University of Cincinnati President To Retire
Date: Nov. 1, 2002
Contact: Greg Hand
Phone: (513) 556-1822
University of Cincinnati President Joseph A. Steger has announced that he will retire as president at the conclusion of his current contract, which runs through June 30, 2003.
Steger, president of UC since July 6, 1984, has served longer than any UC president except Raymond Walters, who served for 23 years (1932-55).
"I have been privileged to serve a great institution for 20 years," Steger said. "I have been privileged to serve with excellent people, who have shared my vision that the University of Cincinnati is a world-class institution. Our innovative faculty have positioned the university among world-class institutions and provided leadership around the world. I want everyone to know that our staff and our students are excellent. It is time for me to move aside and watch the university continue to prosper. Carol and I were privileged to have the opportunity to lead such a great institution in a great city."
During his term as president, Steger brought the University of Cincinnati into the digital age, weaving the Internet into the university's academic programs. He created a $1.5 million fund to help faculty adopt new technology for learning.
Calling on the university to operate more like a private institution, Steger worked to increase fund raising from $15 million annually to $73 million in the most recent fiscal year. His efforts increased the university's endowment from $150 million to nearly $1 billion.
Under Steger's direction, UC became a research powerhouse, with research funding quadrupling to more than $260 million, and the university's National Science Foundation research ranking climbing from 76th to 47th.
A world-class university, Steger said, requires a global presence. He initiated the international co-op program, signed affiliation agreements with 50 universities from China to France, and introduced academic requirements for language and cultural studies.
Steger involved the university, as the Tristate's largest employer, in a number of initiatives aimed at improving quality of life in the Cincinnati community, including the Smale Commission, the Buenger Commission, the Metropolitan Growth Alliance, and redevelopment corporations in the neighborhoods surrounding the campus.
Steger also oversaw the rebirth of the university's campus, with new academic and research buildings designed by world-renowned architects. Of particular interest to the president were the new, park-like greenspaces on campus. Currently, a major project, MainStreet, is underway to provide improved facilities for student activities and services.
A 1960 graduate of Gettysburg College, Steger earned his master's and doctoral degrees from Kansas State University. Following a brief stint with the Prudential Life Insurance Co., Steger began his professional academic career in 1966 at the State University of New York-Albany, where he was named "Outstanding Educator -- State University of New York System." From 1971 to 1979, he was at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, N.Y., serving as professor in the School of Management, dean and vice president for administration and budget, and later dean and acting provost. Steger was director of organizational development and human resources for New York-based Colt Industries Inc. when he returned to the academic ranks in 1982 as provost of the University of Cincinnati.
The University of Cincinnati Board of Trustees has begun to assemble a search committee for the new president. If no successor is named by June 30, Steger has agreed to remain in office until a new president is selected.
Office of the President
University of Cincinnati Bylaws: Search Committees