Student, faculty data on stolen computers

September 10, 2005

By Jennifer Gonzalez, Plain Dealer Reporter

Kent- Kent State University officials are alerting more than 100,000 students and professors that several computers stolen from campus may contain personal information about them.

Names, Social Security numbers and student grades were on the computers. The information, which goes back to 2000 for students and faculty and 2002 for instructors, is in a database the college uses to plan commencement lists, class rolls, instructor assignments and other functions.

The university is sending e-mails about the theft and providing instructions on how to protect against identity theft.

Spokesman Ron Kirksey said the information is password-protected and not easily accessible. He said the university is alerting students and faculty about the breach as a precaution.

"We believe the computers were targeted for their resale value, not for any information they contained," Kirksey said. "There is no indication that any of the information has been used."

Five desktop computers were stolen on Aug. 21 from the locked offices of the dean of communication and information and the dean of fine and professional arts in Taylor Hall.

The building is usually open because it houses the university's student-run newspaper and the college of architecture and environmental studies - places where students work late into the night.

Kent is not the only university dealing with computer thefts.

Cleveland State University is still investigating the June theft of a laptop that contained personal information for 44,420 former and prospective students. In that case, the information included names and Social Security numbers going back as far as four years.

Spokesman Brian Johnston said the university is not aware of anyone reporting fraudulent use of stolen information.

Kent students with questions can log on to Anyone with information about the theft should call the Kent State Police Department at 330-672-3070.

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