President Mark Schlissel announced on 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.”
“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 a 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 outlined 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.
Planning for the future
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.”
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 our University a better place.”