In Brief: University President Pulls Web Profile

University President Pulls Facebook Profile

 

SALISBURY, Md.

Salisbury University’s president removed her Facebook profile after being questioned about apparently unprofessional captions posted alongside photos on the Web page.

Dr. Janet Dudley-Eshbach, president of Salisbury University, had a photo on her profile showing her pointing a stick toward her daughter and a Hispanic man with a caption saying she had to “beat off Mexicans because they were constantly flirting with my daughter.”

A caption accompanying a photo of a tapir referred to the large size of the piglike animal’s genitalia.

Dudley-Eshbach removed her profile from the social networking Web site hours after reporters asked her about the captions Monday. She did not immediately return a call seeking comment by The Associated Press on Wednesday.

In a statement, Dudley-Eshbach said the photos were taken during a family vacation to Mexico and that she wrongly thought the public couldn’t see them.

“I did not intend for these photos to end up in the public domain, and I am grateful that this was brought to my attention. I sincerely apologize for any offense anyone may have taken,” she said.

The president also wrote, “Many of us are learning about the positives and negatives of public networking sites such as Facebook. I regret that some of these family vacation photos, with captions that were only intended to be humorous, were included on Facebook.”

Dr. William Kirwin, chancellor of the University System of Maryland, said he talked to Dudley-Eshbach about her postings and did not anticipate any disciplinary action against the president.

“I think she’s acknowledged that this was a mistake. I think both her statement and her action in taking the pictures down are appropriate,” Kirwin said.

Dudley-Eshbach has been Salisbury’s president since 2000. The school had 7,581 registered students in the fall of 2006. 

FAMU, Florida State Student Protesters Meet With Feds on Boot Camp Case

TALLAHASSEE Fla.

Justice Department officials planned to meet with university protest organizers Wednesday as the federal authorities consider charges against seven juvenile boot camp guards and a nurse acquitted of state charges in the death of a 14-year-old boy.

The students from Florida State University and Florida A&M University blocked traffic in downtown Tallahassee after the all-White jury in Panama City delivered its verdict Friday.

The students have announced protests at the state Capitol next Tuesday, but Florida State University student Sakeena Gohagen said that could change depending on Wednesday’s meeting.

“We feel a strong social obligation to bring justice,” Gohagen said.

Alan Sprowls, assistant U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Florida, said officials from his office and from Washington would listen to the students’ concerns and answer questions.

“Rather than putting people at bay who are saying, ‘If you don’t meet with us, we are going to cause some civil unrest’, if we can be civil about it, that’s the better option,” Sprowls said.

Martin Lee Anderson, who was Black, died in January 2006 after being hit and kicked by the guards as the nurse watched at the Bay County Juvenile Boot camp. Prosecutors argued the videotaped altercation caused his death and tried the eight defendants on manslaughter and other charges.

Defense attorneys argued the staff’s tactics were acceptable in the boot camp system and that Anderson died from an undiagnosed medical condition.

After Anderson’s death, the Legislature dismantled the military-style youth boot camps and the chief of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement resigned. The Legislature also agreed to pay Anderson’s family $5 million to settle civil claims.

Louisiana Financial Aid Office Loses Applicants’ Data

 

BATON ROUGE, La.

Sensitive data for virtually all Louisiana college applicants and their parents over the past nine years were in a case lost last month during a move, officials said.

The Louisiana Office of Student Financial Assistance was advised to not say how many records were involved and the media format in which they were stored, Executive Director Melanie Amrhein said Wednesday. The state Attorney General’s Office is investigating the loss.

The lost case held backup data for every Louisiana application for federal student aid just about anyone who applied to college from 1998 through Sept. 13 of this year, Amrhein said. It also involved anyone who had a college savings account under the START Saving Program or who applied for the TOPS scholarship program in those years.

The data included Social Security numbers for applicants and their parents; the bank account information for START account holders also was involved.

Sophisticated equipment and knowledge would be required to access the data. Amrhein said disclosing more information about the lost case and its contents won’t help someone access the data, but could help someone realize its significance.

The case was lost Sept. 19 when a driver for a Boston-based contractor failed to follow company procedures when loading it onto his vehicle, according to a statement e-mailed Wednesday by Laura Sudnik, spokeswoman for Iron Mountain Inc., a data-protection and storage company. The driver was fired.

The data was being moved from Iron Mountain’s Port Allen storage building to Baton Rouge. Iron Mountain said it notified the state immediately of the problem, but Amrhein said the office waited until this week to discuss the loss publicly to allow time to find the case.

The student aid office set up a telephone hotline and posted a notice on its Web site with a link to a secure site where people can find out if their records were among those lost. It advised people affected to place fraud reports with credit agencies and for those whose bank accounts were affected, to change the accounts.

More than 60 college-related records breaches have occurred nationwide this year, according to the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse.

–Associated Press

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