(CNN)University of Michigan police are investigating after a noose was found on an employee's desk at a university hospital.
The university has "taken immediate action" to investigate the incident that occurred Thursday as an act of discrimination and criminal ethnic intimidation, said Dr. Marschall S. Runge, the dean of the University of Michigan Medical School.
"This act of hate violates all of the values that we hold dear and will not be tolerated," Runge said in a statement, calling the noose a "symbol of hate and discrimination."
Heather Young, a university police spokeswoman, told CNN the desk is "a shared workspace, shared by multiple people," and it's "difficult to answer" questions about the race or ethnicity of the employees who use it.
Video surveillance recordings may be helpful in the investigation.
"We have thousands of cameras all over the University of Michigan, and we are looking at all sources of information," Young said.
The FBI's is aware of the incident, said Timothy R. Slater, the special agent in charge of the bureau's Detroit office.
"If in the course of the local investigation, information comes to light of a potential federal civil rights violation, the FBI is prepared to investigate," Slater said.