The University Insider is The Daily’s first faculty and staff-oriented newsletter. This weekly newsletter will give U-M faculty and staff the ability to see the most important issues on campus and in Ann Arbor — particularly those related to administrative decisions — from the perspective of an independent news organization. It will also provide a better understanding of student perspectives.
Content Warning: This article contains mentions of sexual assault.
Robert Stone and Keith Moree, two survivors of late former University of Michigan doctor Robert Anderson, spoke at a press conference Tuesday morning to discuss the impact Anderson’s abuse had on them and what they want to see from the University administration following the recent firing of former University President Mark Schlissel. Stone and Moree graduated in 1971 and 1981, respectively; both are gay men who went to Anderson for treatment at the University Health Service while he was a physician.
Stone recalled his experience with Anderson as “traumatizing,” sticking with him for over half a century.
“I went there and I was sexually assaulted in the course of that examination,” Stone said. “I remembered when I walked out of that exam room I was so disgusted and I was so angry, and I’m still angry.”
The survivors also blamed the University for its inaction following reports of sexual misconduct. Moree accused administrators of focusing on its image instead of its students.
“The University has long shown more concern and care for its brand than for the well-being of its students,” Moree said. “The University of Michigan has clearly demonstrated that it wants to do the minimum possible so that it can get out of the mess that it’s made.”
The survivors then discussed Schlissel, whose Saturday firing prompted members of the campus community to draw parallels between his relationship with a subordinate and systemic problems surrounding sexual misconduct at the University.
Stone said Schlissel’s relationship was particularly egregious given his adamance regarding the University’s modified subordinate relationship policy.
“I specifically remember last summer Schlissel came forward and it was introducing this new change and the roles at the University of Michigan that that staff was not to have ever had any sexual relationships with subordinates,” Stone said. “He was so affirmative and so sure that this was the way it was going to be from now on while he was having an affair with a subordinate.”
The survivors also said they want the next president to be younger and a member of the LGBTQ community.
Moree said he is optimistic for President Emerita Mary Sue Coleman to take over as interim president.
“With a new president in place, the University has a fresh opportunity to make restitution to those it has harmed, to replace a culture of hypocrisy at the highest levels, with one of centering student well being and to promote healing in the university community,” Moree said.
Daily Staff Reporter Matthew Shanbom can be reached at email@example.com