A university president has lost his job after having an affair with a subordinate in which he tried to tempt her to visit his office with the promise of a Knish.
Mark Schlissel, who lost his job after an internal investigation revealed his affair, was the president of the University of Michigan, one of the largest public colleges in America. He commanded a salary of nearly $1,000,000, making him one of the highest-paid public officials in the state.
Schlissel had held his position at Michigan since 2014 and was fired by the school's Board of Regents, who released a 118 page document detailing his relationship with an individual who worked beneath him at the university.
In a statement, the University board said: “After an investigation, we learned that Dr. Schlissel, over a period of years, used his University email account to communicate with that subordinate in a manner inconsistent with the dignity and reputation of the University."
Administrators at Michigan also described Dr. Schlissel’s behaviour as “particularly egregious” after he made a public stand against workplace sexual misconduct after a provost at the university was accused in 2020.
Mark Schlissel discussing a trip to Paris with his illicit lover
The document contains hundreds of emails between the two, detailing trips to Europe as well as receipts for dinners and trips to the cinema the two had shared. The relationship is believed to have lasted over two years before an investigation was sparked by an anonymous complaint in December 2021
In one particularly cringe-worthy exchange, the 64-year-old academic attempts to lure his paramour to his office with the promise of a Knish from a box of the savory treats he had been gifted.
In an email timestamped to 8:27am on October 10, 2019, the married father of four says: "I can lure you to visit with the promise of a knish?" to which the recipient replies "laugh."
An email sent by Michigan president Mark Schlissel to his subordinate attempting to lure her with a knish
The humble knish, not known for its aphrodisiac properties, was brought to the US by Ashkenazi immigrants from Central and Eastern Europe in the early 1900s and has become symbolic to the Jewish American community, especially those based in the New York metropolitan area.
Schlissel, who was raised in a traditional Jewish household, was appointed president of the university in 2014, becoming the university's second-ever Jewish president. He has described himself as non-observant but identifies with Jewish culture.