Former, Current TAMIU Students
Advised of Theft of Faculty Computer
Former and current students of a long-time Texas A&M International University
professor are being advised to take standard identity theft precautions in
the wake of a recent Laredo theft of his personal non-University issued computer.
Dr. Stanley Green, TAMIU professor
of history, reported his personal computer had been stolen this June. It
included student records dating back to 1989 of students enrolled in his
classes. Those not having taken courses with Dr. Green are not affected.
Brian Gaskins, associate vice president and chief information officer
for the University's Office of Information Technology, said the University
believes approximately 500 student or graduate records are involved.
"We have reviewed a recent backup and believe that approximately
500 distinct student or alumni records may be affected. Again, we would
stress that the computer's theft alone does not mean identity theft is
indeed in play, but that those whose data was present should proceed cautiously
and monitor their identity information," Gaskins said.
TAMIU provost and vice president
for academic affairs Dr. Dan Jones said the University is advising students
by letter and e-mail to take precautions and has made information available
by Internet and phone.
"Although it's important to realize this is not a University security
breach and we have no evidence that an unauthorized individual has retrieved
or used this data, we must, in accordance with Texas law, alert our students
and graduates to possible misuse of their personal identity information," Dr.
The University's Office of Information Technology has activated a special
Web site with tips on monitoring identity, he said.
"That site is located at: http://oit.tamiu.edu/ Visitors should
click on 'Identity Protection Tips.' There's a variety of helpful information
available and assembled for easy access. In addition, information is available
by phone at 956.326.3170," he explained
The University is working closely
with Laredo Police and an investigation is underway. TAMIU will continue
to modify its systems and practices to enhance the security of sensitive
information, he said.
Jones said the incident is unfortunate,
but the University is committed to keeping students and alumni informed
of its progress. While it cannot control off- campus crime incidences,
it is working closely with faculty to revisit security protocol for off-campus
use of University data.
"We truly regret any inconvenience this may have caused. As additional
details are available, we will be in communication with those affected
students and alumni.
"We urge them to continue to exercise caution and monitor their identity
carefully. Unfortunately, crime happens and Laredo is no exception. We are
working with our faculty to reduce the likelihood of this sort of incident
as well," he confirmed.
Journalists who need additional information or help with media requests
and interviews should contact the Office of Public Relations, Marketing and Information
Services at firstname.lastname@example.org