On behalf of the Board of Regents and to our university community, we want to make you aware of an important step that we are taking to ensure meaningful policy reform and cultural change at U-M. We recognize that restoring trust will be a lengthy process, and one that is earned. To the survivors, this step is not announced with any expectations on you, but a recognition that full transparency about the steps we are taking, is necessary as we begin this journey.
We recognize that outside accountability and perspective is critical in identifying and creating meaningful policy and cultural reform. The hiring of Guidepost will provide us with experts — independent from the university — who will help this institution do better than it has in the past and better than it could do on its own.
In reviewing what happened with our former provost, and the lives he altered forever, the WilmerHale law firm provided recommendations on steps the university should take to make sure nothing like what happened ever happens again.
The recommendations must be followed. Our standards must be established at the highest level. That’s why we are accepting counsel from those with the most relevant experience and perspective so that this time of change is as effective as possible.
Our board again recognizes and thanks those who came forward for their courage.
We must now begin to create a culture where reports will be heard, and action taken without fear of retaliation. To be clear — sexual misconduct will not be tolerated.
The experts from Guidepost will help us creatively think through and structure the safety and integrity compliance framework and cultural reform needed at our university.
It is our goal that a process founded on transparency, accountability, best-practices policy and top-down cultural reform will serve our university community and, someday, serve as a model for other universities as they undertake the important work, we all must do.
Protecting our community, earning trust and fully recognizing the life-changing consequences that the universities failures have had on survivors, requires an approach that focuses on all levels of reform – our policies, our culture, and our people.
A university is meant to be a place of learning and growth, a place of owning mistakes and making changes for the future, a place where we come together to sharpen each other and work in unity towards making the world around us a better place.
As regents of the University of Michigan, that must start with us. With the hiring of Guidepost, we recommit to learn and grow, and to take meaningful steps towards change, not forgetting the failures of the past, but fully owning them and using the realities that we have seen, to remind us why we must continually stand for what is right and never stop learning to do better.
— Denise Ilitch, chair of the Board of Regents
Dec. 3, 2020
Thank you for selecting Guidepost Solutions, we look forward to working with the University of Michigan on this important initiative.
Our focus will be to understand institutional needs, challenges and cultures to define solutions that are impactful and sustainable over the long term. We recognize that the mission here is to have a program with integrity that is owned by the university with accountability as the highest value and where sexual and gender-based misconduct and retaliation are not tolerated.
To achieve this goal, it is essential that we work closely with the university community. We will be reaching out to all sectors of stakeholders: students, faculty, staff, the Board of Regents, administrators, and survivors (that choose to), and we encourage all of you to reach out to us. We truly want everyone’s input.
The planning and helping to implement the recommendations must be the result of collaboration to be successful. And sustainable. We have an experienced team with deep knowledge of the unique challenges that face universities. We are ready to get to work immediately as partners to create a more dynamic program that promotes a culture of safety and inclusion. Thank you again.
— Asha Muldro, Guidepost Solutions
Dec. 3, 2020