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FBI Investigates Intrusion Into University's Academic Record System
Santa Clara University announced Monday that it is working closely with law enforcement officials to investigate an intrusion into its computerized academic record system that resulted in a limited number of undergraduate students having their grades changed.
Officials said that a review of the tens of thousands of grade records since the year 2000 identified unauthorized grade changes impacting a handful of current undergraduate students and approximately 60 former undergraduate students. These grade changes are attributed to someone gaining illegal access into Santa Clara University's computer system between June 2010 and July 2011.
There is no evidence to suggest that other personal information of students, staff, or faculty has been compromised.
Upon learning of the computer intrusion, the University promptly contacted the Federal Bureau of Investigation. "Law enforcement officials are thoroughly investigating this unfortunate episode," said Michael Engh, S.J., president of the University. "We shall continue to cooperate with the FBI as it brings this matter to a proper conclusion."
Officials said the University takes seriously allegations of unauthorized computer access and grade tampering and will pursue legal action if appropriate. In addition, the University has a Student Conduct Code that prohibits falsification or misuse of University records. Violations of the conduct code are adjudicated through the University Judicial System with consequences as significant as expulsion.
"Investigators are piecing together how the computerized academic record system was illegally accessed," said Dennis Jacobs, Santa Clara's Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs. "The University has also taken several steps to increase its network security and will continue to implement additional safety and security measures to reduce any chance of a similar incident happening again."
The University is contacting individual faculty members whose grades appear to be inappropriately modified to verify that they did not authorize any of the undocumented grade changes.
"We want to reassure all affected students that the university will work to rectify their grade records and ensure the integrity of their transcript," said Jacobs.