Feds: Investigation shows MSU mishandled sex assault cases

Posted at 2:52 PM, Sep 01, 2015
and last updated 2015-09-01 14:52:55-04

EAST LANSING, Mich. - The U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights (OCR) announced that after an investigation into two sexual violence complaints against Michigan State University, the school is correcting violations the office found.

The statement was issued Tuesday afternoon from Washington, D.C.

In the investigation the OCR says Michigan State violated Title IX by not promptly investigating the two cases of sexual violence, even though when they did investigate, the university did so thoroughly.  The university was also found to not have appropriately notified students and employees of the Title IX coordinator on campus and also did not address complaints of sexual harassment and sexual violence promptly between 2009 and 2014.

MSU is defending its policies on sexual assaults, adding that the report doesn't accurately reflect their current policies.

"In the findings, are not actually the policies that we have in effect today. This finding is a very much backwards focused in terms of what was the status at the university during their investigation," Kristine Zayko, Deputy General Counsel of MSU.
MSU President Lou Anna Simon said that policies have been changing each year that the federal investigation has been going on, saying that a lot of the policies listed in the report as problematic have already been revised.

"These are actions that have been occurring over time and are now continuing to be refined. Most of them are not things that were done in direct response to receiving these findings," Simons.

According to the OCR, Michigan State is agreeing to the investigation and is making changes on campus to address the concerns the OCR identified.

To download the complete report, click here (PDF).