Mark Schlissel, the Brooklyn-born Jewish President of the University of Michigan was fired on Saturday from his post by the school’s Board of Regents effective immediately. Schlissel received a letter from the Board, saying: “This letter is to advise you that the Regents of the University of Michigan are terminating your employment as President of the University of Michigan and your September 23, 2021, Employment Agreement because you have materially breached Paragraph LB. of the Agreement. Your termination is for Cause pursuant to Paragraph V.D.(2)(ii) of the Agreement and is effective immediately.”
The paragraph in question was originally intended to issue a demand to the recipient to correct their behavior within 10 days or face termination, but since the behavior in question had already lasted about a year, the Board determined it was “not curable.”
The letter continued: “As you know, the Regents received an anonymous complaint regarding an alleged sexual affair between you and a subordinate. An investigation has revealed that your interactions with the subordinate were inconsistent with promoting the dignity and reputation of the University of Michigan.”
The Board’s letter cited several flirtatious emails between Schlissel and his subordinate and said: “These emails demonstrate that you were communicating with the subordinate through the University of Michigan email system using an inappropriate tone and inappropriate language. They also demonstrate that you were using official University of Michigan business as a means to pursue and carry out a personal relationship with the subordinate.
According to JTA, one of Schlissel’s emails to his subordinate referred to a box of gift knishes he had received, and the university president asked if he could “lure you to visit with the promise of a knish?”
Michigan Daily reported that on Saturday night, after the news about the school president’s sacking had broken, more than 100 students gathered outside his residence, and one LSA freshman Jack Thompson played George Michael’s “Careless Whisper” and “Mr. Brightside” by The Killers on his saxophone.
Under Mark Schlissel, the University of Michigan’s tuition has risen to the highest of any American public university.
Schlissel is married to Monica Schwebs, an environmental and energy lawyer, and has four children.