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UBC’s Santa Ono to become next president at University of Michigan

Click to play video: 'UBC president Santa Ono on growing up on Vancouver university campus' UBC president Santa Ono on growing up on Vancouver university campus
UBC president Santa Ono announced on Wed. July 13, 2022, he is leaving the Vancouver university after six years in the top job and will be moving to the University of Michigan in the fall. He shared a story about growing up on the UBC campus and why he decided to move to the U.S. public university – Jul 13, 2022

After six years, UBC professor, president and vice-chancellor Santa Ono will be moving on to the United States for the next chapter of his career.

The University of Michigan has announced that Ono will be the 15th and next president of the post-secondary school.

Click to play video: 'President Santa Ono leaving UBC for the University of Michigan' President Santa Ono leaving UBC for the University of Michigan
President Santa Ono leaving UBC for the University of Michigan – Jul 13, 2022

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Ono issued a letter to the UBC community, thanking staff and students.

“I wanted you to know how incredibly proud I am of our many accomplishments together as I prepare to transition from UBC to my new role,” Ono said.

“On all of our campuses of the university, we have strengthened our ability to deliver our core mission of education, research, scholarship and service. Thank you for your willingness to collaborate to make UBC a better university for our cities, our country and the world beyond our borders.”

Ono noted many of the areas UBC advanced under his tenure in his letter, including:

  • Investments in the recruitment of faculty
  • Enhancement of the university’s infrastructure to advance teaching and research priorities
  • Launching new academic endeavours such as the School of Biomedical Engineering, UBC School of Public Policy and the UBC Emeritus College and three new Global Research Excellence Institutes
  • Advocating for SkyTrain expansion to the Vancouver campus
  • Renewing and implementing the university’s Indigenous strategic plan to become the first university in North America to commit to the implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples
  • Working to address systemic racism through the Anti-Racism and Inclusive Excellence Task Force
  • Providing leadership on climate change in declaring a climate emergency, creating a new Climate Action Plan
  • Raising $1.3 billion through philanthropic support, including $217 million for new student scholarships through the new Blue and Gold Campaign for Students
  • Steering the university through the impacts of COVID-19 while maintaining the financial health of UBC

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“Assuming the presidency of University of Michigan will allow me to continue my life’s work in public, post-secondary education; work that I have been so fortunate to carry out at UBC,” Ono said.

“And University of Michigan’s location, just a short flight away from Baltimore and Halifax, will allow Wendy and me to more easily care for our parents.”

Ono will assume his new role at Michigan on October 13, 2022. Until then, he is working with the UBC board until it appoints a new acting president.

The University of Michigan issued a statement announcing and welcoming Ono.

“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,” Paul Brown said, the Board of Regents chair.

“We are thrilled and honoured 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.”

A molecular immunologist educated at the University of Chicago and McGill, Dr. Ono has also taught at Johns Hopkins, Harvard University and University College London.

Click to play video: 'EXTENDED: Sophie Lui talks with UBC President Santa Ono' EXTENDED: Sophie Lui talks with UBC President Santa Ono
EXTENDED: Sophie Lui talks with UBC President Santa Ono – Aug 25, 2016

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