The announcement follows discussions with U-M President Lee C. Bollinger during which he expressed his desire to select his own executive management team, as is the customary prerogative of university presidents.
"I truly have enjoyed working with the people at Michigan and want to support President Bollinger in every possible way in the transition to the new general counsel," Cole said. "I wish the institution the best in the future."
President Bollinger said, "I am grateful for Elsa's many years of service to the University. She has ably led the University's legal team and has contributed to the advancement of the institution in many ways."
Cole has been general counsel of the University for the past eight years. She is a nationally recognized authority on higher education law and has spoken and published widely on employment and student issues, including acting as a consultant to numerous colleges and universities and as legal editor of the Educator's Guide to Controlling Sexual Harassment. She has served on the Board of Directors of the National Association of College and University Attorneys.
Before coming to Michigan in 1989, she was an assistant attorney general for the state of Washington, assigned to represent the University of Washington. She received her A.B. degree from Stanford University and her J.D. degree from Boston University School of Law.
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