Mark Schlissel

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Mark Schlissel
Mark Schlissel University of Michigan.jpg
Mark Schlissel
14th President of the University of Michigan
Assumed office
July 1, 2014
Preceded byMary Sue Coleman
Personal details
Mark Steven Schlissel

(1957-11-24) November 24, 1957 (age 62)
New York City, New York, U.S.
Spouse(s)Monica Schwebs
Alma materPrinceton University
Johns Hopkins University
WebsiteOffice of the President of the University of Michigan

Mark Steven Schlissel (born November 24, 1957) is the president of the University of Michigan.[1] He was named the 14th president of the university on July 1, 2014, following the retirement of Mary Sue Coleman.[2][3] His initial contract with the University of Michigan lasts five years, expiring in 2019.[4] In addition to his presidency, he holds a professorship of microbiology and immunology and a professorship of internal medicine within the University of Michigan Health System as well as a professorship of molecular, cellular, and developmental biology in the University of Michigan College of Literature, Science, and the Arts.


Schlissel was born in Brooklyn, New York in a traditional Jewish household.[4][5] He graduated from Madison Central High School in 1975 and was inducted into the Hall of Fame of Old Bridge High School in 2017.[6]

He graduated with a BA in Biochemical Sciences from Princeton University in 1979. He earned his MD degree and a PhD in Physiological Chemistry from the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in 1986 through the Medical Scientist Training Program. His residency in Internal Medicine was conducted at the Johns Hopkins Hospital from 1986-88. His postdoctoral research fellowship was under David Baltimore at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Whitehead Institute.[1]

Schlissel became a faculty member at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in 1991. He moved to the Department of Molecular and Cell Biology at UC Berkeley in 1999 as an associate professor, becoming a full professor in 2002.[1] At UC Berkeley he served as Dean of Biological Sciences in the College of Letters & Science from 2008 to 2011. In 2011 he became provost at Brown University.[3]

Schlissel is married to Monica Schwebs, an environmental and energy lawyer, and has four adult children.[3]


The beginning of his career as president of the University of Michigan has involved controversy surrounding the athletics department[7] and a federal investigation into the Brendan Gibbons sexual assault case.[8]

In 2018, John Cheney-Lippold, an associate professor of American culture, declined to write a letter of recommendation for a student applying to study abroad in Israel, citing human rights concerns and his support for the BDS movement. In response, Cheney-Lippold was put on probation, had his pay cut, and had his subsequent vacation days cancelled. The university and Mark Schlissel were criticized for disciplining him, citing a breach of free speech, the right to boycott, and professorial independence.[9][10]

Mark Schlissel has come into conflict with climate activists over his support for continuing University investment in oil and gas industries.[11] In 2018, in response to continued refusal to meet with climate activists, students organized a sit-in at Mark Schlissel's office in the evening following the Global Climate Strike to demand a 1-hour meeting with Schlissel.[12] In response, University of Michigan Police were called in by an unknown administrative source to disperse the protests. Following repeated warnings, several students were arrested and were subsequently charged with trespassing on university property. There has been a significant backlash to this decision, and there are continued calls for charges to be dropped against the protesters, citing the non-violent nature of the protest, the withholding of evidence by university lawyers, and the fact that the University of Michigan had never previously pursued trespassing charges against students.[13][14][15]

Under Mark Schlissel, the University of Michigan's tuition has risen to the highest of any American public university.[16][17][18]


  1. ^ a b c Jesse, David (2013-01-24). "Mark Schlissel, provost at Brown University, named new U-M president". Detroit Free Press. Retrieved 24 January 2014.
  2. ^ "Schlissel named U. Michigan president". Brown Daily Herald. January 24, 2014. Retrieved January 24, 2014.
  3. ^ a b c Biolchini, Amy (January 24, 2014). "Meet Mark Schlissel: 10 things to know about University of Michigan's next president". MLive. Retrieved January 24, 2014.
  4. ^ a b Pinho, Kirk (January 24, 2014). "New UM President Schlissel 'amazingly honored' to be chosen as Coleman's successor". Crain's Detroit Business. Retrieved January 24, 2014.
  5. ^ Burdick Schweiger, Alice. "Bluish and Jewish". The Detroit Jewish News. The Detroit Jewish News. Retrieved 24 November 2018.
  6. ^ Luicci, Lori. "Old Bridge names 3 to Wall of Fame", Courier News, May 25, 2017. Accessed October 6, 2019. "The three new members of the Wall of Fame are William Boland (Madison Central Class of 1988, Ted Maines (Madison Central Class of 1976) and Mark Schlissel (Madison Central, Class of 1975). Boland and Maines attended the annual ceremony. Schlissel, who was named the 14th president of the University of Michigan in 2014, was unable to attend."
  7. ^ "Schlissel may be ill-prepared for Michigan football crisis". September 30, 2014. Retrieved April 30, 2017.
  8. ^ "55 colleges under Title IX probe for handling of sexual violence and harassment claims". May 1, 2014. Retrieved April 30, 2017.
  9. ^ "UM disciplines prof over Israel letter controversy". Detroit News.
  10. ^ Harb, Ali. "University of Michigan faces mounting criticism over BDS controversy". Middle East Eye. Middle East Eye. Retrieved 24 November 2018.
  11. ^ Merchant, Safiya. "Schlissel discusses complexity of carbon neutrality goals". The University Record. Retrieved 11 December 2019.
  12. ^ Allberry, Hannah. "Climate strike sit-in at Fleming results in 10 arrests after rally". The Michigan Daily. University of Michigan. Retrieved 11 December 2019.
  13. ^ Harring, Alex. "Climate Strike demonstrators' attorney raises concerns over evidence during final pretrial". The Michigan Daily. Retrieved 11 December 2019.
  14. ^ Clark, Nathan. "Climate Strike protesters arrested at University of Michigan sit-in charged with trespassing". MLive. Retrieved 11 December 2019.
  15. ^ Allberry, Hannah. "Climate strike sit-in at Fleming results in 10 arrests after rally". The Michigan Daily. University of Michigan. Retrieved 11 December 2019.
  16. ^ Heytutor. "The Most Expensive Public Schools for Out-of-State Residents". Heytutor. Retrieved 11 December 2019.
  17. ^ Tharakan, Danyel. "Regents approve budget and tuition rates, appoint new LSA dean". The Michigan Daily. Retrieved 11 December 2019.
  18. ^ Pompeii, Alexandria. "University increases tuition, room and board rates". The Michigan Daily. Retrieved 11 December 2019.
Academic offices
Preceded by
Mary Sue Coleman
14th President of the University of Michigan