The University of Michigan (UM) announced the removal of President Mark Schlissel after receiving an anonymous tip that Schlissel was inappropriately involved with another university employee.
School officials released a statement on the UM website disclosing that Schlissel used his university email account to converse with his subordinate “in a manner inconsistent with the dignity and reputation of the University.”
The school went public with 118 pages of redacted email exchanges between Schlissel and the employee, referred to as Individual 1, which “illustrate this inappropriate conduct.”
According to one of the emails, Schlissel called the employee “sexier” and had told her that she could give him “a private briefing” during the Big Ten championship game last month.
UM also released the termination letter sent to Schlissel. In the three-page document, the school clarified that Schissel has 30 days to step down and vacate the president’s house on campus.
‘Celebrating His Departure’
CNBC reported that the issue follows previous reports about boardroom tension at UM. Schlissel announced last October that he would resign from his post by June 2023, while the board said that the initial complaint regarding the affair was brought to their attention last December.
Members of the UM community have expressed their satisfaction with the news. Professors Rebekah Modrak and Silke-Maria Weineck view the termination as a step in the right direction since Schlissel has generated controversy and consternation during his tenure.
“I and many others are celebrating his departure and glad to see him leaving because he was not responsive to students, faculty and staff and promoted [former UM Provost Martin] Philbert to the chief officer even after reading allegations against him,” Modrak told The Detroit News.
UM has chosen former president, Mary Sue Coleman, to act as interim president until the board decides on a new leader.
“While saddened by the circumstances, I am honored to be asked to again serve the University of Michigan. When I left the U-M campus at the end of my presidency in 2014, I said serving this great university was the most rewarding experience of my professional life. I’m happy to serve again in this important interim role,” she said in a statement.