Tensions between the University of Michigan Board of Regents and President Mark Schlissel “have been building for more than a year and may have reached a boiling point this summer,” The Detroit Free Press reported.
The unease in the relationship began around Schlissel’s handling of the case of Martin Philbert, the former provost with a long history of sexual misconduct at the university. Tensions grew over the university’s new project in downtown Detroit, the Detroit Center for Innovation. “The board learned that Schlissel had kept them in the dark for months while he talked with the university’s top donor about the troubled project, according to multiple administration sources who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to the media,” the Free Press reported.
A board member, Mark Bernstein, was only regent to be quoted for the article (the rest refused). He said, “The relationship between the Board of Regents and the president at the University of Michigan is critically important for the well-being of the institution. While I will not discuss the private conversations I have had with members of the board, I will tell you how proud we all are of our important achievements during one of the most stressful times imaginable. In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic these accomplishments speak to what we have done for the university by working effectively together.”
The article identified Bernstein and one other regent as supportive of Schlissel. The article said four regents are more critical.