President of the University of Michigan
See also: History of the University of Michigan
|President of the
University of Michigan
|Reports to||Board of Regents|
|Appointer||Board of Regents|
|Constituting instrument||Constitution of Michigan|
|First holder||Henry Philip Tappan|
Fourteen people—thirteen men and one woman—have held the office, in addition to several others who have held it in either in an acting or interim capacity.
The position is currently held by Mark S. Schlissel, who was appointed in 2014.
The office was created by the Michigan Constitution of 1850, which also specified that the president was to be appointed by the Regents of the University of Michigan and preside at their meetings, but without a vote.
The precise wording has evolved through subsequent state constitutions, and as of November 2018 the office is defined by Article VIII, section 5 of the Constitution of 1963:
Between the establishment of the University of Michigan in 1837 and 1850, the Board of Regents ran the university directly; by law, they were supposed to appoint a chancellor to administer the university, but they never did, and a rotating roster of professors carried out the day-to-day administrative duties instead.
While the modern office was created in 1850, the University of Michigan itself now traces its date of founding to 1817, when its precursor, the University of Michigania, was founded.
The only president of that institution, Rev. , appears in the list of presidents but is not officially considered to have been a president of the University of Michigan. John Monteith
List of Presidents of the University of Michigan
The first president of the university was Henry Philip Tappan.
The position had originally been offered to Henry Barnard, but he declined, and Tappan and John Hiram Lathrop (then Chancellor of the University of Wisconsin–Madison) were nominated as new choices, after which Tappan was unanimously elected.
Barnard later succeeded Lathrop at Wisconsin.
The 14th and current president of the university is Mark S. Schlissel, appointed in 2014.
Of the previous presidents:
- 1 had the office abolished
- 1 died in office
- 1 was removed by the regents (for which subsequent regents apologized)
- 5 retired at the end of their careers
- 2 resigned to return to teaching or research
- 4 resigned to take posts at other institutions (Northwestern University, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Princeton University, and Columbia University)
|Number||Name||Portrait||Years in office||Notes|
|Rev. John Monteith||1817–1821||First and only president of the University of Michigania|
|Vacant||1821–1837||Office abolished in favor of a Board of Trustees|
|Vacant||1837–1852||Board of Regents replaces Board of Trustees|
|1||Henry Philip Tappan||1852–1863||First president of the University of Michigan, removed by regents|
|2||Erastus Otis Haven||1863–1869||Resigned to become President of Northwestern University|
|acting||Henry S. Frieze||1869–1871||Following President Haven's resignation.|
|3||James Burrill Angell||1871–1909||Retired after 38 years (longest-serving president)|
|acting||Henry S. Frieze||1880–1882||While President Angell is U.S. Minister to China|
|acting||Henry S. Frieze||1887–1888||While President Angell is on the commission negotiating the Bayard-Chamberlain Treaty|
|acting||Harry Burns Hutchins||1897–1898||While President Angell is U.S. Minister to Turkey|
|interim||Harry Burns Hutchins||1909–1910||Following President Angell's retirement.|
|4||Harry Burns Hutchins||1910–1920||Was the first student to receive a degree from James B. Angell at Michigan; retired|
|5||Marion LeRoy Burton||1920–1925||Died in office|
|acting||Alfred Henry Lloyd||1925||From February through September after the death of President Burton|
|6||Clarence Cook Little||1925–1929||Resigned to conduct research at Bar Harbor, Maine|
|7||Alexander Grant Ruthven||1929–1951||Retired after 22 years in office|
|9||Robben Wright Fleming||1968–1979||Resigned, was chairman of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting|
|interim||Allan Frederick Smith||1979||Following President Fleming's resignation.|
|10||Harold Tafler Shapiro||1980–1988||Resigned to become president of Princeton University|
|interim||Robben Wright Fleming||1988||Following President Shapiro's resignation.|
|11||James Johnson Duderstadt||1988–1996||Resigned to return to teaching|
|interim||Homer A. Neal||1996||Following President Duderstadt's resignation.|
|12||Lee C. Bollinger||1996–2002||Resigned to become president of Columbia University|
|interim||B. Joseph White||2002||Following President Bollinger's resignation.|
|13||Mary Sue Coleman||2002–2014||Retired as the first female president of the University of Michigan|
|14||Mark S. Schlissel||2014–present||Incumbent, took office on July 1, 2014.|
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