MSU chooses firm for Title IX program review
MSU has chosen the law firm Husch Blackwell to perform the review of MSU's Title IX program, which was announced last spring. The law firm was hired earlier this month, it was announced Friday.
The review is expected to take "several months," according to a press release. It will result in a public report that will outline the assessment and recommendations.
The review comes as a result of controversies surrounding ex-MSU doctor Larry Nassar, allegations of sexual assault made against ex-MSU football players and other issues of sexual assault at MSU.
Last spring, MSU President Lou Anna K. Simon announced she wanted to accelerate the process of reviewing the Title IX program at MSU. MSU began evaluating its Title IX program in 2014 and planned to review the program in a "couple of years" after it had been established.
"I feel it is prudent to accelerate the timeline for this review," she wrote in April 2017. "I will be engaging independent experts to conduct a top-to-bottom review of our Title IX program this fall. The review will allow us to assess our progress and identify opportunities to refine and build on this work for the future."
Husch Blackwell was hired as the law firm to head the review. According to the press release, the firm will focus on Title IX compliance, programs for prevention and education, support services for crisis and advocacy, awareness and outreach and campus feedback.
“An external review of our Title IX program is important to assess our progress and plan for the future,” Simon said in the release. “This will provide us valuable input as we continue to build a more robust infrastructure to prevent sexual assault, support victims and encourage reporting.”
Husch Blackwell is based in 17 locations and has historically worked with energy and natural resources, financial services, agribusiness, healthcare, education, real estate, technology, transportation and more.
A Title IX program review overview detailing the scope of the review has been published by MSU. It can be found here.
“The external review will support our efforts to develop leading-edge policies, programs and services that support the needs of the campus community,” Jessica Norris, director of Title IX and ADA Compliance and Education programs, said in the release.