Civil Rights Specialist

Apply now Job no: 507861
Position type: Full-Time 12-Month
Department: 461401 - Office of Compliance and Risk Mgmt
Location: Main Campus - Starkville, MS
Categories: Professional
Position Open Date:

Position Function:

The Civil Rights Specialist reports to the Director of Civil Rights Compliance and is responsible for managing investigations of alleged misconduct related to sex, race, religion, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, and other statuses protected under MSU policies and applicable laws, including but not limited to allegations of discrimination, harassment, retaliation, sexual assault, domestic violence, and stalking.

The position also shares responsibility with other staff in the Office of Civil Rights Compliance for the development and delivery of education and training materials to MSU community members, maintaining well-documented records and files, advising administration on civil rights related issues, and other functions related to compliance with civil rights laws, including but not limited to Title IX, Title VII, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), and the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA).

Salary Grade:  15

Please see Staff Compensation Structure for salary ranges. 

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

• Receives and conducts initial assessment of reports of civil rights violations, including but not limited to discrimination, harassment, retaliation, sexual assault, domestic violence, and stalking.
• Coordinates and ensures timely completion of the University's investigations, adjudications, and/or other responses to civil rights complaints.
• Conducts thorough interviews, gathers evidence, and maintains well-documented files for each matter.
• Drafts memoranda summarizing results of investigations and makes recommendations where appropriate.
• Ensures investigation, adjudication, and other related processes are conducted in a fair and impartial manner and in compliance with applicable laws, regulations, and university policies.
• Works closely with other investigators, student conduct personnel, student advocates, human resources staff, university police, and other personnel as needed to ensure the safety of the university and prompt, fair resolution of complaints.
• Provides ongoing updates to the Director and other personnel as directed on the status of investigations and related proceedings.
• Periodically reviews all matter files to ensure they are complete and properly-documented.
• Identifies any patterns or systemic problems revealed by complaints and notifies appropriate MSU personnel.
• Assists in the development of training materials related to civil rights issues and regularly conducts in-person training of MSU students, faculty, and staff.
• Delivers in-person training aimed at preventing discrimination, harassment, sexual misconduct, and other issues.
• Oversees responses to external investigations and requests for information from government agencies as instructed by the Director.
• Performs related duties as assigned.

Minimum Qualifications:

Bachelor's Degree in higher education, public administration, or related field and two years of professional experience conducting investigations of civil rights complaints or related matters.

Preferred Qualifications:

Juris Doctorate preferred. An ideal candidate will have significant experience investigating civil rights complaints or closely-related matters in a higher education setting and/or have formally certified training as a civil rights or Title IX investigator. Experience in developing and implementing civil rights or other personnel training programs also is a valued skill.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

The Investigator must be able to operate effectively without direct oversight, but possess the discretion to know when matters require the attention of the Director or other administrators. They must have excellent oral and written communication skills, be able to give effective presentations in large and small group settings, be self-motivated, have excellent organizational skills, and be able to exercise sound judgement and discretion both independently and as part of a team.

The Investigator also must be able to work collaboratively with personnel across a wide range of disciplines within a large and complex organization, maintain strict confidentiality, multitask and meet sensitive and sometimes urgent timelines, and work evenings and weekends as necessary. Because the core function of the position is ensuring a fair and welcoming environment for all at the university, they must show a demonstrated commitment to diversity and inclusion.

Additional knowledge, skills, and abilities include:
• Demonstrated knowledge of best practices and methodologies for conducting investigations, fact-finding, and investigative interviewing.
• Demonstrated ability to maintain thorough, well-documented records of investigations that comply with recordkeeping provisions of relevant laws.
• Working knowledge of civil rights laws, including but not limited to Title IX, Title VII, ADA, ADEA, and VAWA.
• Demonstrated ability to work without direct oversight while exercising sound discretion as to what matters require administrators’ immediate attention.
• Excellent organizational skills, including the ability to multitask and meet sensitive and sometimes urgent deadlines without sacrificing quality.
• Ability to establish and maintain productive working relationships with diverse constituency groups, including but not limited to, senior administration, General Counsel, Human Resources, Compliance Officer, Dean of Students, academic and staff employees, including tenured and non-tenured faculty members, University and local police departments, students, and members of the public including state and federal officials.
• Demonstrated commitment to diversity and inclusion.
• Demonstrated commitment to maintaining the highest standards of ethics and professionalism while investigating contentious and potentially troubling matters.
• Excellent oral and written communication skills, along with the ability to give effective presentations in small or large group settings.
• Demonstrated ability to handle personal, confidential, sensitive, and complex information and matters with composure, mature judgment, and utmost discretion.

Working Conditions and Physical Effort

No unusual physical requirements. Requires no heavy lifting, and nearly all work is performed in a comfortable indoor facility.

Externally imposed deadlines; set and revised beyond one's control; interruptions influence priorities: difficult to anticipate nature or volume of work with certainty beyond a few days: meeting of deadlines and coordination of unrelated activities are key to position; may involve conflict-resolution or similar interactions involving emotional issues or stress on a regular basis.

Job frequently requires walking, sitting, talking, hearing, handling objects with hands, and lifting up to 25 pounds.

Vision requirements: Ability to see information in print and/or electronically.

Instructions for Applying:

Please apply online with a resume and cover letter.

Equal Employment Opportunity Statement:

MSU is an equal opportunity employer, and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, ethnicity, sex, religion, national origin, disability, age, sexual orientation, genetic information, pregnancy, gender identity, status as a U.S. veteran, and/or any other status protected by applicable law. We always welcome nominations and applications from women, members of any minority group, and others who share our passion for building a diverse community that reflects the diversity in our student population.

What do I do if I need an accommodation?

In compliance with the ADA Amendments Act (ADA), if you have a disability and would like to request an accommodation in order to apply for a position with Mississippi State University, please contact the Department of Human Resources Management at tel: (662) 325-3713 or

If you have any questions regarding this policy, contact the Department of Human Resources Management at (662) 325-3713 or Upon request, sections of this job listing are available in large print, and readers are available to assist the visually impaired.

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