University of Michigan president will establish new office for campus compliance, ethics

Full Q&A with new University of Michigan President Dr. Santa Ono

ANN ARBOR – University of Michigan president Santa Ono announced the school will be creating a new compliance office for all three of the school’s campuses, including Michigan Medicine.

Titled the Ethics, Integrity, and Compliance Services Office, it will address areas of concern, issues of compliance, examine processes, trends and overall ethics on campus.

The announcement comes as Ono takes office following a series of sexual misconduct scandals and allegations involving high ranking officials at the university.

The office will be led by a “highly qualified ethics, integrity and compliance officer,” according to a U-M release.

The office will report on a regular basis the Board of Regents and will also report to the president, the vice president and general counsel in a dual reporting structure.

“I’ve heard the concerns about how we address compliance and prevent issues of misconduct on campus,” Ono said during his first Board of Regents meeting on Oct. 20. “I see this new office as an opportunity to widen our focus on an institutional basis. I want it to support the many efforts already underway and the staff who do this important work every day.”

In cases involving complaints against the president or a member of his office staff, the Ethics, Integrity, and Compliance Services Office will report independently and directly to the vice president, general counsel and the regents.

Ono said the office will not have the power to conduct investigations and it will not review decisions or hear case appeals by Human Resources, deans, the Equity, Civil Rights and Title IX Office and others.

In developing the office, officials will be collecting input from the school community over the next few months which will be presented to the Board of Regents.

“I need to hear from the community about how best to structure this office. Over the next months, I will be listening to deans, executive officers, faculty, and the broader university community to help inform my decisions,” Ono said in a statement.

“We’ve made important progress, and a central compliance office will be one more step toward keeping our community safe. All this work makes a positive difference.”

At the Oct. 20 meeting, several regents praised Ono for the new office.

“This office, combined with the many other recommendations that have been implemented, will create a comprehensive approach to addressing misconduct and other matters,” Board of Regents Chair Paul Brown said.

Regent Denise Ilitch said the announcement and “President Ono’s leadership give me enormous confidence in our future.”

About the Author:

Meredith has worked for WDIV since August 2017 and was voted one of Washtenaw County's best journalists in 2019 by eCurrent's readers. She covers the community of Ann Arbor and has a Master's degree in International Broadcast Journalism from City University London, UK.