UM regent talks next steps after provost sexual misconduct claims

One University of Michigan regent is outlining the next steps after the school's provost was put on leave due to sexual misconduct allegations.

"This whole thing is really, really sad," said UM Regent Jordan Acker.

Provost Martin A. Philbert was put on administrative leave as the university conducts an investigation into sexual misconduct allegations. Per a university statement, the school received multiple allegations of sexual misconduct by Philbert, who has been at the university since 2011. 

The university hired an outside law firm to investigate the allegations and Philbert was told not to report to work during that time. On Tuesday, he was officially placed on leave while the investigation continues.

"There is an ongoing independent investigation by Wilmer Hale based out of Washington, D.C. These folks are really good at their job. They're really good with these kinds of investigations so I'm gonna let them play out," Acker said.

When asked if there is more than one survivor: "I can't speak to that," Acker said.

The official says UM will be transparent with the facts but at the right time, which is not now. 

RELATED: University of Michigan provost put on leave after sexual misconduct allegations

"Whenever you're dealing with a situation where there are serious questions of sexual misconduct that the person is removed campus immediately so the threat for safety is taken right away," he said.

Philbert will continue to collect his salary of over a half-million dollars per university policy. Appointed provost in 2017, he has been with the university for 22 years and has tenure.

"In this kind of situation Charlie, there are bad actors out there. There are bad actors no matter what field you go into, the important thing is you handle them correctly," Acker said.

Acker says the university is correctly conducting an independent investigation, planning on discussing its findings in an open meeting, and talking to survivors.

"We are transparent, and we make sure that our campus community is safe for everyone," he said. "I have the utmost confidence in our administration every single day making sure that the University of Michigan, it remains not just the leader in public education nationally, but making sure that we are the leader what it comes to campus safety."

The next public meeting of the UM regents is February 20.