University of Michigan governing board backs President Mark Schlissel

ANN ARBOR, MI - OCTOBER 31: University of Michigan President Mark Schlissel speaks at a news conference announcing the resignation of Michigan Athletic Director David Brandon in the Regents Room of the Fleming Administration Building October 31, 2014 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Brandon has been under intense fire and scrutiny, particularly over the past weeks after Michigan's quarterback Shane Morris suffered a concussion during the 2014 football season. Jim Hackett, who retired this year as CEO of Michigan-based furniture company Steelcase, has been named interim athletic director. (Photo by Joshua Lott/Getty Images) (2014 Getty Images)

ANN ARBOR – The governing board at the University of Michigan expressed support Thursday for President Mark Schlissel, two days after he acknowledged that trust in his leadership had slipped on campus.

Schlissel has been criticized for the university’s response to the coronavirus. Separately, the school sued to try to stop a strike by graduate-student instructors, though the walkout ended with a deal. A vote by faculty, meanwhile, revealed disappointment with the president.

“People are concerned and frightened,” Denise Ilitch, chairwoman of the Board of Regents, said, reading from a statement at a meeting. "The board hears this, the administration hears this. We know the University of Michigan needs to communicate better and do better.

“Our board supports Mark Schlissel and the administration as they continue to lead our university through these tremendous challenges,” Ilitch said. “We know that the president and the administration will continue to listen and adapt through these challenges, honor our common values and advance the mission of the university."

Schlissel participated in an online event Tuesday, saying there was an “erosion of trust” on campus.

“I need to do more communicating with different types of people to understand the collective vision. The thing I walk away from this with is the value of listening,” he said.