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Monica Rimai Named Interim UC President

Senior Vice President Monica Rimai was unanimously elected by UC's Board of Trustees. She will begin service as interim president on June 1.

Date: 3/17/2009 1:30:00 PM
By: Greg Hand
Phone: (513) 556-1822

UC ingot  

As interim President of the University of Cincinnati, Monica Rimai said, her most important priority is maintaining momentum. A great many people contributed to successful and ongoing initiatives during Nancy Zimpher’s administration from 2003 to 2009, Rimai said, and her goal is to see that collaboration continue.

Monica Rimai
Monica Rimai

 “In accepting this role, I made it clear to the Board of Trustees that I would serve in an interim capacity only,” Rimai said. “There are so many important initiatives underway that, in truth, it will require a university-wide partnership to keep our activities on track as the search for a new president goes on.”

Rimai will begin serve as interim president on June 1, and has agreed to serve at least through Dec. 31.

 “The interim must have the organizational skills to work collaboratively with our talented and dedicated group of deans, the Cabinet, senior leadership and other groups,” said Board Chair H.C. Buck Niehoff. “Many hands, working together, are needed to maintain the momentum. Based on her achievements at UC, Monica is extremely effective in partnering in a respectful and focused way. She can take the vision and implement it.”

Prior to unanimously voting to appoint Rimai to the interim role at its March 17 meeting, the UC Board of Trustees approved several resolutions specifying institutional support for key initiatives, including:

  • Performance-Based Budgeting
  • Collegiate Restructuring
  • Future of Health Care
  • Research Strategic Plan
  • Strive, and
  • Community Engagement and Outreach

In addition to the specific initiatives supported at the March meeting, the Board had previously endorsed the conversion of the university calendar to semesters, and approved the $1 billion “Proudly Cincinnati” fund-raising campaign.

Rimai has been Senior Vice President for Administration and Finance at UC since 2006. She was initially recruited to the university in 2005. In her current role, she has led the effort to restructure the university’s finances, paying down a significant structural deficit, opening up participation in the budget-setting process, introducing performance-based budgeting, strengthening ethics and regulatory compliance, and reorganizing administrative areas for improved efficiency.

Prior to joining UC, Rimai spent five years at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, including two years as interim Vice Chancellor for Administrative Affairs, the principal administrative officer for the university. Rimai has experience as an assistant U.S. attorney, municipal attorney and as an attorney in private practice.

She earned the JD degree from the University of Michigan in 1987, preceded by a bachelor’s degree in history from the same university in 1984.

The search committee to find the next president of the university was also announced at the March 17 Board of Trustees meeting.