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Another Sexual Misconduct Settlement for U of Michigan

August 5, 2022

A federal judge approved a settlement Wednesday between the University of Michigan and a student who alleged it did not adequately respond to sexual misconduct on campus. The settlement requires the university to establish a Coordinated Community Response Team to assess, plan and monitor its handling of sexual misconduct.

Josephine Graham filed a lawsuit against the university in 2021, after an internal investigation found that officials knew about but did nothing to stop the reported sexual abuse of students by former doctor Robert Anderson during his nearly four-decade career. Anderson died in 2008.

Graham’s suit did not seek a financial settlement but rather an overhaul of Michigan’s sexual misconduct policies, The Detroit News reported. The 30-member CCRT—which includes community members, faculty, staff, students and the Title IX coordinators for the university’s Ann Arbor, Dearborn and Flint campuses—will oversee all policies, procedures and prevention efforts regarding sexual and gender-based misconduct.

“The creation of the Coordinated Community Response Team is another important step toward our vision of becoming a national leader in protecting our community from inappropriate behavior and sexual misconduct,” President Mary Sue Coleman said in a statement.

She became president in January after Dr. Mark Schlissel was fired for having an inappropriate relationship with a subordinate. In October, Santa Ono, the president and vice chancellor of the University of British Columbia, will step into the role.

Wednesday’s news follows a separate $490 million settlement the university reached in January with some 1,050 people who alleged abuse by Anderson beginning in the 1960s.

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Susan H. Greenberg

Susan H. Greenberg is a senior editor at Inside Higher Ed. A career journalist and educator, she joined the publication in August 2021 after eight years in Vermont, where she freelanced and taught writing at Middlebury College and Champlain College. Prior to that, she spent 22 years writing and editing for Newsweek magazine, where she covered everything from international affairs to arts and culture. Her work has also appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Atlantic, and River Teeth, among others. She has taught English and journalism at Phillips Academy, where she served as an advisor to the student newspaper. She holds a B.A. in English from Brown University and an M.S. in journalism from Columbia. The mother of three nearly adult children, she is very much enjoying her newly empty nest.

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