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MSU President Stanley submits new Title IX reports; audit recommends steps to improve process

MSU sign
WKAR file photo

Michigan State University President Samuel Stanley Jr. has sent the state of Michigan certification that the school has satisfied Title IX reporting requirements.

President Stanley’s certification of sexual misconduct reports has been controversial. At issue was whether Stanley had signed a report indicating that MSU trustees had reviewed the reports without assurance that they had done so.

The board issued a statement Friday saying Stanley has certified that the university has satisfied the state requirement for fiscal year 2022.

The board has released the independent audit of Marilyn Tarrant, MSU’s chief audit, risk and compliance officer. It indicates that the process workflow messaging had been inconsistent, incomplete, and unclear. It includes 12 recommended steps to improve the process.

Those steps include:

The Office for Civil Rights review process should be documented in a policy;

The process should be simplified to allow individual trustees to receive emails every semester, including a form that already includes their name, the semester, and the associated cases, possibly via a portal;

A dedicated email mailbox for return of certification forms, or an online electronic certification form;

Annual refresher training for trustees;

Including all or more trustees in the process;

And, provide trustees with an opportunity to ask questions and offer suggestions regarding any policy or process changes, while maintaining confidentiality.

Board members have also reviewed Title IX reports for fiscal year 2021, and Stanley has also recertified that MSU satisfied the state’s requirement for that year. The board had hired two outside law firms to look into that process.

Scott Pohl is a general assignment news reporter and produces news features and interviews. He is also an alternate local host on NPR's "Morning Edition."
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