Fired University of Michigan president Mark Schlissel could be in a college classroom next fall, according to letters obtained by the Free Press.
This is part of a plan that would see him become a member of the university’s faculty. The offer is outlined in letters sent to Schlissel on Thursday by leaders of UM’s medical school and the College of Letters, Science and the Arts. It is unclear whether Schlissel agreed to the terms.
Schlissel was fired as president earlier this month after an investigation by the Board of Regents into a breach of the school’s new supervisor relations policy. The investigation into Schlissel continues, including whether he misused university funds to support his relationship with an employee.
For 20 years, Schlissel ran an immunobiology laboratory. He earned an MD and a Ph.D. degrees at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He is a certified internist.
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The contract offer calls for a total salary of $185,000.
His previous contract provided that he would be paid as a senior faculty member when he left the presidency, but no less than 50% of the $927,000 base salary from his final year as president. But that contract was canceled when the university fired him for cause.
UM spokesman Rick Fitzgerald confirmed the moves to the Free Press.
“Mark Schlissel is entitled to a tenure-track faculty position, which was granted as part of his initial employment contract at UM and confirmed in his most recent contract,” Fitzgerald said.
Schlissel’s dismissal did not remove his faculty appointments. According to the plan, he would be professor of molecular, cellular and developmental biology in the College of Literature, Science and the Arts, and of 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 duty after an administrative appointment.”
The letters, which the Free Press obtained from a source not authorized to share them, give more details.
Although his teaching requirements – one course per year if he does research and two courses per year if he does not do research – will not begin until the 2022-23 school year, he will have to continue his research. He will also have to work on obtaining subsidies.
“Your appointment will be on a twelve-month basis with major effort to be determined by discussion with the president and follow-up in writing,” the letter from university official Bethany Moore said. “Research-active faculty established in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology must devote at least 50% of their academic salary to research grants.”
He would also be expected to sit on faculty committees and mentor students.
Under the canceled contract, once Schlissel was done serving as president, he would have gotten an additional $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 Education Writer Association’s 2018 Top Education Reporter. Contact David Jesse: 313-222-8851 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter: @reporterdavidj. Subscribe to the Detroit Free Press.