The University of Michigan appointed its first Asian American president on Wednesday.
Santa Ono, former president of the University of Cincinnati and current president and vice-chancellor at the University of British Columbia, was appointed following a unanimous vote by the school’s board of regents.
Ono, 59, also previously served as senior vice provost and deputy to the provost at Emory University.
In a statement, the biomedical researcher and former professor expressed his appreciation for the appointment.
“The University of Michigan is recognized worldwide as being at the pinnacle of public higher education,” said Ono. “It is a singular honor to be chosen to lead such an extraordinary institution. I look forward to embracing the university community and supporting their education, scholarship, innovation and service. And I look forward to joining Michigan’s 600,000 alumni in cheering for the Wolverines.”
Board of regents member Sarah Hubbard said in a statement that Ono was selected after an extensive search by the school board.
“I’m confident that the finalist seated before us today is the right choice for the University of Michigan,” Hubbard said.
Born to Japanese immigrants in Vancouver, Ono grew up in Pennsylvania and Maryland. He has taught at Johns Hopkins University, Harvard University and University College London.
With his appointment, Ono is replacing former University of Michigan President Mark Schlissel, who was removed by the board of regents from his position due to allegations of an inappropriate relationship with a colleague.
Schlissel, who started his five-year tenure in 2018, was found to have used his work email to communicate with the employee in an “inappropriate” manner, according to the school’s investigation.