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Michigan removes Mark Schlissel as university president

Schlissel is out.

University Of Michigan Press Conference Announcing Athletic Director David Brandon Resignation Photo by Joshua Lott/Getty Images

The University of Michigan Board of Regents removed U-M president Mark Schlissel after emails were uncovered detailing an inappropriate relationship with a university employee. The board named Mary Sue Coleman the interim president of the university.

Below is the statement from the Board of Regents, as well as a link to their letter to Schlissel, which details the allegations in further detail.

Board of Regents announcement

It is with great disappointment that we announce that the University of Michigan Board of Regents has removed Dr. Mark Schlissel as President of the University of Michigan, effective immediately. The Board has named former U-M president Mary Sue Coleman as Interim President and we have full confidence that she will provide the leadership our University community needs during this critical time of transition. The Board will affirm these actions during its Feb. 17 formal session.

On Dec. 8, 2021, via an anonymous complaint, we learned that Dr. Schlissel may have been involved in an inappropriate relationship with a University employee. After an investigation, we learned that Dr. Schlissel, over a period of years, used his University email account to communicate with that subordinate in a manner inconsistent with the dignity and reputation of the University.

In the interest of full public disclosure, we have released dozens of Dr. Schlissel’s communications that illustrate this inappropriate conduct, as well as the letter that we sent to Dr. Schlissel explaining our decision. All this information is available on the University’s website. Our community and our state deserve as complete an understanding of this situation as possible.

Interim President Coleman has the experience of leading this institution for 12 years and she will be supported by a strong team of trusted leaders, who understand and are committed to practicing the University’s values. We expect she will serve until a new President is named, perhaps as soon as this summer.

As has previously been communicated, we already had planned to start the search for the next President in the coming year and that process has now been accelerated. We will provide updates to the University community as this process takes shape.

Each one of us, as members of the Board of Regents, aspire to create an environment where everyone in our community is able to thrive and achieve their best work, and where all feel safe and respected.

We understand the decisions announced today are unexpected and this kind of abrupt change can be especially difficult. We take our constitutional role as a governing board seriously and we all agree that this decision is in the best interest of the University we care about so deeply.

With sincere appreciation.

Members of the University of Michigan Board of Regents:

Jordan B. Acker, chair

Michael J. Behm

Mark J. Bernstein

Paul W. Brown, vice chair

Sarah Hubbard

Denise Ilitch

Ron Weiser

Katherine E. White

To read the U-M Board of Regents email to Schlissel, Click Here.