ANN ARBOR (WWJ/AP) – University of Michigan President Mark Schlissel found it “ironic” that students who voted for President Donald Trump felt shunned on campus after the 2016 election.
Schlissel also wrote last year that he was “torn” about recommending appointees for the new administration. He said, “I can’t imagine lending one’s name to a Trump administration.”
The remarks were in emails released Wednesday by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, a nonprofit think tank. The Midland-based group had sued the university, accusing it of failing to timely turn over certain emails written by Schlissel that mentioned Trump.
“The University of Michigan is a public entity which receives more than $300 million in state funds,” said Patrick Wright, vice president of legal affairs at the Mackinac Center, in a media release. “Taxpayers deserve to know that its leaders are treating students fairly regardless of political beliefs.”
The Mackinac Center sought Schlissel’s emails after he made comments after the election that offended pro-Trump students.
“Timely transparency in government is key to holding public officials accountable and citizens shouldn’t have to wait months for documents easily attainable,” Wright said. “People and the press have a right to this information, even if it’s embarrassing or inconvenient for the public officials involved. We agree with the University of Michigan that the Legislature should clarify the state’s transparency laws and no longer allow public entities nearly unlimited amounts of time to stall on releasing information.”
The lawsuit is settled. The university denies wrongdoing but says it will be adding staff for public record requests and making other changes.
© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.