To the University Community:
The University of Michigan is a vibrant community. Vibrancy can best be sustained where everyone embraces the values of mutual support so fully that sexual and gender-based misconduct becomes inconceivable.
This has not always been the case at our university. Indeed, failure from some to live up to the standard of mutual support has persisted over decades and for that reason, communal trust has been shaken. The hurt that too many have experienced has made me very sad and even more committed to listening to individuals during my tenure as president. I have met with faculty and staff experts and Guidepost Solutions, the firm helping us with our work. I have heard from students about the need for change. Every conversation is based on the idea that each of us must do more to reduce misconduct and its traumatic consequences. I fully agree.
Sadly, issues of sexual and gender-based misconduct are not limited to U-M. During my time as president of the Association of American Universities, we implemented two iterations of the largest survey then ever conducted on U.S. campuses to document sexual misconduct and assault. These are issues that American society must address in a variety of institutional contexts. The results were sobering, but unless we understand the complexity of the problem, we have no hope of devising effective solutions. As we learn, we must improve, always.
I am fully committed to ensuring the safety and well-being of everyone in our community and to earning your trust through accountability when untoward incidents do occur. This is my highest priority. I am certain this pledge extends from our Regents and our Equity, Civil Rights and Title IX Office professionals to every student, faculty, staff member and visitor.
I encourage you to join in these vital efforts and in our overall work to improve our culture. We owe this pledge to each other and to all who will be part of our university in the future.
Mary Sue Coleman