The University of Michigan’s Board of Regents recently announced that President Mark Schlissel has been removed due to an alleged inappropriate relationship with a university employee. MLive reports that Schlissel was fired for breaking the very same rule he himself announced and implemented at a July Board of Regents meeting aimed at overhauling the school’s inadequate sexual misconduct policies. During the meeting, Schlissel stated there would be a “zero-tolerance” policy for anyone in a leadership position to solicit a personal or romantic relationship with someone they have a supervisory authority or career influence over.
Many on campus found Schlissel to be an inconsistent leader in the wake of the recent allegations, including hundreds of survivors who filed a federal class action lawsuit in March 2020 over the university’s alleged role in former doctor and athletics program physician Robert Anderson’s decades-long sexual abuse of students. According to a campus safety report, almost 1,200 rapes related to Anderson’s abuse were reported to UofM just last year. Horrifyingly, the student sexual abuse case against Dr. Robert Anderson is thought to reflect the greatest number of sexual abuse allegations made against a single individual in U.S. history.
A companion suit to the March 2020 class-action headed by UofM senior Josephine Graham aims to have the federal courts force the University to implement further sexual misconduct policy changes.
“This further highlights the need for institution-wide changes around these issues that involves input from all stakeholders,” Lieff Cabraser partner Annika Martin noted in response to Schlissel’s firing. Ms. Martin is co-lead counsel representing survivors and students in the class-action lawsuit.
A federal judge will decide if that case goes to oral arguments in a hearing presently set for March 2022.
Learn more about the student athlete sexual abuse class action against the University of Michigan / Dr. Robert Anderson.
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