University Procedures

Michigan State University follows review and investigation procedures when it receives information about an allegation of sexual harassment, sexual assault/misconduct, relationship violence, and/or stalking. To review the complete procedures, download the Relationship Violence and Sexual Misconduct Policy.

Review

The Office of Institutional Equity (OIE), under the direction of the Deputy Title IX Coordinator for Investigations, reviews all reports of relationship violence and sexual misconduct. The university processes all complaints and reports it receives, regardless of where the conduct occurred. In some cases, the university may also determine an investigation is warranted without a complaint if there is sufficient notice that relationship violence or sexual misconduct may have occurred.

Even if the OIE determines a formal investigation is not warranted, MSU will take prompt, responsive action to provide support and will take steps to eliminate, prevent, or address a hostile environment if it determines one exists. Complaints and information gathered during the investigation process will be kept confidential to the extent permitted by law.

Investigation

MSU will make its best effort to complete investigations of relationship violence or sexual misconduct within 60 calendar days, although this time frame may be extended for good cause. The following are major steps of the investigation process and their general time frames, although these timeframes may be modified or extended for good cause:

INVESTIGATION STEP TIME FRAME
Contact claimant Within 2 business days after receipt of report
Contact respondent Within 5 business days after meeting with claimant
Provide draft report to parties Within 30 days after completing all interviews
Issue final report Within 10 business days after receiving feedback from parties or completion of any additional investigation

The university will maintain regular communication with the claimant and respondent about the progress of the investigation and its resolution. In the event a time frame is extended, both the claimant and the respondent will be notified of any delay and the anticipated length of the delay.

Advisors

Both the claimant and respondent may have an advisor of their choice present at any meeting related to the investigation or student conduct. An advisor of choice may include an attorney, but may not be a fact witness or otherwise have any conflicting role in the process. The advisor is a silent and non-participating presence there solely to observe and provide support during the investigative process. The university has the right at all times to determine what constitutes appropriate behavior on the part of an adviser.

Complaints against a student

Complaints of relationship violence or sexual misconduct by a student are investigated by the Office of Institutional Equity (OIE). All investigation findings are sent to the claimant, respondent, and Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution Office (SCCRO) in the Department of Student Life. The SCCRO then initiates the student conduct process to determine the appropriate sanction if a violation of policy is found to have occurred and provide both parties an equal opportunity to appeal the OIE decision and sanction.

Complaints against an employee

Complaints alleging relationship violence and sexual misconduct by a faculty or staff member will be investigated by the Office of Institutional Equity. If a violation of policy is found to have occurred, the investigation findings are sent to Human Resources or Academic Human Resources to determine the appropriate sanction.

Decisions about sanctions take into consideration all circumstances in a particular case, including an employee's prior record of misconduct, and may include suspension or termination from employment. Appeals of sanctions are governed by the applicable collective bargaining agreement for support staff, the Faculty Grievance Policy for faculty and academic staff, or the non-union support staff grievance policy.

Sanctions and remedies

In cases where relationship violence or sexual misconduct are found to have occurred, the university will determine the appropriate, enforceable sanction. Sanctions will be reasonably calculated to stop harassment and prevent its recurrence.

In addition to disciplinary sanctions for the respondent if a violation of policy is found, the university may also provide remedies to claimants and others who have experienced relationship violence or sexual misconduct, including counseling, academic accommodation, academic support, or employment accommodation. Other potential remedies may include targeted or broad-based educational programming or training.