Have posted this in one of the "hurrah" threads among 200 other posts; in light of Bacon's reference to "big donors" and his tweet re Schlissel's meeting with them over the weekend, I thought this would be a good new thread. So, SIAP.
I was at the "meeting" JUB references. Really was a talk in the Ross School's first-floor auditorium, followed by a reception at the business school's Wintergarden (?). President Schlissel was joined by Stephen Ross on the dias for an introduction of Schlissel to the donors and about 30 minutes of Q/A led by Ross.
Audience was perhaps 125+ people in the auditorium at the b-school. Mostly folks in for the weeked events at various schools at UM to kick off the official launch of the new Victors for Michigan campaign. I assume that this group consisted of involved, pretty big money-giving alums, who are on various committees whose purpose is to organize fundraising outreach to the broader alum base (and of course, to give themselves).
I was concerned when it was clear that Ross was going to ask Schlissel pre-programmed questions, and VERY concerned when the first question out of his mouth was what was on everyone's mind -- the athletic program. Seemed that this was chance for Ross to get Schlissel to publicly support DB.
That did not happen. Schlissel talked about understanding importance of athletics, big programs (FB, MBB, Hockey), and about how it is an integral part of the many things about Michigan that are important to alums, and that draw alums together. Noted a broad feeling that the program had lost its "direction" and that a lot of people were pissed (not his word) about it. Used the term "reset" -- deliciously ambiguous -- with respect to a going forward plan, and later referred to $5 water as an example of the "drift" of the program as between making $ to support athletics and serving the fan base.
Let the speculation about what this means commence My own read was that I expected either nothing said on this topic, or for Ross to use it as a chance to publicly stand behind Brandon, neither of which happened. Certainly nothing that was said committed Schlissel to any course of action.
Lastly, Schlissel recounted having visitied the football team to talk to them about hanging in there, you have our support, etc. Got big laughs and applause when recounting how he caught an overthrown Devin pass (not sure he caught the irony of that), and noting that it was the one time over the last weeks a photog had not been present. Finished by making clear that he thought the team deserved full-throated fan support. Which is, generally, what I saw that night from my seats.