Workgroup actions and updates

 Our actions

  • New positions in Office of Institutional Equity and reorganization of Title IX/OIE structure
    • The new Office for Civil Rights and Title IX Education and Compliance will oversee the Office of Institutional Equity, or OIE, and the new Title IX Prevention, Outreach and Education Office. As part of this reorganization, five positions have been created:
      • Two service coordinators to provide resources for claimants and respondents, and help navigate OIE processes, including interim measures and investigations;
      • A data analyst to identify trends in reporting and provide data support to prevention, outreach and education efforts;
      • An OIE case manager to review incident reports, assign cases to OIE investigators and oversee case flow to improve timeliness of investigations;
      • An Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) coordinator—previously combined with the Title IX coordinator role, the ADA coordinator will now be a dedicated, full-time position; 
      • An additional OIE investigator will also be hired, bringing the total number of OIE Investigators to 10.
    • Why was this needed? Feedback from the MSU community and external reviewers indicated a need to clarify and streamline OIE processes, and to improve communication with both claimants and respondents. As non-investigatory staff, the new service coordinators will serve as primary points of contact for claimants and respondents, ensuring that OIE investigators can focus solely on conducting thorough, neutral investigations. The case manager will oversee OIE processes to evenly assign caseloads and prevent bottlenecks at the point of initial reports, and the data analyst will enable a data-driven approach to both prevention and response efforts.
  • New Title IX Prevention, Outreach and Education Office
    • The new Title IX Prevention, Outreach and Education Office will be dedicated to the broad-based prevention of sex and gender discrimination, including relationship violence, sexual misconduct and stalking. The office will also focus on outreach—in alignment with MSU’s land-grant mission—and education, emphasizing our commitment to culture change through increased knowledge and awareness. The new office will be staffed by a director, full-time clerical support, and five prevention specialists:
      • a faculty/staff education and community outreach specialist;
      • a Sexual Assault and Relationship Violence program and specialized workshop specialist;
      • a bystander network specialist;
      • a graduate and professional student outreach and education specialist; 
      • a male engagement specialist.
    • Why was this needed? Before this change, MSU had one full-time employee dedicated to prevention programming. The new office increases staffing and resources for prevention, outreach and education. Specialized positions were created to address gaps in programming based on feedback from the MSU community and recommendations from the Husch Blackwell Phase 2 Report.
  • Additional staffing for the MSU Sexual Assault Program  
    • The Workgroup recommended increasing the number of therapists and victim advocates in the MSU Sexual Assault Program, or MSU SAP, to meet increasing demands for services. The workgroup collaborated with the Michigan Department of Health and Suman Services to secure grant funding through the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) to create four full-time positions for MSU SAP, including two therapists and two victim advocates. MSU is also funding an additional full-time crisis counselor and a clinical supervisor position within MSU SAP. Read more about the VOCA-funded positions. 
    • Why was this needed? MSU SAP is a primary resource on campus for student sexual assault survivors, and the demand for services has risen sharply in recent years. Last year, MSU SAP served over 650 clients and provided individual therapy to nearly 300 MSU students with a clinical staff of five therapists, one crisis counselor and one victim advocate. The new MSU and VOCA-funded positions will increase MSU SAP’s capacity to meet current and future levels of demand for services.
  • New MSU Police protocol
    • The MSU Police Department and the Office of Institutional Equity have implemented a new protocol to ensure that police notify OIE when investigating relationship violence, stalking or sexual misconduct complaints.
    • Why was this needed? The new reporting protocol will enable full communication and accountability between these two MSU units. The protocol will also ensure all victims receive information about campus resources and options from OIE. Previously, MSU policy required OIE to report incidents to MSU police, without a reciprocal protocol for reporting from MSU police to OIE. Additionally, interlocal agreements bring local police agencies in East Lansing, Meridian, Bath, and Lansing townships and the Michigan State Police into our system so that MSU gains awareness of off-campus misconduct or assaults. 

Our Process

Collecting community feedback
As of July 26, 2018, more than 220 comments and counting have been submitted via the community suggestions and recommendations form. Please continue to share your feedback. Your comments are being regularly reviewed to inform areas for improvement. Additional mechanisms to assess campus climate are being explored.

Meeting with campus and community stakeholders
The workgroup is collaborating with MSU units and organizations to gather input from diverse stakeholders related to relationship violence and sexual misconduct issues, including student, staff and faculty groups within MSU, as well as organizations from the local community. If your MSU or community group would like to meet with representatives from the workgroup, please indicate this using the community suggestions and recommendations form. Please be sure to include the name of your group and how the workgroup can contact you.

Strengthening training
As emphasized in the Husch Blackwell Phase 2 Report, although MSU is at the leading edge of Title IX compliance, many in our community are not aware of university policies, processes and services related to relationship violence and sexual misconduct. The workgroup is exploring innovative solutions to improve the reach and effectiveness of training on these topics with particular focus on training for faculty and staff.

Re-envisioning prevention
Along with the creation of the new Title IX Prevention, Outreach and Education Office, the workgroup is in the process of revising existing programming based on numerous community suggestions and recommendations regarding the need for more comprehensive and robust prevention education for students, staff and faculty.

Related news

State grant funding helps expand resources in Sexual Assault Program, March 26, 2018
Michigan State University will soon add four new employees to its Sexual Assault Program, thanks to grant funding from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Victim Services, Crime Victim Services Commission. The funds will cover the addition of two therapists and two victim advocates. Read more

New office of Civil Rights and Title IX Education and Compliance announced - March 23, 2018  
Shortly after the release of a preliminary report evaluating the effectiveness of Title IX-related education and prevention programs, and based on recommendations from the Relationship Violence and Sexual Misconduct Expert Advisory Workgroup, Michigan State University Interim President John Engler is announcing the creation of the Office of Civil Rights and Title IX Education and Compliance. Read more

Engler names Relationship Violence and Sexual Misconduct Expert Advisory Workgroup - Feb. 23, 2018
Michigan State University Interim President John Engler announced today the formation of an expert advisory workgroup to formalize recommendations drawn from the input of survivors, students, faculty and staff from across campus. Read more