University loses $400K worth of computers

By Matt Daray


A state audit has found the university to be missing a large number of computers.

The Illinois Auditor General’s office found that 192 computers from the Carbondale campus and 65 computers from the Edwardsville campus with a total value of $416,183 were either missing or stolen during SIU’s 2012 fiscal year audit. While the university has recovered some of the missing computers, the result of the audit has caused the university to re-evaluate their computer policy. University spokesman Rod Sievers said the result of the audit has influenced the university to change the policy it uses to keep track of computers.


“They recommended a number of avenues the university could implement to keep better track of our computer inventory,” he said. “Of course, we agreed with that and will, in fact, institute those recommendations.”

Some of these recommendations include reviewing current practices of monitoring computers, establishing procedures to notify security personnel at a faster rate and ensuring confidential information is secure, according to the audit report.

Jim Dahlquist, an administrative manager for the Illinois Auditor General, said the recommendations provided to the university are optional and are there to help improve the university from a passive standpoint.

“We like the audit to speak for itself,” he said. “We are, by law, required to be neutral on any type of legislation and things of that nature.”

Dahlquist said his office is required by the state to audit state agencies, such as public universities, once every two years.

Sievers said most of the computers lost were older models and the value of the computers listed was likely the original value. He said the university has recovered around 40 devices since the audit and it is possible that more will turn up over time.

The audit also brought up concerns as far as online safety.


According to the audit, protection of crucial information was a problem for the university.

The Illinois Auditor General’s office said during testing, auditors found the university had not protected its computers with encryption software, which increases the risk of confidential information becoming exposed.

The university experienced a breach of security information on March 30 when the personal information of students in the College of Applied Sciences and Arts, including their grade point averages, was accidentally emailed to more than 150 other students. It is unknown whether this incident is related to the Illinois Auditor General’s findings.