Former President Schlissel offered teaching, research slots at University of Michigan

Former University of Michigan President Mark Schlissel.
Former University of Michigan President Mark Schlissel.
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Fired University of Michigan President Mark Schlissel could be in an university classroom next fall, according to letters obtained by the Free Press.

It's part of a plan that would see him becoming a part of the university's faculty. The offer is outlined in letters sent to Schlissel onThursday from the leaders of U-M's medical school and the College of Literature, Science and the Arts. It's unknown whether Schlissel has accepted the terms.

Schlissel was fired as president earlier this month after a Board of Regents investigation into a violation of the school's new supervisor relationship policy. The investigation into Schlissel is continuing, including looking at whether he misused university funds in support of his relationship with an employee.

For 20 years, Schlissel ran a immunobiology lab. He earned both M.D. and Ph.D. degrees at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He is a board-certified internist.

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The contract offer calls for a total of $185,000 in salary.

His previous contract called for him to be paid as a senior faculty member when he left the presidency, but no less than 50% of the $927,000 base pay of his last year as president. But that contract was voided when the university fired him for cause.

U-M spokesman Rick Fitzgerald confirmed the moves to the Free Press.

"Mark Schlissel is entitled to a faculty position, with tenure, that was granted as part of his initial U-M employment agreement and confirmed in his most recent agreement," Fitzgerald said.

Schlissel's firing did not strip his faculty appointments. Under the plan, he would be a professor of molecular, cellular and developmental biology in the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts, and microbiology and immunology in the Medical School, with tenure. Fitzgerald said those departments would determine what his initial duties will be.

"This is the normal process for any faculty member returning to faculty duties from an administrative appointment."

The letters, which the Free Press obtained from a source not authorized to share them, spell out more of the details.

While his teaching requirement — one class a year if doing research and two classes per year if not doing research — won't start until the 2022-23 school year, he will need to get going on his research. He will also need to work on getting grants.

"Your appointment will be on a twelve-month basis with major effort to be determined by discussion with the chair and followed up in writing," the letter from university official Bethany Moore said. "Established research-active faculty in the Department of Microbiology & Immunology are expected to support a minimum of 50% of their academic salary on research grants."

He would also be expected to serve on faculty committees and mentor students.

Under the voided contract, once Schlissel was done with being president, he would have gotten another $2 million from the school to set up his lab.

David Jesse was a 2020-21 Spencer Education Reporting Fellow at Columbia University and the 2018 Education Writer Association's best education reporter. Contact David Jesse: 313-222-8851 or Follow him on Twitter: @reporterdavidj. Subscribe to the Detroit Free Press.

This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Former U-M President Schlissel offered teaching, research slots