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U-M gets apology from ex-president, gives him job, cash

A former president at the University of Michigan who was fired over a relationship with a subordinate has apologized to the school’s governing board
University of Michigan President Mark Schlissel announces that athletic director Dave Brandon...
University of Michigan President Mark Schlissel announces that athletic director Dave Brandon resigned during a news conference in Ann Arbor, Mich., Friday, Oct. 31, 2014. Former Steelcase CEO Jim Hackett will serve as Michigan's interim athletic director. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya) (WILX)
Published: May. 12, 2022 at 2:03 PM CDT
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ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — A former president at the University of Michigan who was fired over a relationship with a subordinate apologized to the school’s governing board as part of a settlement that guarantees him a faculty job, retiree health insurance and other benefits.

Mark Schlissel, 64, who was suddenly removed in January, is entitled to $463,000 while taking a one-year leave, starting May 1, The Detroit News reported Thursday.

He can return as a faculty scientist at a salary of $185,000, according to the six-page deal signed in April.

The Board of Regents fired Schlissel after nearly eight years, saying an investigation found that his interactions with a female employee were "inconsistent with promoting the dignity and reputation of the University of Michigan.”

Schlissel acknowledged “poor judgment” in an April 6 letter to the board.

“The relationship was entirely consensual, was never physical, and did not involve the inappropriate spending of university resources,” he said. “But in a time when we have been trying to strengthen the bonds of trust at the university, it is particularly important that campus leaders avoid even an appearance of impropriety."

The university agreed to immediately vest $300,000 placed in Schlissel's retirement plan in 2020 and 2021, plus put an additional $162,000 into another retirement account.

Before his dismissal, Schlissel had planned to step down in June 2023. His predecessor, Mary Sue Coleman, is back as president until a successor is hired.