U of M provost under investigation for sexual misconduct allegations

    University of Michigan College of Pharmacy | Scott Soderberg, Wikimedia Commons

    Martin A. Philbert, the University of Michigan Provost and executive vice president for academic affairs, is on administrative leave as of Tuesday following allegations of sexual misconduct against him.

    U of M staff and students received an email Wednesday from university President Mark Schlissel that said “the university received several allegations of sexual misconduct” on Thursday and Friday, and the internal investigation began on Friday. 

    Martin A. Philbert | University of Michigan photo

    The university spent the next three days, using an outside law firm, to investigate the allegations. The Office for Institutional Equity, which reports to the provost, would normally handle investigations into sexual harassment reports. Schissel moved OIE’s reporting line for all investigation matters to Associate Vice President for Human Resources Richard Holcomb.

    “We take allegations of sexual misconduct very seriously, and our policy is clear: Sexual misconduct will not be tolerated in the University of Michigan community,” Schlissel wrote in the email.

    According to reporting from Bridge, Rick Fitzgerald, U of M assistant vice president for public affairs, the current allegations against Philbert were made by students, but Fitzgerald would not state whether they involve university employees.

    “The U-M Board of Regents and I are committed to a full and thorough investigation, and we will continue to work to ensure the integrity of the process, following the same policy and practices that apply to all employees at U-M,” Schlissel wrote. “It remains early in the investigation, and no findings or conclusions have been reached.”

    Philbert has been with the university since 1995, and was named provost in 2017.

    Allison Donahue
    Allison Donahue covers education, women's issues and LGBTQ issues. Previously, she was a suburbs reporter at the St. Cloud Times in St. Cloud, Minn., covering local education and government. As a graduate of Grand Valley State University, she has previous experience as a freelance researcher for USA Today and an intern with WOOD TV-8. When she is away from her desk, she spends her time going to concerts, comedy shows or getting lost on hikes in different places around the world.