ANN ARBOR, Mich. – University of Michigan President Mark Schlissel announced he will end his tenure as university president in June 2023, which is one year earlier than previously planned.
“This is the eighth year of my presidency and an important time to strategically consider the future of our university,” Schlissel 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.”
Schlissel came to the university as its 14th president in 2014 and said he will support a “smooth and thoughtful” leadership transition.
“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,” Schlissel wrote. “Each of these important priorities will require commitment and leadership that extends into the next decade and beyond.”
By announcing his planned departure now, Schlissel said he is giving the U of M Board of Regents time to conduct a thorough search for his successor.
The revised timeline was finalized last month, the Board of Regents said.
“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 will outline his plans for the upcoming year during Thursday’s annual Leadership Address. He said the work of students, faculty and staff at the university is what keeps him energized and passionate about U of M.
“The work we do matters,” Schlissel said.
“(The University of Michigan) has never been stronger, and that is a result of President Schlissel’s strong, steady leadership during extraordinarily challenging times,” U of M Regent Mark Bernstein said. “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. 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’s proud of everything the university has accomplished during his term and excited about the years ahead.
“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,” Regent Ron Weiser said. “While we have had some differences of opinion, he has done an extraordinary job of leading our institution during a difficult time.”
“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,” Schlissel wrote in his message. “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.
“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.”