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University of Michigan provost placed on leave after multiple sexual misconduct allegations

University of Michigan Provost Martin A. Philbert has been placed on administrative leave while an outside law firm investigates several allegations of sexual misconduct against him, the university said Wednesday.

“We take allegations of sexual misconduct very seriously, and our policy is clear: Sexual misconduct will not be tolerated in the University of Michigan community,” University President Mark Schlissel said in an email to faculty, staff and students. Schlissel will appoint an acting provost in the coming days, according to the email that later published to the university’s website.

The university did not disclose information about who made the allegations or in what capacity.

CNN has reached out to Philbert for comment.

The university received several allegations of sexual misconduct by Philbert on January 16 and 17 and launched an internal investigation on January 17, according to Schlissel.

“Over the next three days, the university retained an outside law firm which immediately launched an investigation of the allegations, our Division of Public Safety and Security was engaged, and Dr. Philbert was directed not to report to work. I placed him on administrative leave Tuesday,” Schlissel said.

Schlissel said that he and the university’s Board of Regents are committed to a full and thorough investigation “and we will continue to work to ensure the integrity of the process, following the same policy and practices that apply to all employees at U-M. It remains early in the investigation, and no findings or conclusions have been reached.”

“We know that reporting requires courage,” Schlissel added. “The university has offered support services and will work diligently to assist those who report in every way possible.”

Philbert is a professor of toxicology in the School of Public Health and a former dean of the school. He joined the University of Michigan faculty in 1995 and was appointed provost in 2017.

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