Kristi Nelson Receives President's Award for Excellence

Kristi Nelson wore many hats in her impressive 36-year career at the University of Cincinnati – faculty member, interim dean, associate dean, and most recently, senior vice provost – all spurred by a willingness to serve when and where needed and a commitment to student success.

UC honored that standout service by awarding Nelson, who retired earlier this year and was named professor emeritus, with one of the university’s highest honors, the President’s Award for Excellence.

UC President Santa J. Ono presented Nelson with the award during UC's summer Commencement ceremony Saturday at Fifth Third Arena.    

Nelson began her career at UC in 1979 as a faculty member in art history.  She quickly took on additional challenges, serving as director of graduate studies and then associate dean for academic affairs at the College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning.

Nelson next served as vice provost for faculty relations before tackling an administrative position in the College of Nursing.  She then served as interim dean of the McMicken College of Arts and Sciences, where she oversaw more than 45 programs serving 8,000 students, 450 faculty members and a $100 million budget.  

As senior vice provost, a position she held for 15 years, Nelson acted as chief advisor to the provost and representative for academic affairs, strategic planning and partnerships with academic units and other internal and external partners.

A key member of the provost’s leadership team, Nelson represented the office across campus and to the Ohio Board of Regents.  She helped lead the creation of UC’s academic master plan and served as academic committee chair.  

Nelson served on the fiscal coordinating and president’s budget advisory committees, provided oversight for institutional and specialized accreditation and was instrumental in establishing a women’s leadership program at UC.

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