Michigan Knew of Misconduct Allegations Against Provost

February 13, 2020

The University of Michigan placed Provost Martin Philbert on administrative leave in January, pending an investigation into sexual misconduct allegations. Philbert has been at the university since 1995, and the Detroit Free Press now reports that in that time at least three complaints were made to university administrators about his behavior.

One of those complaints, from the early 2000s, involved allegations that Philbert was having a physical relationship with a researcher in his lab. That complaint resulted in a settled wrongful-termination lawsuit by another employee of Philbert’s.

The other complaints, one reported to superiors in 2009, involved sexually charged comments. Though these complaints were received by administrators, Philbert was promoted to dean of the School of Public Health in 2010 and to university provost in September 2017.

In total, the Free Press reports, more than 20 women have now made sexual misconduct allegations about the provost. A private law firm hired by the college is investigating.

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