ANN ARBOR, Mich. (WXYZ) — Thursday was the first time the University of Michigan Board of Regents met in person since the pandemic started. As a result, some who say they are victims of former University of Michigan Dr. Robert Anderson wanted to speak to the board in person.
Dr. Anderson retired from the university in 2003 and died in 2008. He is accused of abusing students and athletes while working as a doctor for the university, often under the guise of medical treatments.
The group of alleged victims says this is one of the biggest sex scandals in history, with about 900 alleged victims in mediation with the university. The says few are taking it seriously enough.
They demonstrated outside the University of Michigan Board of Regents meeting calling for actions recognizing what they say they suffered.
As a university investigation confirmed, administrators were told repeatedly about allegations of Dr. Robert Anderson’s sexual abuse during his tenure from 1966 to 2003 and failed to act.
“I wrote a letter that was ignored and because of that anyone younger than me should not be here today,” said Tad DeLuca, a UM wrestler who says he reported abuse in 1975.
“You can apologize all you want for what Dr. Robertson subjected us to, but you have never taken responsibility for what the university was complicit with, what it enabled, and what it has been covering up,” said Jon Vaughn, who played football with the university until 1990.
“There are so many victims. I am seeing them today and it is not just athletes,” said Chuck Christian.
Christian started playing with the University of Michigan in 1977 says the consequences are real. He says due to abuse he suffered he refused to go to the doctor when he had symptoms of prostate cancer.
“The cancer metastasized and spread throughout my body and I don’t know how much time I have now,” said Christian.
“We heard from you that elements of our former policy were adding to the distrust and confusion felt by many. We want everyone to know where they can turn for support and there is a process for when a report is made and all reports are taken seriously,” said Mark Schlissel, University of Michigan President.
During the board of regents meeting, they announced a new U-M Policy on Sexual and Gender-Based Misconduct. It makes more people mandated reporters and creates a process for an external review, aiming to make sure this doesn’t happen again.
People who say they are victims responded during public comment, saying they are hoping the University now takes action to settle with them and recognize what happened to them.