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Chambana Sun

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

University of Illinois employee used email, software for personal business, OEIG rules


By Rob Johnson | Sep 26, 2019


University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign employee Richard Gallivan improperly used his work email and architectural-design software licensed to the university for his personal drafting and design business, the state's Office of the Executive Inspector General (OEIG) has ruled.

The OEIG announced last week that it began an investigation of Gallivan, a construction project coordinator who has been a university employee since 2007, following an anonymous tip in November 2017. Gallivan’s job – a civil service position – entails managing construction at the university by coordinating contractors inside and outside the institution, the OEIG said. Gallivan’s position required the use of AutoCAD, architectural software published by Autodesk Inc.

The anonymous complaint alleged that Gallivan had used his university email address, work computer with university software, and the personal cellphone for which he receives a stipend, for his personal business, Gallivan’s Drafting & Design, according to the OEIG. The inspector general said Philo, Illinois-based Gallivan’s Drafting designs residential architectural plans for developers and individuals.

University policy states the university’s computers and email system “exist to support the educational, research and public-service missions of the university, and use should be limited to those purposes,” the OEIG said. The office said that university policy also states its computers and networks cannot be used “for commercial or profit-making purposes” and that “unauthorized use of licensed software” is prohibited.

The OEIG said it found 88 emails that did not involve UI work, 70 of which related to Gallivan's drafting business. The emails relating to his business included requests for pricing information and discussions about home-improvement projects, and he used his business contact information on the bottom of emails sent from his university email, according to the inspector general.

Gallivan admitted in January that he had used his university email for his business and sent emails between it and his personal address so he would be able to access information relating to projects if a customer called him during working hours, the OEIG said, adding that he knew he had violated the university’s policies. The OEIG said it found eight emails in which Gallivan requested to access AutoCAD through his personal computer.

Gallivan said he acquired an educational-use license at a discounted rate from the university’s website, the inspector general said, adding that he told them that he obtained an educational license for AutoCAD 2013 from the webstore for his business because he did not want to pay for the higher cost. The OIEG said Gallivan told investigators that he never read information in the webstore to see if he was compliant with the terms of using the software.

Gallivan said he never used the AutoCAD software at the university for his drafting business, but he did admit to using the software to view plans if he received a call from customers while at work. Citing the university’s policy that civil-service staff give written notice of any possible conflicts with their positions at UI, the inspector general recommended on May 30 that Gallivan submit disclosures concerning relationships now or in the future.

Donna S. McNeely, the executive director of university compliance for the University of Illinois System, told the OIEG that Gallivan “has been subjected to disciplinary action” and “has been advised regarding appropriate use of university resources and applicable university policy regarding disclosure of outside activities.”

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