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Santa Ono Makes Ranks of 'Most Interesting' Presidents

It shouldn't surprise members of the UC community to learn that President Santa J. Ono has been deemed one of higher education's "Most Interesting" presidents.

Date: 9/30/2015
By: Marianne Kunnen-Jones
Phone: (513) 556-2019
Image of President Ono
President Santa Ono

The president of the #HottestCollegeinAmerica is now among the 20 “Most Interesting College Presidents” in the nation. In a list selected by The BestSchools.org, University of Cincinnati President Santa J. Ono ranks among leaders that include Gordon Gee, formerly of Ohio State University and now with West Virginia University, University of Maryland Baltimore County's Freeman Hrabowski III, Arizona State University’s Michael Crow, University of Pennsylvania’s Amy Gutmann and Alabama State University’s Gwendolyn Boyd, among others.

The website notes the changing role of college and university presidents, with their increasing responsibilities now including student recruitment, fundraising, and supporting thriving athletics, in addition to ensuring the highest standards of scholarship and teaching excellence.  The job of today’s higher education presidents can be compared  to mayors in American cities, the online ranking adds. 

Explained The BestSchools.org: “The college and university presidents on this list are all colorful personalities who not only lead their institutions effectively but do so with a panache and verve that excites their campus community. These are presidents with intriguing life stories, with impressive records of accomplishment, with charisma and vision that inspires faculty, staff, and students to strive for new heights.”

Dr. Ono coined the hashtag, "HottestCollegeinAmerica," to talk about UC's enrollment growth, trajectory and spirit. Since then, the phrase has been used widely in tweets, on T-shirts and other products. The rankings website noted: "Ono is known for his ability to harness social media to leverage institutional objectives. Additionally, he is one of the few college presidents who forgo additional compensation of some sort: he’s declined his bonus/raise each year (a sum of hundreds of thousands of dollars)" and instead requests that it be redirected to other university programs and community causes.

See the full list.