University of Michigan selects Dr. Santa Ono as new president

Ono currently serves as president, vice chancellor at University of British Columbia

He’s the 15th president in U of M history and replaces Mary Sue Coleman, who returned to her former role of university president after the Board of Regents voted to remove Mark Schlissel in January.

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – The University of Michigan has selected Dr. Santa Ono as its new president.

Ono, 59, is currently the president and vice chancellor of the University of British Columbia, but the U of M Board of Regents welcomed him to Ann Arbor on Wednesday during a special meeting.

“I’m pleased to announce that we have completed the search process and have identified Dr. Santa Ono as our finalist for election as the 15th president of the University of Michigan,” U of M Regent Paul Brown said.

Ono previously served as president at the University of Cincinnati from 2012-2016. He has been at the University of British Columbia since 2016.

He’s the 15th president in U of M history and replaces Mary Sue Coleman, who returned to her former role of university president after the Board of Regents voted to remove Mark Schlissel in January.

“Dr. Ono is relentlessly positive,” Regent Denise Ilitch said. “He understands the critical role of collaborative relationships and working toward a common goal, and he loves the students he serves. His vision for our future is exciting, and we have a lot to look forward to. I’m telling you, it’s a happy damn day.”

You can listen to Ono’s full comments below.

Here are Dr. Santa Ono's full comments after being named the new University of Michigan president.

Here’s a video of Wednesday’s full meeting:

The University of Michigan regents held a special meeting to select Santa Ono as president.

Here’s the Q&A with Ono that followed the meeting:

Here is the full Q&A with new University of Michigan President Dr. Santa Ono from the July 13, 2022, special meeting with regents.

Schlissel was ousted following an investigation into a possible inappropriate relationship between him and a subordinate, and Coleman, his predecessor, agreed to return until the regents could name a replacement.

READ: University of Michigan releases 118 pages of emails after vote to fire Schlissel

During an apology issued months later, Schlissel said he demonstrated “poor judgment.”

“The relationship was entirely consensual, was never physical, and did not involve the inappropriate spending of university resources,” Schlissel said. “But in a time when we have been trying to strengthen the bonds of trust at the university, it is particularly important that campus leaders avoid even an appearance of impropriety.”


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Derick is the Lead Digital Editor for ClickOnDetroit and has been with Local 4 News since April 2013. Derick specializes in breaking news, crime and local sports.