Sexual misconduct survivors: We hear you and we value you

Nov. 11, 2021

To the university community:

As president of the University of Michigan, I have great respect for the members of our community who are gathering and speaking out to raise awareness regarding sexual misconduct. Misconduct, whether it takes place now or took place in the past, must never be tolerated.

I want each member of our university community to know that the dedication and input of students, faculty, staff and alumni – especially those who are survivors of abuse – are the driving forces behind our vision and plans for a campus that is safe for everyone.

Additionally, I have been invited to attend the Nov. 13 “Survivors Speak up” event at the Michigan League. To keep the focus on hearing directly from survivors of abuse, I will not be attending in person. However, I will be listening to this event online and will continue to listen to all those in our community who want to make U-M a safer place for all.

Listening to sexual misconduct survivors is key to taking appropriate next steps. We’ve heard directly from several Anderson survivors at meetings of the Board of Regents, through media reports, during campus protests and through other more direct messages. We thank them for their bravery in coming forward, sharing their deeply personal and painful stories through public comment sessions, with investigators, in the news media and during campus protests.

The university also will continue to meet in mediation with the attorneys the Anderson survivors have hired to represent them, and we will continue to heed the direction of the federal judge overseeing that process not to discuss details of the claims or the settlement process outside of formal mediation sessions.

At the same time, the university continues to implement new policies, processes and procedures in order to make our campus safer for every member of the university community.

We all remain committed to becoming a campus where every member of our community feels safe. We understand we must do better and we are committed to doing the work – hand in hand with our university community – to head in that direction.

To all who are speaking out – we hear you and we value you. Thank you again for coming forward.

Mark S. Schlissel,