… but in a world of cameras and tracking software, one does kind of wonder. As in the most recent high-profile … er, sign of the times, it’s just too easy to mount a camera. Cameras have caught students and professors hate-criming themselves; they’ve caught professors hauling all manner of university-owned high-tech equipment out of their offices… In the just-reported case of a University of New Orleans employee, tracking technology located a computer in his house, and then in a subsequent police search all sorts of other university goodies turned up there. Apparently the guy had just been laid off, and he decided to give himself the contents of his office as a going-away present.

Actually, this one was a two-fer: tracking and cameras.

Police said surveillance video captured [Walter] Brannon asking a custodian, who was not aware the man was no longer a UNO employee, to unlock his former office.

Brannon was able to remove two “large storage containers” before his presence was noticed, at which time he took a third storage container to his car, NOPD said.

After putting the third container in his car, police allege, Brannon told a UNO officer that he wanted to file a police report about property stolen from his office.

The property included two laptop computers, a cellphone, two tablets and a projector, police said.

Brannon refused to let another university police officer search the containers in his car for the missing property, saying he was “late for an appointment,” according to police.

When the latest technology collides with dawn-of-homo-sapiens intelligence, the results are not pretty.

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2 Responses to “I GUESS a lot of employee theft still goes on at universities…”

  1. Jack/OH Says:

    I read the linked articles. Looked like a fair use of surveillance to me to help confirm alleged criminal misconduct. But, if you’re civil liberties’-minded, beware unwarranted and targeted or gamed surveillance intended to mash and demoralize uppity Prof. Jones or Staffer Smith, while ignoring serious, but better-placed scoundrels.

    I’ve tried unsuccessfully to alert a union at our local Podunk Tech that union meetings ought to be held off campus. I explained that Podunk is under camera surveillance (with proposed microphone surveillance), and that, given the quality of the people directing the surveillance, you’re just not going to get robust union participation or arm’s-length adversarial distance. I’m not even a union type. The major reason I was ignored is that the union leaders genuinely believe they enjoy some shared governance with administrators.

  2. theprofessor Says:

    We now have some classrooms with camera and microphone surveillance, and you can’t tell whether the equipment is on or not: the camera is an ugly blister on the ceiling enclosed with the stuff that bad-guy deputy sheriffs in the movies have in their sunglass lenses.

    The good news is that this is Gilligan, so it likely doesn’t work, or the employee who knows how it works has left for greener pastures.

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