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MSU 'less successful' in implementing Title IX policies, report says

Posted: 1:20 PM, Mar 21, 2018
Updated: 2018-03-23 15:25:42Z

Part two of a review of Michigan State University's Title IX program found the school struggles to implement and promote it's policies to address and prevent sexual misconduct.

The report released Tuesday was a stark contrast to the first part of the review, which found that MSU's Title IX policies and procedures not only satisfied legal mandates- but also "contained a number of leading edge practices that other schools would do well to consider as models for their own programs."

The second report from Kansas City based law firm Husch Blackwell found that while MSU scored high marks on it's policies, there was "significant misunderstandings and misinformation" about the policies among the University community.

Those misunderstandings include:
-Confusion about the leadership structure of the Office for Institutional Equity, which carries out MSU's Title IX functions.
-A lack of awareness about the resources and services available, or how to access them.
-A perception that MSU's sexual misconduct training programs are merely a "check the box" exercise.

The report says many students were unaware of help available to victims of sexual misconduct and people accused of misconduct. Julie Miceli of the law firm says Michigan State "has some work ahead of it."

Students and staff also reported that campus counseling services are unable to keep up with demand. MLive.com quotes President John Engler as saying he's working to fix problems raised in the report.

He predicts changes will be made "very quickly," although he didn't elaborate.

Then MSU President Lou Anna Simon ordered the review last spring, amid several high profile sexual assault cases involving the school, including Larry Nassar. Hundreds of women abused by Nassar are suing the University over it's handling of sexual assault complaints against former sports medicine doctor.

Nassar was sentenced 40 to 175 years in prison on sexual assault charges in Ingham and Eaton counties. He is currently serving a 60 year federal sentence on child pornography charges.