MSU hires firm to investigate Title IX complaints
MSU has hired a third-party firm to investigate complaints filed under Title IX Relationship Violence and Sexual Misconduct Policy in MSU's Office of Institutional Equity, or OIE.
The firm, Kroll, will start immediately, according to a press release Tuesday.
From the 2015-16 school year to the 2016-17 year, OIE had a 35 percent increase in reported incidents, and the number is expected to continue increasing, according to the release.
The press release said the increase can be attributed to "MSU’s efforts to raise awareness and foster a culture where individuals feel empowered and supported in reporting."
Due to the increase of reports, it takes an average of 80 days to complete an investigation, according to the release.
“We are taking active steps to make MSU a shining example of Title IX compliance; 80 days is not only far too long for a response to a complaint, it’s totally unacceptable,” Interim President John Engler said in the release. “We owe it to all those who have been assaulted and had the bravery to step forward to have a safer MSU be their legacy.”
There are nine OIE investigators and the additional support from Kroll "will supplement," the team and "allow for a prompt investigation and response," the release said.
“We do not believe the additional reports reflect an increase in incidents, but rather a community that is aware of their rights and options to report both current and past incidents,” Title IX Director Jessica Norris said in the release. “In fact, we expect the number of reported incidents to continue to increase as we build on efforts to support reporting and hold individuals accountable for behavior that is inconsistent with our institutional policy and our values.”
Individuals wishing to report an incident of relationship violence or sexual misconduct can do so by completing the online incident reporting form at oie.msu.edu or contacting OIE at (517) 353-3922 as well as MSU Police at (517) 355-2221.