Vancouver-born Dr. Santa Ono is to become the 15th President and Vice Chancellor of the University of British Columbia.
Currently serving as the President of the University of Cincinnati, Dr. Ono is a biomedical researcher and pioneer in experimental medicine.
Ono is also known to be an early adopter of social media in the post-secondary education sector, with no less than 72K followers on Twitter.
He replaces Interim President Martha Piper, who retires June 30th. He begins his five-year term on August 15.
Ono says he is aware of the issues at UBC and is up to the challenge.
“The first thing to do is to really listen to the community. Because as I said, the experts at UBC are the faculty and the staff, and the first thing to do is to understand the “soul” of the university, is what I like to say. And then to take the general vision that exists, the existing strategic plan that needs to be updated.”
Ono also addressed accusations the university isn’t dealing correctly with sexual assaults on campus.
“It is something I have experience with. It is something I think I can make contributions to. I don’t look backwards I look forwards I am very experienced in dealing with these sorts of issues. I can bring individual subject matter experts with me and we can move forward. I believe we can deal with those situations.”
As for his salary.
“I actually don’t know. It must be public you might have to look at it. Money does not drive me.”
Ono says he is also willing to talk to Arvind Gupta whose departure as President put UBC in the headlines for all the wrong reasons.
On his own Twitter page, Ono posted a letter announcing his resignation as President of the University of Cincinnati, writing it was the most difficult decision he’s ever made.