Colleges have zombies all over the place. I worked in collegiate IT - its just a mess. Academic Freedom and all that. (Which is great, and I support, but it makes it very hard to control access to a network.)
I had a problem when I went to work at a college - at first my boss really suspected me of being some sort of ebil debil hacka because I happened to know something about it, and because I knew their wireless was wide open, and probably because I had made a KITTY TREATS can antenna. NEVER MIND that I came to the college from a respected security company, with an impeccable work background. It was more likely because, 4 years ago - I knew that orinoco gold cards were the shiz.
No, it was that kitty treats antenna, and the fact that my 'esoteric' (laugh) knowlege of networks was maybe a bit threatening to someone. Could this be the case with you?
I understand. Luckily they didn't ever call big brother to me because they were always afraid big brother would take their servers again without leaving them a backup.
I always did my best to play as dumb as I could and stay hidden, and only come out railing about security issues - read AGAINST this or that -when I felt the network was REALLY threatened.
Good luck. Keep cool, play dumb, find out who the fragile ego is.