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January 27, 2014 - Image 6

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2014-01-27

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President-elect to hay4

On the Cube

unique UMHS

ties of running the University's 19
schools and colleges, University
President-elect Mark Schlissel will
be responsible for managing the
University's Health System, which
accounts for about 44 percent of the
University's expenses, according the
toUniversity's2013 financial report
Schlissel, however, will bring a
unique perspective to the health
system given his background in
researchand clinical medicine.
"I'm thrilled that they selected
another biochemist," University
President Mary Sue Coleman said
at the announcement on Friday
Similar to his predecessor,
Schlissel spent the early part of
his career conducting laborato-
ry research. He graduated from
Princeton University in 1979 with
a degree in biological sciences and
obtained both an M.D. and Ph.D in
physiological chemistry from The
Johns Hopkins Universityin1986.
"(I have) a strong and person-
al belief in the ability of education
to transform lives and the under-
standing that academic excellence
and diversity are inextricably
linked," Schlissel said.
Women's Studies Prof. Timothy
R.B. Johnson, chair of obstetrics
and gynecology at the Medical
School, served on the presidential
advisory search committee and
said the committee looked for a
candidate with a strong record of
undergraduate and graduate educa-
tion, but who also had experience in
health systemmanagement.
Although the committee desired
a candidate with medical experi-
ence,the president's responsibilities
extend well beyond medical care,
making it difficult to find someone
who strikes the right balance.
"The health system was an
important consideration for the
search committee," Johnson said.
"I think (Schlissel) had alot of very
good experience with the challeng-
es faced with health centers."
In recent years, Coleman has
taken an active role in the manage-
ofthe Hospitals and HealthCenters
Executive Board. Johnson said he
anticipates Schlissel will adopt a

The president-elect has had
experience with three different
healthcare institutions, which fac-
tored into the selection process,
Johns Hopkins Health System,
where Schlissel served as a faculty
member, employs a similar style of
vertical integration to the Univer-
sity, demonstrating to the search
committee that he was capable of
performing as head of UMHS.
The University of California,
Berkeley does not have an affiliat-
ed health system, but Johnson said
Schlisseldemonstrated adedication
to undergraduate education during
his tenure at the institution. Schlis-
sel continued collaborating with
graduate students at the Berkeley
even after he left, flying from the
East Coast to California once a
month to make sure his students
graduated on time. His last student
is set to graduate in May.
"We wanted someone who could
do everything at the University
and we wanted someone who had
experience with undergraduate
education - what teaching under-
graduatesawas like," Johnson said.
At his current position as Brown
University's Provost, Schlissel was
given responsibilityofmedical edu-
cation. However, Brown doesn't
manage its own hospital, so Schlis-
sel was instead responsible for a
wide array of private facilities affili-
ated with the university.
Uponstartinghis tenure as pres-
ident, Schlissel will face some of the
same challenges he encountered at
other centers and some unique to
the University.
Perhapsathe greatest challenge is
the financialuncertainty created by
the implementation of the Patient
Protection and Affordable Care Act.
While the law was enacted in 2010,
implementation of the most influ-
ential regulations - primarily the
government-mandated purchase
of health insurance - didn't begin
until late 2013. Health systems
around the nation are therefore still
adjusting to changes in coverage,
"Nobody likes uncertainty -
the markets don't like uncertainty,
healthsystems don't like uncertain-
ty," Johnson said. "We're probably
facing more uncertainty now, over
the next two or three years, than
we've seen in along time."
In recent years, UMHS has
the acquisition of neighboring
health systems, namely MidMich-

igan Health in2012 an
Health in 2013. Schlis
have to manage the e
health system facilities
currentlyoperating at c
"It's a very challe
for academic medical
Michigan has one oft
centers," Johnson said
tainly hope that Dr. S
lead us to a really goo
allow us to do the kin
mentsawith the care we
will demonstrate what
be a successful acader
center moving forward.
In his first month
said the most importa
Schlissel will be getting
health system adminis
learning about the cul
health system.
"He's a physician, so
take the pulse of people
pulse of things - and n
nosis and come up with
plan," Johnson said."
ways, that kind of medi
be used to make the me
more healthy."
In his first address, S
cussed the academic e
present throughout th
ty, including within t
campus. Although his
revolved around scient
tory-based research, h
the importance of inter
collaboration acrossthe
"Michigan can capt
synergies between th
humanities, engineerin
law, business, medici
health, public policy, de
list goes on and on and o
seems endless," Schlisse
University Regent L
Deitch (D) said ther
search process was th
and most fulfilling" pr
career, but said Schliss
tials made him an ideal c
lead the University's 3,
"The regents alway
that we wanted a dis
scholar to lead the 1
Deitch said. "In order t
moral authority necessa
our faculty to even grea
everyday, a presidentr
mand respect for his orh
it achievements, besides
skill of a CEO and mast
son together with the c
The regents apprecia
sel's administrative exp
other large research u

d Allegiance namely Johns Hopkins and Berke-
sel will also ley, where he was dean of biological
xpansion of sciences, Deitchsaid.
, which are Schlissel said he hopes to inter-
apacity. act with students toimprove educa-
nging time tion. In particular, he said he wants
centers and to engage with graduate students,
the premier who can sometimes go unnoticed.
. "We cer- He noted the life-changing rela-
chlissel can tionship with his undergraduate
d place and mentor.
d of experi- "Although I see Michigan as one
provide that of this nation's strongest research
it means to institutions, what lies at its core
nic medical is the education of talented and
diverse students from around the
s, Johnson state, the nation and the world,"
nt tasks for Schlissel said.
to know the The University has 8,200 grad-
tration and uate students currently enrolled
[ture of the through RackhamGraduate School
- spanning 108 Ph.D., 87 master's
he's able to and 34 certificate programs.
- take the Regent Katherine E. White (D)
nake a diag- said Schlissel's passion for educa-
a treatment tion and research, as well as his
In a lot of experience with lab work, will
cal logic can allow him to interact more effec-
dical center tively with the student body.
"We have heard through our
chlissel dis- graduate students that they have
nvironment experiences that are often very
e Universi- different from what we address for
he medical our undergraduates," White said.
career has "Dr. Schlissel is very well-suited
ific, labora- to understand the issues that face
se stressed graduate students:'
disciplinary Rackham student Allie, a repre-
University. sentative of the University's Graduate
ure unique Employees'Organizationwhowished
e arts, the tobeidentifiedbyfirstnameonly,said
ig, science, she appreciates Sclissel's effort to
ine, public reach out to graduate students, who
sign - the have unique concerns compared to
'ur capacity the rest of the student body.
1 said. "The majority of grad students
aurence B. at this university are employees of
presidential the University as graduate student
e "hardest instructors," she said. "We live
oject of his between being students ourselves,
el's creden- of our professors and also being
andidate to teachers of undergraduates. That's a
000 faculty very particular place to inhabit and
it's a delicate balance."
s believed Schlissel said he is dedicated to
tinguished making the campus more diverse,
University," which he views as a crucial com-
to have the ponent of any successful research
ary to lead institution. He plans to involve stu-
ter heights dents in decisions regarding educa-
must com- tion and acknowledged their direct
er academ- impact onresearch at the University.
havingthe "Students get to learn from fac-
er salesper- ulty who are actively defining the
apacity for leading edge of human knowledge
and curiosity and the imaginative
ted Schlis- energies of student contribute, in
perience at turn, totheresearchenterprise,"he
niversities, said.

The Cube is very funny because although I hac
seen the cube before, I didn't appreciate the fal
that it really did spin. In the back of mind, Iw!
worried I was being set up. The student body
president was telling me that Mary Sue was
able to spin this cube every day and energize
the campus and I should do so to. I had this fez
that I would start pushing it and nothing woulc
happen and it was all a big joke. But it was real
great fun when I was able to spin it around. An
the students were all very happy and laughing
and it just felt very welcoming.
t Brown'U,
students say
provost plays
integral role

Schlissel sought-
campus perspectiye.
for budget and
strategic planning
Daily StaffReporter
As University President-elect
Mark Schlissel makes the tran-
sition from Rhode Island to
Michigan, the Brown Universi-
ty provost will leave a positive
legacy behind in his dealings
with students and the rest of the
Brown community.
Brown University senior
Daniel Pipkin, a member of the
University Resources Com-
mittee - a standing commit-
tee chaired by Schlissel that is
responsible for recommending
Brown's annual budget to the
president - said he has had
nothing but positive experienc-
es with Schlissel.
As a member of Brown's
Undergraduate Council of Stu-
dents, the university's student
government, Pipkin met with
Schlissel during his sophomore
year to discuss the best way
to distribute funding for stub-
dent organizations. Within one
meeting, Schlissel and I'in
fixed the funding issues, which
Pipkin said is just one example
of the problem-solving chops
Schlissel will bringto the Uni-
"Provost Schlissel was bril-
liant," Pipkin said. "He's a fixer;
he's a problem-solver. I love that
about him."
And Schlissel will need those
problem-solving skills when
he comes to Ann Arbor. With
high-profile issues such as high-
er education funding, the ongo-
ing efforts behind the #BBUM
campaign, Theta Xi's contro-
versial party and subsequent
suspension and even the issue
of whether or not to hang the
Men's Basketball Final Four ban-
ners all still fresh in the minds of
many at the University, it is clear
Schlissel will face a diverse array
of new challenges.
However, Pipkin said Schlis--

sel doesn't shy away from
addressing controversial issues
on campus, and will keep the
best interests of the community
in mind when making decisions,
regardless of personal opinion.
"I know he's going to do a
great job over there (at the Uni-
versity)," he said. "I'm happy
I'm a senior, because I couldn't
imagine Brown without Provost
Brown medical student Justin
Glavis-Bloom, who also serves
on the University Resource
Committee with Schlissel as the
Medical School representative,
echoed Pipkin and said Schlissel
is receptive to student ideas and
Glavis-Bloom said he was
"deeply impressed" when, after
work one evening, Schlissel
drove to the Brown Student
Community Clinic, a student-run
clinic that helps underserved
populations in the area. Schlis-
sel, who has both an M.D. and
a Ph.D., stayed for more than an
hour, sharing his own experienc-
es and perspective with the stu-
dents at the clinic.
"Provost Schlissel has a
really amazing ability to elic-
it different perspectives and
to summarize and build con-
sensus," Glavis-Bloom said. "I
thought Provost Schlissel was a
truly talented leader."
Brown senior Todd Harris,
the president of the Undergradu-
ate Council of Students, also had
positive experiences working
with Schlissel. Like the others,
he said the president-elect works
directly with students and the
student government at Brown,
giving him firsthand insight into
the needs of students. Accord-
ing to Harris, this tendency to
work intimately with students
has garnered him respect across
He added that Schlissel's
background in science will give
him an edge at the University.
"Provost Schlissel has always
had an interest in Brown as
a research institution, and I-
believe he'll do a great job as the
president of a research universi-
ty," Harris said.

ire of the University

I was overwhelmed by the outpouring of interest, enthusiasm and excitement.
It told me something kind of interesting about the way that the University
community feels about the University. When I stand up and say hello for the
very first time and I get an enormous round of applause (and) people don't
really know me, I'm not foolish enough to think they're applauding for me -
what they're applauding for is their university. In effect, the next president
becomes the face of the university, and I interpreted the enthusiastic welcome I
got as emblematic of the way people feel about their university.

"It felt right. It felt like the beginnings of a conversation. I just had a very
comfortable sense. I felt like I fit at the University of Michigan and that I'm on
the same wavelength."

Interview by Sam Gringlas,
DailyNews Editor

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