Schlissel says he will end U-M presidency in June 2023


University of Michigan President Mark Schlissel announced Oct. 5 that he will end his service as president in June 2023, one year earlier than his previously announced appointment.

Schlissel, who came to U-M in 2014, said the announcement will “support a smooth and thoughtful leadership transition for the university.”

Mark Schlissel

“This is the eighth year of my presidency and an important time to strategically consider the future of our university,” the president said in an email message to the university community. “We are emerging from an historic global pandemic and adjusting to new and still evolving ways of working, learning and living, both as individuals and as a university.

“We’re planning our next fundraising campaign and developing the longer-term strategies that will continue to drive our academic excellence and enhance our societal impact. And we’re working on our campus culture and climate to help us to live up to our highest ideals,” the president wrote.

“Each of these important priorities will require commitment and leadership that extends into the next decade and beyond.”

He said his announcement now, with a departure still 20 months away, gives the Board of Regents “time to consult with our community, think about the future and thoroughly plan and conduct a search for my successor, while allowing us to continue momentum on important and time-critical efforts that are underway.”

The president and regents finalized the revised timeline last month. Schlissel is the university’s 14th president since its founding in 1817.

“I appreciate the leadership of President Schlissel throughout his term and know that he is going to continue to work hard to advance our great institution,” said Regent Jordan Acker, chair of the Board of Regents.

“As the president indicated, in due course the board will come together to discuss how we will consult our community, think about the future and thoroughly plan a search for the next leader of the university.”

Schlissel, who will outline his plans for the coming year at his annual Leadership Address on Oct. 7, said the important work of students, faculty and staff ­— supported by alumni, donors and others — is what “keeps me energized and passionate about this university.”

“The work we do matters,” Schlissel said.

Regent Mark Bernstein said U-M “has never been stronger and that is a result of President Schlissel’s strong, steady leadership during extraordinarily challenging times. 

“He championed the Go Blue Guarantee that makes our university more affordable for Michigan families, and his commitment to carbon neutrality makes our university a leader in combating climate change. Just one of these successes would justify recognition as one of the most successful presidents in our history, but there are many more accomplishments to celebrate.

“Perhaps most importantly, especially at this moment in our society, President Schlissel leads our university with integrity, decency and compassion,” Bernstein said. “Of course, there is much more to be done in the coming years, and I’m eager to run full speed through the finish line with him.” 

Regent Ron Weiser said, “I have enjoyed working with the president for more than four years and I look forward to continuing to work with him during the next two years. While we have had some differences of opinion, he has done an extraordinary job of leading our institution during a difficult time.”

Schlissel said he was “very proud of all the university has accomplished thus far during my term as president and remain excited about what we are currently planning for the years ahead.

“Thanks to you, U-M is addressing major societal challenges such as poverty, firearm injury prevention, inequality, human health and the climate crisis with interdisciplinary strength. We’ve enhanced affordability on all of our campuses through the Go Blue Guarantee, expanded the reach of our world-class health care, and set a record for private support of a public university,” he wrote in his message to the university community.

“But as long as challenges remain in our society, the University of Michigan’s work will remain unfinished. I’m eager to support all of you as you strive to make our world and university a better place.”



  1. Jessyca Hannah
    on October 6, 2021 at 7:54 am

    Before we pay the next president a million-dollar salary, can we consider our staff and give them better pay first.

    • Jim Pyke
      on October 6, 2021 at 10:18 am

      Thank you so much for saying this, Jessyca!

      We urgently need to be better leaders here on the issue of wealth/income inequity.
      Wealth and income inequity are real social and even ethical issues that we need to stop walking on eggshells around and start seriously addressing. Where better to address them than at one of the leading educational institutions in the world.

      There’s a UM HR Professional Development course called “Difficult Conversations” that includes work on promoting employee accountability. Conversations around social class issues are never easy, but we need to have them. Part of why we need to have them is that large pay gaps (between the highest and lowest paid in an organization) are to often accompanied by (real and/or perceived) gaps in accountability – such as the accountability issue perceived by some when President Schlissel received a $27,000 raise in the wake of also receiving a Faculty Senate vote of no confidence in September of 2020.

      As a point of reference, the lowest annual salary at the U as of 2020-21 was $25,466, or $1.5K less than Schlissel’s *raise*.

      • Philip Boos
        on October 6, 2021 at 10:53 am

        Thank you to the two of you for bringing this up so eloquently. Schlissel said, “The work we do matters,” so let’s have so someone get it done without perpetuating the wealth divide at this institute. It’s sickening to learn of that raise; just 2 years ago I was only making $29k as a full time staff. This money should be invested elsewhere.

      • Pamela Soltman
        on October 11, 2021 at 12:03 pm

        The folks who are in higher administrative type positions don’t think about the lower salaried folks when making raise decisions. When we get 2%, some of us lower paid staff only get a pittance of what some make as administrators making over $100k per year. I’ve heard that the administrators have more responsibility, yes that’s true. But some of that responsibility also trickles down the pipe to others of us as well.

        Good point you made also Jim about the vote of “no confidence” for President Schlissel in 2020, while the rest of us received no raise whatsoever!

        Thanks to everyone who commented on this thread and to Jessyca Hannah for bringing it up.

        If Michigan is the “leaders and the best”, then let’s be better and do better where all faculty, staff and students are concerned!!

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