University Police investigate theft in IT department

Jack Tierney, Editor in Chief

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The University Police is investigating the possible theft of items marked missing or undelivered from the information technology department, UP Chief Kurt Leibold confirmed.

An IT employee told the Advance-Titan that a former employee is believed to have taken university items, including two iPads and a document camera, and sold them at pawn shops.

The investigation reportedly started when UW Oshkosh Head Start, an early childhood and family development program, asked why it never received two iPads that were supposed to be delivered by the IT department.

Other tickets were marked as open, suggesting other equipment arrived at IT but was not delivered to its final locations. The department is conducting an inventory to determine which other items are missing.

The Advance-Titan is not identifying the former employee since he has not yet been charged.

IT Information Service Director Victor Alatorre referred questions to the university. Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs John Koker said the university cannot comment on an ongoing investigation.

Coincidentally, IT sent an email to UWO employees on Oct. 3 saying it recently enrolled in Apple School Manager, an Apple service that manages all purchased devices, both macOS and iOS. The email also stated that IT recently purchased a subscription to Jamf, an Apple mobile device management system used by systems administrators to convert IT administrative tasks for macOS, iOS and tvOS devices.

“The combination of these events means that UW Oshkosh IT will be better able to manage all university-purchased Apple hardware … and protecting the devices from misplacement, misuse and/or theft,” the IT email read.

However, it was not confirmed that a similar system exists for Windows or peripheral devices.

According to the UW System fiscal misconduct policy, the person who reports the misconduct should notify their immediate supervisor of the situation, and the supervisor will notify the Business Officer or Vice President for Finance.

If the misconduct does cause significant fiscal loss or loss to university reputation, the chancellor or appropriate representative will report misconduct to the chief audit executive and the UW System Vice President for Finance.

The chief audit executive will make a working group to coordinate a more thorough review. The working group will review the fiscal misconduct to determine if a violation has occurred.

If a violation is found to have occurred, the chancellor can do any or all of the following:
• Determine if referral to the Department of Justice and/or local law enforcement agencies is necessary.
• Notify federal authorities if federal funds or resources are involved.
Determine whether any disciplinary action may be appropriate. Disciplinary action must follow UW System and/or institutional policies and procedures.
• Determine whether any disciplinary action may be appropriate. Disciplinary action must follow UW System and/or institutional policies and procedures.

However, if the misconduct has not caused or is unlikely to cause significant financial, legal and/or reputational risk to the UW System, the institution can resolve the matter through appropriate procedures. The UW System website does not detail what appropriate procedures or significant financial/reputational loss is.

The IT email said both macOS and iOS devices will be slowly enrolled into the Jamf cloud.

“You will occasionally be presented with a dialog box with a heading ‘UW Oshkosh Jamf Enrollment.’ This is not a scam. This dialog box will present itself when your computer hasn’t been fully enrolled into Jamf. It will continue to present itself, with increasing frequency and annoyance, until you complete the steps outlined in the dialog box.”

The investigation into missing items in the IT department is ongoing, Leibold said.