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CMU says report clears educators, but inquiry shows student reported 'toxic environment'

Dave Boucher, Detroit Free Press on

Published in News & Features

A March report in the Free Press cited five former staffers who said for years Bucholz sexually harassed employees of his firm. Emily Dievendorf, an LGBTQ activist and civil rights consultant, also said Bucholz sexually harassed her when they both worked on a Democratic gubernatorial campaign in 2010.

Shortly thereafter, CMU faculty and staff members were accused of possibly sending students to work with Bucholz despite knowing of the allegedly hostile environment.

The investigators indicated it was not necessary to determine whether Bucholz committed harassment or misconduct because the investigation centered on what CMU knew.

"Even so, multiple witnesses described matters at Vanguard that were consistent with the harassment and objectification of women," the report states.

In a brief phone interview Wednesday, Bucholz said he has repeatedly apologized for any comments he might have made to former staff members that might have made them uncomfortable. He also said he believes some of the comments attributed to him have been "conflated out of proportion."

"No pipeline ever existed between my company and the university. It was just a, you know, a casual, 'if you have intern candidates I'd be interested in looking at them,'" Bucholz said.


"I took pride in my relationship with my alma mater and tried to act accordingly."

Honigman investigators spoke with Wojcik, Coons, Clark, Bucholz and 49 other witnesses. They also reviewed 42,000 emails, text messages and other documents. The school paid $550,000 for the investigation, conducted at least in part by Matthew Schneider, the former U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Michigan.

Schneider and Bucholz went to high school in Frankenmuth together — something not mentioned in the Honigman report — but CMU previously stated Schneider disclosed this and officials did not believe there was a conflict. Davies and Studley reiterated their faith in Schneider on Wednesday.

'She cried on the way home from work every day'


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