ANN ARBOR (WWJ/AP) - The University of Michigan has named Mark Schlissel its next president.
The Board of Regents has called a special session for Friday to vote on the 14th person to lead the Ann Arbor school.
The 56-year old, who's spent the past few years as provost of Brown University, says he can't think of a better place to work.
"I am amazingly honored" to take over as president at Michigan, said Schlissel, who called the school a "jewel of the American educational system."
"The University of Michigan is held in such high regard throughout the academy," Schlissel said. "The students you've trained here are leaders around the world. The doctoral students you've trained populate the academy, perhaps more than any other university."
"So, it's beyond a privilege and an honor. Words almost escape me," he said.
Schlissel previously served as dean of biological sciences at the University of California-Berkeley. He also is a biochemist who received a medical degree and a doctorate from Johns Hopkins University.
Current U-M President Mary Sue Coleman announced last year that she would step down when her contract expires this summer. She will leave as Michigan's fourth longest-serving leader. The 70-year-old Coleman also is the university's first female president.
"I'm thrilled that they selected another biochemist," Coleman said to laughter at Friday's meeting.
"Dr Schlissel, welcome to a university unlike any other," she said.
Coleman was hired in 2002 after seven years as president at the University of Iowa. Her time in Ann Arbor has been marked by significant physical changes to the campus. A biochemist, she leaves a school that has one of the largest research budgets for a public university in the country.
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