Santa Ono


University of Cincinnati President Santa J. Ono, PhD, is a highly accomplished researcher in eye disease and a member of several national and international honorific societies as well as a sought-after public speaker, frequent opinion leader on higher education issues, and a recognized trailblazer in the use of social media. Serving as UC’s president since August 2012, he has gained a reputation as a chief executive who is accessible and responsive to the university’s wide range of constituents, including students, faculty, staff, alumni, parents, business, civic, arts and government. Under his leadership, UC has achieved its largest enrollment in history at 43,000 and has launched Creating Our Third Century, a sharpening of the university’s vision as it prepares for its bicentennial in 2019. His tenure has also been marked by increasing accolades for UC, among them a jump in the U.S. News ranking of the best colleges. A widely recognized leader in the use of social media among higher education executives, President Ono was named the 2014 Twitter Madness National Champion in a communications study based on the 64 universities and colleges competing in the 2014 NCAA basketball tournament. Education Dive said that Dr. Ono “sets the standard for the digital age” in its listing of six university presidents to watch in 2014. On Twitter, he coined the term “#Hottest-CollegeinAmerica” to reflect the momentum and spirit he finds on UC’s campus, and the phrase now appears on T-shirts and other items. Dr. Ono is UC’s first Asian American president and one of only a handful of Asian American university or college presidents in the United States. In December 2013, he was named by the Japanese government as an honorary consul of Japan for the state of Ohio. Among his many honors and awards are the American Diabetes Association Career Development Award, the Investigator Award from the National Arthritis Foundation, the Brit Katz Award (Emory University), the Roche Laboratories Award for Excellence in Research, and the Pharmacia International Award in Allergy Research. He was elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2012 and inducted as a member of the National Academy of Inventors in 2014. Prior to UC, he held a variety of research, teaching and administrative positives at Emory, Johns Hopkins, Harvard and the University College of London.

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    It is hard to imagine a world without some variation of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, and all the other media of digital communication.