Over 20 women complain about UM's No. 2 official, on leave since last month

February 12, 2020, 8:07 AM

New details surface in the case of a high-level University of Michigan administrator placed on leave three weeks ago. 

Provost Martin Philbert, the top academic officer, now seems highly unlikely to regain his $570,000-a-year job. The Detroit Free Press has a dramatic update:

More than 20 women have now made sexual misconduct complaints against ... Philbert, some stretching back more than a decade, according to multiple sources with knowledge of the investigation. ... At least three times over the years, complaints about Philbert's behavior were made to administrators at the school, multiple sources said.

One of those involved a lawsuit that was settled that contained allegations of Philbert and a researcher in his lab having a physical relationship. The other two complaints revolved around what multiple sources called Philbert's verbal "overtures" to various people working with and for him. ...

He is the highest-ranking administrator at U-M to be accused of sexual misconduct.

Martin A. Philbert's 25-year career in Ann Arbor appears to be over. (Photo: University of Michigan)

Other allegations "involve various levels of sexual harassment," the paper adds. They were reported after President Mark Schlissel put the university's No. 2 offical on paid leave Jan. 21 while a law firm looks into claims of sexual misconduct by him. 

"We take allegations of sexual misconduct very seriously," Schlissel said when he announced the inquiry. "Our policy is clear: Sexual misconduct will not be tolerated in the University of Michigan community."

Philbert has been at UM for 25 years. Deans of 19 schools and colleges report to him, and he reports directly to the president as one of three executive vice presidents.

He's a British-educated toxicology professor at the School of Public Health, where he was dean from 2011-17. After starting his career at Rutgers University in New Jersey as a neurotoxicology research assistant professor, he joined UM in 1995 at the same level. A promotion to associate professor followed in 2000, and to professor in 2004.

Regents approved his appointment in June 2017 and he began as provost that September.


Several Complaints: UM's No. 2 Administrator Is Focus of Sexual Misconduct Inquiry, Jan. 22

Read more:  Detroit Free Press

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