UC Taps Neville Pinto as 30th President

Neville G. Pinto, the University of Louisville’s acting president and an academic who spent 26 years as a faculty member and dean at the University of Cincinnati, has been appointed the University of Cincinnati’s next president. UC’s Board of Trustees voted to select Pinto as UC’s 30th president at a special meeting on Dec. 17.

Pinto is expected to start his new post at UC in February. He will lead one of the nation’s top public research universities with a record-breaking enrollment of more than 44,300 students, more than $390 million in research funding annually, top-ranked academic programs, a $1.2 billion endowment and record-level fundraising of $259 million in FY2016.

As the acting president of UofL, Pinto led a metropolitan research university with an enrollment of 22,000 students in 11 colleges and schools on three campuses and a downtown Health Sciences Center. As its engineering school dean, Pinto expanded enrollment, initiated the development of a 39-acre research park near the engineering college and built stronger ties to GE. He also led efforts to encourage GE to bring its FirstBuild microfactory to the UofL campus. FirstBuild is a new-product accelerator that rapidly transforms ideas for new products into prototypes for testing. In effect, the center throws open the doors of innovation to anyone with good ideas and gets those good ideas out to market quickly. One of its recent successes is the Opal countertop ice maker.

“Neville Pinto returns to UC with a remarkable record in research, innovation, the development of industry partnerships, academic excellence and diversity. He has established a stellar record as a collaborator who can work with community and corporate partners. He will be a great asset as UC launches our new 1819 Innovation Hub,” said Robert E. Richardson Jr., chairman of UC’s Board of Trustees and chairman of the university’s Presidential Search Committee. “We are also thrilled to bring him home to the university and the city that he and his family have loved for so long.”

At UC, Pinto served from 1985 to 2011 as a faculty member in chemical engineering and established the Adsorption and Ion Exchange Laboratory, which attracted over $6 million in external research funding for research in biochemical and environmental engineering. In addition to his accomplishments as a researcher, he established himself as a rising academic administrator, first as department head of chemical engineering from 1993 to 1997 and as assistant dean for Graduate Studies in the College of Engineering and Applied Science from 2002 to 2006. He was then tapped as the vice provost and dean of The Graduate School, playing a leadership role in attracting external awards of over $10 million to support graduate and STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education. In 2011, he left UC for the opportunity to become dean of engineering at Louisville.

He remained dean of the J.B. Speed School of Engineering at Louisville for four years and was named UofL’s interim executive vice president and provost in May 2015. He was chosen to serve as provost permanently in June 2016.  During his time as provost, he finalized the 21st Century University Plan and launched major initiatives to strengthen educational excellence, student success and access, research and community engagement. In late July 2016, he was tapped as Louisville’s acting president.

“From the outset, it was remarkably clear that Neville Pinto is a leader’s leader - grounded in integrity and compassion and capable of bringing out the very best in those around him,” said Thomas D. Cassady, UC Board of Trustees chairman-elect. “As a former department head, vice provost, dean, provost and acting president, the breadth and depth of his expertise and experience rank second to none.  Our board is delighted and excited to partner with him to elevate UC to even greater heights.”

Student Government President Mitchell Phelps, who served on the Presidential Search Committee, also applauded Pinto’s selection. “Neville Pinto is a great match to the profile our committee had developed for the ideal candidate for this job. From a student perspective, his credentials show me that he recognizes that the university must put students first,” he said.

Pinto was elected to the National Academy of Inventors in 2010 in recognition of U.S. patents awarded. He also is a lifetime Fellow of the Graduate School at UC and has won awards as an educator, including the BP Outstanding Teaching Award, the Engineering Tribunal Professor of the Year Award (UC), the Neal Wandmacher Teaching Award (UC College of Engineering and Applied Science) and the Outstanding Chemical Engineering Professor Award (UC). 

Pinto was born in Mumbai, India. He earned all of his academic degrees in chemical engineering – including his bachelor’s in 1980 at the Indian Institute of Technology in New Delhi, India, and his MS and PhD at Pennsylvania State University in 1982 and 1985, respectively. As a researcher, he has focused on purification of genetically engineered drugs, the study of bio-membranes, and air and water purification.

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