February 1, 2022

Good morning,

Welcome back to The University Insider. We hope you are prepared for a staple of the infamous Michigan winter – the midweek snowstorm soon to be upon us.

This week, former President Mark Schlissel was offered a contract for a tenured professor position this fall in the College of Literature, Science and the Arts as well as the Medical School, a Daily investigation found University Housing lacked concern for the safety of ResStaff from COVID protocols to sexual assault and sexual harassment, and a case of meningococcal meningitis was detected on campus. 

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Fired University President Mark Schlissel offered contract for tenured professor this fall

Despite being terminated from his position as University President, Mark Schlissel is entitled to his faculty tenure position under his initial contract with the University, according to an email from University spokesman Rick Fitzgerald to The Michigan Daily.

“Those departments are now in the process of officially absorbing him into the faculty and determining what his initial duties will be as he makes this transition, which was the commitment they made in 2014,” Fitzgerald wrote. “There are a number of details that remain to be determined.” 

According to documents obtained by the Detroit Free Press, Schlissel was offered a salary of $185,000. It is still unknown whether or not Schlissel has accepted this agreement. Schlissel currently retains appointments in the College of Literature, Science and the Arts as well as the Medical School.

The obtained documents require Schlissel to teach one class a year if conducting research, and two classes per year if not. Additionally, Schlissel would not begin instruction until the 2022-2023 school year. Prior to teaching, he will need to conduct research and obtain grants. In addition to teaching, he will be relied on to serve on faculty committees and mentor students.

Schlissel’s previous retirement contract entitled him a professorship at the University with a base salary no less than 50% of his ending presidential salary of $927,000. The University also would have provided Schlissel with $2 million to start a lab. Following his termination, this contract was voided.

Daily investigation finds University Housing lacked concern and protocols for ResStaff safety

A Michigan Daily investigation into University Housing policies found that University Housing has not fulfilled its commitment to ensure residential staff members’ safety after a strike in Fall 2020.

ResStaff employees voted to strike in Fall 2020, frustrated by hazardous pandemic-induced working conditions. Two weeks later, the University agreed to provide ResStaff with updated data on COVID-19 cases in residence halls and daily communication regarding case numbers.

One RA, referred to as Alice, discussed being verbally assaulted by another ResStaff member and then being dismissed by DPSS. Alice also said the officer made comments that disparaged her concerns.

“At the end of the meeting, the DPSS officer looked at me like I just wasted his time and said, ‘Honey, it sounds like they have a little crush on you. Why don’t you just confront (them)?’” Alice wrote.

Alice told The Daily she didn’t have the emotional capacity to respond to this comment. Her hall director was also present at this meeting, and Alice said she was surprised that the hall director did not speak up.

“(My hall director) didn’t try to convince DPSS that … this was a problem and needed to be solved,” Alice said. “There wasn’t any checking-in with me to see how I was doing.”

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University confirms positive case of meningococcal meningitis on campus

A University of Michigan student tested positive for meningococcal meningitis, a rare and serious bacterial infection, according to an email from University of Michigan Chief Health Officer Preeti Malani and Lindsey Mortenson, University Health Service medical director, Thursday night.

Though it can be prevented by vaccines, meningococcal meningitis involves an inflammation of the brain and spinal cord that can lead to permanent disabilities. Common symptoms of meningitis include fever, stiff neck, headache, rash and vomiting.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, most people recover, but meningitis can occasionally lead to death within a few hours of contracting the disease.

In a Thursday press release from the Washtenaw County Health Department, officials urged students who may have been in contact with the individual to complete an online survey through UHS. According to the Health Department, points of contact can include being coughed on, being sneezed on, kissing, sharing food or being in a crowded space with an infected individual.

“This is not an outbreak and risk to the larger community remains low, but meningococcal meningitis is a very serious illness,” WCHD medical director Juan Luis Marquez said. “We are working as quickly and collaboratively as possible to provide information and treatment options to anyone with potential and direct exposure to the known case.”

Priya Ganji/Daily

Going blue before it’s gone

The COVID-19 pandemic not only fundamentally altered the way that students view their college experiences, but how they identified as a student at the University of Michigan – Fall 2021 was a chance to change it. With no common tie linking students together throughout the last few semesters online, feelings associated with being a student at the University generally ranged from neutral to disappointed.

For LSA freshman Jack Pribble, the Fall 2021 semester provided a genuine first-year college experience, one that lived up to even his pre-COVID expectations for freshman year. For him, “being in person was integral” to establishing connections with students and engaging with student organizations on campus.

The University will reassess mask requirements as COVID-19 activity decreases on campus. Last week, U-M students accounted for 10% of COVID-19 cases in Washtenaw County as a result of cases also decreasing at the county level. Quarantine and isolation housing occupancy dropped to 16.4% from last week’s 31.7%. 

The University asks to please allow up to 15 business days for a response to your vaccine submission and requests that you do not resubmit information. Up to 80 hours of paid time off for COVID-19 remains available to eligible employees who did not use their one-time banks when the University introduced the benefit in March 2020.

Sparks are flying for you this Valentine’s Day – now’s your chance to send a special someone a Michigan Daily Love Note! Write your love note here and be sure to leave the recipient’s student email as well as your own to show who the sender is. And if you’d like to spice it up, anonymously address your love note without leaving your email.

Chances are you’ll see your Love Note in a print copy of The Daily on campus on Feb. 9 and/or on The Statement Love Edition website going live on Feb. 8!


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