University reaches settlement regarding abuse by former provost


The University of Michigan has reached a settlement agreement to resolve complaints from eight women who reported they were subjected to emotional and sexual abuse by former provost Martin Philbert.

The eight women are all current or former university employees. The settlement includes payments totaling $9.25 million. No lawsuit was filed.

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The university is not naming the women to protect their privacy and no additional details regarding the settlement will be shared publicly by the university.

“The sexual misconduct of the former university provost that has been detailed in a report from the WilmerHale law firm is abhorrent and unacceptable. The University of Michigan failed on many levels as this individual advanced through the administrative ranks,” the university said in a statement.

“We recognize how difficult it was for these eight women to come forward to share their experiences. We thank them for their courage and we apologize to each one of them and to all survivors.”



  1. Tina Ronders
    on November 19, 2020 at 8:21 am

    I am saddened that anyone who reports demeaning or degrading behavior of a colleague or superior and has to settle for money. No amount of financial support will take away the pain that has been inflicted on those reporting. I know how hard it is to step forward, lay your own employment on the line and tell the truth by reporting the behavior; especially [when] the person portraying the behavior is in a position of power. I am heartbroken by the pain and emotionally agony these women have had to endure. And not just with the abuse; coming forward is another emotional and spiritual heartache. Never allow this behavior to continue and you have the right to report. Everyone deserves a voice.

  2. Jacquelyn Miller
    on November 19, 2020 at 9:22 am

    In how many cases does the university require reporters to sign non-disclosure agreements in exchange for settlements? Are NDAs the norm in such settlements? How many NDAs are signed each year by people who report harassment, discrimination, and abuse at the university? Are these data made available?

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