CBS Detroit – The University of Michigan has released a settlement that resolves complaints by eight women who say they were subjected to emotional and sexual abuse by former UofM Provost Martin Philbert in an article by the University Record.
All the women involved are former university employees, and the agreement includes an award of $9.25 million. This agreement comes after no lawsuit was filed in court. The women were not named by the university to protect their identities, and no additional details about the agreement will be made public according to the university.
A statement by UofM read, “The sexual misconduct of the former university provost that has been detailed in a report from the WilmerHale law firm is abhorrent and unacceptable. The University of Michigan failed on many levels as this individual advanced through the administrative ranks,”.
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An investigation by the Wilmer Hale Law Firm found that former Provost Philbert engaged in nearly two decades of sexual misconduct while working for UofM. Even during his early years when he was an assistant professor in the School of Public Health, harassing multiple members on campus, which included graduate students in his lab and other UofM employees. When he was dean of the School of Public Health, he had sexual relationships with at least three school employees. As well as after he was appointed University Provost. The UofM Provost is the Chief academic officer in charge of academic and budgetary affairs, and collaborates with the president to set overall priorities and allocates the funds for the university’s various intiatives.
In the WilmerHale report, UofM was found in several instances where it could have taken more actions to investigate Philbert but didn’t. WilmerHale was hired by the Board of Regents. While Dean of the SPH, Philbert had sexual relationships with at least three staff employees. Which included sexual intercourse in university offices and sharing explicit images with others on university-owned devices.
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While he was provost, Philbert was in sexual relationships with at least two university employees, engaging in sex in university offices, and it was reported for a period almost daily with one woman. UofM officials were notified of his behavior early in his career but the Office for Institutional Equity didn’t launch an investigation of the allegations being made. WilmerHale did find that the Provost search committee and UofM President Mark Schlissel learned or knew about Philbert’s sexual conduct.
With the settlement reached it would appear the Martin Philbert is scandal is now behind the University, writing in a statement, “We recognize how difficult it was for these eight women to come forward to share their experiences. We thank them for their courage and we apologize to each one of them and to all survivors.”.
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