Former, Current TAMIU Students Advised of Theft of Faculty Computer

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. Jones said.

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 prmis@tamiu.edu