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University reinstates journalism faculty and staff members after 22 weeks of investigation


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The CMU seal sits in front of Warriner Hall Jan. 8.

A five-month investigation into three people tied to the university's journalism program has seemingly come to an end, but many questions remain.

Central Michigan University has ended the paid-academic leave and reinstated Department of Journalism fixed-term faculty members Steve Coon and Jim Wojcik and Central Michigan Life adviser Dave Clark.

Clark and Coon were placed on leave at the end of March following an investigation launched by the university. A few weeks later, on April 12, Wojcik was also placed on leave.

On March 24, the Detroit Free Press published testimonies from five women who accused Vanguard Public Affairs president and managing partner T.J. Bucholz, a 1994 CMU alumnus, of sexual harassment.

At the time, Coon was listed on Vanguard's website as a consultant. The site has since been taken down.

"We have learned of a connection to one of our current faculty members; immediately upon learning of these allegations, we removed the faculty member from their duties and instructed them to have no contact with any CMU students, faculty or staff," President Bob Davies said in a March 26 press release. "We also are investigating a report involving a member of the staff who may have had knowledge of the situation." 

The university hired Matthew Schneider, a former U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan, of Honigman, LLP to lead the independent investigation.

The investigation is not complete yet.

"Based on the information we’ve seen so far, we’ve made the decision to reinstate the individuals," said John Veilleux, vice president for University Communications. "The investigation is wrapping up and the report will be forthcoming at that time."

CM Life reached out to Wojcik and Coon for comment on this story. Wojcik has declined comment and Coon has not responded. 

"As a CMU employee and alumnus, I support the university's commitment to protecting our students," Clark said. "I hope that sometime in the future President Davies and I can sit down and discuss the past 22 weeks and talk about how we could improve communication and procedure.” 

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