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Articles: Security

Kelly Walsh is CIO of The College of Westchester in New York.

Growth forecasts suggest tens of billions of devices will be connected as spending exceeds $1 trillion by 2020, according the 2017 NMC Horizons Report for Higher Education.

Phishing is just one type of “social engineering”—the criminal act of manipulating people to surrender confidential information. In the past five years, it’s become a constant threat, and many college leaders see it as the No. 1 cybercrime they face.

THE BIG EVENT—In 2016, when President Barack Obama visited the University of Nebraska at Omaha, more than 10,000 higher ed students, faculty, staff and community members attended an event at the campus arena.

Colleges may already prepare extensively for VIPs, but a deeper level of cross-campus coordination can ensure a smooth visit even when protests or other disruptions occur.

Most higher ed institutions have issued plastic campus cards for decades based on a 30-year business model. Perhaps it’s time for administrators to review this process in light of current technology and dramatic shifts in generational expectations.

No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal assistance. —20 U.S.C. § 1681(a), better known as Title IX

Anne M. Tompkins is a partner at Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft. A. Joseph Jay III is a special counsel at CW&T. Colleen Kukowski is an associate at CW&T, focused on compliance issues. Alex Hokenson is a law clerk in CW&T’s White Collar Defense and Investigations group.

While it is laudable that schools have engaged in a national effort to combat sexual assault on campus, they may find their focus has led to ignoring important due process considerations for the accused in the adjudicatory process. 

A PLACE TO GATHER, MOURN, REFLECT—Hours after the April 16 tragedy, a higher ed student organization placed 32 “Hokie Stones” on the campus Drillfield. Later, stones weighing 300 pounds each were permanently placed in the field, with paths to allow for easier viewing.

A decade and well over 100 school shootings since the Virginia Tech tragedy, the higher ed community has considered and implemented changes in policy and practice recommended after the full investigation. 

A link to Virginia Tech’s We Remember website, created immediately after the tragedy, holds a prominent place at the top right of the university’s home page.

Each spring, updated commemoration event information gets posted to the site, www.weremember.vt.edu—with all previous content remaining accessible and the victims’ photos and biographies easy to find.

“Nothing has ever been taken down,” says Mark Owczarski, assistant vice president for news and information at the university. “It’s there as public record.”

In uncertain political times, some higher ed lobbyists say their most important role may be blocking legislation that could harm their client colleges and universities. 

Ten years ago, few universities employed chief information security officers. Now these administrators—known as CISOs—lead teams dedicated to shielding information, systems and research from internet thieves, and to keeping up with federal regulations.

STANDARD CARE—Research college labs are required to meet federal animal research standards, which includes the need to provide a clean environment and adequate care.

Following a spate of violence aimed at animal research facilities in the late 1990s, universities have worked to create greater transparency around scientific testing while maintaining stringent security to protect staff and animals. 

American higher education in 2016 faced increased pressure on performance. Colleges and universities were also being pushed to eliminate administrative and academic silos to help students of all ages and backgrounds succeed. Here’s a look back at what made headlines in higher ed this past year and how campuses responded.

A facilities administrator from a suburban institution of 5,000 to 10,000 students says his department faces three challenging realities: increased pressure to reduce operation costs, diminishing resources and a rising deferred maintenance program.

TO SIGN AND PROTECT— At Columbus State Community College, police department specialist Stephanie Murphy (in red) and officer Brian Thomas (in uniform) get a lesson in American Sign Language from instructor Marie Potts,  who is hearing-impaired, as her interpreter looks on.

Stephanie Murphy, a security specialist with the Columbus State Community College police department, realized officers were having trouble communicating with one segment of the Ohio institution’s 26,000 students. 

Campus technology leaders report significant new investment to come this year in the area of academic tech tools such as lecture capture, AV equipment and active classroom initiatives. It’s the third year in a row academic technology led the list of top significant investments in a UB survey. 

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