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U-Michigan governing board backs President Mark Schlissel

September 17, 2020 GMT

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — The governing board at the University of Michigan expressed support Thursday for President Mark Schlissel, two days after he acknowledged that trust in his leadership had slipped on campus.

Schlissel has been criticized for the university’s response to the coronavirus. Separately, the school sued to try to stop a strike by graduate-student instructors, though the walkout ended with a deal. A vote by faculty, meanwhile, revealed disappointment with the president.

“People are concerned and frightened,” Denise Ilitch, chairwoman of the Board of Regents, said, reading from a statement at a meeting. “The board hears this, the administration hears this. We know the University of Michigan needs to communicate better and do better.

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“Our board supports Mark Schlissel and the administration as they continue to lead our university through these tremendous challenges,” Ilitch said. “We know that the president and the administration will continue to listen and adapt through these challenges, honor our common values and advance the mission of the university.”

Schlissel participated in an online event Tuesday, saying there was an “erosion of trust” on campus.

“I need to do more communicating with different types of people to understand the collective vision. The thing I walk away from this with is the value of listening,” he said.