Policies

Notice of Non-Discrimination, Anti-Harassment and Non-Retaliation

Michigan State University is committed to an inclusive atmosphere where students, faculty, staff, and guests may participate in university life without concerns of discrimination. Diversity is one of MSU’s principal strengths and the university takes its responsibility under federal civil rights laws to prohibit discrimination very seriously. For information about applicable laws and university policy please see one of the following versions of the Michigan State University Notice of Non-Discrimination, Anti-Harassment and Non-Retaliation Policy.

Anti-Discrimination Policy (ADP)

The Anti-Discrimination Policy, or ADP, outlines the types of prohibited discrimination and harassment at MSU. Under the ADP, university community members are prohibited from engaging in acts which discriminate against or harass any university community member on the basis of age, color, gender, gender identity, disability status, height, marital status, national origin, political persuasion, race, religion, sexual orientation, veteran status or weight.

Mandatory Reporting

If you are an employee and a student or colleague discloses that they experienced sexual harassment, assault, relationship violence or stalking, your response and support can make a big difference.

MSU recognizes the complexities associated with fulfilling your mandatory reporting obligations as an employee while offering support and maintaining the relationship you have built with the student or employee. To that end, MSU has created the University Reporting Protocols in order to provide employees with information about the mandatory reporting process, including what happens when a report is made, as well as tips for responding and supporting students and employees.

Unless identified as a confidential source, all university employees are obligated to promptly report incidents of sexual harassment, sexual violence, sexual misconduct, stalking, and relationship violence that:

  • Are observed or learned about in their professional capacity
  • Involve a member of the university community or
  • Occurred at a university-sponsored event or on university property

Employees are only required to report relationship violence and sexual misconduct of which they become aware in their capacity as a university employee, not in a personal capacity.

Relationship Violence and Sexual Misconduct and Title IX Policy

MSU has established the Relationship Violence and Sexual Misconduct and Title IX Policy in keeping with the university's commitment to fostering a safe and inclusive campus community.

The policy, administered by OIE, prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex and sexual harassment, including gender-based harassment, sexual assault/misconduct, relationship violence and stalking.

For complete information, including definitions contained in the policy, read the Relationship Violence and Sexual Misconduct and Title IX Policy.

For questions or concerns regarding accessibility, please reach out to MSU's ADA Coordinator Office Director & ADA / Section 504 Coordinator, Tracy Leahy.

  • Retaliation

    MSU's Relationship Violence and Sexual Misconduct Policy prohibits retaliation against individuals who provide information to the university, bring forth a complaint or who are asked to cooperate in an investigation.

    Even if you choose not to participate in the university's investigation process, you have a right to be protected from retaliation related to the information you share with MSU. This provision remains in effect even if the university finds that no violation of the policy occurred and MSU will take strong responsive action if retaliation occurs.

    • Retaliation is defined as an adverse action or adverse treatment against an individual involved in an investigation by an individual who knew of the individual's participation in the investigation.
    • If a claimant or witness believes that she or he is being subjected to retaliation (including retaliatory harassment), she or he should promptly contact OIE.

    Additionally, federal civil rights laws, including Title IX, make it unlawful for the university to retaliate against an individual who brings concerns about possible civil rights violations to its attention. It is also unlawful for the university to retaliate against an individual (such as a witness) for participating in the complaint or investigation process. If MSU is made aware of retaliation against a complainant, witness or respondent by other students, employees or third parties, the university immediately will investigate to determine what has occurred and take strong responsive action in cases of retaliation.

  • Hearing Procedures
    At the conclusion of the investigative process, after the investigation report is distributed to the parties and where the case is eligible for a hearing as outlined in the Policy, the Office of Institutional Equity (“OIE”) investigator will refer the matter to the Resolution Office for a live, virtual hearing before a Resolution Officer. The purpose of the hearing is to provide both parties the opportunity to ask questions of (cross-examine) the other party and any witnesses relevant to the allegations in dispute before a neutral Resolution Officer. For additional information, refer to the RVSM and Title IX Policy Hearing Procedures (pdf) .
  • Appeal Procedures

    The RVSM and Title IX Policy Appeal Procedures provide a process to appeal the determination of responsibility contained in the written decision issued by OIE or the Resolution Officer following an investigation.

  • Emergency Removal Procedures - Students

    I.   Overview

    The University prohibits sexual harassment, including sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking as defined by the University’s Relationship Violence and Sexual Misconduct and Title IX Policy (“RVSM and Title Policy”).

    Under the Policy, the University may remove any student from its program or activity on an emergency basis if there is an immediate threat to the physical health or safety of any student or other individual arising from allegations of prohibited conduct as set forth in the RVSM and Title IX Policy, Section X.B.

    Prior to removal, the University shall undertake an individualized safety and risk analysis, and, where such analysis determines that there is an immediate threat to the physical health or safety of any student or individual, provide the party with notice of the emergency removal and an opportunity to challenge the decision immediately following the removal.

    II.  Procedures for Removal of Student

    Upon receiving information that a student who is either a claimant or respondent under the RVSM and Title IX Policy may pose an immediate threat to the physical health or safety of any student or other individual, an individualized risk analysis will be conducted by the Title IX Coordinator or their designee. The Title IX Coordinator may consult with the University’s Behavioral Threat Assessment Team (“BTAT”) and/or the MSU Police Department in determining whether an immediate threat to health or safety exists.

    Individualized Safety and Risk Analysis: The individualized safety and risk analysis will include consideration and assessment of the following:

    • the nature, duration, and severity of the risk posed by the student;
    • the probability that the threatened behavior or circumstance will occur or continue to occur; (e.g., formulation of a concrete plan; access to weapons or other means of harm; etc.);
    • whether the threat to a person’s physical health or safety arises from allegations of prohibited conduct as set forth in the RVSM and Title IX Policy;
    • whether or if there are reasonable alternatives to emergency removal that would sufficiently mitigate any risk; and
    • consideration of applicable disability laws.


    Removal Procedures:
    Following the safety and risk analysis, if the Title IX Coordinator or designee determines that a credible, immediate threat to physical health or safety exists, the Title IX Coordinator or designee will issue a written notice to the student. This written notice will indicate:

    • the effective date of the emergency removal;
    • the reasons for removal;
    • the scope of the removal;
    • the length of the removal and any conditions or requirements that must be met before the student can be reinstated;
    • and the student’s right to challenge and/or appeal the decision.

    III.  Notifications

    A copy of the written notice will be sent to the Dean of the student’s primary academic unit; the University Registrar (if applicable); and administrators of other University units as necessary (e.g., Dean of Students Office, Residence Education and Housing services, Campus Living Services, Athletics, etc.).[1]

    Additionally, if an emergency removal of a student is issued under these procedures, a copy of the written notice, including the nature of the reported conduct, will also be immediately sent to MSU Police Department and the MSU Clery Act Compliance Coordinator at clery@msu.edu.

    IV.  Challenge and Appeal

    Students who are removed under these procedures may appeal by submitting a written appeal to the Equity Review Officer (ERO) within five (5) days[1] of receiving written notice of emergency removal. The ERO will review the written appeal and provide a determination in writing within five (5) days of receiving the student’s appeal. The ERO may consult other University administrators or experts as necessary in reaching a decision. During the pendency of the appeal, the emergency removal will remain in effect.


    [1] The student’s parents/guardians may also be notified of the decision to implement an emergency removal when applicable.

    [2] References to days in this document are to calendar days.

    3/11/2021

    Relationship Violence and Title IX Policy Emergency Removal Procedures-Students (pdf)

  • Process to Appeal a Dismissal of a Formal Complaint
    Pursuant to section XII.F of the RVSM Policy, a formal complaint may be dismissed by the University under certain conditions as described by the RVSM Policy. Please refer to the RVSM and Title IX Policy Process to Appeal a Dismissal of a Formal Complaint.
  • Student Sanction Challenge Procedures

Pregnant and Parenting Student Information

Michigan State University is committed to creating an accessible and inclusive environment for pregnant and parenting students.  Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (Title IX) prohibits discrimination based on sex in education programs or activities.  This prohibition includes discriminating against or excluding a student from an education program or activity, extracurricular activity, athletic program, or other program or activity of the University, on the basis of the student’s pregnancy, childbirth, false pregnancy, termination of pregnancy, or recovery from any of these conditions.  The University prohibits any rule concerning a student’s actual or potential parental, family, or marital status which treats students differently on the basis of sex. 

  • Pregnant and Parenting Student Accommodation Frequently Asked Questions

    What types of adjustments can I receive while pregnant?      

    The University provides reasonable and responsive adjustments to ensure a pregnant student’s access to educational programs.  Specific adjustments will vary, but may include: 

    • a larger desk
    • allowing frequent trips to the bathroom
    • permitting temporary access to elevators


    Are my absences from class due to pregnancy or childbirth excused?

    The University will excuse your absences from class for pregnancy or childbirth, for the period during which your doctor deems the absences medically necessary.  When you return to school, you will be reinstated to the status you held when you left and given the opportunity to make up missed work.  You may choose how you want to make up the missed work, including but not liited to the following alternatives:    

    • Retaking the semester
    • Taking part in an online course credit recovery program
    • Taking additional time in a program to continue at the same pace, and finish at a later date
    • Rescheduling of tests or exams


    Are my absences from class due to pregnancy or childbirth excused if my professor has a policy regarding class attendance and make-up work?  
     

    If your absences are medically necessary due to pregnancy or childbirth, you will be allowed to submit work after a deadline.  If your grade is based in part on class attendance or participation, you must be given the opportunity to earn back the credits you missed due to medically necessary pregnancy or childbirth absences, so that you are reinstated to the status you held before your absences.  

    What about internships, career rotations, and other off-campus elements of my program?  Do I have a right to participate in them?

    If your program requires an internship or other opportunity to “work in the field,” you cannot be denied participation based on your pregnancy. You may be required to submit a doctor’s note for continued participation, if required for all students who have other medical conditions.  

    Can I continue to be a member of a school club, interscholastic sports or other school-sponsored organization while pregnant?   

    You cannot be excluded from participating in any extracurricular activity, school club, academic society, or interscholastic sports because you are pregnant or have given birth.  This includes activities that are part of the University’s educational programs, even if the activity is not directly operated by the University.  You may be required to submit a doctor’s note if the program or activity requires students with other medical conditions to do so.  

    How do I request adjustments for pregnancy or childbirth related absences?   

    With most absences for pregnancy or childbirth, you should request adjustments directly from your professor, coach, program or activity director.  You should request adjustments as soon as you know you are pregnant.  

    For extended absences due to complications from pregnancy or childbirth (e.g., gestational diabetes, placenta previa, preeclampsia, cesarean deliveries, etc.), you will be required to register with the Resource Center for Persons with Disabilities (RCPD).  After you are registered with RCPD, you will be eligible to receive a Verified Individualized Services and Temporary Accommodations (VISTA) for extended absences due to complications from pregnancy or childbirth.    

    What if my professor refuses my requested adjustments? 

    If you are denied pregnancy or childbirth adjustments, or your medically necessary absences are not excused by your professor, you are encouraged to speak with the Department Chair or College Dean.  

    If your issue is not satisfactorily resolved by the Department Chair or College Dean or you do not feel comfortable addressing the issue with your Department Chair or College Dean, you can file a complaint with the Office of Institutional Equity.   

    The Office of Institutional Equity (OIE) reviews concerns related to discrimination and harassment based on sex, which includes a student’s pregnancy, childbirth, parental or family status.  OIE accepts calls, emails, and walk-in reports regarding any matters related to discrimination and harassment.  OIE staff can help you file a report, investigate your report, and connect you with resources. 

    Office of Institutional Equity
    5 Olds Hall
    East Lansing, MI 48824
    Phone: (517) 353-3922
    Fax: (517) 884-8513
    Email: oie@msu.edu
    OIE Website

    For specific questions regarding compliance with Title IX, you may contact the Associate Vice President and Title IX Coordinator:

    Tanya Jachimiak
    O
    ffice for Civil Rights and Title IX
    408 W. Circle Drive
    Olds Hall, Suite 105
    East Lansing, MI 48824
    Phone: (517) 355-3960
    Email: ocr@msu.edu
    Website: civilrights.msu.edu

    Resources on Campus 


     Other Resources  

     

  • Pregnancy and Parenting Adjustment Request