University of Michigan Fires President Over Inappropriate Employee Relationship

The University of Michigan fired Mark Schlissel as its president on Jan. 15, following an investigation into an inappropriate relationship he had with a subordinate.

The Board of Regents announced that it has removed Schlissel after they investigated an anonymous complaint made in December that alleged that he was involved in a sexual affair with another employee.

The Regents found that Schlissel used his official university email to communicate with a subordinate “in a manner inconsistent with the dignity and reputation of the University.”

“Your conduct… is particularly egregious considering your knowledge of and involvement in addressing incidents of harassment by University of Michigan personnel, and your declared commitment to work to ‘free’ the University community of sexual harassment or other improper conduct,” the Regents wrote in its dismissal letter to Schlissel.

The Regents published 118 pages of the emails between Schlissel and the subordinate, whose name was redacted, that dated as far back as September 2019 “in the interest of full public disclosure.”

In one 2019 email, Schlissel sent the subordinate an article from The New Yorker titled, “Sexual Fantasies of Everyday New Yorkers.”

In a May 2020 email, Schlissel forwarded an email from a hotel chain to the subordinate and wrote “Nice memories.”

In July 2021, the subordinate sent a email saying her “heart hurts” and Schlissel replied, “I know. Mine too.”

Some emails contained receipts for takeout orders from local pizza shops and Indian restaurants.

Schlissel, who had been president since 2014, previously announced plans to step down in June 2023.

Schlissel’s termination came less than a year after he fired his provost Martin Philbert, following misconduct allegations from dozens of women.

The Regents appointed former University President Mary Sue Coleman as interim president said they expect to name a new president by summer.


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