By Randy Ludlow
The Columbus Dispatch
November 16, 2006
Two Ohio University computer-systems administrators blamed for hacking
incidents will receive neither apologies nor their jobs back.
Provost Kathy Krendel, rejecting a grievance committee's recommendation
to reinstate the men with back pay, has upheld the dismissal of Todd
Acheson and Tom Reid.
William Sams, departing associate provost for information technology,
blamed the pair for the theft of 367,000 files with personal information
on OU alumni, students and staff.
An Administrative Senate committee, blaming other OU officials for
failing to clarify responsibilities for computer security, last month
found Acheson and Reid were wrongfully fired.
Krendl decided Wednesday to endorse the dismissal of Reid, director of
computer and network services, and Acheson, Internet and systems
manager. They were fired Aug. 4.
While finding neither guilty of intentional wrongdoing, Krendl wrote to
the men that they failed to take the necessary proactive steps to
protect confidential information.
Two Columbus lawyers representing the men criticized Krendl for casting
aside the findings of what they said was the only independent group to
study the high-profile hacking incidents.
The provost has turned this into a kangaroo proceeding, said Fred
Gittes, who represents Acheson. He said Krendl's action was designed to
cover up the incompetence of OU administrators who made scapegoats of
Acheson and Reid.
James Colner, who represents Reid, was disappointed that OU officials
did not take this opportunity to do the right thing and correct this
miscarriage of justice.
OU accidentally discovered last spring that hackers had been tapping
computer servers at the Athens university, raising concerns about
An alumni database containing Social Security numbers and other personal
information was unsecured for more than a year. Hackers also accessed
medical information on students and staff.
OU since has reorganized its computer operations amid a security and
equipment upgrade that will cost up to $8 million.
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