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University President Mark Schlissel fired following investigation

In a closed-door meeting on Saturday morning, the University of Michigan's Board of Regents fired school president, Mark Schlissel, with cause.

According to a report by the Detroit Free Press, the eighth-year president received a termination letter from the board detailing its decision for immediate action following the discovery of Schlissel's relationship with a subordinate.

"(Schlissel's conduct) was 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. For example, with regard to the actions of Martin Philbert, on August 3, 2020, you sent an email to the entire University of Michigan community, writing that: 'The highest priority for our regents and leadership team is to make our community safe for all.'
— Written in Schlissel's termination letter, according to the Detroit Free Press

Following an investigation into his conduct, the board said in an announcement retained by the Freep that, "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."

Included with the letter to Schlissel, the board shared a number of emails with its former president.

In an excerpt from the Detroit Free Press report, the board shared a number of emails that caused Schlissel to be terminated.

In a letter to Schlissel notifying him of the firing, the board revealed those emails, including:

"On July 1, 2021, you exchanged emails with the subordinate using your University of Michigan email. In this exchange, she states that her "heart hurts" to which you respond "I know. mine too." You state that "this is my fault" and that you are "in pain too." You finish with "I still wish I were strong enough to find a way."

'On January 9, 2021, you responded to an email from the subordinate's official University of Michigan email address. In her email, the subordinate had said "Oh yes!" In your response, you wrote: "Love it when you say that." You made a similar remark in an email dated April 25, 2020. O

n September 1, 2021, you wrote to the subordinate's official University email address and referred to her as "sexier."

On November 4, 2021, you emailed the subordinate with regard to a University of Michigan basketball game you were scheduled to attend as part of your official duties as President. In that email you expressed disappointment that you were potentially not sitting with the subordinate, stating "the only reason I agreed to go was to go with you. there is a conspiracy against me."

On December 3, 2021, you responded to the subordinate regarding the Big Ten Championship "President's Suite briefing Info" stating that "You can give me a private briefing."

The board took immediate action in firing Schlissel on Saturday. It appointed longtime former president Mary Sue Coleman as the University's interim president.

Schlissel was under heat in his final years as school president for a number of reasons, including his work with the athletic programs. Following an extension three years prior, Schlissel announced in 2021 that he would step down in 2023, a year before his contract expired in 2024.

You can read the full report from the Detroit Free Press here.


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