paid leave Tuesday as the university investigates allegations that he may have been involved with an alleged bookie in Oklahoma City.

Nov. 25, 2012: Southern Utah University has placed an instructor in its English as a Second Language program on probation and is investigating allegations that the program tolerates widespread plagiarism by students.

Nov. 21, 2012: North Carolina’s top auditor said Tuesday that the country’s third largest community college system should stop tipping off campus administrators weeks before a record check is coming. A report by state auditor Beth Wood’s office found records at Durham Technical Community College were altered or forged, and missing forms created, ahead of a double check into how many students were enrolled in 2010.

Nov. 15, 2012: The Kalamazoo County Prosecutor’s Office has dismissed an embezzlement charge against a Western Michigan University faculty member, but has left the door open for the charge to be reinstated pending further investigation, said Carrie Klein, chief assistant prosecutor. Joseph M. Pellerito, who was chairman of the university’s Occupational Therapy Department, has been accused of submitting bogus mileage reports and using WMU endowment money to purchase more than $7,000 in electronics that he kept at home for his personal use.

Nov. 14, 2012: A former Topeka lawyer pleaded guilty Wednesday to federal charges of money laundering and wire fraud for stealing funds established to benefit the Kansas University School of Business.

Nov. News World Report has revoked George Washington University’s numerical ranking after the institution admitted last week that it had been inflating class rank data for incoming students for more than a decade. In a blog post on Wednesday, Robert J. Morse, the magazine’s director of data research, said George Washington had been moved to the ”unranked” category of the listings.(Nov. 13, 2012: The process Larry Sager, the University of Texas School of Law’s former dean, used to secure a $500,000 forgivable loan for himself was not transparent, created “an impression of self dealing that cannot be condoned,” and should be permanently suspended, according to a University of Texas System report released Tuesday.

Nov. 13, 2012: A former Edison Community College official who conducted business illegally by granting media contracts to the school that benefited his private business for personal gain avoided a prison sentence Tuesday in common pleas court and will instead serve a two year probation sentence and pay $9,300 in restitution. (Nov. 12, 2012: Three employees and a hot dog vendor were found guilty Thursday of a month long scheme in which they stole more than $150,000 worth of books from the GW Bookstore. The scheme lasted from December 2010 to January 2011, with bookstore employees handing off the stolen textbooks to the hot dog vendor at least nine times.

Nov. 10, 2012: University of Iowa officials declined to comment Saturday about a report that revealed allegations of sexual harassment against an athletic department employee who resigned last week. Peter Gray, a senior academic adviser, worked for the athletic department from 1993 95 and again from 2002 until last week. A University of Iowa investigative report obtained by the Press Citizen documented that Gray attempted to trade athletic tickets and money for sexual favors and indicated he previously had been confronted about conduct concerns.

Nov. 8, 2012: A former secretary at Luzerne County Community College pocketed thousands of dollars in cash tuition payments to the school over several years, according to charges filed Wednesday.

Nov. 6, 2012: The executive director of a community college foundation embroiled in a financial scandal resigned after 10 months on administrative leave. Rhea Chung, executive director of the Los Angeles Trade Technical College foundation, was placed on paid leave in January after an audit by the college district raised questions about the propriety of some bonuses and perks she received on top of her $113,000 annual salary.

Nov. 6, 2012: A former dean at St. John’s University in New York who was charged with stealing more than $1 million from the institution was found dead on Tuesday morning in an apparent suicide, only a day after she took the witness stand in her own defense. Prosecutors had also accused her of making scholarship students whom she had recruited from overseas do chores for her. Ms. Chang admitted that she had used the university’s money to pay for her son’s graduate school education and acknowledged that she had made the students hand wash her underwear. Nov. 29, 2012: One of North Carolina’s top officials for NCAA rules compliance has resigned effective Friday the latest Tar Heels official to step down amid the controversy that has engulfed the department the last two years.

Nov. 25, 2012: Larry and Kristina Dodge, a southern California couple living (for now) in a mansion on the Pacific Ocean, are facing hard times and can no longer honor the $5 million pledge they made to the Kansas City Art Institute. Or, in the art institute’s view, they’re a couple of deadbeats.

Nov. 21, 2012: An animal rights activist who targeted a Wayne State University professor with blog posts calling for him to be tortured pleaded guilty Tuesday to two criminal charges.
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