- Associated Press - Wednesday, February 17, 2016

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) - An informal inquiry triggered by a discrimination complaint against the highest-ranking Hispanic official at Missouri State University is over after the student who filed the complaint decided not to seek a formal investigation, university officials said Wednesday.

The student’s complaint earlier this month prompted the Springfield Coalition for Minority Advancement to demand that Juan Meraz be fired as assistant vice president for minority advancement. The group claimed Meraz made discriminatory remarks against black people that created racial division at the school.

The university said in a statement that the student chose to drop her complaint after reviewing the findings of an informal investigation, The Springfield News-Leader reported (http://sgfnow.co/1SznSI3 ).

The complaint prompted led some students and colleagues to speak out in support of Meraz.

His supervisor, Dee Siscoe, the vice president for student affairs, will use the findings of the informal inquiry to determine if Meraz requires any further discipline or coaching. That decision will not be made public because the matter is now considered a personnel issue.

“For the university, the matter is closed,” the statement said.

The university said it often responds to an initial concern raised by a student or employee with a fact-finding effort, which is an informal inquiry. A formal investigation is a prescribed process that is typically requested in writing.

The newspaper said Meraz has not responded to repeated requests for comment.

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Information from: Springfield News-Leader, http://www.news-leader.com

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