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Statement on Office of Civil Rights investigation (Feb. 25, 2014)

The U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights (OCR), as part of an investigation into MSU’s response to allegations of a sexual assault involving students on campus and overall compliance with Title IX, is conducting focus groups on campus and holding open office hours to obtain feedback on the campus climate on the important issues of sexual harassment, sexual assault and sexual violence.

MSU takes all allegations of sexual assault seriously and has a process in place to respond to such allegations. The university has consistently worked with its governance system and the Department of Education to ensure that its process is consistent with past and recent OCR guidance to institutions of higher education regarding the handling of sexual assault and other Title IX complaints on campus.

We are cooperating fully with the investigation. MSU responded fully and appropriately to the incidents under investigation. While federal law and privacy concerns prevent MSU from fully discussing specifics, we have a comprehensive record of the actions we took that supports the university’s position that we acted appropriately. We look forward to continue working with the OCR on this matter.

-Kent Cassella, MSU spokesman