Incoming UBC president Santa Ono writes letter of thanks to University of Cincinnati

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      Incoming UBC president Santa J. Ono posted the following letter on the University of Cincinnati website:

      Dear UC Community and Cincinnati Friends:

      It is with very mixed emotions that I write to tell you that I have accepted an offer from the Board of Governors of The University of British Columbia to serve UBC as its 15th President and Vice-Chancellor. 

      I am available to serve UC until mid-July and will transition to The University of British Columbia in August. 

      This decision was by far the most difficult I have ever made. My six years at UC as your Provost and now President have been simply extraordinary and I am proud of what we have accomplished here together. UC has never been stronger and is positioned to continue to move from strength to strength.

      We have achieved so much at the University of Cincinnati—the largest enrollment in UC history with more than 44,261 students—three straight years of record-breaking enrollment with another record expected this August. In addition, we restructured the UC Foundation, created UC Health, invested in hundreds of new faculty hires with focused hiring initiatives to position UC’s faculty for a bright future, invested in increasing study abroad and honors programs for students, achieved membership in the CASE-50, were invited to become an institutional affiliate of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, were named the Public University of the Year by The Washington Center, set strategic priorities for the next comprehensive campaign, improved student athletes’ academic performance, pursued construction and renovation on key academic and athletic facilities, and reached the $1 billion fundraising goal on what was then the largest campaign in history five months ahead of schedule. All of this was completed with the great leadership team at UC and the entire UC community.  UC is a stunning institution filled with inspirational people. Because of that, the best is yet to come. 

      And beyond campus, living in Cincinnati has enriched my family's life immeasurably. We will never forget how we have been so warmly embraced by so many in Cincinnati and indeed throughout the region. We will always root for the Bearcats, Reds, Bengals and FC Cincinnati. We will follow with great pride the future successes of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and Pops Orchestra, Cincinnati Ballet, Cincinnati Art Museum, the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden, CCM and the countless other cultural organizations we have been blessed to experience. 

      I thank God for every minute of my time at UC and in Cincinnati. Our work together here is unquestionably the highlight of my career. Elevating UC has been a passion and a labor of love. So many of you have become close personal friends; friends I shall cherish forever.  

      There are only a few institutions whose invitation to serve would pull me away from UC. University of British Columbia is one such university. My father served on the UBC faculty when I was born in Vancouver almost 54 years ago. It was UBC that gave our immigrant family a chance to settle in North America. And some of our family and friends remain in Vancouver. This is that unique, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to return to my birthplace in Canada—for my life to come full circle. 

      Please accept my thanks for giving me the opportunity to serve the University of Cincinnati as your 28th President. UC will always have a special place in my heart. It has been an honor and privilege to serve you. 

      I will miss you Cincinnati. Go Bearcats!

      With love,

      Santa J. Ono
      University of Cincinnati