Regent remarks about the appointment of Mark Schlissel


Remarks by U-M regents regarding the appointment of Dr. Mark S. Schlissel as the 14th president of the university:

Regent Mark J. Bernstein

Today is a great day for the University of Michigan. Right now, every part of our university faces transformative opportunities and challenges. Mark Schlissel is uniquely qualified to successfully lead us during this unique moment in our long history. His proven leadership in education, research and medicine touch the core functional missions of our university. He shares our passion for the essential role of public universities in solving the world’s most important and complex problems.

I look forward to working with Mark to address the challenges of affordability, access and diversity. In addition to his impressive background and extraordinary intellect, Mark is a man of great integrity, humility and kindness. I am eager to work together. It is a great privilege to welcome him to the University of Michigan.

Regent Julia Donovan Darlow

I want to take a minute to express our appreciation to Mary Sue Coleman for her role in creating a near perfect environment for our recruitment of a new President. While we will have many opportunities to thank her for her extraordinary contributions to this university as she completes her term, and while this is Mark Schlissel’s moment, we should recognize that President Coleman gave us the luxury of time to conduct our search as carefully and thoroughly as possible and the luxury of choosing among an amazing group of eager, splendid, brilliant candidates because of the great status and stability this university has achieved under her leadership.

As to the wonderful incoming president presented today, I believe that Mark’s deeply probing, visionary mind, his commitment to the values this university cherishes, including diversity and access, his compassionate nature and the breadth and depth of his experience will enable this greatest of public universities to preserve its heritage and to meet the challenges of the future at the highest level.

President-Elect Mark Schlissel poses with the Board of Regents. Back row, from left: Andrew Richner, Andrea Fischer Newman, Schlissel, Laurence Deitch and Katherine White. Front row, from left: Mark Bernstein, Shauna Diggs, Julia Donovan Darlow and Denise Ilitch. (Photo by Scott C. Soderberg, Michigan Photography)

Regent Laurence B. Deitch

I am enormously excited about Mark Schlissel becoming the next president of the University of Michigan. He brings great intellect, academic achievement, proven leadership skills, integrity, commitment to our public mission and values, decency and good humor to his new responsibilities. We were privileged to have a pool of extraordinary candidates. Mark was simply the “best of the best.” I look forward to our future.

Regent Shauna Diggs

When we began our search process for our new president in March, we began with an introspective assessment of our needs and discussed our goals for the next decade.We desired a university achieving academic excellence in our undergraduate colleges, graduate programs and professional schools,

A university attracting bright youth with drive and intellectual curiosity and then enabling them to join our community regardlessof socioeconomic status, race, ethnicity, circumstance or lack of opportunity,

A university providing a supportive educational and social environment for those very students with an accepting and encouraging culture on campus with resources available,

A university attracting innovative, accomplished faculty and supporting their teaching and research efforts within their disciplines and interdisciplinary,

A university practicing fiscal responsibility respecting the investments by our students, their families, our state and our donors, allowing monies to be spent towards our primary academic mission,

A university contributing to knowledge and translating it into health, economic, and social benefits for citizens of our city, our state, our nation and the world.

We desired a president who would articulate a vision and develop a strategy to accomplish it. We found this person in our next President Dr. Mark Schlissel. He is an academic scholar, a thoughtful and strategic leader, and an empathetic contemplative person. I am proud to have him lead us into the future.

Welcome to our next President — Dr. Mark Schlissel.

Regent Denise Ilitch

The presidential search process was a first for me. It was an extremely rewarding and enriching experience. What a privilege to meet so many devoted higher education professionals that are committed to providing academic excellence and preparing the world’s future leaders.

Dr. Schlissel’s qualifications are unquestionable and so in situations such as this, the selection falls on character, values and fit. What set Dr. Schlissel apart from the other highly qualified candidates (for me) was his heart.

As a parent first and foremost, I am confident that Dr. Schlissel will lead with our students’ welfare as his top priority.

Dr. Schlissel understands our mission and will work tirelessly to continue our academic and research excellence, our passionate desire for access and affordability and a learning environment that is inclusive and promotes diversity.

It is a rare combination to find a person who brings compassion and kindness with brains and brawn!

Welcome to the University of Michigan! I also want to acknowledge and welcome a talented lawyer in her own right, Monica Schwebs.

Regent Andrea Fischer Newman

This is an exciting time for the University of Michigan.  Mark Schlissel brings an exceptional portfolio of scholarship and leadership, and just as importantly a tremendous commitment to Michigan’s public ethos. I am confident Mark will lead the university into its next century focused on our deepest ideals of world-class academic excellence and public impact.

Regent Andrew C. Richner

In Mark Schlissel, we have found a brilliant academic leader who has the vision to build on the University of Michigan’s standing as one of the world’s great institutions of higher education. Mark understands and embraces the mission of our public research university and the important role it plays in the future lives of our students and in the future of our state. He is superbly qualified to guide us into our third century. We welcome him and look forward to working with him.

Regent Katherine E. White

As part of the Presidential Search Process, the Presidential Search Advisory Committee engaged in listening sessions with our communities on all three campuses, including faculty, staff, students and alumni. Throughout this process we learned a great deal about what qualities, experiences, and values you desire in the next President of the University of Michigan. In particular, I want to recognize the Central Student Government University Council Committee for consolidating the student perspectives in an outstanding report that gave us much guidance throughout our process. Thanks, again, to President Mike Proppe for your exceptional leadership through this process, and thanks to Vice President Bobby Dishell for your exceptional leadership role as well.

The messages we heard were concerns about the affordability regarding the cost of attendance at the University of Michigan, concerns about having a diverse campus across all levels, faculty, staff, and students, but also to promote a climate that fosters inclusion so that everyone can thrive.

Top of mind was also maintaining and improving academic prestige, and the need for fundraising efforts to positively impact each and every student. Importantly, we also heard from graduate students who have unique concerns separate from those of undergraduates. At the Flint and Dearborn campuses, we heard about the desire for deeper collaboration, engagement, partnerships, and leveraging of resources across and between the campuses. Throughout this process, your voices have been heard.  And, most importantly, the listening continues.

I am pleased to report that, in addition to being a thoughtful leader having extraordinary experience in higher education at the highest levels, President-Elect Mark Schlissel is an outstanding listener. He has demonstrated that he listens and solicits input from the campus community including fostering a diverse and inclusive campus environment. He is recognized as a highly rated scholar and teacher. Having both an M.D. and a Ph.D., he has experience at the lab bench. He has won numerous awards as a researcher and teacher. He has experience as an academic administrator at virtually every level. We look forward to our continued conversations as the listening continues.


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