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UM provost placed on administrative leave following allegations of sexual misconduct

headshot of martin philbert
The University of Michigan

The University of Michigan has put its provost, Martin Philbert, on administrative leave, following several accusations of sexual misconduct. The provost is the university's second highest ranking administrator.

According to a press release sent to staff and students from President Mark Schlissel, the university received several allegations of sexual misconduct against Philbert on January 16 and 17. An internal investigation began on Friday, January 17, and the school brought in an outside law firm, which "immediately launched an investigation of the allegations." 

Philbert was instructed not to report to work as the investigation began and was placed on administrative leave on Tuesday, January 21. 

The Office for Institutional Equity typically handles investigations of this sort for the university; however, that office reports to the provost. Schlissel has shifted OIE's reporting line for any matters involving Philbert's investigation to Associate Vice President for Human Resources Richard S. Holcomb. 

screengrab of philbert's bio on um's website
Credit Screengrab from president.umich.edu
Philbert is currently listed as on administrative leave on the university's website.

"It remains early in the investigation, and no findings or conclusions have been reached," Schlissel wrote in the press release. "We thank the individuals who have come forward with these allegations. We know that reporting requires courage. The university has offered support services and will work diligently to assist those who report in every way possible."

Philbert joined the university in 1995 as an assistant professor of toxicology at the School of Public Health. In 2010, he was appointed dean of the School of Public Health, and eventually named provost of the university in 2017. 

Tracy Samilton covers energy and transportation, including the auto industry and the business response to climate change for Michigan Radio. She began her career at Michigan Radio as an intern, where she was promptly “bitten by the radio bug,” and never recovered.
Jodi is Michigan Radio’s Director of Digital Audiences, leading and developing the station’s overall digital strategy.
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