The University of Michigan has fired the school’s president, Mark Schlissel, after learning of his relationship with a subordinate in violation of the institution’s policy.

Schlissel was terminated Saturday after the board held a special media canceling a previous agreement that would have allowed him to continue receiving his base salary of $927,000 for two years after his contract expired in 2023.

The university revealed it received an anonymous complaint on Dec. 8, claiming Schlissel was involved in an inappropriate sexual relationship with a female employee.

“After an investigation, we learned that Dr. Schlissel, over a period of years, used his University email account to communicate with that subordinate in a manner inconsistent with the dignity and reputation of the University,” the board said in a statement.

The board has since released 118 pages of Schlissel’s emails to the subordinate on the university website.

A letter informing Schlissel of his termination made clear that Schlissel was aware of his actions.

“There can be no question that you were acutely aware that any inappropriate conduct or communication between you and a subordinate would cause substantial harm to the dignity and reputation of the University of Michigan,” the letter stated.

The board also reflected on one of the unprofessional emails Schlissel sent to the female employee. “On July 1, 2021, you exchanged emails with the subordinate using your University of Michigan email,” the stated in the letter.

“In this exchange, she states that her ‘heart hurts’ to which you respond, ‘i know. mine too.’ You state that ‘this is my fault’ and that you are ‘in pain too.’ You finish with ‘I still wish I were strong enough to find a way.’”

Schlissel has served as president of the University of Michigan since 2014. Last year, he announced he planned to retire from the position in June 2023.

Mary Sue Coleman has been named interim president.

University of Michigan
Students are pictured walking across the University of Michigan campus in Ann Arbor, Michigan, on Jan. 17, 2003. Getty Images/ Bill Pugliano