Sexual and Gender-Based Misconduct Prevention

The University of Michigan’s current work to address sexual misconduct on the Ann Arbor campus builds on more than 30 years of the Sexual Assault Prevention and Awareness Center providing support and resources for those in the university community affected by sexual harassment and sexual assault.

In 2021, the university announced the creation of the Equity, Civil Rights and Title IX Office to lead campus efforts in prevention, education, support and providing resources. The creation of this office was one of a number of policy and process changes designed to keep the community safe.

U-M is committed to creating a campus culture where all members of the university community — students, faculty, staff and visitors — feel safe and supported.

This page provides tools and resources that can help ensure safe and respectful campus communities in Ann Arbor, Dearborn and Flint and at Michigan Medicine, which also are outlined on the sexual and gender-based misconduct reporting and resources website here.


Working together, the University of Michigan community has taken significant action toward creating a safer environment as work continues to build a stronger culture of ethics, integrity and compliance. The university remains committed to addressing and reducing inappropriate behavior, including sexual and gender-based misconduct throughout the university community.

At U-M, we recognize our mistakes. We learn from them. We address them, even when they involve prominent members of our institution. And we share broadly those lessons learned and the steps we have taken, so we can improve our culture together and create a safe and responsive campus to address misconduct when it happens.

In this comprehensive report, you will see the changes implemented in recent years. While this intentional effort began in 2011, the university  accelerated it during 2020 in the midst of numerous incidents of misconduct and has worked since then with a strong sense of urgency.

This work is a top priority for the university. At the heart of these efforts is the need to regain trust in how the university prevents and addresses misconduct. That will take time, but the university will not shy away from this critical goal.

U-M has adopted best practices from across higher education and other sectors that have helped this community make progress toward creating environments that address harassment and discrimination. We have aggregated voices from across our campuses – including those of our own faculty experts. We have complemented these voices with leading professionals from around the country, who have studied and implemented the most successful models, while remaining focused on what is best for our community.

The envisioned outcome is a clear set of standards that applies to everyone in the university community. When something happens that violates those standards, U-M is now better prepared to respond with fairness for all, living up to our shared values. Progress is not and must never be complete. We must continually evolve to meet the needs of our community and keep up with best practices and societal changes.

The efforts to date span all areas and aspects of the university and the work across the three campuses. They include:

Comprehensive policy changes

This includes the new “umbrella” policy regarding sexual and gender-based misconduct that goes above and beyond the federal legal requirements as well as separate policies managing supervisor-supervisee relationships and prohibiting faculty-student relationships. We have updated the dismissal process for faculty members with tenure, put in place stronger protections from retaliation and added new policies requiring chaperones for medical exams.

Expanded efforts

The university remains focused on identifying dedicated staff members who are dedicated to advancing the university’s goals of preventing and addressing misconduct. This includes forming the Equity, Civil Rights and Title IX Office, adding the Ethics, Integrity and Compliance Committee and creating the EICC Executive Committee designed to focus on and evaluate risks and responses across the three campuses and Michigan Medicine, including the review of hotline complaints.

Engagement and access to information

The university continues to communicate as transparently as possible about policies, procedures and practices. Information must be easily accessible for all, especially those who may be experiencing trauma. To this end, we have redesigned websites and have published an ongoing series of articles detailing our work in The University Record.

The university offers additional support through confidential resources and provides community members with opportunities to provide feedback and input for continual improvement. We have several mechanisms for reporting misconduct, created a Title IX coordinator advisory group and revamped the compliance hotline.

Coming this fall will be the new Coordinated Community Response Team to broadly represent the community by gathering input on prevention efforts related to sexual and gender-based misconduct. This group is being formed now.

Thorough vetting of employees

Every new employee is subject to a pre-employment background check. Those being hired for or promoted into leadership positions also are subject to a more thorough background check which includes – a criminal check and any misconduct findings during their educational and professional history.

Public awareness

The university commits to continue updating the public regularly with an annual report focusing on sexual and gender based misconduct from ECRT, annual compliance with the Clery Act and other regular communications.

Staff and student support

The university will continue to provide confidential counseling and advocacy services, as well as advisers for students in misconduct proceedings.

Additional training

All community members – including faculty leaders and senior executives, staff members, students at all levels and elected regents – have undergone or have access to training and are updated on processes, procedures and policies in more ways than ever before. Training programs are continually updated and a new division of ECRT will focus on this important task.

Culture change

Dozens of informational sessions and thousands of pieces of feedback are helping to unify us around our purpose and hold each other accountable for our definition of culture. The vision is to create a changed culture that fosters trust and safe support for all who are a part of our community.

Key staffing additions

The university has hired nearly a dozen new full-time employees – with more to be hired in the coming months – who are dedicated to addressing and preventing misconduct. This includes multiple staff members focused on prevention, education, assistance and providing resources.

External review

Throughout the most recent years of accelerated progress, the university has opened itself to review and recommendations for improvements from its own faculty experts, other recognized experts from multiple leading investigative and law firms and a national professional services firm focused on compliance programs.

More to come

Additional, tailored initiatives have been developed and implemented by the 19 schools and colleges on the Ann Arbor campus, Michigan Medicine, the Athletics Department, the Division of Public Safety and Security, the University Health Service and the Dearborn and Flint campuses.

And there is more work to be done. U-M is committed to regularly reviewing the latest research, listening to the university community and developing new programs. An effort to develop a shared statement of values is getting underway and a universitywide code of conduct is being explored.

All of these efforts have been informed by input and feedback from thousands of students, faculty, staff and other community members whose input and determination have contributed to this collective effort.

  1. Key Policy Changes The university has revised or added several policies, all designed to create a safer environment for all.
    1. Protection from Retaliation (Record story)
    2. Supervisor-Supervisee Relationships (Record story)
    3. Faculty-Student Relationships (Record story)
    4. (Umbrella) Sexual Misconduct (Record story)
    5. Emeritus status Removal from faculty members (Record story)
    6. Felony Disclosure by employees(Record story)
    7. Professional Standards for Faculty
    8. Regents’ Bylaw 5.09 Revisions (Record story)
    9. Chaperone Policy, Michigan Medicine, UHS, Athletics
    10. Amended SPG 601.34 to include research studies involving children as participants, whether they occur on campus, virtually or at an off-site (Record story)
  2. New or Expanded Organizational Efforts The university has created offices and expanded existing infrastructure to better address sexual and gender-based misconduct.
    1. Equity, Civil Rights and Title IX Office (Record story)
    2. Ethics, Integrity and Compliance Committee
    3. DPSS Special Victims Unit (Record story)
    4. Incident Coordination Committee
    5. Professionalism Committee, Office of Clinical Affairs, Michigan Medicine. Headlines story
    6. Culture Optimization Committee, Michigan Medicine
    7. Culture of Accountability Advisory Group (CoAAG) CoAAG charge
  3. Listening, Engagement, and Access to Information The university has made concerted efforts recently and dating back several years to improve community engagement regarding misconduct prevention and response efforts.
    1. Coordinated Community Response Team (Record story)
    2. Outreach and education efforts on ways to report misconduct (Record story)
    3. Title IX Coordinator’s Advisory Group (Record story)
    4. Title IX Coordinator office hours (Record story)
    5. ECRT investigator office hours
    6. Improved misconduct websites (Record story)
    7. Improved hotline (Record story)
    8. Staff Ombuds Office added (Record story)
    9. Expanded Confidential Resources (Record story)
    10. Improved ECRT record keeping system
    11. Increased in-person training sessions
    12. Satellite ECRT offices for increased visibility and accessibility
    13. Letter to all student athletes encouraging them to speak to WilmerHale about Dr. Anderson (Record story)
    14. Letter to all living alumni encouraging them to speak to WilmerHale about Dr. Anderson (Record story)
  4. Vetting Performing detailed background checks before employees are hired or before current employees are promoted is an essential part of the broader efforts to keep our community safe.
    1. Pre-employment background checks for every new employee (Record story)
    2. Other regental appointees: full review of internal records (ECRT, OGC, HR)
    3. Faculty promotions: full review of internal records (ECRT, OGC, HR)
    4. Michigan Medicine Office of Clinical Affairs, enhanced Medical Staff application questions & clearance process
    5. Medical School – Graduate Medical Education (enhanced Medical Staff application questions & clearance process for appointment to practice within UMH)
    6. Michigan Medicine Best Practices Toolkit (for faculty recruiting)
  5. Improved Reporting and Awareness of Leadership The university is regularly sharing information about sexual and gender-based misconduct with the president and the elected Board of Regents to increase the awareness of university leaders to this important topic. There are a number of annual reports that share current information regarding misconduct and the university’s efforts to address it on our campus.
    1. Annual reports on sexual misconduct (Record story)
    2. Annual DPSS Security and Fire Safety Report
    3. President and regents read all ECRT reports involving allegations of sexual harassment by an employee, as required by state law.
    4. Any complaints against ECRT staff would be handled by the executive vice president and chief financial officer.
    5. Elevation Process to Compliance Committee of the Board, Michigan Medicine.
  6. Staff and Student Support Supportive measures for those reporting misconduct have been added to serve students, staff and faculty.
    1. Staff Ombuds (Record story)
    2. Expanded Confidential Resources (Record story)
    3. Attorneys for students in sexual misconduct proceedings from investigation through hearings (Record story)
    4. Increased use of adaptable resolution (Record story)
    5. SAPAC: Added 1 additional case manager and advocate and added two new population specific Peer Led Support Groups (POC PLSG and LGBTQ+PLSG; our general PLSG group also meets twice a week).
    6. SAPAC and CAPS teamed up to create Survivor Care Team, a collaboration between SAPAC and CAPS to provide coordinated support for student survivors from SAPAC Advocate and CAPS counselor. (Record story)
  7. Training The university has significantly stepped up the amount of training offered to students, faculty and staff regarding misconduct prevention.
    1. CRLT’s Moving the Needle Series for Faculty and Faculty Leadership
    2. Trauma-Informed Response Training for Regents and executive leadership and all staff who handle sexual misconduct matters.
    3. New mandatory online course: “Cultivating a Culture of Respect: Sexual Harassment and Misconduct Awareness” (Record story)
    4. New prevention program for graduate students — Engendering Respectful Communities (SAPAC in collaboration with Rackham and Education Theater Co.) and new SAPAC graduate volunteer program, GROWE (Graduate Research, Outreach, Workshops, Evaluation)
    5. New Michigan Men Programming (SAPAC) focusing on socialization around gender, specifically masculinity, and its impacts on individuals, relationships, and communities.
    6. OSCR’s STARRSA (Science-based Treatment and Risk Reduction for Sexual Assault) Education Curriculum for Respondents.
    7. New Protection from Retaliation online module Being developed
    8. Online IRO (Individuals with Reporting Obligations) training being developed.
    9. Culture Change Curriculum – leader’s role in developing psychological safety and respect and the importance of reducing fear. Building Blocks of Positive Organizational Culture Series Overview
      • Culture Change Foundations
      • Building Blocks of Positive Organizational Culture
      • Creating Feedback Rich Environments
      • Driving Out Fear: Speaking Up and Preventing Retaliation
      • Responding to Employee Concerns and Complaints
    10. Michigan Medicine – Crucial Conversations Workshops
    11. Michigan Medicine – Preventing Harassment and Discrimination training
    12. Michigan Medicine – Stepping Up for Respect Series
    13. Michigan Medicine – Innocent Bystander training – Headlines article
    14. Michigan Medicine – Universal Skills training
  8. Culture change A campuswide working group has been developing plans for engaging the university community in an effort to “create an environment of mutual respect and accountability.”
    1. Convened Culture Change Values Identification Work Group (Record story)
    2. Created a visualization Word Cloud & top 10 bar graph of the most frequently used values across 23 schools, colleges and units.
    3. Delivered 23 Informational Sessions to schools, units, and groups across the Ann Arbor campus and Michigan Medicine since October 2021.
    4. Gathered feedback from 4,600 faculty and staff on the network of values and disconnect between stated values and the lived experience.
    5. Conducted 12 focus groups.
    6. Developed a comprehensive communication and engagement plan
      • Established a website: to support our goal of broad community engagement around our purpose and charge, our progress, and to provide feedback and hold us accountable
  9. Michigan Medicine Additionally, the university’s health system, Michigan Medicine, has been focused on related aspects of this work within the health-care environment.
    1. Updated Policy on Use of Chaperones During Sensitive Examinations and Procedures – Chaperone Policy
    2. Developed new Faculty Development offerings on remediating unprofessional behavior – Remediating Unprofessional Behavior Workshop series
    3. Developed new 360 values assessment for faculty annual review – Values 360 Tool for Department Chairs
    4. Developed leader toolkit on Creating a Comfortable & Safe Work Environment –
    5. Developed new onboarding strategy with new division leaders
    6. Initiated Michigan Medicine Culture of Accountability Advisory Group (CoAAG) to improve the culture for faculty, staff and learners –  CoAAG Charge
    7. Developed Stepping In for Respect training and promoted throughout campus – Headlines story
    8. Instituted “The Pediatric Commitment” that includes oversight, toolkit, use of national search firms when hiring faculty and staff.
    9. Focused on improved professionalism and civility in learning environment, reducing issues through education, better reporting mechanisms, discussions in multiple settings, and involvement of leadership.
    10. Provided education on Aberrant Behavior Allegation Response Guidelines –
  10. Athletics The university Department of Intercollegiate Athletics also has focused significant resources on addressing misconduct within the specific athletics environment.
    1. Chaperone policy (PDF)
    2. Revision of on-the-road practices for trainer and medical treatment services. No longer provided in hotel rooms, but in team meeting/meal/banquet rooms in separated but accessible spaces.
    3. Expanded vetting of outside medical consultants, e.g., chiropractors
    4. Expanded background checks, beyond new regular hires, to include temporary employees including student employees, interns, volunteers, and implemented guidelines to improve consistency and clarity of background check information (PDF)
    5. Implementation of zero tolerance policy regarding intimate, personal relationships between student-athletes and coaches/staff.(PDF)
  11. Division of Public Safety & Security
    1. Memorandum of Understanding between DPSS and ECRT to outline collaboration and partnership, including but not limited to: information-sharing, priorities, and timelines when criminal investigations overlap with investigations into university policy violations.
  12. University Health Service UHS is the on-campus health center where many students, as well  as faculty and staff, seek health care.
    1. Offers SANE Exams:
    2. Confidential electronic patient satisfaction survey offered after each clinical encounter during the academic year. Alternative ways of providing feedback are available also.
    3. ‘Opt-out’ chaperone policy in place for sensitive examinations.
    4. Chief of Gynecology and Sexual Health along with the Exec. Director of UHS co-chaired the ACHA task force on Sensitive Examinations in College Health (co-authored the ACHA white paper on Best Practices for Sensitive Examinations,
  13. Number of New employees (FTEs) The university has been adding significant numbers of new staff members in critical roles in order to better address misconduct on all levels, from prevention and education to investigations.
    1. ECRT: 7 new FTEs have been filled; 9 FTEs to be filled
      • Filled positions include: Deputy Title IX Coordinator created March 2021, Deputy for Outcomes filled October 2021, Deputy Title IX Coordinator Michigan Medicine filled February 2022, Director for Prevention, Education, Assistance and Resources (PEAR) filled February 2022, Equity Specialist filled September 2021, Assistant Director for Civil Rights filled November 2021, Deputy ADA Coordinator filled October 2021 (Record story)
      • Open positions include: Web/Communications Specialist, Administrative Support, Assistant Director PEAR, (3) PEAR Project Coordinators, Assistant Director for Support, Equity Specialist, Civil Rights Education Liasion
    2. EVPCFO, Staff Ombuds:
    3. 1 FTE Increase in faculty ombuds
    4. SAPAC: 2 new FTE — (1) Program Manager for Mens Engagement and Sexual Misconduct Prevention; and additional (2) Case Manager and Advocate
    5. Michigan Medicine 1557 Coordinator (1 FTE)
  14. Openness to Scrutiny and Recommendations for Improvements Outside expert review of university policies and processes has been an important layer of oversight.
    1. Hogan Marron
    2. WilmerHale: Philbert (Record story, key issues page)
    3. WilmerHale: Anderson (Record story, key issues page)
    4. Guidepost (Record story)
  15. U-M Sponsored Climate Surveys
    1. 2015, 2019 Sexual Misconduct Campus Climate Surveys (Details here)
    2. Participation in AAU Sexual Misconduct Climate Surveys (Details here)
  16. Faculty Leadership on Research and Practice
    1. Lilia Cortina, Anna Kirkland, and Tim Johnson were co-authors of the prestigious National Academy of Sciences report
    2. University of Michigan faculty and staff regularly present on best practices at highly visible NASEM conferences
    3. The CDC-funded Injury Prevention Center sponsored a one-day summit on prevention of sexual assault among students that produced a peer-reviewed paper on the state of prevention science in the United States
    4. In 2018 Elizabeth A. Armstrong and others hosted a three-day Michigan Meeting on the prevention of gender-based violence[AE2] that gathered 300 researchers and practitioners from many disciplines. This meeting was supported by many campus units.[AE3]
    5. The Institute for Research on Women and Gender hosts an interdisciplinary project: Initiative on Gender Based Violence and Sexual Harassment, that hosts events from the campus community, including events on U-M’s policy and practices.
    6. Reshma Jagsi is a national leader on studying sexual harassment in academic medicine
  17. Other Programmatic Efforts Deans of individual schools and colleges have initiated a range of efforts to improve culture and climate related to their individual units.
  18. Future Steps The work  continues as U-M strives to be a national leader among higher-education institutions in addressing misconduct.
    1. Code of conduct/statement of values
    2. CCRT Report with information about ongoing and completed work
    3. EIC survey
    4. Sexual Harassment survey for faculty and staff
    5. Complete Culture Journey work
    6. Anti-retaliation training
    7. Engagement with survivors
    8. Third-party review of Michigan Medicine Compliance Office
    9. Further build-out of the ECRT staffing and sub units.
    10. Ongoing development of additional prevention and education efforts for all aspects of the university community.
    11. Consideration of central compliance office-type structure.

The university has a variety of ways to report sexual and gender-based misconduct on campus, including:

Confidential consultation
Those who are uncertain about what reporting may mean for them are encouraged to seek confidential assistance, prior to reporting, listed out below:

U-M provides sexual assault awareness and prevention education as well as bystander training to all ​incoming students, and offers employees education and training to foster and maintain a welcoming, supportive, inclusive and diverse working and learning environment. Additional training  outlined here also includes:

News & Announcements

View all sexual misconduct stories on the University Record