Here is Michigan president Mark Schlissel's statement Friday regarding the resignation of athletic director Dave Brandon:
"This morning, I accepted the resignation of athletic director David Brandon. Dave feels that it would be in the best interest of our student-athletes, the athletic department and the university community if he moved on to other challenges and allowed the important work of the department and the university to continue without daily distractions.
"I agree with his decision.
"I've spoken regularly with Dave over the last few weeks and we both want what's best for Michigan athletics, which is to be able to pursue the highest levels of excellence in all aspects of our programs, to support our 931 student-athletes, and to enhance the strong bond that athletics has helped the university foster with our students, our alumni and our fans.
"I believe that Dave has always had the best interests of the university of Michigan in his mind and in his heart. He is fiercely dedicated to all our student-athletes, regardless of their sport or background.
"During his nearly five years as our athletic director, he worked to ensure the well-being and the athletic and academic success with programs and facilities that helped them grow as individuals and teammates and to succeed as students.
"For years, Dave's commitment to Michigan has touched many other parts of the university, as well. He co-led the successful campaign that raised funds for the construction of the new C.S. Mott Children's Hospital and he and his wife Jan personally donated $2 million toward the creation of our neonatal intensive-care unit. Dave has also provided support for the arts on campus, for student scholarship and many other academic and educational priorities. He served on the Board of Regents from 1999-2006 and of course, his first connection to the University of Michigan was as a student-athlete himself, when he played football under Coach Schembechler and earned his undergraduate degree.
"There is no doubt that Dave loves the University of Michigan and wants to see us move forward and succeed. I think him for his long service and lifelong commitment to Michigan. I've appointed Jim Hackett to serve as the interim director of athletics. The interim appointment is effective immediately and would become formal with the approval by the Board of Regents at their next meeting.
"Jim is a highly experienced and respected business leader, a man of integrity and a devoted member of the Michigan community. He was a student-athlete and graduated from the University of Michigan in 1977. From 1994-2013, he served as CEO of Steelcase, the office furniture company based in Grand Rapids and one of our leading businesses in the state of Michigan.
"He led the company as a transition from a traditional manufacturing to an innovative global company and now brings that success and experience in heading a complex organization into his interim role here. I'm also very pleased with his interpersonal skills, his value system and his longstanding commitment to serving the university.
"Jim is currently on the Board of Trustees at Northwestern Mutual Life and on the Boards of Directors of Ford Motor Company and Fifth Third Bancorp. Perhaps more importantly, he currently serves on the Boards of Advisors of UM's Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy and our Life Sciences Institute.
"I'm confident that Jim will immediately begin the process of moving the department forward — including working closely with me to develop a plan to identify and recruit Michigan's next permanent athletic director.
"To our alumni and others in the Michigan family, I want you to know that we are working to establish the right balance between academics, the competitiveness of our athletic programs, their financial stability and the athletics traditions that we hold dear.
"To our students and student-athletes, I want you to know that the University of Michigan is behind you, always.
"To our fans, I want you to know that we value your support, your input and your spirit. Recent events have only reinforced my belief that it is important to listen and engage in dialog with all of our stakeholders.
"It is clear that Michigan athletics helped unite us as a community. It has an enormous reach that I've seen firsthand that the connections it fosters are deeply personal. These connections cross state and national borders, they span decades and they're shared through generations.
"The force that has this amazing power to join us together – the connective tissue, if you will – is the heartstrings of the Michigan faithful.
"In a recent fireside chat with students, a student in the crowd further illustrated this point for me. She had lived in a major city in another state but she could always count on hearing 'Go Blue' when she walked down the street wearing her Michigan sweatshirt on a Saturday in the fall.
"Those moments – those uniquely Michigan moments – take place because of our strong sense of community.
"I invite everyone in our community to help us as we begin a new chapter in the wonderful history of Michigan athletics. I hope we can join together as we move forward to preserve and enhance the qualities that make us truly special, for the ultimate benefit of Michigan athletics, our students and our great university."