U-M implementing all Guidepost Solutions recommendations

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Guidepost Solutions has concluded its work with the University of Michigan, noting that all of the firm’s recommendations have been implemented, are in the process of being put in place or alternative solutions are being pursued.

The nationally recognized consulting firm that specializes in regulatory compliance, monitoring, investigations and security concluded its work May 31.

It also completed a review of the university’s sexual misconduct policies and procedures as required every three years by state law.

The Board of Regents and the president engaged Guidepost Solutions in December 2020 to help the university follow through on the recommendations made by the WilmerHale law firm after investigating the allegations of misconduct against former provost Martin Philbert.

“The University of Michigan considered all of Guideposts’ recommendations. As reflected on the Recommendations Summary Tracker, all of Guideposts’ recommendations have been implemented, implementation is in progress, or alternatives to address the recommendations are currently being implemented,” Asha Muldro, Guidepost Solutions senior managing director, wrote in a letter introducing a status report on the recommendations.

“The University of Michigan has made significant progress on these important issues and the work on this journey will continue.”

Among the recommendations that have been adopted are:

  • Updating the universitywide policy on sexual and gender-based misconduct.
  • Launching a process to facilitate culture change based on shared values.
  • Creation of the Equity, Civil Rights and Title IX Office, with an emphasis on prevention and education in addition to investigating allegations of sexual and gender-based misconduct.
  • Adopting policies covering protections from retaliation and regulating relationships between supervisors and those they supervise.
  • Enhancing the vetting of candidates before hiring or promotion.

Jordan Acker, chair of the Board of Regents, said he appreciated working with the “exceptional team” from Guidepost Solutions “to help guide us in the early days and months of this healing process. With their help, as well as the help of our internal team, we’ve made significant progress in a short amount of time.”

Acker said the campus culture work is critical to continued progress. “This is a decades-long cultural issue that got us to this point. It will take years, not months, to get our culture to where it must be.”

President Mary Sue Coleman said she was impressed and pleased with the changes made. “Many people across campus have committed themselves to improving and strengthening our environment and that work will, of course, continue,” she said.

She also said that in the coming weeks, the university will share “a comprehensive look at all we have done as an institution related to how we combat and respond to sexual misconduct.”

In its official review of U-M policies and procedures, Guidepost Solutions said the university “has undergone significant changes in its policies and internal structures for preventing, identifying and responding to instances of sexual and gender-based misconduct across all of its campuses. These efforts are ongoing and have occurred over a relatively short time period. The pace of these developments reflects the university’s commitment to this area.”

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