University of Michigan investigates ‘disturbing’ sexual misconduct allegations against former physician

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ANN ARBOR, Mich. – The University of Michigan says it has investigated “disturbing and very serious” sexual misconduct allegations made against a now deceased former physician.

The former physician, Robert E. Anderson, was a former director of University Health Service and a former athletic team physician, worked at U-M from 1968 until his retirement in 2003. He died in 2008.

The investigation comes after a U-M Police investigation that began in July 2018 when a former student athlete wrote to Athletic Director Warde Manuel to detail abuse during medical exams by Anderson in the early 1970s.

The University of Michigan is asking any former patients Anderson who believe they were subjected to sexual misconduct during a medical exam to contact the U-M Compliance Hotline at 866-990-0111.

The former patients describe sexual misconduct and unnecessary medical exams. Most of those exams took place in the 1970s, with at least one reported incident as late as the 1990s.

"The allegations that were reported are disturbing and very serious," said U-M President Mark Schlissel. "We promptly began a police investigation and cooperated fully with the prosecutor's office.

“As part of our commitment to understanding what happened and inform any changes we might need to make, we now are taking the next step to reach out to determine who else might be affected or have additional information to share. Every person in our community should expect to feel safe and supported.”

Earlier this year, University of Michigan provost Martin A. Philbert was placed on administrative leave as the school conducts an investigation with an external law firm into sexual misconduct allegations.

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