Gregory H. Williams, currently president of The City College of New York, has been named the 27th president of the University of Cincinnati. He will take office before the end of this calendar year.
“Gregory H. Williams brings to the University of Cincinnati a bold vision for the future of higher education,” said UC Trustees Chair H.C. Buck Niehoff, who also chaired the Presidential Search Committee. “He has a remarkable record in building enrollment while ensuring academic excellence and diversity. He is a noted scholar with a substantial background in academic leadership, particularly in a public setting.”
The selection caps a search that began on March 17, when UC Board Chair H.C. Buck Niehoff announced the appointment of a search committee and the selection of a firm, Heidrick & Struggles, to assist the search process. The Search Committee first met on March 30, and set a goal to announce a new president by autumn 2009. The search was organized following the Feb. 10 announcement that Nancy L. Zimpher, president since 2003, would become Chancellor of the New York state university system. During the search, Monica Rimai has served as interim president.
“To all the faculty, staff, students, alumni and friends of UC, I look forward to working with you very soon,” William said. “There are few institutions in the United States that can match the diverse resources of the University of Cincinnati. It is a research powerhouse with outstanding academic programs, committed alumni, a proud community, and a world-class faculty truly dedicated to student success. The University of Cincinnati is truly among America’s premier urban research universities and we are going to make sure the world understands it.”
Williams has earned five degrees, including the J.D. and a Ph.D. from The George Washington University, and he holds three honorary doctorates. He has been a university administrator for more than 30 years, previously serving in a variety of posts at The George Washington University, The University of Iowa and The Ohio State University. Immediately prior to becoming president of The City College of New York in 2001, he was dean of the Law School and Carter C. Kissell Professor of Law at The Ohio State University. Early in his career Williams was a deputy sheriff, and he later worked as an aide to a United States senator.
Author of three books and a number of articles and book reviews, Williams is best known for his award-winning and best selling memoir, Life on the Color Line: The True Story of a White Boy Who Discovered He Was Black. As a result of his autobiography, he has been featured on a number of national programs including “Oprah,” “Dateline NBC with Tom Brokaw,” “Larry King Live,” ABC's “Nightline with Ted Koppel” and “Fresh Air with Terri Gross” of National Public Radio.
Williams will lead one of America’s premier urban research universities, serving 37,000 students. By earning more than $350 million annually in outside research contracts, the University of Cincinnati is ranked among the nation’s top 20 public research universities. With more than 16,000 employees, the university is the largest employer in the Cincinnati region.
- Watch the video of UC's next president, Gregory Williams, in his first speech to the University of Cincinnati.
A list of previous presidents of the University of Cincinnati, from Elijah Slack (1) to Nancy Zimpher (25) may be found here.