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U-Michigan president leaving in 2023 before contract ends

University of Michigan President Mark Schlissel
Carlos Osorio
Associated Press
University of Michigan President Mark Schlissel

Mark Schlissel, 63, has been president of the school since 2014.

The president of the University of Michigan said Tuesday that he will step down in June 2023, a year before his contract expires.

Mark Schlissel, 63, has been president of the school since 2014.

“This is the eighth year of my presidency and an important time to strategically consider the future of our university,” he said in an email 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,” said Schlissel, who has a base salary of $927,000 a year.

He said the university’s next priorities will require leadership “that extends into the next decade and beyond.”

The announcement came two weeks after the Detroit Free Press, citing unnamed sources, reported that Schlissel’s relationship with the university’s Board of Regents had eroded, especially over communications about big projects.

For more than 18 months, the university has been dogged by a scandal involving a campus doctor who is accused of sexually assaulting hundreds of people over decades. Robert Anderson died in 2006, long before Schlissel arrived, but the lawyers are still meeting with a mediator and the financial liability is still hanging over the school.

Schlissel was praised by regents for the Go Blue Guarantee, which offers free tuition for students from families with incomes of less than $65,000.

The university “has never been stronger and that is a result of President Schlissel’s strong, steady leadership during extraordinarily challenging times,” Mark Bernstein, a member of the governing board, said in a statement.

Schlissel was provost at Brown University before moving to Michigan. His plan to step down was announced a day before his annual leadership address to the community.

The university’s Ann Arbor campus is the most selective in Michigan; nearly half of the 31,000 undergraduates are from outside the state. There also are campuses in Dearborn and Flint.