Education
11:10 am
Fri January 24, 2014

Who is Dr. Mark Schlissel, the next president of the University of Michigan?

This morning, Dr. Mark Schlissel was named the 14th president of the University of Michigan. Dr. Schlissel most recently served as provost of Brown University.

The university Board of Regents appointed Schlissel unanimously.

According to the university’s press release, Schlissel will succeed Mary Sue Coleman on July 1, 2014.

“It is a tremendous honor to be entrusted with the presidency of one of the nation’s great public universities,” Schlissel said following the vote by the regents. “I will bring to Michigan a fierce commitment to the importance of public research universities, a strong and personal belief in the ability of education to transform lives, and the understanding that excellence and diversity are inextricably linked.”

Schlissel has no ties to the Ann Arbor university, but his academic background is extensive.

“I promise to do my best to live up to the University’s highest ideals. I will work to enhance access and affordability, to promote academic excellence, and to support research and teaching of the highest impact and greatest value to society,” Schlissel said.

According to the Brown Daily Herald, one of his primary goals as provost — a post he’s held since 2011 — was building undergraduate research experiences. “Looking for areas where the strengths of members of Brown can have an impact on what’s out there in the world is important,” he told the Daily Herald. “It would be wonderful to get students involved in research.”

During his time at Brown, he also emphasized the high cost of higher education and how it can serve as a barrier to bringing in underrepresented students. In March 2013, Schlissel opposed a proposed tuition hike at the Ivy League college, saying an increase in cost "compounds more quickly than society will eventually be able to pay for.”

Dr. Schlissel has spent nearly 20 years working in the sciences at large research universities.

He received a degree in Biochemical Sciences from Princeton University in 1979. He then attended Johns Hopkins University of Medicine, receiving  his MD and PhD, before becoming a faculty member at the university in 1991.

In 1999, he became an associate professor in the Department of Molecular and Cell Biology at the University of California - Berkeley. Schlissel was promoted as a professor in 2002.

His research at Berkeley focused on genetic issues that are linked to diseases like lymphoma and leukemia.

Here's what Twitter has to say about Schlissel:

-- Melanie Kruvelis and Lucy Perkins, Michigan Radio Newsroom