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Margaret Mia

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Report Finds Flaws in MSU Title IX Certification Process | Inside Higher Ed


Just days after Dr. Samuel Stanley Jr. formally stepped down as president of Michigan State University, the Board of Trustees has released a report finding flaws in the university’s state-mandated Title IX certification process.

Dr. Stanley and the board previously traded accusations on who was at fault over alleged missteps on Title IX certification, which requires board members and the university president to review and sign off on Title IX reports, in accordance with state law. Dr. Stanley faced pressure to resign over allegations that he had filed “a false and misleading Title IX compliance certificate for 2021.”

The 28-page report commissioned by trustees and released Friday found that Dr. Stanley had “relied upon incorrect information provided by the Title IX Office” in the 2021 certification process.

Compiled by a law firm hired by the MSU Board of Trustees, the report also found that two board members had failed to review reports they were asked to certify in 2021. Trustee Renee Knafe Jefferson told investigators that she wanted further training on the Title IX certification process, while Brianna Scott noted that she had concerns related to how repeat offenses were tracked.

Now, with Dr. Stanley officially out and an interim president in place, the board and the ex-president continue to trade accusations about who is at fault. Trustee Dan Kelly told local media in a statement that “the findings confirm that little, if anything, was done by the President to address the certification concerns raised by the Board for over two years.”

In a statement of his own, Dr. Stanley disputed Kelly’s framing of the report, arguing that he had been exonerated and that trustees failed to adequately fulfill their duties on Title IX certification.



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