U-M’s newly inaugurated president wasted no time in setting a course for the University. What does that mean for alumni like you? The Alumni Association has the top five things you should know about the new university leader.
5. He is focused on free speech
President Schlissel wants to create an environment where faculty and students can have honest, open dialogue—even about subjects that are sensitive or controversial.
“That is why I want Michigan to be known as a place where mutual respect does not require agreement, where differences of perspective are treated with sensitivity, and where we all become advocates for, and experts in, civil discourse.”
Campus and the student body have faced some tough social issues over the past year. Senior Patrick Pjesky finds Schlissel’s view refreshing. “His maxim ‘you don’t have to agree, you just have to think’ reflects the core of the liberal education upon which the University of Michigan is founded and continues to use in the formation of minds,” Patrick said.
4. He likes visiting students
Just like Mary Sue, Schlissel isn’t going to be stuffed in his office all day.
“The enthusiasm of students, their resilience and sense of immortality, their passion and energy – it’s electrifying. Then I return to my office and feel like I can do anything.”
Michigan Alumnus magazine has one of the first interviews with the new president. Members can read what he has to say here.
3. He loves his mom
What’s not to like about someone who loves their mother?
“And to make up for those distant days when her much-too-serious son would not acknowledge her presence at the back of the classroom on parents’ day, I offer a very public “Hi, Mom!” and thank my mother, Lenore. She and my father Aaron were a constant source of encouragement for an unusual kid who liked school so much that he never left.”
On a more serious note, CSG President Bobby Dishell has full confidence in Schlissel.
2. He wants to keep Michigan accessible.
Tuition costs are always a hot topic, and while U-M experienced the lowest tuition increase for 30 years in 2014, it can still be a concern. Schlissel wants to keep Michigan available to the public.
“Talent is uniformly distributed across the populace. But opportunity most certainly is not. We must encourage every talented high school senior in Michigan to apply here. Students and their parents must hear clearly and rest secure that the University of Michigan values curiosity and intellect, not ZIP codes or family income, and that we provide generous financial aid for those with need.”
1. He believes Michigan can change the world
And we know it can, too. In his speech, Schlissel reminded us that U-M alumni have written Pulitzer Prize-winning words and Grammy Award-winning music, soared into space, created Google and the iPod, and occupied the Oval Office.
He ended the inaugural address with this:
“To be Michigan, an exceptional global public university, where learning transforms lives and promotes economic progress, and where we pursue together understanding and discovery that will change the world.”
What do you think of President Schlissel?