New federal sponsor reporting requirements for harassment and sexual misconduct

Some of you may have seen news articles from various federal sponsors such as the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration concerning new or pending policies on university notification requirements regarding sexual harassment, other forms of harassment or sexual assault. These federal policies are specific to individuals involved in projects sponsored by those federal sponsors.

As you know, harassment, discrimination, retaliation, and sexual misconduct already are prohibited by MSU Operating Policies 3.03 and 3.04. The federal sponsors’ new policies require Mississippi State to notify these agencies if an investigation determines that a principal investigator has violated these rules. Additionally, they remind us that our policies on harassment and sexual misconduct apply fully to MSU personnel while in attendance at conferences and similar off-campus events.

Following MSU’s existing policies on sexual misconduct (OP 03.04) and discrimination, harassment and retaliation (OP 03.03) will allow us to determine appropriate federal notification requirements. The offices of Human Resources Management, Title IX and EEO Programs, General Counsel and Sponsored Projects will work together to make that determination and to notify federal sponsors.

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