Regents appoint Santa Ono as U-M’s next president
Santa J. Ono, an accomplished biomedical researcher and the president and vice chancellor of the University of British Columbia, has been named the 15th president of U-M.
The board of regents voted unanimously to appoint Ono during a special meeting on Wednesday in Ann Arbor. Ono, who previously served as president of the University of Cincinnati and senior vice provost and deputy to the provost at Emory University, will officially step into the U-M role Oct. 13.
“On behalf of all of us seated here and the entire University of Michigan community, here and around the globe, I’d like to extend my warmest welcome to Dr. Santa Ono and his wife, Wendy, who has joined him today,” said Paul W. Brown, chair of the board of regents, during the special meeting.
“We look forward to meeting your daughters, Sarah and Juliana, and son-in-law, David, very soon. We are thrilled and honored to have you here today and to welcome all of you to the University of Michigan family. I know you will continue to help us serve the public good.”
Ono, 59, is an experienced vision researcher whose pioneering work in experimental medicine focuses on the immune system and eye disease. His track record of leadership at universities in the U.S. and Canada includes prioritizing sustainability efforts, strong advocacy for mental health issues and an open communication style.
He also has focused on accessibility and affordability in higher education through service in organizations such as the Posse Foundation, leadership of the Urban Health Initiative of the Coalition of Urban Serving Universities, and launching national programs at the universities where he has served. At UBC, he led substantial efforts focused on truth and reconciliation for indigenous groups and others.
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