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CMU suspends two employees over connections to accused Lansing consultant

Vanguard Public Affairs

Central Michigan University has placed two employees on administrative leave over concerns that they knew about sexual harassment alleged to have been directed at CMU students interning at a consulting firm in Lansing.

CMU president Bob Davies said he learned of the allegations of harassment by T.J. Bucholz, the president and managing partner of Vanguard Public Affairs and a CMU alumnus, early this week.

“What I learned angered me,” Davies said.

“A faculty member may have contributed to this in terms of sending students there, and also a staff member may have known about” the harassment but not reported it, he said.

Bucholz acknowledged sending female employees text messages describing their attractiveness. Other employees, including CMU graduates, said Bucholz talked about his sex life and commented on women’s bodies at work.

Neither Bucholz nor his company responded to emailed questions on Friday. He told the Detroit Free Press, “For those who I have offended with my comments in the past, I sincerely apologize and can only say that I will continue to work to make amends with those I have hurt and live my life in a more honest and forthright way.”

CMU students have been interning at Vanguard for years. Davies said the university had hired legal counsel to investigate, “not only to discover what happened, but also to identify steps CMU can take to ensure our students are appropriately supported throughout their CMU journey.” 

Davies said he cannot publicly identify the two employees who are on administrative leave or the law firm the university has hired to investigate.

He encouraged students who have experienced harassment to contact the university’s Office of Civil Rights and Institutional Equity at 989-774-3253 and noted the school has confidential resources for students seeking support.

Central Michigan University holds WCMU public media’s broadcast license. WCMU News reports on CMU as we would any institution.

Brett joined WCMU in February, 2021, as a general assignment reporter. He was previously the health reporter at WXXI Public Broadcasting in Rochester, N.Y., and has filed stories for National Public Radio, IEEE Spectrum, The Village Voice and other outlets.
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