Michigan State University announced it has hired an outside firm to look into sexual assault and harassment cases.
MSU interim president John Engler made the announcement via Twitter on Tuesday.
Corporate investigation and risk consulting firm Kroll will conduct the inquiries filed under MSU’s Title IX Relationship Violence and Sexual Misconduct Policy. Kroll will begin reviewing complaints immediately.
MSU said its Office of Institutional Equity received a 35 percent increase of incident reports between the 2015-2016 and 2016-2017 academic years. The volume of reports has led to an average investigation time of 80 days.
Kroll will add additional resources to the current team of nine OIE investigators.
“We do not believe the additional reports reflect an increase in incidents, but rather a community that is aware of their rights and options to report both current and past incidents,” said Jessica Norris, MSU’s Title IX director in a press release.
“In fact, we expect the number of reported incidents to continue to increase as we build on efforts to support reporting and hold individuals accountable for behavior that is inconsistent with our institutional policy and our values.”