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University of Michigan agrees to additional sexual misconduct settlement

 University of Michigan students sign a board during a protest to support Robert Anderson survivors on Oct. 13, 2021.
Nisa Khan
/
University of Michigan students sign a board during a protest to support Robert Anderson survivors on Oct. 13, 2021.

The University of Michigan has agreed to a settlement in response to a class-action lawsuit alleging the university does not adequately protect students from sexual misconduct. The lawsuit, filed by U of M student Josephine Graham, claims the university does not maintain sufficient policies and procedures for preventing sexual misconduct on campus.

As part of the settlement, the university will create a Coordinated Community Response Team. Comprised of about 30 members — including Title IX experts, students and other community members — the group is meant to protect community members from sexual abuse.

The university recently announced a $490 million settlement with survivors of abuse by former athletic doctor Robert Anderson, who was employed by the school for over three decades. These two settlements are separate.

In a statement from the university’s Office of Public Affairs, President Mary Sue Coleman expressed support for the newly formed CCRT. Coleman was recently appointed after former university president Mark Schlissel was fired for an inappropriate relationship with a university employee.

“The creation of the Coordinated Community Response Team is another important step toward our vision of becoming a national leader in protecting our community from inappropriate behavior and sexual misconduct,” Coleman said. “The structure of the team, which includes leadership from outside the university, will give a voice to all members of our community who have a perspective to share on this vital effort.”

The CCRT will be co-chaired by Title IX expert Rebecca Veidlinger, U of M sociology professor Sandra Levitsky and executive director of the university’s Equity, Civil Rights and Title IX Office, Tamiko Strickman.

The group will meet at least three times a year and regularly share updates with the university president and community. Additional details will likely be released as they are approved by the court.

Editor's note: U of M holds Michigan Radio's broadcast license.

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Emma Ruberg