UM professor Susan Collins named provost, replacing Philbert

Kim Kozlowski
The Detroit News

Susan Collins, a University of Michigan professor of public policy and economics, is UM's new provost.

Susan Collins is the University of Michigan's permanent provost.

Collins was appointed interim provost in March amid the departure of Martin Philbert, the former provost who left the university amid sexual misconduct allegations. On Thursday, the Board of Regents unanimously approved her move into the position through June 2020.

The provost is the university's second-highest official, in charge of academic and budgetary affairs.

UM President Mark Schlissel hailed her leadership at the beginning of the meeting.

"I very much appreciate the leadership, insights and stability she has provided to our institution during the unprecedented challenges pf the COVID-19 pandemic," Schlissel said. "Her many years as a distinguished academic leader and her expertise in public policy and financial systems make her ideally suited for this position.

Collins, the former dean of UM's Ford School,  was on the economics faculty at Georgetown and Harvard universities and a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution before joining UM.

Her salary will be $550,019 and she has agreed to reduce her monthly pay by 5% through Dec. 31, consistent with the other UM executive officers, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Philbert was paid $570,340 annually.

He was fired as provost and banned from campus amid allegations of sexual misconduct.

Philbert sent a June 7 letter to Schlissel, announcing that he was retiring from the university as of June 30 and relinquishing his tenure as a professor.

The university has hired WilmerHale, an outside law firm, to conduct an investigation into his behavior. The report has not been completed.