Most MSU employees have mandatory reporting obligations with respect to sexual misconduct. Some employees, such as supervisors, have broader reporting duties.
All MSU Employees
Unless specifically exempted by university policy, all MSU employees are required to report any instance of sexual misconduct they learn about to the Office of Civil Rights Compliance. Sexual misconduct encompasses sexual harassment, sexual assault, sexual exploitation, stalking, and dating or domestic violence. More information on sexual misconduct policies at MSU can be found below.
Exemptions to this requirement apply to licensed counselors and medical professionals and their support staffs who learn about sexual misconduct while serving in their clinical capacity. Other university employees may be exempted only by formal written approval of the Title IX Coordinator under MSU policies.
When reporting, note the following guidelines:
- Safety comes first. If there is an immediate danger, call 911 or contact the MSU Police Department at 662-325-2121 first.
- Report promptly. All reports should be submitted within 24 hours.
- Reporting is not discretionary. Employees may not decline to report because they believe the alleged conduct is not sufficiently serious or does not believe that it happened as described. Those are determinations for Civil Rights Compliance.
- Do not share information. Inform the Office of Civil Rights Compliance, but do not share the information with others. If your supervisor expects to know about such reports, inform them that you have submitted a report to Civil Rights Compliance and they may contact that office for more information.
- Independent investigations are prohibited. University employees, departments, organizations, and other units may not undertake their own independent investigations of sexual misconduct in lieu of a response by the Office of Civil Rights Compliance.
- If possible, inform students of your reporting obligations in advance. Many mandatory reporters can reasonably anticipate that students might share information about sexual misconduct with them. If this describes your position, try to inform students in advance that you are a mandatory reporter and must convey that information to the university. For instructional faculty, syllabus statements are one way to do this.
- If possible, let the person know what will happen next. Tell the person who informed you that you are required to relay this information to the Office of Civil Rights Compliance, and that they can expect to be contacted by that office to discuss how the university can support them.
Child Abuse, Neglect, or Exploitation
Mississippi law requires public education employees and others who have reason to believe that child abuse, neglect, or exploitation has occurred to notify the state’s Department of Human Services. This reporting obligation applies to “child sexual abuse, sexual exploitation, emotional abuse, mental injury, non-accidental physical injury or other maltreatment.” This obligation applies regardless of whether the child or adult has any connection to the university.
Reports should be submitted directly to the Department of Human Services via its 24-hour hotline number: 800-222-8000. Reports must be submitted as promptly as possible. If a child appears to be in immediate danger of serious harm, call 911 first to ensure the fastest possible response.
For more information on reporting child abuse, neglect or exploitation, please see the Mississippi Department of Child Protective Services website below.
Employees with supervisory authority over other MSU staff or faculty, including intermittent or student workers, have all the reporting obligations listed above, plus the following.
Workplace Discrimination, Harassment, or Retaliation
When a supervisor receives a complaint or otherwise learns about a complaint of workplace, discrimination, harassment, or retaliation involving a subordinate employee, they must report it promptly to MSU Human Resources Management at 662-325-3713 or the Office of Civil Rights Compliance at 662-325-5839.
Requests for Disability or Other Accommodations
When a supervisor receives a request for accommodation from a subordinate employee, they must report the request to MSU Human Resources Management at 662-325-5839. If the supervisor feels the request can be fully granted, they are free to do so. If it cannot be fully granted, HRM will facilitate an interactive process to identify an appropriate accommodation.
However, even in cases where a straightforward accommodation can be provided in full by the supervisor, he or she is still required to report the request to HRM for review.