Speculation rises that University of Cincinnati president Santa J. Ono may become next UBC president

    1 of 1 2 of 1

      Update (June 13, 2016): Dr. Santa J. Ono has been named the 15th president and vice-chancellor of UBC.

      Santa J. Ono is Vancouver-born. He's already president of a U.S. university. And, according to the Vancouver Sun, he checked into a local hotel and is not returning calls from the paper. 

      It's fuelling speculation that he's the mystery person who will be unveiled on Monday (June 13) as UBC's 14th president. (He would be number 15 if Martha Piper is counted twice.)

      Ono, a 53-year-old eye researcher and professor of pediatrics, has been president of the University of Cincinnati since 2012.

      The rumours are even more plausible in light of a Cincinnati NBC affiliate, WLWT5, reporting that Ono is leaving his position at the University of Cincinnati.

      "WLWT's source could not confirm where Ono was headed next, but there has been some speculation," the station noted. "The University of British Columbia is announcing its new president on Monday, which is in Ono's hometown of Vancouver."

      Ono earned his PhD from McGill University and has completed a fellowship at Harvard. His academic career has taken him to Johns Hopkins University, Harvard University, University College London, and Emory University.

      Ono's areas of research have included macular degeneration and Type 1 diabetes. He's also a master of social media with 72,400 followers to his Twitter account.

      In 2015, Ono turned down a bonus for the third consecutive year, preferring to give $190,000 of the $200,000 to fund scholarships, staff awards, housing for students, arts, respite care, and other worthy causes. The final $10,000 was handed over to the family of a fallen police officer.

      His base salary was $520,000 and he refused the board of trustees' offer to give him a raise.

      UBC was rocked last August by the sudden resignation of Arvind Gupta only one year into his five-year term. Piper, the 11th UBC president, filled in over the past year on an interim basis.

      Here are some reactions on social media in Cincinnati to the possibility of Ono leaving: