Introducing MSU’s new Office for Civil Rights VP and Title IX Coordinator

July 3, 2023

Dear Spartans, 

Today is my first day on the beautiful Michigan State University campus in the dual role as your new vice president of the Office for Civil Rights and Title IX Education and Compliance (OCR) and Title IX coordinator. I am thrilled to be here!  

OCR serves to uphold the university’s civil rights commitments, including Title IX, through the prevention of and response to relationship violence, sexual misconduct, stalking, discrimination and protected-status harassment, and by ensuring equal access to the university’s programs, services and activities. My charge is to develop and implement a comprehensive and robust approach to a broad-range of civil rights and Title IX issues in line with trauma-informed practices, the university’s strategic plan and evolving campus needs. As planning takes shape, more information with opportunities for input will be communicated, and I hope that you will share your perspectives with me through that process.  

While looking ahead, I also wish to acknowledge survivors. Your voices matter, your perseverance has led to tremendous change and progress, and you must not be forgotten or abandoned. Our office is committed to creating a supportive and equitable environment with a fair, easy-to-navigate process, ensuring the best possible experience for all involved.   

I also wish to acknowledge and thank Sarah Harebo, who provided critical support and leadership for OCR as the acting associate vice president, and Nicole Schmidtke, director of Anti-Discrimination Policy (ADP) Response and Investigations, who served as the interim Title IX coordinator. Under their leadership, the office produced OCR’s Strategic Operations Report for the 2023-24 academic year. Nicole will continue to serve as the interim senior deputy Title IX coordinator to provide guidance related to the reporting process and intake and investigations, in addition to her role managing the ADP investigations team.  

Our respective contact information is: 

Laura Rugless, Title IX Coordinator 

408 W. Circle Drive  

Olds Hall, Suite 105  

East Lansing, MI 48824  


Nicole Schmidtke, Interim Senior Deputy Title IX Coordinator 

408 W. Circle Drive 

Olds Hall, Suite 5 

East Lansing MI 48824 


If you would like to report concerns regarding conduct that may violate the Relationship Violence and Sexual Misconduct and Title IX and Anti-Discrimination policies, you may submit a public incident report online or by email to For additional information about reporting options, supportive resources and survivor services, visit the Support More website.

Along with Nicole and the entire OCR team, I welcome the opportunity to assist you with any questions, concerns or needs related to Title IX, ADA or other civil rights matters by emailing

Together, we can cultivate an inclusive, safe campus community free of discrimination and harassment. I am excited about the opportunity to work collaboratively to ensure that everyone at MSU can thrive!  



Laura Rugless (she/her)

Vice President and Title IX Coordinator 

Office for Civil Rights and  

Title IX Education and Compliance