University of Michigan president fired for alleged 'inappropriate relationship' with employee

"What if we miss our connection and get stuck in Paris......" Schlissel wrote to his subordinate.

Updated: January 16, 2022 - 5:07pm

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Dr. Mark Schlissel was removed from his position as University of Michigan president due to allegedly having an "inappropriate relationship with a University employee," the school announced Saturday.

The university's Board of Regents conducted an investigation following an anonymous complaint on Dec. 8, 2021. The group found that Schlissel used his work email account "to communicate with that subordinate in a manner inconsistent with the dignity and reputation of the University."

The board published a three-page letter to Schlissel detailing the reasons behind his termination, as well as 118 pages of evidence, mostly emails between the president and his employee.

Using their university email addresses, Schlissel and the employee took several trips together, including to California, Europe and India.

"What if we miss our connection and get stuck in Paris......" Schlissel wrote in September 2019 to his subordinate, whose name was redacted. That month he also emailed her a New Yorker article titled "Sexual Fantasies of Everyday New Yorkers," and wrote, “just for fun." 

Schlissel emailed her in October 2019: "we can't just go rogue together?"

The Board of Regents named former University of Michigan President Mary Sue Coleman as interim president. 

"While saddened by the circumstances, I am honored to be asked to again serve the University of Michigan," Coleman stated on Sunday. "When I left the U-M campus at the end of my presidency in 2014, I said serving this great university was the most rewarding experience of my professional life. I’m happy to serve again in this important interim role."

Schlissel has four adult children with his wife Monica Schwebs. His base yearly salary was $927,000.

The Associated Press attempted to contact Schlissel Saturday evening through his university email, but he did not respond. It is unclear if he has access to that account at this time.

Schlissel in October announced plans to resign from his position as president in June 2023, one year before his contract was set to expire.